Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Molgaard.
Peter, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I studied art in high school and college with my mind set on becoming a fine artist, but, as these things sometimes go, majors were changed and I ended up working as a field archaeologist. I initially used photography as a way of taking visual notes and for producing the necessary graphics for archaeological reports, but since we were often located in scenic rural New England, I spent a lot of time taking landscape photos during the off hours.
Fast forward to 2013, a series of job transfers for my wife and my being burnt out in the field led us to live in the Northeastern Chinese city of Dalian (very abridged version of this story). While we were there, we traveled widely in Asia – I took every photo I possibly could from Tokyo to the Maldives and shared our experiences on Afieldbook.com. My work came to the attention of a fellow expat and like-minded friend who happened to be the Editor of an English/Chinese magazine called Focus on Dalian. He needed a new travel writer and I had both the time and the trips to write about so during our 2 years abroad I wrote and produced photos for 10 articles ranging from Prague to the Great American Roadtrip + 1 photo spotlight for myself. (The magazine is sadly defunct as print is in decline in China, but I do have hard copies).
Since moving back to Boston, I have been working freelance as a photographer, stop-motion animator, and minor retouch artist. My wife and I have also kept up a hectic traveling schedule that has taken us to 23 countries – with many more trips already planned or in the works. As a way to keep fresh, I shoot extensively on the streets of Boston, especially the Seaport, and post one photo a day to Instagram. I also live in a tiny apartment with a monster view that I will never get tired of shooting. This discipline and the occasional kick-ass shot have brought my work to the attention of a wide and respectable audience here in Boston and further afield. Instagram has also exposed me to a great group of talented people here in Boston that are producing the most beautiful stuff, which is crucial during these otherwise ugly times.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am known mostly as a digital/film photographer and travel writer. However, I still work with watercolors, oils, and pastels whenever I need to.
With photography, I can be a portraitist one day, a landscape artist the next, and a time-lapse technician the day after that. It allows for an extreme amount of variation that is good for someone like me who cannot stand the drudgery of a strict daily schedule.
When I am shooting for myself, I tend to shoot big cityscapes, public places, and landscapes, but with a few people in the frame as possible, so I can showcase the naked beauty (or occasionally the opposite) of our surroundings – surroundings that are increasingly being ignored by a populace that would prefer to look at screens even when walking in such a beautiful city as Boston
I want people to know that creating for me is a basic human need – I would still do it if no one ever saw any of it, but I am quite pleased that it has been appreciated by people that I respect. As for what I hope people take away from my work – I hope that it has made them think or look closer or just cheered them up a little.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
When it comes to artists, born artists, they always manage to find a way to make something – it is an urge in some people that cannot be denied whether they have the money or not.
My advice is to give your work a little time each day, even if you are busy with day jobs or the other things we must endure on a daily basis – it will become part of the day you look forward to the most and, for me, it has become a form of meditation that I cannot live without.
As far as the money part goes, choose something within your means to work on and scale it up and down as your fortunes increase or decrease, but stick with it. Art is a discipline and there isn’t time to wait for the perfect conditions or inspirations.
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?
People can see my travel photography and writing on my website Afieldbook.com. They can also see my daily post on Instagram (@the_real_pmo). A webshop and portfolio are currently under construction and will be unveiled soon.
I have exhibited work at the Fort Point annual Instagram Showcase, The Kimpton Onyx Hotel, the IGersBoston Galleries 17 & 18 at the Fairmont Copley, and have been featured widely on a number of local and international Instagram pages.
People can support my work by buying prints, of course, but I also have availability to shoot anything from professional headshots to stop-motion videos to grand landscapes for any client who wishes to pay me. I am also enthusiastically open to collaboration and the occasional civilized critique – anything to help make better work.
- Website: Afieldbook.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: the_real_pmo
All Images Copyright 2013-2018 Peter T. Molgaard