A Few Words With William Schaff

How are you? Did you have a nice holiday?

I am doing well, today, thank you. Although I am a bit under the weather, and I believe it is directly related to the holiday. I enjoyed it very much as I was able to spend it with family and loved ones, but I am starting to believe that holidays just make me a bit sick in general. But I will be spending going to see the new Tintin film on New Year's Day, so I am very excited about this. 

What have you been working on lately?

I have been working on many things lately. Some commissions I have that are ongoing, some paintings for an exhibit that will be going up with the artist C.W. Roelle (cwroelle.com) at Rhode Island University, and a lot on the projects that are being offered as rewards for a kickstarter campaign I currently have going on ( www.kickstarter.com/projects/1074897687/william-schaff-art-book-with-10-lp-by-jason-molina ), so I have been super busy as of late. And as always, there is the mail art to do, which I am always so far behind on.

How did you get into making art?

As for how I got into making art, I would imagine it is not all that exciting a story. It was something I was good at, and an enjoyment eventually became a passion, which eventually became a vocation which in turn I have been trying to make an occupation out of (with varying degrees of what might be called success).
What is your routine in a typical day?

A typical day for me is going to sound rather boring, I fear. I wake up, I go down to my studio, and I get to work. That's about it. I work pretty much non stop. As anyone who is a freelance artist will know, you don't really get days off or weekends, or even if you did, you would probably just fill them with doing more art, because that is what feels most natural to you. To be doing anything else might be like what it is when you have to put a suit on and go somewhere you would not normally go. You're o.k. with doing, it just feels odd.

Working in the studio always is different. There isn't so much a routine to that, because it really depends on the project (or projects) being worked on and how much difficulty I am having with them at the time. Usually at some point in the day, I will bring something I am working on across the street to the neighborhood bar, and sit in there, working for a couple of hours. It is nice, it gets me out of the studio, but allows me to keep working. I am able to interact with folk while still getting done what I need to get done.

How did you come to work with Okkervil River?

It's sort of a long story, but the short version of it is a friend of mine (Mark Pedini, amazing screen printer drummer and all around great guy) moved to Austin about ten or eleven years back and was drumming with Okkervil for a short while. When he got married, he did so back in Rhode Island, and Will and Zach came with him. He introduced me to Will Sheff saying, "Will Sheff, this is my friend, Will Schaff. Will Schaff, meet my friend Will Sheff". Will stayed at my house, we got talking, and before you know it, we had agreed to let me take a crack at their first indie label release!

Will actually writes about it very eloquently in the book the kickstarter project is funding, so for those really interested...buy the book!

How did you come to work with Godspeed You! Black Emperor?

Godspeed was pure chance, and again another long story. The short version here is; I had given Efrim some of my "little books" I make when I met him many years ago. I guess he felt strongly about the work in it, because he contacted me shortly after and asked if I wanted to do the artwork for the soon to be released album they had. I said sure, but then he told me he needed it in a few days or some such. When I said this wasn't possible he asked if it was alright to use some of the pages from one of the books i had given him. I said, "yes", he went forward and the rest is history!

It's funny because at the time I didn't realize how popular Godspeed was. I was quite shocked the first time I saw my image in the new Yorker or rolling stone, or something like that. A real surprise.

What have you been listening to lately? 

Lately I have been listening to a lot of the newest Kid Dakota album, "Listen to the Crows as they take flight". I am huge fan of all of his music, so a new album from him is like getting to sit and have these beautiful long conversations with him. For anyone who doesn't know his music, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Otherwise, it is a random shuffle of stuff like Joe Fletcher and the wrong Reasons, Brown Bird, Dan Blakeslee, Prince, His Name is Alive..the list goes on and on.

What was the last book you've read?

I am currently reading two books. I keep picking up "The Confessions of Saint Augustine" and reading little bits of it. I find it a great book to take small bits of a time and mull on them. And then, because of the afore mentioned Tintin movie, I have been reading this book, "Tintin, The Complete Companion". I have read all of Tintin's adventures since I was a wee lad, but this book is especially neat because of how it shows so many of the reference photos Herge used for his work, and talks about these references.

Of all of your work that you've made available online, which is your least favorite?

