Pepper Beaumont is a totally rockin’ artist and photographer that I happened to meet by the grace of the blogging gods. Pepper sells her work ranging from vintage looking photos to doll heads (What? Yes. Check it out, it’s not that weird) on Etsy which you should check out immediately after you read this Q&A.
Pepper is a southern gal, originally from Alabama, but now, after almost 20 years in NY, she calls the empire state home. She moved to NY for her big break into acting but says:
Pepper was kind enough to take time out of her crazy New York life to answer some question that I could share with you fine folks, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
Q: Is Pepper Beaumont your real name?
A: No, Pepper Beaumont isn’t my real name. It’s my nom-de-plume when working in photography. With the advent of social media I like keeping to myself and have no interest in rekindling old high school relationships, which is why I don’t have a FaceBook account. If I wanted people to know what I’m up to I’d call them.
Q: What is your day job?
A: I work in the sports industry; golf, which is actually pretty funny because I hate golf. I do, however, love my job. Go figure.
Q: How long have you been doing photography and art?
A: I’ve been into art as early as I could hold something in my hand to draw or paint. I used to have my own website where I sold my own paintings but gave up on it. I tend to get bored easily and whilst photography is a passion now it could easily be something else in another month or so.
Q: How did you get started with your artwork?
A: Well, like I said, I was once into painting and when I got bored with that my boyfriend at the time bought me a DSLR. I loved it and would take pix of anything and everything. Years ago I was into photography and even won a few contests. But now, the technology is so different and changes so quickly. Gone are the days of waiting for your film to develop, which is great for me because I hate waiting. Slowly I started selling pieces on Etsy and then started my own photography website. I’m not making enough money on Etsy to quit my day job, but I’m doing ok.
Q: What is your inspiration for your art pieces?
A: I have a weird sense of what’s cool and interesting. For instance, I collect baby doll heads. Not baby dolls, but baby doll heads. I also collect decorative skulls. I have no idea why I collect either. I swear to you I had a loving and normal childhood. I’ve even taken a few doll heads and fashioned them into paper weights and sold them on Etsy. Some people think it’s demented, but I see them as another form of art. I like art that is a little off. If it’s making other people recoil then I’ll probably love it. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Q: What artists/photographers inspire you?
A: David LaChappelle and Terry Richardson are my two all time favorites. They push the envelope with their work. I imagine that people often tell them “you can’t do that” and then they do it even harder, stronger. That’s a lot like me. Tell me not to do something and not only am I going to do it, but I’ll probably add some glitter to it.
Q: What’s your favorite piece?
A: Oh God! This is such a Sophie’s Choice moment. I don’t know. Well, first I love people pix. I don’t love the word “portrait” because, to me, that implies someone sitting and facing the camera, posed and proper. Those are fine and good, but they’re also very boring. I like David LaChappelle because the colors in his pix are so vibrant and saturated. Each photograph tells a story and there’s always something different to see, something you missed the first time around. Of his pictures, I like the ones with Pamela Anderson (NSFW) the most. I know she’s such a joke, but that’s what makes her pictures fun. She embraces her campyness and doesn’t take herself so seriously which makes her pix laughable yet beautiful. Laughable yet beautiful is a hard combination to pull off.
And then there’s Terry Richardson. How different can you be? Most of his subjects are just standing in front of a white wall. The only color is what the person is wearing. Rarely are there props or gimmicks, just the person and the moment. The funny thing is, LaChappelle and Richardson often snap the same people and yet their styles are so different.
Q: What are your future plans for your art and photography?
A: I’m currently working on a book of strictly Hipstamatic photos. It’s such a great format to work in because you really have no control over how the picture is going to turn out. My goal is to have it done by Christmas. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year?!
I hope Pepper gets me a Hipstamatic print book for Christmas! If you aren’t on Pepper’s xmas list yet, at least check out her store to see a list of her current pieces for sale.