Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Latondras.
Kayla, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am currently a student at Columbia College Chicago. I grew up just outside of Detroit, Michigan and only recently moved to Chicago to chase my dream of becoming a photographer. Both cities have shown me art in many forms and directions, artists who don’t care if they live their lives “outside of the box” and I can only dream of being as successful as those before me. Growing up, technology was one of the most fascinating aspects of the world to me, apart from the world itself. Learning that I could capture the things I see, the way I see them, and later share them with those around me was by far the greatest discovery. I think that is when my fascination with National Geographic began, to see people going all over the world and capturing such once in a lifetime images was such an inspiration for me. Family and friends also said I could take the most obscure things and make them look pretty or fascinating and I think that was my greatest motivation. Every time I heard those words, it pushed me to go out and find something wilder and make it my own in a way that would have them appreciating it rather than turning their noses up at it. Now, though, I capture everything I find beauty in. Big or small, common or random, there is a good chance I have shot it at least a handful of times.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I genuinely don’t know how to really classify what kind of photographs I make. In my head, as I’m doing it, I tell myself I’m capturing moments that will last forever. I’m capturing things that some people might miss or don’t appreciate in the way I’m shooting them. I like to think I look at the world differently and I’m simply doing my best to try and share how I view things with everyone around me so they can appreciate and see the beauty too. When I look at my work and decide to post it, I hope people can take that and go out and make their own images. I want the younger teens who think they are going to be stuck in their hometown forever to realize that adventure awaits and if you find the opportunity to get out, do it. There is so much waiting for you. Places to see, moments to experience, stars to chase — Go! I think the one thing you should know about my work is that there are no limits to it, I don’t have a specific subject I capture over and over and I want you to accept that.
How can artists connect with other artists?
I think it can be hard to be an artist in this day and age, especially a young up and coming artist. Now that social media platforms are a big part of where your following comes from, sometimes there can be a pressure to mimic the big or popular accounts in order to gain your own attention. I feel that the pressure to be like a more known artist really draws away from the creativity and has you constantly criticizing your own work. I feel that cities like Chicago encourage the idea that it is fine if you don’t fit the outline in your head, it’s better that way. Stand out, be bold and keep creating.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I just recently started an Instagram page for my photographs and whatnot! You can find me on Instagram @kaylatondras, where I’m doing my absolute best to post regularly in between classes and work. I’m currently working on a website where I will most likely start selling prints of my work. Until then, you will just have to appreciate the scattered posts of mine.