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I Create Birmingham: Charity Ponter

charity

“You can talk about community all day long, but if you, as an artist, are not fostering your own collaborations then you will get burned out. We have to support each other or none of us will get very far.”

Name: Charity Ponter
Occupation: Photographer
Creative Industry: Visual Arts & Crafts

 

1. You have a new photo book coming out November 20th; what can you tell us about it?
It is a 350 page photo book with about 90% photographs and 10% text. I would say it’s like a visual tour of the studios of Birmingham artists. It would be a lot like walking into a studio space and observing not only the artists working, but how they have their supplies arranged and what tools they are using. It gives you an inside look at what an artist does every day. We always see the finished product, but we’re not seeing the behind-the-scenes phase.

 

 

It took me about a year and three months to shoot, layout, and design the whole book.

 

2. What inspired you to take a behind the scenes look at creative spaces?
That’s what inspires me personally. Anytime I get to see a creative work space, it inspires me and I have a compelling desire to capture what I’m seeing. Each time I would shoot a space for this project, I would process and absorb it for the next two or three weeks. It’s really encouraging to be surrounded by other creative people in the spaces where they are most creative.

 

It started out with a handful of artists that I was already working with or knew. I asked each of them to recommend one other artist and it grew from there.

 

3. Where did your interest in photography begin?
I’ve always been drawn to it, but I bought my first camera when I was 16. I had never really been around many creative people and it wasn’t until about three years ago that I realized I was an artist. Photography is my art, my work, and who I am as an artist all rolled into one. I feel like I’m just getting started though.

 

4. How do you think Birmingham can foster more collaboration throughout creative fields?
In a big city this small, you’re not going to succeed if you’re selfish or don’t have a collaborative spirit. You’re only going to last so long before you burn all your bridges. We need to help each other. It’s really important to care about other people. You can talk about community all day long, but if you, as an artist, are not fostering your own collaborations then you will get burned out. We have to support each other or none of us will get very far.

 

5. How can your book be purchased?
It will be available online and around town at various book stores. I’ll also have copies for sale at the release party on November 20th at Cahaba Brewing Company.