Altpick Members’ Holiday Shopping Guide is Here!

©Red Nose Studio - Puppet

©Red Nose Studio – Puppet

The holiday season is at our door step and here are some fun gift suggestions from members.  Click on each image to purchase.  Enjoy!


©Julie Reed

©Julie Reed – Scarf

©Julie Reed

©Julie Reed – Brooch

©Boy Girl Party - Enamel Pin

©Boy Girl Party – Enamel Pin


©Boy Girl Party -

©Boy Girl Party – Bags

©Neale Osborne - Bag

©Neale Osborne – Bag

©Aaron Meshon - Bag

©Aaron Meshon – Bag

©Dan Stiles - Pillow

©Dan Stiles – Pillow

©Bella Pilar - Mug

©Bella Pilar – Mug

©Bella Pilar - Bag

©Bella Pilar – Bag

©Neale Osborne - Mug

©Neale Osborne – Mug

©Neale Osborne - Plate

©Neale Osborne – Plate



©Ellen Weinstein – Poster

©Richard Borge - Print

©Richard Borge – Print

©Aaron Meshon

©Aaron Meshon – Poster

©Ellen Weinstein - Poster

©Ellen Weinstein – Poster

©Lennette Newell

©Lennette Newell

©Ann Cutting

©Ann Cutting – Print

©Lennette Newell - Print

©Lennette Newell – Print


©Kenneth Rimm.

©Kenneth Rimm – Print

©Barbara Kosoff - Print

©Barbara Kosoff – Print

©Jane Mjolsness - Print

©Jane Mjolsness – Print

©Joey Feldman - Print

©Joey Feldman – Print

©Otto Steining - Print

©Otto Steininger – Print


©Red Nose Studio - Puppet

©Red Nose Studio – Puppet



©Ann Cutting – Pottery

©Ann Cutting – Pottery

©Ann Cutting

©Ann Cutting – Pottery


©Neale Osborne

©Neale Osborne – Book

©Echo Chernik - Book

©Echo Chernik – Book

©Jon Blacker - Musical Ink - Coffee Table Book

©Jon Blacker – Musical Ink – Coffee Table Book

©Emiliano Ponzi - Book

©Emiliano Ponzi – Book


©Barbara Pollak-Lewis - Print

©Barbara Pollak-Lewis – Print

©Aaron Meshon

©Aaron Meshon

©Aaron Meshon - Toy

©Aaron Meshon – Toy

©Boy Girl Party - Baby BodySuit

©Boy Girl Party – Baby BodySuit


©Boy Girl Party - T-Shirt

©Boy Girl Party – T-Shirt

©Dan Stiles - T-Shirt

©Dan Stiles – T-Shirt

©Dan Stiles - T-Shirt -

©Dan Stiles – T-Shirt


©Lacko Illustration

©Lacko Illustration – Stickers

©Katrina Kopeloff - Sticker

©Katrina Kopeloff – Sticker

©Katrina Kopeloff - Holiday Card

©Katrina Kopeloff – Holiday Card



To see more of the artists’ work, visit their page on

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Happy Halloween from Altpick Members!

Chills and thrills Halloween is here!  Altpick Members celebrate with some scary, devilish and enchanting images…Happy Halloween!


©Gary Salter

To see more work from the photographers, illustrators, designers and animators on, click here.  Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

Posted in Altpick, Art, Design, Illustrations, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kristofer Dan-Bergman :: Viewing the World Differently

©Andreas von Buddenbrock

By: Andreas von Buddenbrock

It’s about two in the afternoon as I sit down and wait for the highly renowned photographer Kristofer Dan-Bergman to show up at the Swedish coffee shop Konditori on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

As a young boy growing up in Stockholm in a show-business family, Kristofer was involved in both acting and several different sports before he took a liking to photography as a teenager. Moving to New York in his early twenties as a banker (!!!) turned out to be a life-changing decision. Since then he has produced editorial photography for some of the biggest international newspapers and magazines, as well as advertising work for brands such as Clarins, Tag Heuer, AT&T and Kay Jewelers. His work has also shown up in a number of solo and group exhibitions (“S_PACE”, “Away”, “unObserved”, etc.) in both the U.S. and in Europe, showing he has the capability of working with everything from conceptual and abstract themes to more informative as well as captivating documentary photography.

Earlier this year, Kristofer went to East Africa on a four-week expedition through Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda where he shot portraits and interviews for Spark Micro Grants (an NGO operating in East Africa) in cooperation with Global Good Fund (.org)

Not long after I have started sipping on my first coffee, Kristofer suddenly enters the coffee shop. The noise is to loud there to conduct an interview so we decide to take our conversation to a nearby park instead.

You’re born in Sweden?

Yes, in Stockholm.

Youre father used to own a theater and your mother was an actress, is that correct?

Exactly, “Lilla Teatern” [The Little Theater]. Both of them were actors in the beginning, before I was born. They met during one of their acting-tours, in a small town.

And as a child you had a role in an art-movie that was shown on Swedish television?

That’s right and I cried after watching it because I thought it was too short.

How come you didnt want to continue acting after that?

It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to, it just kind of happened. I mean, acting wasn’t exactly my thing, I think. Although, I did write a couple of plays when I was 9-10 years old, which I acted out in my school. One was entitled “The Ghost House”. It ended with the line: “Do we dare…?” And then the curtain fell [laugh] I’ve actually asked my parents about that, why they didn’t encourage me to continue, but it was also during a time in Sweden when it was “hands-off!”. You weren’t supposed to encourage your kids one-way or the other.

