The camera is San Diego-based photographer AlaskanCat's best friend, she tells RAW. See her works on display at the next RAW showcase on Friday, July 30th at the Se San Diego Hotel! 

Tell us about yourself?
I was born/raised in Kodiak, AK.  San Diego has been my home for a long time though, and will be for the foreseeable future.  I have three children, and have worked in the mortgage industry for most of my life.  I have been a professional photographer for the last five years or so.

How did you first get started making art? 
Growing up on an island, there was a lot of beauty everywhere.  In the summer, I was outside constantly, sometimes just sitting on top of a hill watching the water.  It (water) is still my favorite thing to look at, and shoot, today.  Professionally, I began about five years ago with music photography.  It started as an occasional hobby and has grown into a second career.

How would you describe your aesthetic? 
Essence portraiture.  I attempt to capture a spirit within a moment, rather than merely document an event.

From where do you draw inspiration for your work?
With live bands, it's without a doubt the music.  Overall though, experiencing beauty can be spiritual at times.  It involves letting go and feeling, rather than sighting and framing, the subject.

What do you love most about what you do? 
It's the greatest feeling in the world. No matter where I am, if I am with my camera, I'm never alone.  It's an external piece of equipment, yet ...my best friend. Truly.

Do you engage in, or draw inspiration from, any other forms of art? 
Music, definitely.  I listen to it constantly as I work, or get ready for work.  It helps me ground & get to a place where I can shut out everything around me.  I also gain a lot of inspiration from other photographers and artists, new and old.  I also meditate quite a bit, which provides more clearance & clarity than I can express.  Without giving myself time to actually “be” on a regular basis, I find my art lacks a certain amount of depth.

From start to finish, explain your process; what does a typical art-making day look like for you? 
My favorite artistic moments happen at night, especially around a full moon.  I started making a point to shoot every full moon cycle, in a different area each month, about a year ago.  It forces me to get out of my comfort zone & find a new place or subject matter on a regular basis, and has really added a lot of variety to what I do.  

Medium of choice?
Digital photography, non-manipulated for the most part.  

What sort of techniques do you most like working with? 
It really depends on the subject matter, and the setting.  I prefer to shoot in natural settings rather than doing much studio photography.  It's about adapting, and capturing the subjects in their natural comfort zone, rather than in a setting that's been provided to them.

Are there any artists or art movements, past or present, that strongly inform and influence your work? 
As for historical artists, I would have to say Da Vinci.  He was a dreamer, and no matter what he created, the piece was a result of how he saw what could be, not just what is (was).  From the current era, definitely Sebastian Kruger & Mick Rock.  Each of their styles are as unique as the musicians they have photographed. 

Any previous exhibitions/collaborations that you are particularly proud of? 
Every situation has its own story, its own adventure, and I love them all differently.  I could discuss one of my professional achievements, but my favorite collaboration has to have been with my son.  His first time experiencing a true “photographer's moment” was in Balboa Park.  I explained to him that I wanted to see what he saw, and he should just follow his lens.  Two hours later, he had a really amazing set of images, of everything imaginable.  Things that he found interesting, allowing me to peek a little further at the person he is growing into.

Any accomplishments/goals you hope to achieve as an artist in the future?
I have some travel in my future, and I am working on a photography book, centered around the spiritual side of my work.

Why showcase at RAW? 
The work that I did with musicians really made me appreciate independent artists' work, and understand what it takes to bind together as a community in order to make a difference.  RAW is making a difference in a lot of artists' lives, myself included.

Favorite thing to do outside of your craft? 
Meditative moments, definitely.

Any current rising stars within the art arena that you would recommend we look out for?
Jason Smith.  He's a fantastic artist (Paint), and also one of the musicians featured in my collection.  I would highly recommend his work to anyone interested in visual art.