Artist Update: Samantha Keely Smith

Posted by Navis

New York City based artist Samantha Keely Smith is back with all new work. Samantha’s work has been on my radar for a few years now and I did a post on her gorgeous work about two years ago. I reached out to Samantha and asked her a few questions about her influences and what her creative process involves.

In 2012 your work progressed into painting abstract, oceanic waves and creating a sense of heavy movement. What inspired this?

All of my images come from dreams, but my dreams are influenced by the emotions I experience and the things I learn/hear about in my day to day life. I’ve been concerned with the effects of global warming and the melting ice caps for some time, and that showed up in my dreams as the images I produced in 2012/2013. I’m still influenced by these concerns, only now my images have expanded beyond “oceanic.”

Without revealing too much, what is a typical process from start to finish for one of your paintings and how long does that take?

It’s a case of narrowing down the images from the dreams and trying to focus on one in particular. The images in the paintings are what I call “inner worlds” because really they are the result of attempting to translate an internal existence driven by emotion/instinct into something that makes some sense of the reality we live in. Because these dream images are fleeting I spend a long time chasing them during the process of the painting. Unfortunately this also means there is no real way to plan them out. So they can often take a couple of months to complete, with many changes (sometimes drastic) taking places over the course of that time. I work in thin layers, often somewhat translucent. I find that accidents/mistakes are an important part of my process too. I’m also in love with color and oil paint in general so my interest in the process of painting is part of the end result.

What musician/band has been the most influential for your visual cues?

There isn’t one musician, but many. Music in general is an important part of my daily studio practice. The kind of music I listen to while painting is dictated by the painting itself. I can’t say that music influences my visual choices, but it does feed the intensity of the work.

Are there any other practices/mediums in the broad world of art that you would like to try?

I can’t imagine having the time to do anything else since I paint every day, but in another life I’d like to experiment with film/video and installation art.

If you could pack up and move to work on your craft anywhere, where would you move to?

I’m not sure because I love the energy of NYC. My only problem with living here is financial. Being an artist in New York is very hard, mainly because of the high cost of living and how expensive artist’s work spaces are. I think I’d like to live somewhere near the ocean if I could. But only part time. I feed off the creative energy of the city and I’d miss that.

For more of Samantha’s breathtaking work, visit her website:

Samantha Keely Smith

Outliers Vol 1 Full Video Release

Posted by Navis

“Black Beach” by Deru – Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland from on Vimeo.

Bored with your current Netflix subscription and tired of trying to find something you actually want to watch? Look no further because the Outliers Vol. 1 film has been fully released into the wild. A few years ago, a group of amazing creatives along with myself traveled to Iceland to create a beautiful documentary about Iceland. We teamed with musicians like Shigeto, Loscil, Eskmo, Son Lux, Heathered Pearls and Ryuichi Sakamoto to help us create a visual and sonic piece of art.

Head on over to the Outliers Vol. 1 website to watch the movie in its entirety in HD to bring some inspiration to your weekend.

And if you helped support this project on Kickstarter: THANK YOU!

Navis Photography 2.0

Posted by Navis

After nearly two years of living mostly out of my car and spending every penny to my name I am proud to finally announce that my new portfolio is complete (for now). When I first came up with the idea to create a new portfolio, I had no idea that it would be such an intense undertaking and that it would take this long. I also never expected myself to create 62 entirely new projects for this new portfolio. You’ll notice that there’s no longer anymore portraits under this website name. I created an entirely separate portrait website which is linked through this one.

I hope you all enjoy the new imagery and stories and I’m incredibly thankful for everyone who supports my work. I’m at a loss for words right now because I feel like I’m watching my first born kid drive off to college.

If anyone has any questions or comments or if I happened to have missed something (hopefully I didn’t…) I’d love to hear back from you in the comments or reach out to me via my contact page.

Without further adieu…

Carlos Serrao

Posted by Navis

I know I’m a little late on this post since the 2014 Winter Olympics have ended but that doesn’t mean that these images from photographer Carlos Serrao aren’t badass. I’m really loving the ultra simple approach to these images that showcase each individual sport’s iconic form in action. If you’re not familiar with Carlos’ work, check out his website and, chances are, you’ll see an image on there you have seen before. The swimmer’s series is simply awesome.

Project Yosemite

Posted by Navis

Yosemite HD II from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

Photographers Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill have created an absolutely stunning piece of time lapse photography of Yosemite National Park. I’m always a sucker for these kind of videos because you can get an idea of how nature works and they’re beautiful. Colin and Sheldon worked for two years together to create this piece and trekked over 200 plus miles of rugged, burly terrain in the High Sierras of Yosemite National Park. It’s projects like these that keep me inspired to keep trekking outdoors.

Check out the website for Project Yosemite and from there you can get an in depth break down of frequently asked questions and gear used to create this video:

Nick Brandt

Posted by Navis

Here’s a nice change of pace for this blog… wildlife photography! These are not your run of the mill animal mug shots. These, in my opinion, are quite special as photographer Nick Brandt is able to connect with his animal subjects on a level I’ve never quite seen before in wildlife photography. I have a hard enough time getting small dogs to love me so I couldn’t imagine being that intimate with a lion. Nick uses a Pentax 6×7 medium format camera and, if I were to guess, uses a 300-400 mm lens for some of his images. In 6×7 format, that’s roughly the equivalent of 150-200mm. Check out his book On This Earth, A Shadow Falls in person. Then you’ll get a sense of the true quality put into the images. He’s able to achieve a depth of field that I can’t quite figure out on few of the pictures. Maybe he utilizes the old vaseline on a lens method?

Hopefully these images will make those who are locked down in winter-freeze mode feel a little warmer. Spring is right around the corner folks.

Check out Mr. Brandt’s work on his website:

Christmas in America by Jesse Rieser

Posted by Navis

Christmas in America: Happy Birthday Jesus is an on going photo project by photographer Jesse Rieser. This project of Jesse’s has to be one of my all time favorite projects because deep, deep down I am a Christmas fanatic (I’ll just never show it). This series captures a wide array of Christmas traditions across America. Everything from families who seem to never have enough Christmas decorations for their front lawn to an obscure gas station’s simple approach to the holiday season you would never bat an eye at. My favorite is the first image because I’m a sucker for weird, slightly dilapidated, isolated Americana imagery.

Check out the rest of Jesse’s series here: Jesse Rieser: Christmas in America.

Happy Holidays to all of our readers! We wish you a safe and joyful holiday season!

New Son Lux: Lost it to Trying

Posted by Navis

Son Lux (aka: Ryan Lott) has just released his newest video for his upcoming album Laterns. I had the honor to work with Ryan to create new photos for this album (top photo of post with all the hands is an example. The rest are here).

The video and the three other images that are stills from the video were created by the dark minded mastermind Anthony Ciannamea.

Available for download on iTunes.