But that can be a good thing too, dont you think? Then the children can find theyre own way.

True. But you still have to push them a little bit; a child doesn’t know anything from the start about how the world works and of who they are. You have to help them so that they at least get exposed to different things. Then they can choose to do whatever they want. The most important thing is the passion; if you for example show that you have a passion for something, then don’t kill it.

Maybe you werent exactly pushed, but you did receive a camera by your father when you were 16, correct?

Yes, something like that. It was his boyhood-camera, one that his father gave him.

So he didnt encourage you to start doing photography? You started that all on your own?

Yes, exactly. I was photographing a lot during that time, but never thought of myself as a photographer. I studied economics instead, became a banker and moved to New York.

So you were already here [in New York] when you started doing photography full-time then.

That’s right. I quit the banking-business after a couple of years.  I realized that it wasn’t for me fairly quickly. Ultimately, what made me drop out was a weekend-course at ICP in “Darkroom 101”. When I saw my first print developing in the tray I thought: “Wow! This is it!”

I had done all types of competitive sports growing up; I played soccer, hockey, handball, squash, you name it. And I loved it. But I stopped doing it because it was affecting my studies too much (my parents wanted me to get better grades). That passion that I had for sports, which I hadn’t felt in a really long time, I suddenly felt there in the darkroom. I thought then, if I was going to “switch” careers, now was the time. It had to be now.

How did your professional career start out then? Do you remember your first paid job?

I put myself on the Swedish correspondent list in the US. Soon thereafter I got a phone call early in the morning and it was from Expressen [a major Swedish newspaper]: “Can you be there and there now?” [laugh] “…And then just send us the pictures through AP as usual.” And I’m thinking: “As usual? ‘AP’, what the hell is that?” The initials felt familiar though. “AP…AP…AP…” I was going through the phone book at that time, and then suddenly: “Ah! Associated Press!” [laugh] So I called up Associated Press and asked them: “What the hell do I do?” “Just come up here with the film”, they said. That was how it all started. They never had a clue that I was lacking any kind of experience.

It continued on with the other major Swedish and Scandinavian newspapers like DN, VG and Aftonbladet, and then later to other European publications and agencies such as Corriere della Sera, El País, Getty, AP etc. The press is pretty fun because new things are happening all the time and you have to be fast. You meet a lot of interesting people; I’ve gotten the opportunity to photograph Bill Clinton in the Oval Office, Hillary in her residence at the White House , Muhammad Ali and Lauren Bacall, as well as well-known photographers such as Gordon Parks and Peter Beard.

Do you have any favorite among the people youve photographed?

I do. Emotionally, it would obviously have to be standing in the Oval Office and photographing Bill Clinton behind his desk – because that’s just kind of cool.

But the person I liked the most was Lauren Bacall; she was a lot like my mother, in some ways. And we got into talking about theater, which we discussed for a long time. There was a real connection there.

I read that you like photographing people in particular. What is it that makes this so interesting to you?

That’s right. I guess it’s the conscious as well as the unconscious connection I get when I photograph another person which I find interesting, the instant connections you need to get. Since I’m not overly controlling but more spontaneous, people feel rather comfortable when I photograph them.

That notion of liking to photograph people is also why street photography is very important to me and has always been – the documentation-aspect. And I do it all the time. What I learn from the streets I can apply to other parts of my photography.

My latest personal series, for example, which I’m working on at the moment, is about a coffee shop (in particular the bar by the window) and how people kind of “live” there . I have a ton of those shots from this subject.

[Kristofer picks up his iPad and shows me a number of images from his coffee shop series.] All the people in these images were first photographed separately in a constructed coffee shop-set that I had built-in my studio. I put them all together in Photoshop afterwards. I’ve chosen to call this series ‘allONE’, as in “all” and “one”. The idea is dealing with Time and Space and the search of ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Am I?’ and the possibility of other worlds.

Your other projects, S_PACE and Away, were also part of this annual collaboration with your friends?

Yes, this is something that I have been doing seven years in a row now. I invite my friends to be photographed one night, with a new theme/concept every year. The first time I did it, it was mostly just for fun. Then I thought: “Damn, this is actually a pretty good idea”.

In this latest shoot ‘allONE’ I photographed between 75 and 100 people within a five-hour span. In my invitation to the event I talk about what color scheme I want people to consider when dressing up, and I always emphasize that styling is very important for the final product. If props are needed I will give them a few clues (I will also have some on a table for people to pick from). I don’t want to be too controlling since this is a sort of collaboration but I do emphasize that this is a serious event (even though it’s a lot of fun).

But if everyone was there at the party, couldnt they all have sat next to each other at the same time?

Yes of course, but that wouldn’t be the same thing, it would have been more of a ‘Photo Booth’ thing and it would lose its basic idea. The point is that they’re not supposed to influence each other. It’s more about a philosophical kind of thinking. Like with the ’S_PACE’ project; It’s about all of us living in the same space but at the same time we all have our own spaces. The idea to ’S_PACE’ came out of an ongoing documentary-series that I am doing called ‘Divided World’. An example from this would be an image where you see a restaurant with people inside that are happy and toasting with each other on one half, while on the other you see a person who is outside begging for money. In the ’S_PACE’ series, which is based on Divided World, I created two spaces divided by a wall. Then came the idea of digitally mixing and matching the people as I saw fit, which I really didn’t plan on in the first place. Two people with a wall in between using a body language that implies that they are aware of each other’s presence, although they don’t really know for sure. It deals a bit with the abstract, the fact that we might actually be connected in some way (or not).

