This is the final post in a four-part series spotlighting Chatham County Emerging Artist Grant recipients for 2014. The Emerging Artists Program is a project grant program that provides financial support to developing or established professionals by funding a project pivotal to the advancement of their careers as artists.
Here’s what photographer Michael Lento had to say.
Where does your creative inspiration stem from?
I am not exactly sure where my creative inspiration stems from. I spend a lot of time daydreaming. Most of my ideas come from daydreaming.
What tends to be your favorite subject matter?
Well… I am in most of my pictures. When I first started taking pictures I wanted to take on a style that no one else was doing. I am from a small town and I was afraid of what models would think of my style as I was still refining my work process, so I decided to avoid models all together. I became my own model as I developed my style. Once I realized what my style was, I continued to do self-portraits.
Briefly describe your creative process and technique.
I usually take anywhere from 25 to 100 photos and piece them together like a puzzle into one coherent photo.
What are your goals for your art?
I don’t really have many goals. I just want to be proud of what I make.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
Don’t confuse your hobby or profession with who you really are. You are not an artist. You are much more than that.
What is your dream project?
I always wanted access to an empty house and then furnish it as if a family were living there. I would take thousands of pictures of the furnished house, inch by inch, and then print out the pictures in a 4×6 format. Then I would take the furniture out and place the 4×6 pictures on the walls, floors and ceiling of the house.
The Emerging Artists Program is funded through grants from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Orange County Arts Commission, the Granville Arts Council, the Person County Arts Council, the Chatham County Arts Council.