Hey there honeybees, tis Becca Bee, and this week the tea is not about a couple. This week it is about a person! This week it is about a friend of ours, a fellow creative we met on a hiking trail! A true testament over how you will never know who you will meet on a trail. So meet this Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director: Will Fenwick.
When things change
Meet Will Fenwick
the Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director.
WEV: So to mix it up, we would love to let you tell your own life tale. So in 5 sentences tell the honeybees reader about you, and your life tale!
Will: Well, in a nutshell, I am an ex-sponsored skateboarder / ex-park ranger turned professional visual artist. I was born and raised in a small town called Bardstown, but luckily I was given the chance to travel at a young age thanks to one of my skateboarding sponsors which gave me the craving to explore. Also, thanks to skateboarding, I first picked up a camera and started learning the technical side of filming and photographing at the age of 10, so I have about 13 years and 10 months of experience. For me, visual arts are fueled by amazement, curiosity, and appreciation for life itself, and for me, that appreciation stems from youthful culture and the untouched wilderness. For anyone reading this, Becca and I’s friendship actually stems from randomly meeting on a trail in Telluride one day!
WEV: All I got from this, is without skateboarding feeding into photography and traveling you might have not ended up in our neck of the woods. Exploring a hidden gem waterfall that only locals used to know about! So what is a hidden talent?
Will: I have to say conversation. At first glance, most see me as standoffish and I am an introvert at heart, but all in all, I have a lot to say.
WEV: Okay, literally Ben would not stop talking about how amazing your conversation skills were! Also really feel like you have a lot to say because you observe so much as an introvert. What’s something that brings out the best in you?
Will: Three things: good music, a well-edited photo/film, or a backpacking trip far away from society when needed. The first two may be normal for most but when it comes down to backpacking the situation becomes more about adrenaline vs humility. On one hand, I love to push myself past what I’ve done before, but as any true outdoorsman knows, mother nature demands respect. The goal may be an adrenaline rush, but it may result in a survival experience that humbles you to your core.
WEV:Okay, so you have solid points. Nature WILL humble you. Moving on, what is your favorite aspect of yourself?
Will: Ahh can’t say I’ve been asked that before. I want to say my personality. Just because of the amount of work and self-love. I’ve put into building my worth and growing as a person but I kind of also want to say my hair. Sometimes it feels like my hair has become more of a brand than my artistic work. What is your favorite aspect about yourself, Becca?
WEV: Ah, so when I said “yeah you can totally ask me questions back” I was not expecting my own question! Okay, so honestly my heart. Cheesy, I know. Yet being asked “how are you so kind/loving when the world is so _____?” Being able to be respond “I made myself a promise. To light up my corner of the world. So here I am” weighs heavier than any other achievement. So I guess that would not be my heart, because it is a choice, so integrity? Like yeah, I have my cranky days and moments when I lose my 💩. Typically after boundaries have been mistaken as an option and kindness as an expectation + weakness. You can be kind and still plop someone where they belong based on their actions. They can get mad, but you’ll eventually get glad when peace returns. This also will make it easier to light up your corner of world without burning out.
Be in love
of it.Jack Kerouac
Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director.
Will Fenwick, talks career!
WEV: What is your career and how did you get started?
Will, Kentucky-based visual artist: So I am a professional photographer, videographer, and as of recently a creative director. It all started with skateboarding, trying to make edits so that brands would sponsor me but over the years I fell out of love with skateboarding and grew closer to visual arts.
My path was far from straight, although I was an awarded and published artist in high school I didn’t take it seriously until I was given the chance to work with Snoop Dogg at the age of 18. Even after that, I took a decent break along with the pandemic to work for the USFS, but now I have officially settled into my role as an artist and am buckled in for the ride.
WEV: WOW Snoop? Dude is a LEGEND! I always get “the Next Episode” song opening stuck in my head when going to sessions and editing! Definitely next call, will be asking about this! Speaking of calling, pandemic and breaks, how has your career changed over the years?
Will: Honestly so many changes have happened but all changes stem from my personal relationship with creation. When I was young, I created for the thrill, debauchery, and “clout” in some ways. Today I still focus on the thrill when I can, but my work now is more focused on deeper meanings, life experience, and culture. Since my work pays 100% of my bills now there’s also an aspect of creating for someone else rather than yourself.
WEV: Currently wondering if there is a quote about how an artist matures with their work as well as for it…Okay so on topic for creating for someone else rather than yourself… What is something you wished you learned AND implemented sooner?