The interesting thing about “S_PACE” (which is the series that I’m most fond of) is that people view it differently; the spaces seem to represent different things for everyone which is quite natural since we see and deduct things based on our own life experiences and conclusions. The ‘allONE’ series is a sort of follow-up to ’S_PACE’ or a continued exploration of space and time. After I played around with the ‘allONE’ photos and created a few composites it occurred to me that each one of them has a real story. I thought about this for a while and then came up with the idea to invite writers to write a short story from the composites. It would also be great if I could get i.e. 3 different writers per photo and see their different interpretations. This series will definitely be a show and even possibly a book.

Any ideas about what else you’ll be doing within the next few years? Or are you taking it as it comes?

It’s day-by-day [laugh]. I like doing commercial jobs because of the collaboration between the art director, creative director, the stylists, etc. And it’s really intense; preproduction, shoot and then post-production – bang! However, I like to mix my bag with documentary and fine arts/personal work, not just for the sake of mixing, but also for learning. I learn so much from each discipline of what I am photographing that I can apply to the other – it’s a continuous journey.

Also I would like to continue working on my street blogs “The Red Wall” and “Sliver of Light”. Everyday that I was biking to my studio (which was located in Tribeca) I passed this Red Wall about a block from here, on Bowery and Prince. I had always been fascinated by it, and many times I would stop on the other side of the street to photograph it as people passed by. Then I started writing little segments underneath the images, which showed what the people walking by were thinking or what they were talking about (I just made it up, obviously). It was great, because I had no idea where it was going. I like the writing and the process of immediately jotting down whatever popped up in my head without editing or rethinking anything.

I always make sure to push myself too. That was something I did with the recent Africa trip, where I decided not to just go there and document, but to do something that I’ve never done before; be ambitious and bring lighting equipment and so on – without the help of an assistant. Push my own boundaries. When you go on a documentary trip you learn from experience that you have to decide beforehand what to focus on and what your approach will be, because when you get there you’ll probably want to photograph everything and that can easily lead to an incoherent story.

I read that you picked a good spot in every village to shoot portraits and then went ahead with what you had.

Well I’ve always said that a good photographer should always be able to make something out of the circumstances given to him, whether it is equipment, location or subject/object.

In terms of my latest Africa trip I had to be very focused and stick to my plan of actions because of time constrain and fatigue. Every time we came to a new village I scouted/scanned the area quickly for a spot to shoot my portraits. Once I had made the decision, I worked with the idea of how to approach it while I was shooting the documentary shots.

You always have to look at yourself and learn what it is that makes you tick and how your brain responds to things. It’s not the easiest task, but the more you do it and try to understand why and how you act in certain situations, the better you get at it. That’s at least true for me. And that’s why a trip like this one works and I guess that is how life works in general.

Kristofer Dan-Bergman-Self PortraitAward winning photographer Kristofer Dan Bergman  has worked with numerous international newspapers and magazines, from Corriere della Sera to El País to Elle and advertising work for Clarins, Tag Heuer, Panasonic, AT&T and Pfizer.

He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, including ‘S_PACE’ (conceptual), ‘Yearbook’ (conceptual), Unbound (Abstract), Chapters (Retrospective), The Karen People of Burma (Documentary) and Kenya’s Garissa Hospital (Documentary) to name a few. He has also been part of a few Museum exhibits (Vaxio and Ljungby in Sweden as well as Queens Museum of Art). His work is represented in the ICP permanent collection.

When he’s not shooting, he’s busy practicing yoga and meditation or browsing a museum show.  To see more of Kristofer Dan-Bergman’s work be sure to visit his website and Altpick page.


andreasAndreas von Buddenbrock is a freelance writer and illustrator for  When he’s not working, he’s finishing up his Bachelor degree in illustration at the various campuses of Savannah College of Art and Design (Hong Kong, Savannah and Atlanta).




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Illustrator Caroline Tomlinson Dares to Be Ghost Girl!

©Caroline Tomlinson

Internationally acclaimed illustrator Caroline Tomlinson recently wrapped up her work in collaboration with Ghost Girl fragrances and famous fashion photographer Rankin. The advertisement includes both text and imagery in Tomlinson’s distinctive style. The full commercial and behind-the-scenes footage can be found below!

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The making of Ghost Girl TV ad commercial:

To see more of Caroline Tomlinson’s work go to her website and Altpick page.                  Rep: Richard Salzman



Posted in Altpick, Art, Branding, Design, Illustrations, Photography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Closer Look at Photographer Kent Miller

Illustration of Kent Miller by Andreas von Buddenbrock

Illustration of Kent Miller by Andreas von Buddenbrock

by Andreas von Buddenbrock

When Kent Miller first moved to New York in the late 1980’s, he started off as a drummer playing in several different bands. Now, more than 25 years later, Kent is an established freelance photographer who specializes in fashion, music and product photography, with clients that include some of the worlds largest companies, such as L’Oréal and Macy’s. What was it that got him onto such a different career path? What keeps him passionate enough to continue? And where does he see himself in the future? I had the rare opportunity to visit Kent in his Manhattan-based studio on W 35th Street (near the Empire State Building) and ask him these questions, along with a few others.

