Artist of the mon­th: Jona­than Rodri­go docu­ments peop­le and pla­ces across the world

24-year-old Barcelona based photographer Jonathan Rodrigo has achieved more by his age than most people do in a lifetime.

Tou­ring the world with his came­ra, he has shot cam­pai­gns for the likes of Ree­bok, LG USA MOBI­LE, Seat and more. His latest cam­pai­gn was for Adi­das Ori­gi­nals’ ico­nic Adico­lor cam­pai­gn’ which went viral on the inter­net. His port­fo­lio is both diver­se and exci­ting, ran­ging from pho­to­graphs of music gigs to skate­boar­ding pros to com­mer­cial com­mis­si­ons and land­s­cape images. No sur­pri­se that neu­bau eye­we­ar hired him to shoot beau­ti­ful stills for their newest lookbook.

Here, Frame of Mind spo­ke to the young crea­ti­ve to unlock some of his suc­cess secrets. Read on to dis­co­ver whe­re Rodri­go gets his inspi­ra­ti­on from and how he deals with social media fame in the inter­net age.

When did you first start taking pho­tos?
I guess I star­ted taking pho­tos as a kid when I would bor­row my friends’ came­ras when we were ska­ting or sur­fing. Sin­ce I could­n’t afford one I always tried to get the best shots. I was never con­scious that I had been taking pic­tures as a kid until the moment I got my first iPho­ne. I was hyped on the power of crea­ting some­thing and being able to retouch it and share it wit­hin five minu­tes. That made me rea­li­ze I was in need of a pro­per camera.

Blog 1802 Jonathan Rodrigo Neubau Eyewear

Your port­fo­lio is real­ly broad and diver­se – do you pre­fer taking land­s­cape or por­trait pho­tos and why?
I was tra­vel­ling around for a bit cou­p­le years ago. At that time my main craft was land­s­cape pho­to­gra­phy and get­ting the best per­spec­ti­ves and situa­tions no mat­ter what. Tra­vel­ling gives you the chan­ce to meet peop­le from all around the world; mee­ting so many dif­fe­rent peop­le made me rea­li­se how power­ful human sto­ries can be, in a visu­al way too. During the last year, my goal and mani­festo com­ple­te­ly chan­ged which is why I haven’t been sharing any per­so­nal work. Now, I approach how peop­le act and feel in spe­ci­fic atmo­s­phe­res and contexts.

You’­ve worked with some big names (such as Nike and Mer­ce­des), have you found it dif­fi­cult to main­tain crea­ti­ve free­dom at any point?
Of cour­se. That was what stop­ped me from kee­ping on moving for a while. But at one point I rea­li­sed that if I wan­ted to make a pro­per living out of this job I had to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the com­mer­cial area even if cer­tain cli­ents would drain my soul and pas­si­on for art. I feel like you must be con­scious you are adap­ting your art for someo­ne else at all times. Once you know that, you need to know what is worth it and what is a was­te of time.

A big les­son was rea­li­zing that well-per­for­med mar­ke­ting is actual­ly ART. And as an artist, you need to respect it.

Whe­re do you draw inspi­ra­ti­on from?
I draw inspi­ra­ti­on from ever­y­whe­re and nowhe­re. The­re are some days when I find inspi­ra­ti­on in atmo­s­phe­res that I sta­re at on a dai­ly basis when wal­king around cer­tain are­as. When I talk about atmo­s­phe­res” I’m refer­ring to details which act in inte­res­ting or rare ways under cer­tain ligh­t­ing or com­pos­ti­on. Unre­peat­a­ble and uni­que situations.

If you ween’t a pho­to­gra­pher, what would you be?
I’m not just a pho­to­gra­pher, I con­si­der mys­elf a mul­ti­di­sci­pli­na­ry artist. At the moment I just show­ca­se my pho­to­gra­phy work but I do a lot of stuff behind that, which I hope to be sharing with you pret­ty soon. I enjoy shoo­ting but thats not the only thing I love doing. I love life and the ways you can express oneself in dif­fe­rent crea­ti­ve ways.

Say­ing that, I stron­gly belie­ve I would be designing some street­we­ar and snea­kers. Or pro­du­cing some music.

Your bio sta­tes that you have deve­lo­ped a well known digi­tal per­so­na­li­ty”. How has social media hel­ped this? Do you ever feel a pres­su­re to plea­se fol­lo­wers?
Someo­ne wro­te my bio for me. But yes, I guess social media hel­ped a lot, espe­cial­ly during the begin­ning of my pro­fes­sio­nal care­er. Having a pro­per fol­lowing and some artists/​athletes I loo­ked up to sup­por­ting my work kept me going through hard times.

At one point, I rea­li­zed that social media plat­forms like Insta­gram and Face­book requi­re con­stant uploading. But the con­tent I want to crea­te is much slower and unless I lower the qua­li­ty of my work (which I refu­se to do), it is not what social media requires.

If you could only shoot in one city for the rest of your life whe­re would it be?

Blog 1802 Jonathan Rodrigo Neubau Eyewear 1
16 Feb. 2018 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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