Will: Being a professional artist doesn’t come down to how good of an artist you are, it comes down to how good of a salesman you are. Hard pill to swallow for someone who didn’t like networking for a decent portion of his life.
WEV: As someone who hates selling, like with a passion. I can attest to this as true. You have to know how to sell if you aren’t being an easy sell. So now I have to ask, What would you change about the industry your career is in?
Will: On one side the countless misconceptions from people who aren’t visual artists. Whether it’s debates over fair pricing (especially the acceptance of free work), deliverables, or simply being professional and accommodating to an artist regardless of if they’re on a 1099 or W2.
If a restaurant just opened and wants to be successful, odds are they will not give away free food for exposure, won’t deliver more food for less cost, and they surely would try to build some kind of relationship with customers instead of seeing them as just another dollar sign.
On the other hand, our industry has a very clear cynicism within it including but not limited to gatekeeping and superiority which is unfortunate. At the end of the day, we’re all human beings, one is not better than the other in any way, and good people always get what they deserve so I try to be the best person I can every day.
WEV: I really wish I could go OFF on people are not just dollar signs, but that word count and fear of taking over blog, is stronger. All I can say is, that this is a number one “ick” is when I see people treating people like dollar signs. As you are well aware playing both parts of a toddler demon and toddler angel on shoulder is how our conversations go. So what is something that makes you want to quit, as well as something that keeps you from quitting? Now time for that toddler part, WHY ON BOTH?
Will: As Kanye West once said, “For me giving up’s way harder than trying.”
your entire life should
be spent doing things you
if it’s not making
you happy, change it.
your life, your choices.Aly Aubrey
Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director
WEV: So we have talked alot about social media, and it is really a smoke and mirrors game. Therefore you are aware of the fact times call for change. In the age of social media, what do you wish was more widely known?
Will Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director: I know everyone already knows the reality around social media needs to change. Regardless of what people believe the solution is there will always be a loophole or legality that keeps social media from becoming as positive and effective as it should be. What it comes down to is realizing social media isn’t the problem. It’s the people who abuse it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say they despise social media. Then pull out their phone not even a minute later which is absurd to me. Our ballpark generation is like the Guinea pig to phone & social media addiction. Yet no one wants to fix their addiction because everyone who is addicted loves that dopamine rush.
Even as an artist, I hear so many people complain about algorithms. What about them? If you want to be a professional artist, you’re going to have to adopt the problem-solving mindset and I’ll tell you an algorithm is not the hardest thing to work around. At the end of the day, it comes down to self-discipline and whether or not you can teach yourself to put down the phone. It’s not that hard, addicts just make it seem like it is.
WEV: As someone who takes a month off socials + algorithms think my audience is in the middle east while using local to me hashtags… Yeah I complain but I also leave social media, and then go get inspired by light and vintage artworks. So like I am a complainer, but also do something about it. So that I will complain about, because no amount of posting is fixing that! Okay so off soapbox, now what makes you grateful for social media?
Will: Endless inspiration. My timeline(s) have been strictly tailored to show content from artists across the globe showcasing countless styles, concentrations, and mediums. I’ll also be the first to admit as a male artist I’m pretty sure I follow a few models. It’s not from a sexualized/objectified standpoint. A beautiful person can carry the same inspiration as an unbelievable landscape, and this can apply to both men and women.
WEV: Hey you’re talking to someone who sees everyone as art, so that last part… *CHEF’S KISS* perfection. Also, might use for a shorter explanation of answer to “but why, not everyone is aesthetically pleasing?” Now, what is the #1 reason and why, you would want social media to not exist anymore?
Will, Kentucky-based photographer: I believe if social media went away then the beauty of connecting with people in person would come back full force. I’ll even go a step further and say it’d be interesting to see texting, facetime, and even phone calls go away along with social media. Personally, I despise constantly being tied to my phone. I seriously try to meet up with people in person. So much more than base a whole conversation over SMS. I need that true interpersonal connection
WEV: Okay, going to say when your job requires you to be tethered to phone or a screen, that craving for IN-PERSON connection is lethal. Yes that is a potent word. Going to stop there before launching into a tedtalk over this. As it could be and probably will be a blog. Now what are your thoughts on today’s society?
Will: I think after the pandemic, and especially thanks to politics, we’re divided more than ever.
WEV: I could launch into a researched and backed psychology over how social media algorithm has played into this division. BUUUUT we are not trying to make this blog five thousand words. So as divided as this society is, one thing you would keep and one thing you would change? Why?