After knocking on the studio door I was greeted by Kent’s intern, Austin Hummel, who ushered me inside. Kent, who was sitting by his desk buried in work, got up to greet me as well.  I stepped in to take a closer look at the vicinity; it’s a long, rectangular space, carrying all kinds of photographic and digital equipment. Kent put his work aside for a moment to sit down with me to talk about the industry, previous projects and life outside the studio walls.

Where did you grow up?


And that’s where you went to school?

 Yeah. I’m pretty much self-taught though, as far as photography is concerned. I took some classes at SVA and at other places on specific things that I wanted to know (like lighting, composition, etc.), but that’s as far as I went.

 When you first moved to New York in the late 80’s, you’ve said that you started out as a drummer in a band?

Yep, that’s how this whole madness started. That’s how I got to New York.

©Kent Miller

©Kent Miller

And then you started photographing the music scene?

Well, when you’re playing in bands you can go on stage at any time from seven o’ clock in the evening until three in the morning, so depending on when we were going on we had a whole lot of time to kill. During that time I had to have something to do, so I started taking pictures of friends’ bands that were playing before or after me. That turned into a sort of “weekly adventure,” doing the photographing and just trying different things. It was all film so it was a lot of trial and error, but I got pretty good at it. And it was a great way to pass the time between gigs instead of just sitting around.

I did that for a while until I was finally encouraged one night to take a closer look at some of the photographs I had taken of a band; there was this woman there writing an article and she liked my pictures. They ran them in the magazine she was working for and that started the whole process.

The Vineyard at Grandview. ©Kent Miller

The Vineyard at Grandview.
©Kent Miller

2015.07.10 Jerry Shank

Jerry Shank Image © Kent Miller

So that was your first “paid gig”?

That was the first paid one. I sold three pictures for maybe forty dollars a piece. It was great!  It was all slide-film – everybody wanted slide-film at that time – and it was a lot of work. It was crazy, but it was a good time and a good learning experience. Plus, I was already there, so it just made it more fun.

What was it that later made you get into fashion and product photography?

 Necessity. [laugh]

You needed more money?

No, I needed more knowledge, more things to do. Music was awesome, but once the digital revolution came there was very little money left in music. As with a lot of this (as many people know) you don’t really do it for the money. I needed to transition into the more technical aspects of photography to learn more about the craft, so I branched out to all these other fields and started assisting other photographers.

I really enjoyed working in the studio. Most of the people there were doing either fashion or product work, and I liked it because it was very intricate and difficult to get the little things to be perfect; it was all done on 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 film, and we worked for hours to get it right – on one piece of film!

©Kent Miller

©Kent Miller

When you were (and are) shooting a subject, at what point did you feel like you had captured that “perfect” image?

When the art director said so. [laugh] I mean, a lot of it really is that. When it fit the layout for the art director and everybody signed off on it and we were all happy, then we would send all of the film out – but we wouldn’t touch the set. The whole set remained exactly like it was until the film was back and it was approved and finished. And then we tore it down. Because of this, the studios had to be bigger; we could have four or five cameras all set up at once. If we received a new job then we’d just set up a whole other set in another part of the studio. And then we’d sit there and wait until it was finished. It was crazy, but really fun. It’s not like now, where once you get the shot you see it on the computer screen and then it’s done, you’ve got it. Everything is there. You’re now building pictures, as opposed to just taking them. It’s a different way of thinking and going through the process, and the end result is still pretty good. But that’s not something I do. I’m pretty basic when it comes to that.

What’s your favorite subject to shoot? Is it still the music scene?

I still love photographing musicians, obviously, but it’s more about the people. Whether or not they’re musicians or other artists, corporate entities or general business people – it’s still a person. There’s still something behind the mask, something going on that they don’t easily show. Something that you, in one way or another, need to pull out of them. It’s a difficult process sometimes, but I always think it’s fun to meet and photograph new people.

©Kent Miller

©Kent Miller

You’ve done a few photo-shoots with model and tattoo artist Azarja van der Veen. How is it working with her?

I’ve worked with Azarja for a bunch of years now on a whole lot of different shoots. She’s awesome.  My wife jokes that she’s my “tattoo girlfriend” (she’s not my real girlfriend!). She’s a sweetheart; she knows what to do, what she wants and how to get there. And she’s right there for you. She’s willing to take a risk and try things, and if things don’t work then they don’t work. [Kent points at the calendar on the wall behind Austin] That particular calendar was her idea. She wanted to do it, so we just started brainstorming, and then over the course of three days that whole thing came together. It was fun.

Has she done any of your tattoos?

No. I only have one, but she didn’t do it. I keep trying to get there, but she’s a very “in-demand” girl. She’s booked weeks in advance usually.

[In the middle of our conversation, a man stepped into the studio to briefly discuss a previous project with Kent and to collect some papers. After the man left I asked Kent about the project, which turned out to be a collaboration with a fashion styling class.]

It’s like two or three times a year at LIM on East 53rd. The students work on a particular style/theme with a model that I photograph; that’s what they get to take home from the shoot at the end (besides from all their training, of course!). That way they get a few pieces for their portfolios. The students are great; they’re really creative. It’s a summer class, so they come in from all around the world and they’re all different ages. To style a model, they work together as a team and each team works on a different concept. It’s fun to see because it always turns out pretty cool. They make something out of nothing, which is what a good stylist should do.

©Kent Miller

©Kent Miller

Have you ever had any working experience that was exceptionally bad; where things just didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to?