All I shall say about what my least favorite work of mine is, that is represented online, is that it is one of my papercuts. I won't say which, because there are those that really love it, and I don't want to detract from that for them. But it is odd, as I usually don't let things I don't like get out there. this just happen to be a piece I did. Odd.

What are you afraid of?

What am I afraid of? Oh my...I could write a book about what I am afraid of. I feel that the world is pretty much run by what people are afraid of. It seems most people (myself included) really live their lives in reaction to what they are afraid of, instead of what they have faith in. Which I guess would be one of my biggest fears, and one I know I fall victim to too, too often, and that is letting God down in what I believe I should be doing to give God praise. I am a Christian, and as far as my witness goes, I fear it is a pretty shitty one.

Natasha King

Natasha King is an artist based out of British Columbia, Canada.

View more of her awesome work on her flickr


Alexey Dubinsky - Novorossiysk, Russia.
Dylan Shaw - Savannah, GA.
Daniel Schultz - Fresno, CA.

Sorin Popescu.

Leonor Matos Correia - Milan, Italy.

Indiana Caba - Groningen, Netherlands.

beschißen pileup.

Work Feature: Anna Kieblesz

Poland-based photographer Anna Kieblesz...

Find more of her awesome work on her website or flickr

Interview: Marija Mandic

Tell us a little about yourself. (Who are you, what do you do, where are you from)
My name is Marija Mandić and I live In Novi Sad, Serbia.
I study new media art at the Art Academy.

Do you have any interesting or 'strange' personality traits?
I think that I know and see myself like nobody else can, and I think that’s how this thing works with other people also. So, I can’t answer this question. Other people can do this for me.

How did you get into photography?
It started spontaneously. I have been writing in my diary since I was a child, and in one moment I just began to take photographs instead of writing words.

How often do you find yourself taking photographs? Do you create or do any other kinds of art on the side?
I photograph when I have the urge to do it. Sometimes I have about ten rolls of film in a month, sometimes it’s only two. I never know. I make videos as well and I love to draw. These are my favorite kinds of art.

What might we find you doing in your spare time when you aren't shooting?
I love to spend time with my best friends and boyfriend. We are always doing something, so right now we are occupied with a project we want to realize. Besides that I love to do what I wrote in my previous answer ☺

A loaded question, but where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope I’ll be on my own, somewhere out of the borders, doing things I love to do.
Or maybe staying in Novi Sad, but travelling often.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember that I wanted to be a detective. In one moment I wanted to be a driver of an excavator.

Who are some inspirational figures in your life? (in terms of other photographers/artists or just people who have some kind of presence in your life)
The biggest inspiration for me is the moment in which I am right now and my childhood. Many people inspired me and everyone does it in their own way. Some of them are people from my life, who are really close to me and some of them are artists. Right now young talented artists from all around the world inspire me. It all depends on who I am interested in at any given moment.

Have you exhibited your work before, or do you have any upcoming shows/exhibitions?
I have had few group exhibitions in Novi Sad and one In Pančevo. I exhibited photographs, installations and architectural design for the museum. In November this year I will participate on Nofound/Photofair in Paris, like one of the people who represents Disturber Magazine and I will have that group exhibition in Casa Bastllo In Barcelona. In January of 2012 I will have exhibition in my town by presenting project Circle E on which I’ve been working on with friends of mine Marija Kovač and Aela Labbe.

Your images are very personal and intimate to me, and I always discover a sense of vulnerability when exploring your work. Are a lot of your shoots planned? Or do you usually just shoot whatever you see in the moment?
Some of them are planned and some of them are not. For now there are, I think, three or four series which are staged, and the rest is my every day life. I never plan personal kind of photography. That just happened, I want to remember the moment, so I capture it. I am working on the concept of women’s sexuality, so photographs of that theme are planned.

What are your favourite blogs or websites?
Every day I find some new sites, internet gives you a lot of them. Lately I love skin and wood, but I love more to go from one site to another and so on.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you want to be?
You really made me think about it. I never wanted to be somebody else. I didn’t think of that at all. The 80’s are my favorite years, so I can just say that I wish I was born in the 60’s, so I could enjoy the 80’s.

View more of her work on her flickr