Will, Kentucky-based photographer:
Off the bat we need to cut out blaming other people for our mistakes and come together as a community. Between genders stereotyping each other, arguing over what’s considered a legal right for an entire nation with different backgrounds, whatever it may be. We need to start focusing on solutions instead of the drama. So many people are worried about the wrong things. Sometimes it’s not because of social media but instead people just want their 5 seconds of fame. I’II even add that communication plays a huge part in the fight as well. None of us are perfect at communicating because humans are perfectly imperfect. Simple as that. Respect it.
I will say I notice a lot of mindfulness in our culture today and I respect that. I’ll even go a step further to say I think more and more people are starting to believe more in some kind of higher power and spirituality is becoming perceived less and less of a “joke” per say. More and more people seem to be finding meaning in their lives and whether it’s through faith or a supportive group of friends, that individual passion is what creates beauty in our world.
Life isn’t about finding
yourself. Life is about
creating yourself.George Bernard Shaw
Wrapping up Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director
WEV: Alright alright, as per usual we have lit conversation. After all the talk of social media, where can people find you?
WEV: What is a question you wished was to ask?
Will: I actually have a question for you: what kind of social media platform would you create, if you were given all the necessary components, to battle the negative aspects of our current social situation?
WEV: Honestly, a black and white white only color grade only, because I am sick of aesthetics taking over real life. Oh and piggy backing off be real, you can only scroll if you post. Feel like that cuts down on doom scrolling, and reminds audiences that IT IS JUST POSTING, NOT REAL LIFE.
WEV: Are there anymore questions you want answered?
Will: What would you like to see our professional industry focus on and implement to help us become a more united, well-rounded community?
WEV: Inclusivity is not just based in race or sexuality. So that couple/client/event/location/wedding isn’t what you think is “Magazine worthy”. Also feel like a “beginner” should have been sought after instead of you? So you’re telling someone who kept everything else cheap, to afford you, but is not “aesthetically” pleasing, doesn’t deserve you because they don’t serve your aesthetic/brand?
Better question, then why did you accept the job?
Like it grates on nerves when someone goes
“yeah I know the wedding/dress/event/location/body isn’t crazy amazing/fancy, sorry.”
BOO, let me tell you, is this fancy for you? Are you proud of your effort? Okay then. And you felt like I was worthy of capturing your pride? BET. Don’t you dare apologize for not fitting a mold that fits no one authentically.
F–k this mentality that people and places need to be aesthetic and brand fitting. That’s the point of color-grade and style. Do not uphold these beauty standards we all complain about and mutually hate because of our mutual insecurities from said standards.
Do not water down someone’s joy just because it does not LOOK the way you want.
Inclusivity is not just upholding a “I am not racist or homophobic, see” card. It is welcoming all as is.
This does tie into my reason why I want social media to go away– between dollar signs and fitting aesthetics, I hate how creatives have been pushed to see people, as “will this make wallet and algorithm happy?” Okay, so got a little heated, my bad. But I still stand by message. Like that is a personal reason as to why I thoroughly enjoy having a more unique color grade of art, and being able to make it about subject and making sure each person knows that with me, they are art by simply breathing.
WEV: What do you want your legacy to be?
Will: By the time I die, I want to be known as an artist who pushed the boundaries of what it means to be an artist. I would love to reach a point in my career where I can create something or tell a story that our entire world, and I do mean the entire world, will pay attention to. It has nothing to do with fame or money, either. I just want to do my job in the most “me” way possible.
WEV: What has been the quote that has stuck with you and shaped you, or changed you since you heard it?
“If no-one comes from the future to stop doing it, then how bad of a decision can it really be?”Will Ferrell
Thanks Will Fenwick, Kentucky-based photographer, videographer and creative director, for speaking your truth. As well as showcasing creatives are so much more than their career or what they can produce! Till next hiking trail!
Alrigh-tea! That was a different type of tea, for you honeybees. But just as it is important to let lovers tell their tale. It is important to showcase how people can love their life, and how that leads a person. For it is their own tale to let light paint shadows.
Allowing all aspects to be seen and enjoyed.
If you see yourself, joining this hive of honeybees, join our waitlist!
We can not wait to let your lovers tale paint art! So buzz into the hive.
Till Next Buzz, honeybees!
Where is your lover’s tale taking us?
Now gotta go make extraordinary art from incomparable love