There are many times where that has happened. There were times in the beginning of digital where I flipped the on-switch on the camera and it just wouldn’t turn on. Just dead…stopped right there.  Cause you know, it’s a machine. And that happened right in the middle of a job; I got to the shoot, went to turn on the camera and start working and– [Kent snaps his fingers] dead. Luckily, we’re in Manhattan. You can get another camera pretty quickly. So I just sent somebody out to grab another camera from one of the rental places. In the beginning, I would always take one or two film cameras with me when we were shooting, just in case. Things are much better now, though I still always take at least two, and sometimes three, cameras with me. It’s pretty hard to tell the client that you can’t take any pictures because your camera won’t turn on – it’s a little embarrassing. But, like I said, here in Manhattan, it takes half an hour to have somebody run out and grab another camera out of a rental house and ‘boom!’, we’re good to go. If you were in the middle of South Dakota, that wouldn’t be the case. You’d be in trouble.

You recently became a father. Has that impacted your work in any significant way?

Yes, it’s amazing…and I’m still a bit of a workaholic. But yes, it’s made me want to be home a lot more. I spend most mornings sitting on the floor playing with my daughter. She’s nine months old now, and like everyone says: “It goes so fast” – it goes so fast! You blink and already nine months have gone by. And it’s because we’re constantly working towards the next thing.

But you’re still working quite a lot?

Oh yeah, still going strong.  We take it where we can get it.

©Kent Miller

©Kent Miller

Where would you see yourself in 10, or let’s say 12 years from now? Any dreams? Or is it more day-by-day?

Most of my life is day-by-day, but we’ve been trying to establish more of a plan for marketing and moving towards the future a little bit. Right now we do a lot of work on smaller jobs, so the goal is instead to get bigger jobs and do fewer of those; higher production value jobs that really satisfies. Not that the little ones don’t, but they take a lot more energy and running around.

Of course, everyone on the planet is going to say they want fewer and bigger jobs; you’re working hard, and you want to work just as hard, but you’d like to do it for a larger client. I can tell you, with each step you go up the ladder, the next rung is higher. You can make a bunch of leaps in one year and then the next rung is going to be a lot further away.

But you learn to jump higher. And I own my own company so I don’t ever stop jumping. I go home from here (now I have Agnes to give me a big hug and spend some time with) and before I go to bed I’m back at the computer again. And that’s 11 o’clock at night. It doesn’t stop.

Maybe you don’t want it to stop?

Oh, I’d like it to stop. I’d like it to stop when I go on vacation and I’d like it to stop on the weekend – but when it’s yours, it doesn’t stop. You’re always thinking about what the next thing is and how to get there and what is financially going to make sense. Something’s always going to be going on in your head.

The world of a freelancer, I suppose.

Exactly, it’s the world of a freelancer. It has its perks, believe me, but it’s just as cool as it is not-cool.

Lastly, what are your personal feelings about the whole Instagram-trend, and the fact that everybody nowadays is trying their best to be a ‘‘photographer’’?

Oh, everybody on the planet is a photographer right now. It has kind of diminished the value of photography.

©Kent Miller

©Kent Miller

But people still seek out professional photographers.

Absolutely. There are still complicated things that a phone or a point-and-shoot camera can’t do. And thank God that they can’t, because when they figure out how to do those things…well, then I’ll be sitting on a couch somewhere watching everyone else do stuff.

The industry is currently changing a lot.  Like I was talking before about how we used to use film; he [Kent points at Austin] would never know this. And there are a lot of people who would never have any reason to know it. You wouldn’t necessarily know what dip-and-dunk processing is nowadays because there’s really no reason to know what it is.  I know maybe I am a bit of a curmudgeon, but I like to get the whole image in one shot like we used to. [laugh] I don’t know, it’s part of who I am I suppose. This is what I love to do and what I want to do. If there was anything I could do over again, I would have just learned to do it sooner. I mean, I waited until I was already in New York and in my twenties before I even picked up a camera. But, as we know, you can’t change history. Unfortunately. [laugh]

After our interview, Kent also took the time to show me some of his current projects. Apart from his newly redesigned website (which was just launched), he is also working on a number of personal reportage projects that focus on people with different hobbies and professions. So far, these include stories about curious individuals such as a woodworker making handcrafted tea boxes out of several kinds of wood (only two boxes a year!) and a 68 year-old man who started a vineyard all by himself in order to produce his own wine. “I like that kind of thing,” Kent tells me, “people who do things, as opposed to machines.” By recording conversations, filming, photographing and putting it all together, he tells me that he has learned a lot of new skills along the way and that these projects are a kind of “outlet” to keep him creatively satisfied. He loves his work, but personal projects are just as an important part of staying motivated as anything else.

To see more of Kent Miller’s unique photography and to keep yourself updated on what is happening with his current projects, be sure to follow the links below.”
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andreasInterview By: Andreas von Buddenbrock

Andreas is currently working as an intern at, conducting interviews and writing articles. When he’s not working as an intern, he’s finishing up his Bachelor degree in illustration at the various campuses of Savannah College of Art and Design (Hong Kong, Savannah and Atlanta) while freelancing as an illustrator.


