Mario Eugnell Winston

Interview with Voyage LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mario Winston. Hi Mario, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?

 

I’ve been around art most of my life. I’ve been drawing since I was three and in art classes since 1st grade. Art and beauty fuel me every single day of my life and I’ve always dreamed of making a career out of it. I couldn’t afford to go to any of the art schools I got into so I went to some community colleges and a private college (I’m still paying off) for a couple of years to end up working in an IT job for going on ten years now. I started doing photography on the side back in 2011 to try and get better images for my oil paintings and murals but loved the instant gratification of get paid, shoot, edit, deliver, done. I always thought the way I saw the world and beauty as an artist would help me create more unique, cinematic photographs that could evoke a response or emotion. I’ve done weddings, clubs, babies, families, and nearly everything else I could try for the last ten years. I always loved the idea of stopping people in their tracks to admire the beauty I create. Whether it’s me sitting in a bar drawing in my sketchbook with a crowd around me or thousands of people scrolling through their feed to stop and admire my images and say, “wow, that is beautiful”. The Quarantine of 2020 is when everything changed. My (then) fiance had just moved to OKC from Tulsa with her and her two kids and we were all huddled up inside of a cramped two-bedroom apartment with my son and I.

 

When spring break hit and everything started shutting down, Neisha lost her job at a local newspaper and I started working from home. With both of our photography businesses coming to a screeching halt and weddings (our biggest income) started getting postponed and canceled, we had to adapt to the new environment we were shoved in. While I worked, Neisha was shooting and studying throughout the day to figure out how we could migrate our business into our home. The dynamic worked incredibly well as she started teaching me more about photoshop and lighting. At first, I started with my double exposure series but I still felt like the concepts and storytelling were missing depth and emotion from myself. I have always loved how the old masters could tell these incredible stories with every little detail of their paintings and I wanted to figure out a way to do that. When it came to the start of our renaissance series, Neisha and I were studying the lighting of one of our favorite photographers, thetogfather, and we were able to play around with a digital backdrop from a museum website to add in. I felt like the painting backdrops mixed with the way I edit the image successfully merge both my love of photography and drawing/painting together in one cohesive piece. We continue to experiment with new concepts, new lighting setups, new stories and work with other creatives in order to keep growing and to continue to learn more. I can’t wait to see what the future brings with the series.

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