STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

MEAZY R

 WRITTEN BY: OLGA BERGMANS

Q+A

Can you share some examples of the new technologies you’ve integrated into your photography process? How do these technologies enhance or redefine the traditional photographic experience?

I’m all about using new technologies to execute and amplify your concepts. Personally, I love some Photoshop and I use it extensively in my photos. I’m also starting to incorporate 3D renderings in my photographs. I love using these programs to create almost an alternative dimension, like the ones I see in my head. But it’s hard to make these dimensional dreams work in this reality, so for me, tools like Photoshop and even AI help me create these imaginary worlds.

How do you approach the integration of digital and analog processes in your work, if at all? Do you see value in maintaining a balance between old and new methods?

I had never dabbled in mixing analog with my digital work until I worked with Liza Pozdniakova for our “REBIRTH” project. After working with her, she really opened the doors and changed my perspective on using mixed media to bring this concept to life. Originally, I had plans to process all the images digitally, but Liza proposed the idea to print them out and play with collaging and stitching; a method that Liza specializes in. With that single proposal, it sparked my creativity and I took charge of stitching and doing the compositional work after Liza digitally processed the images. We basically switched roles. After that experience, I was very grateful to be partnered up with Liza, as she taught me many different ways that one can approach an image. Ways that I would not have learned on my own. So thank you, Liza!

Can you discuss any collaborations you’ve engaged in with other professionals outside the field of photography to push the boundaries of what’s possible?

My style of photography is very fashion-heavy, so I need help to do things. It is made possible only with a team. Luckily, I’m surrounded by many different creatives who see my visions and are willing to make them come to life. My partner, Tilda Tran, who I’m very blessed to have, is a fashion designer and has designed and made garments for my photoshoots. He’s made looks for my “GRIEF” series, styled many of my shoots, and made the garments for our ongoing “LUNAR NEW YEARS” project, which is a collaborative project we have with my fellow photographer, Chip Lei. One I’m particularly proud of is our “ALIEN HIGH” shoot. We both designed the looks for this otherworldly concept and made the clothes from scratch. We made a bubble jacket out of old pairs of jeans, made a dress out of balloons, and made a look from one single blazer, all to have a complete and put-together project. I’ve also worked with many make-up artists like Lauryn Kapral and Constantino Fanni who bring more life into my projects. I have all these ideas in my head, but it would not come together the way it has been if I didn’t have my creative team doing it alongside me.

How do you balance drawing inspiration from external sources with maintaining a distinct artistic voice and vision?

In my time at TMU, one of my goals was to find my artistic voice. As I continued in school and got many opportunities to work for other creatives, I found the Meazy brand. The “Meazy” brand is a combination of many things, but mainly through introspection is where I find most of my ideas. My creative process is also very important to how I maintain my artistic voice and I have found and tailored a process that works for me. My creative process relies a lot on intuition and having that “EUREKA” moment like 100 light bulbs turning on. I start by coming up with a concept, then with the concept in mind I do my research, and if it’s a fantasy world, I like to talk about all the “what ifs” in this said world. Then, I draw out imagery I see in my head. With that imagery, I go to my trusted and loyal best friend, Pinterest, and search for images with the same lighting, colours, and overall vibe I want to recreate. I found that this method has worked for me because I get to have fun throughout the whole process and engage my imagination. Still, because I have easy access to art everywhere online, I can get the inspiration I need to achieve my vision.

Are there any recurring themes or motifs that you find yourself returning to in your photography, and what significance do they hold for you?

In a Meazy image, you will find dynamics, energy, and strength. It doesn’t matter what the concept is, it will always be dynamic and strong, but a little playful. A lot of my photography and my imagination stem from healing my inner child but also having fun with it as well. I like to tackle topics about social issues or personal issues I’ve dealt with but also make them campy and high-spirited. On the flip side, some projects don’t have any deeper meaning than what it is. Most of the time I like to just let the inner child play, and goofy concepts tied in with fashion and bright colours are just what I needed at that time. Meazy is all about having fun and finding things that spark joy within oneself, and that’s what my images do for me.

MEAZY R

MEAZY R, a queer Filipinx creative director and photographer based in Toronto, explores the depths of personal experiences, the joys of childhood fascination and the ineffable aspects of the world through the lens of dynamic fashion photography. Currently a second-year BFA student at Toronto Metropolitan University. Using fashion as an outlet to narrate their visual stories MEAZY R encourages the viewer to experience the fantasy! Where their work serves as a vivid intersection of psychology and the arts, embracing movement as a conduit for emotion.

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