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Richard Borge Explores the Outer Realms of Art

©Andreas von Buddenbrock

©Andreas von Buddenbrock

  • by Andreas von Buddenbrock

Richard Borge has been working as a professional illustrator for over two decades, creating illustrations and videos with the help of drawings, handmade sculptures and found objects. He has a BA in Art & Communications from Concordia College in Minnesota, and an MFA in Visual Communications from University of Arizona in Tucson. In 1994, after having taught full-time at Western Carolina University for three years, Richard decided it was time to pack up his things and move to New York. His first 10 years in The Big Apple was spent living and working in Manhattan, primarily on editorial and corporate/advertising commissions, until it was once again time to move home and studio – this time to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here, Richard continues his illustration making, with the added use of live-action video and stop motion animations. Lately, he’s also been involved in making music videos; he’s currently working on a video for Honey Claws and their song “Digital Animal”.

I was fortunate enough one day to come over and visit Richard at his studio (and home) in Williamsburg, where I got to ask him about his interests, his career and his current projects – giving me an idea of what the world of a professional illustrator with years of experience is all about.

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Where were you born originally?

Madagascar. My father was a doctor over there for 10 years – 2 five-year stints – and I was born at the tail end of their second trip over there.

And then you moved to the US.

Yes, I was about a year old. I’m the youngest of six kids, so most of my siblings have memories of Madagascar.

You’ve said that you were drawing your whole childhood, and then at some point you realized that you could earn money from it?

Yeah. I was pre-med for a while, in college, because my father was a doctor. I didn’t really know what to do, but a couple of days before my junior year of undergrad, something snapped and I just switched all my classes from biology/chemistry/physics over to art, art history and such – I just switched it all. And one of my older brothers, John Borge, who is a photographer, was one of the people who really encouraged me, saying: “You can do this if you want”. I had never really considered doing art as a profession before.

©Richard Borge

©Richard Borge

You’re first assignment was to design a t-shirt for a football game. Could you tell us what that was about?

That was one of my first assignments. I was an undergraduate at Concordia College, in Moorhead Minnesota, and they needed some kind of design to be used on a t-shirt for a big football game. They needed to show how they were going to crush their rivals or something like that. I didn’t even know it was an illustration gig at the time…I was kind of just making a picture.


What was the motif?

I seem to remember something about football cleats coming down on their mascot, which I can’t really remember what it was. Maybe it was a dragon. I didn’t even remember it until you mentioned it. And then when I was in grad school in Arizona I did some illustrations for freelance work.

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As an artist with many years of experience, do you have any tips you would like to share for other aspiring illustrators, something that you wish you had heard when first starting out?

I would say that it’s important to follow your instincts, and to find out what it is that you really like to do – and then just do it. I think, for a lot of people, it’s not going to be illustration. Maybe it ends up being something else. But if you can find what it is that keeps you up all night – because you just want to stay up the whole night and just do that – then that’s GOLD. And then the key is just to find out how to make money doing it.

Promotion has changed so much from when I started, because back then there was no social media or anything like that, and so there were way fewer avenues and ways to promote yourself. You could send out postcards and buy ads in books like the Alternative Pick (it was a book before) and Workbook. But now, I guess my tip would be to embrace social media, and to do as much as you can with that.


Another tip, when you’re doing promotions, would be to try to think of it as a series, rather than as a single piece. Again, back to the older days of mailing postcards, a lot of times I would have students who were graduating that would do one kind of promo and send it out. Then nothing would happen and they would get discouraged and quit – that’s kind of a small tragedy. So I always say it would be better to do maybe three things, and send it out over a few months and kind of think of it more like a campaign, instead of that one thing that’s going to change the world.

It’s probably good for people to hear that everyone has to deal with rejection. A lot of people may think it’s just them.

It can be very discouraging when you send out promos and no one replies. It happens to me still; I email people and a lot of the times you don’t hear anything. However, sometimes you’ll hear from someone a year later and they’ll say: “We’ve had this promo sitting on our desk and we’ve been waiting for the right project.”   I remember someone back in school saying: “As an artist, you’re expected to be really sensitive, but you also have to have the skin of a rhinoceros.” You can’t get too hung up on rejections.

I would say: promote as much as you can. And always put out work that you really like, more so than things that you think is going to get you work. Put work out there that feels good and is true to your heart. My experience has been that when you put work out there that’s for you, the ones that you really like, a lot of the times those are the things that people would see and say, “We want something like that”. It wasn’t really for a client in the first place; you just made this weird thing for you.

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Is that how you got into your current style?

Well, when I was first promoting myself as an illustrator, I just made these really experimental 3D things and shot them with a 4 x 5. I also made a series of postcards with these totally self-generated pieces that were, for me, strange and kind of weird. That’s what I was putting out there, and that’s how I started to work.

So where do you find inspiration for these kind of “quirky” things that you do?

People always ask me this question, and I don’t really know. I find it from film, and somewhere deep in my mind. Sometimes from museums and galleries and whatnot. I think that if I see people’s work that I like, I find great inspiration in that.

What is usually your thought/working process from receiving an assignment to telling yourself “This piece is done!”

Well, when I first receive an assignment I like to hear from the person that is giving me it what his or her reason was for contacting me, because if we get that out-of-the-way I’ll know what direction to push it. For me, it’s always best if I’m given some kind of general art-direction, or if they say “We want to emphasize this aspect of the story”. That’s really helpful. What’s usually not as helpful is when they say: “We want you to do this and this and this, and then this” – that kind of takes the fun out of it. I get the assignment, I read the article, I highlight words and things that are visual to me in the article, and then I try to really understand what they’re saying and what it’s all about.

