About Shobhit Sharma
Q & A
How would you describe your photographic style? Do you follow a set of rules when you shoot?
Short answer: New Media, Distortion and Glitch
Long answer: Over time, I’ve come to embrace ideas that challenge the separation between the real and the abstract. My works intend to engage the viewer’s imagination by crafting an experience that doesn’t adhere to a recognizable form, making their possible interpretations multifaceted in nature. To accomplish the above, I usually start out with an image, and then distort the shapes and the colours involved to an extent where they seem detached from their original meaning.
Since my process is visibly very general, it leaves a whole lot of scope for experimentation with techniques and mediums. I try not to adhere to a specific set of rules while preparing my images, which helps me avoid falling into a set pattern. For me, it’s almost ecstatic to work without the specifics of the idea in my head, where I can let my subconscious create something intriguing, something that truly reflects my psyche at that particular moment of time.
Any photographers you particularly admire?
I get inspired by a lot of different things everyday, which goes beyond just photographers. To point out the big names, I would say I really admire the work of people like Daniel Temkin, Rosa Menkman and the duo Jodi. Mentioning this, I wouldn’t want to undermine the inspiration brought on to me by so many talented artists on platforms like Instagram, the works of whom I see each day and they never fails to amaze me.
What inspires you to shoot?
It’s simply the desire to create and to find a creative outlet for all that my senses consume. There is an Oatmeal comic strip, which sums up my opinion on this question quite well. It used this impressive analogy between creativity and the process of breathing, where breathing out is an equivalent of producing something creative and breathing in as an equivalent of the time you spend between your successive creative endeavours. And if you lose out on any one of these, you simply die. And the same goes for creativity. I think it’s all about striking this balance for me.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
I feel that I’m not entitled to answer this question, but if I were to give one, it would be: “limit your consumption”. It’s only by limiting your consumption that you would start to hear the sound of your own voice, which in my opinion is quite important for a creative person.
Where do you currently live and work?
I currently live in Durham, NC in the United States, where I’m a Ph.D. candidate at Duke University working in the Department of Physics.
What did you study – and how I got into photography?
My educational training is quite unrelated to my artistic endeavours. I completed my undergrad/masters in India where I majored in Computer Science and Physics. I wouldn’t even say it’s the least interesting.
Quite contrary to that, the story of how I got into art is quite exciting and serendipitous at the same time. So here it goes. I was reading this random article about music technology one day and it turned out, it was written by a music professor at Duke University. I ended up arranging a meeting with him to learn more about what he wrote in that article and that whole thing ended up in me being offered an opportunity to attend a course called “Generative Media Authorship” taught collectively by him along with another professor. And I did attend that course. Over the course of the semester, while doing my assignments and through the feedback I received in the classroom, I realized that distortion-based art is thing for me (at least, for now) and I went ahead with it as a hobby without even realizing that it would culminate into something more than that.
But it eventually did and I’m here writing this answer.
Any cool projects you’re currently working on?
A few of them and I’m really excited. They are still in the pipeline, so I don’t have many details to share here for now, but I would have something substantial really soon.
Please finish these sentences:
I can’t live without… music.
My greates inspiration in the world is… nature.
I will never forget… humility.