Transcript of the INTERVIEW WITH PHOTOGRAPHER LUCIE KOUT, INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY MARCIN MIGDAL Lucie's work can be found on Pg.44,45 of Sketchozine Vol2: Sexy Things Issue)
MM: Today I welcome a European photographer who makes her images ooze with subtle sexiness. The lovely and talented Lucie Kout...Lucie for anyone that doesn’t already know of you, tell me a little about yourself.
LK: Hello Marcin, thank you very much for inviting me here. I am a photographer and retoucher from Czech Republic. I love my job, my man and my dogs. I live a simple life of creating and enjoying it! :-).
MM: How did you get involved with photography and Image retouching, was it something you just fell into?
LK: Oh yes, exactly. I had photography as a minor subject in design school and I loved taking images since the very beggining. Very soon I started recieving positive comments and that was it!. I never expected being a photographer, but it was like slipping into the most comfortable shoes...It was so natural. In the end I made my degree in photography instead of doing it in other subjects I was originaly supposed to :).
MM: How would you describe your style?
LK: Very organized minimalism and unreal hyper-realism :-). I am often doing low budget projects but it does not mean I am not paying attention to every detail. I do very difficult post-production that identifies my style the most.
MM: I read that you “don’t respect weekends”, I can definitely relate! Do you find you have good balance towards those around you with the 9-5 jobs?
LK: Not sure, I am a workoholic...I must be forced to rest!. The best way for me to relax are walks with my dogs. Once I have dogs by my side, I am fine :).
MM: Were you an artsy kid? Did your parents & friends encourage you?
LK: I was. There were no kids of same age in my neighbourhood so I had to learn to spend my spare time alone. That's where my creativity and animal love came from probably. Sounds weird but exceptionality comes out of being outsider or having no other choice, I hink it’s a pretty common scenario.
MM: You studied graphic design, but you shifted to photography. I also studied graphic design and i found my eye for layout has helped me tremendously in my own career as an artist, have you found it to be the same or not?
LK: Yes, education helped me to organize workflow, my ideas, opinions. I use well known principles for colors, perspective, composition, etc., it helps me to manipulate images the way as it was reality.
MM: I’m from Poland, so you and I were practically neighbors! Tell me about Czech’s arts industry and opportunities, is it comparable to North America?
LK: Post-communistic countries are significant as understanding artist as someone who simply got the gift for free and there is no work behind the success. If you study art for 20 years it's still less than being 5 years on economy school. This is partially fault of artists who do not act like professionals. It's up to us to change this wrong opinion now. Artists can be well educated professionals, not lazy drunk loosers and junkies.
MM: If you couldn’t do what you do, what would you be doing?
LK: I don't know. That would be just guessing. I‘m happy doing what I love.
MM: How important is Photoshop and retouching in your final images?
LK: Essential. The way I edit images defines my style. I have no problem admitting it.
MM: What top 3 websites do you visit most?
LK: Deviantart, facebook and my google reader - there is everything I need/want to watch :-), mostly photography websites.
MM: Do you remember your first paid assignment and how you got it?
LK: I was selling my drawings long time before I started taking photos. I was even exchanging them as a kid so it was loooong looong time ago.
MM: Do you have one image or project you are most proud of?
LK: There are some images I like more than others but it would be hard to pick just one image. I have this special feeling about "Bajkonur" - image ment to be tribute to Depeche Mode. I recreated booklet for "A broken frame" with my personal idea twist to post-communism etc. It is still a strong image to me. I love the process, not just results. It would be unfair to judge it. It also depends a lot on a person who is my model etc. Shooting good friends is more joyful than shooting strangers.
MM: You often collaborate with global artists through the web, are there any negatives in having so much information and referemce to other artists? You are now competing with 1000’s for work...
LK: It's a competition but also an inspiration and a source of great information which may help you to succeed. There is always someone better so enjoy being yourself and jump into the world of competition! It forces you to improove.
MM: What type of cameras do you shoot with?
NS: Actually, after spending a lot of time with Sony/Nikon cameras, I am almost entirely happy with Canon 5D Mark II. I plan to stick with Canon as long as they maitain image/lens quality or until I can afford mid format. I don’t care how heavy as long as the image is good.
MM: Do you exhibit your work anywhere? Where is the 1 woman show?
LK: My work has been published/exhibited many ways in many countries but internet stays the major column. I made my own blog at http://luciekout.koutmedia.com. On my the blog, I share pretty much everything about my work. My twitter is more for emo waste :).
MM: Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
LK: Heh, I have this unreal dream of shooting Depeche Mode or someone like Anie Leibovitz is :-). That would be nice but not necessary. I live my dream even without doing it.
MM: What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue a career as a photographer or artist?
LK: Don't be afraid to be yourself and trust yourself. Be humble and respect others even when you don´t like their criticism on your work.
MM: What is your greatest fear?
LK: Loosing my man, loosing my sight, my dogs...there are hard parts in life and you can always get over them but it hurts. Pain is part of our lives, If there were no pain, there wouldn´t be joy. Take it as it comes...
MM: Which five words would your friends use to describe you?
LK: I thought it would be something like artist, professional, serious, organized, loner..But I asked them and they all seemed to agree on creative, artistic, openminded, relentless and perfectionist.
MM: Lucie, it’s been a pleasure, everyone visit LucieKout.KoutMedia.com and maybe send her a message on Sketchoholic.com/LucieKout.
LK: Thank you very much for this lovely interview, it was fun to answer such questions. Hope to see you someday again. Best regards!