A lot of times I’ll have to take what is more of an abstract concept and turn it into a picture; this is especially common with the Wall Street Journal and a lot of other financial papers. And that can be with symbolism or by finding parallels between things. A lot of times when I read the article, I’m just completely stumped for a minute. I’m thinking “Oh no”. And then I start highlighting words and make these little drawings, where I’m trying to find relationships between the drawings and the words. An example I’ve given in the past is if you’re doing something about gambling and something about race cars (I don’t know why), immediately I would be thinking about the “circular wheel” and how you’ve got the roulette wheel, and maybe you start to find a connection between those things. So it’s not like I just sit down and close my eyes and hope that something will come to me. It’s more about doing these little doodles and drawings and then eventually something happens.


You’ve been working a lot on creating music videos lately; Are you self-taught when it comes to this, or did you learn it from somewhere?

I took an Aftereffects class at School of Visual Arts with Adam Meyers, and that was enough to get me up and running with animation. When I work on music videos in After Effects, (after listening to the song several times) I usually make a basic time line and print it out, which is the first step in making the song into something visual. I then make notes and drawings on the print, and try to figure out how to proceed. When I’m asked to write a pitch (treatment) for a full music video, I try to get a feel for what the song is about. Often times videos are more about the emotional sound of the song rather than a literal interpretation of the lyrics. Whenever possible it’s nice to talk to the band and get a feel from them as to what inspired the song. This treatment is then written out and accompanied by screen grabs of other pieces or a “mood board” of  images as to what I’m thinking it would feel like, then it’s sent off the band / label.


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Do you usually have the music in mind before creating the imagery?

Music is such an integral and important component of animation and film. A moving picture changes so much when music is added to it. When I’m making the 15 second Instagram videos, I usually make the animation first then find a portion of a track that I think works well with it. Instagram is limited to 15 seconds, so often times it is an intro to a song. When posting, I always credit and hashtag the musician and do an “@“ to them on Instagram. I do this mostly because I want to share it with them, but also because I want them to see that I’ve used it, as a sort of “full disclosure”. The Instagram videos are done in the spirit of a “fan video” and celebrating the music. I’m hoping no one asks me to take it down, although they have every right to and I would immediately comply if they did.

Maxwell Vann is a musician in LA who has been generous in letting me add some of his existing music to my animation. We are in discussion on more of a collaborative approach, perhaps where I make the visuals then send them to him for him to create the music for it, which would be a nice switch.

Meat Beat Manifesto is someone I’ve done tons of CD covers for and a couple music videos. I have a similar relationship with them with regards to allowing me to use their music for my animations.

#wip on @honeyclawz #honeyclaws #digitalanimal video. #type #typeanimation #music #rap

A video posted by Richard Borge (@richardborge) on

You’re currently working on a video for Honey Claws; can you tell us a little bit about how that started?

I was poking around with Aftereffects one night, making a stop-motion video of this little guy climbing out of a brain. We had just been to the beach earlier, listening to this Jesse Pinkman playlist (from the TV-show “Breaking Bad”) in the car, and there’s a part in Honey Claw’s song “Digital Animal” that goes “Di-di-di-di-di-digital animal”; when the guy was climbing it made me think of that song. So I just went ahead and dropped the track into place. Then, after I posted it, I found Honey Claws on Instagram, and I linked it back to him. He commented on the clip, saying: “Dayaam that’s ill!!  Wanna do a full video?”, and so we exchanged emails and took it from there. After that I kind of just got moving with making the music video. He’s been really open to it and I’m now tinkering with it whenever I have any kind of free time. It’s like a little side-project; when the jobs come in, I need to prioritize them, but a lot of the time I’m doing client work in the daytime and then I dive into that music video stuff later at night.

What’s your favorite music that you like to listen to?

I have to get back to you on that. I’m sort of all over the place. I like that Jesse Pinkman playlist because it’s got a huge variety of songs. I don’t listen to much hit-radio, but I always want to be inspired by new music, and I definitely fall into my old habits of listening to the same old stuff. Lately, I’ve really been into Knife Party; I follow them on Spotify, and I like their stuff quite a bit. And to me, when it comes to inspiration, that “Di-di-di-di-digital animal”-part, that inspires me. Or the song “Bonfire” by Knife Party, that one totally inspires me too. And it’s because it’s visual to me; they’re playing with time by kind of compressing it and slowing it down.

Lastly, do you have any “dream assignments” that you would like to be working on in the future?

I’d say things like titles and opening sequences for film, because you get to play with typography and things like that. Or possibly to be hired as the director on a big project and then work with a team of people who are manufacturing the whole thing, shooting it, etc. Like Patrick Claire who made the intro sequence to “True Detective” and “Daredevil” – though most likely he’s not doing as much hands-on on the latter; he’s probably just directing his vision. I also think it could be fun to tell a longer story while visually making it feel like an opening sequence with type and music. But I don’t know… It might be too much frosting on the cake.

After the interview, Richard gave me a tour around his studio, showing me samples of both former and current projects (some that for obvious reasons can’t be described in detail at this time). While displaying old sketches, green-screens and handmade sculptures that had been used for various illustrations and videos, he also emphasized how happy he was with his current working relationship to art director April Montgomery, who’s given him a lot of artistic freedom on his most recent project for Computer World. Richard feels fortunate to work with so many talented art directors, who he views more as collaborators.

I also got to meet Stela Woo, who used to be a student of Richard’s during his teaching at Parsons. Stela is currently interning at the studio, helping Richard out on projects by taking stills, shooting videos, etc.

