The Argus’ Magnus Westerlund interviews photographer and storyteller Eliot
Dudik about his work. Giving an insider look on how he creates his content.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from many places, I teach photography at The College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. So much (of my) inspiration comes from my students and colleagues there. I surround myself with a non-stop deluge of imagery from the past and works currently being created. I do a lot of research by way of, art books that I enjoy dissecting. In terms of problems, the artist faces and how they went about forging a path toward completion.
How do you find your stories?
When I'm not driving, I'm running from task to task without much time to ruminate. But once I'm on the road, I have the time and space to pick through all sorts of things that have been coming in and out of my consciousness. I'll dissect an idea while I'm driving, from start to 1000 finishes. And often by the time I step out of the vehicle, I'll have the motivation and initial direction to create.
What do you look for in the stories?
Nothing specific, other than questions that I don't already have answers to.
What made you want to be a photographer?
I suppose it was the realization that photography holds the potential to communicate ideas, to change the way people think and understand the world. It can be a difficult but rewarding endeavour.
How long have you been doing this?
About 16 years
How many stories have you done?
I've done about 11 projects, published 7 books, including 2 collaborative projects/books.
Where do you go to get your stories?
I go wherever the story takes me. So far that has been through 49 of the 50 States (U.S.A). I'm anxious to start looking outside The United States, but thus far I've remained very busy exploring and trying to make sense of cultures, history, and current circumstances within the U.S. I've gone back and forth on whether I need to better understand cultures at home in order to understand cultures abroad, or whether traveling outside the U.S. and trying to understand other cultures would help me understand my home.
Australia is one place I'm excited to explore one day.