To see more of Richard’s work and find updates on his current projects, be sure to check out the links for his official webpage, Vimeo page and Altpick profile.  Also, be sure to follow Richard on his Instagram-profile, which is constantly being updated with new and interesting images and videos.  There you can find his unique visual interpretations on songs by legendary artists such as:   Neil Young, Queens of the Stone Age, The Pixies, Knife Party, Butthole Surfers, Deer Hunter,Reverend Horton Heat, as well as the original Honey Claws animation.

Additional social media links:   Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr

Partial list of Richard’s clients: AVID, Sony Music, MTV, IFC, Novartis, Atlantic Records, ESPN, Fast Company, Time, Newsweek, Wall St Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, Epson, AT&T, HP, Amex, Deutcshe Bank, Verizon, Reebok, IBM, Coca-Cola and Callaway Golf.

Interview By Andreas von Buddenbrock

andreasAndreas is currently working as an intern at, making interviews and writing articles. When he’s not working as an intern, he’s finishing up his Bachelor degree in illustration at the various campuses of Savannah College of Art and Design (Hong Kong, Savannah and Atlanta) while freelancing as an illustrator.

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George Kamper Goes “Into the Wild”


“I love shooting fashion, it’s fun, challenging and a great opportunity to explore another side of my creativity. It’s also of the moment, so I can experiment and allow things to develop more so than on a commercial shoot.”

These were only a few of the things that renowned photographer George Kamper learned about himself during his latest fashion editorial shoot for Venice Magazine. The editorial, which went under the title “Into The Wild”, was shot in Birch State Park, Florida, and ended up resulting in a beautiful series of black and white images.

While on set, Kamper would do everything to make sure that his crew and the model (New York-based Yara Khmidan) would have a smooth and enjoyable experience all throughout shooting. Thinking about things like how his models will get to and from set, making sure everyone stays hydrated in the summer heat and that they are all well fed are only some of the things that make Kamper easy to work with. As he himself puts it: “I guess if I’m involved, I have to bring it.”


Take a look at the end-result below, and be sure to click on the link to view the on-set video montage:

To see more of George Kamper’s work go to his website and Altpick page.

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Photographer Robert Wilson shoots an Olivier Award Special for The Times Magazine


©Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson photographs Mark Strong, winner of a 2015 Olivier Award for Best Actor in his incredible performance in A View From The Bridge. Amazing production and direction from Iva Van Hove reviving this Arthur Miller play.  More images of the British male acting talent from the shoot for The Times Magazine for the Olivier Awards Special:

To see more of Robert Wilson’s work go to his website and his Altpick page.

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Simply Beautiful :: The Audi R8 2015 :: Photographer Simon Puschmann



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Simon Puschmann‘s CGI production of this extraordinary car, the Audi R8 was photographed and created for Audi’s worldwide 2015 catalogue.  Cast and crew included:

Agency: Kolle Rebbe | Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann |Executive Producer: TimMichelProducer | Producer On Set: Will Taylor, USA. Priscila Heimer Braz, UAE. | Production Company: US: Ink & Orange UAE: Sonda | Photo Assistants: Pauly Abell, Alex Beran, Nikhil Monteiro, Leon Puschmann, Tom Puschmann | CGI Dolly: Move N Shoot and DIY. | Retoucher On Set: Christian Cordova Bueno | Post Production: Zerone Hamburg | Location: Los Angeles & Dubai | Year: 20

To see more of Simon Puschmann’s work go to his website and Altpick page.


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Zave Smith’s Documents the “Philip & Eleanor” Story

©Zave Smith

©Zave Smith

Produced and directed by Zave Smith, Philip & Eleanor tell their story of how a blind date becomes a marriage.  Episode 1 was recorded on July 1-5, 2014 in and around Detroit, Michigan.

A Very Personal Video Project by Zave Smith:

Last winter, I realized I had developed the skills to produce a documentary film about my parent’s lives. Philip & Eleanor Smith were just teenagers when they married in 1945. Seventy years later, they are still an active busy couple fully engaged in their own and their family’s lives.

Initially I dismissed this idea. It did not feel compelling. I mentioned it to my friend and photographer Steve Prezant. He said, “I can understand why you would not want to do this, but I can tell you that if you don’t, you will regret it one day”.

I began this project by developing a list of questions to ask my parents. I shared this list with family and friends who generously contributed additional lines of inquiry. I sent the questions to my parents prior to filming. I wanted to stimulate their memories and to give them time to think about their answers in order to make the filming more fluid.

I wanted the footage to not only tell an interesting story I also wanted it to look good and sound right. I realized that I could not be the Director of Photography, The Sound Person, The Lighting Grip and The Interviewer all at the same time. I needed help. So I reached out to Nic Justice who took over the cameras and allowed me to concentrate on prompting my parents and helping them tell their story.

My parents can kill you with love and attention. My mother at 87 is still a force of nature and my dad, at 88, is very sharp with a kindness that is very charming. Nic got the full Smith Family experience when we drove to Detroit to film the interviews over a Fourth of July weekend.

I first envisioned this as a 30-90 minute single narrative. But the minute I started to edit I soon realized that no one would watch something that long. I decided to break it into six short ten minute episodes that would cover distinct parts of their lives.

My goal was to have this first episode finished for our family’s annual Passover gathering. Watching the smile on my parent’s faces, and seeing how their grandchildren and great grandchildren enjoyed hearing their stories turned this personal project into a labor of love.

Watch film, run time 1o minutes, at:

Nic Justice Website:

To see more of Zave Smith’s work, please go to his Altpick page.








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