1)What is your name? Will Allen
2) What type of artist are you? I am a Photographer and cinematographer
3) Where were you born, and where are you living now? Eastern townships, Quebec
4) School or training for your trade? My uncle was a successful fashion and product photographer and I worked as his assistant for my teenage years and early twenties.
5) What is your mediums to express yourself? Print photography mainly, it's my favourite as I want each viewer to experience in their own way but also documentary film when I feel there is an important cause people should know about. When more words need to be expressed to explain the situation
6) Who inspires you or influences your work.? Everyone who is capable of expressing through art. Family, my father in a big way, hard workers and dreamers.
7) Why create? What is the purpose for you? I create out of necessity, if I don't I get depressed. I want to bring light into people's lives and make a difference and it's one way I can.
8) What is your theme or subject ? I focus on nature and wildlife. Mainly underwater with large animals. But I've been known to do creative fashion work in the past too. As long as I feel it will evoke an emotion in the viewer somehow
9) How did you get your start into Adventure wildlife photography & Filmmaking? Can you describe your first experience?
I grew up in the Eastern townships of Quebec, Canada on a small farm. So my childhood was spent running all over several hundred acres, catching turtles, snakes, nursing injured birds back to health and building cabins in the woods and camping as early as 8 years old alone in the forest. I grew to really appreciate nature and wildlife. On top of that I lived on a farm so I was surrounded daily with Cattle and all sorts of livestock. I was very comfortable being near large animals and understood them. On top of that my Uncle was a fairly successful photographer so access to a high level of photography happened at an early age as well. I assisted him on shoots starting around the age of 14-19 then ventured off on my own. It was a matter of time before I combined the two passions.
!0) Can you tell me about what inspired the film SHARKWATER? Meeting Rob came from a mutual friend. I can't speak for him as to what inspired the film but I know it came from a run in with over fishing and poaching of sharks around the world, mainly Galapagos Islands. We hit it off with a shared passion for saving the oceans and conservation as well as a passion for wildlife photography.
11) Tell us a bit about the recent Mural project called Dakuwaga? It is an initiative set out to paint 5 murals in 2018 in the name of my late friend, (filmmaker conservationist, Rob Stewart @teamsharkwater. Dakuwaqa " In Fijian mythology, means shark god, the protector of all ocean creatures. Rob channeled "Dakuwaqa ". The dakuwagaproject is a series of ocean themed murals worldwide with something from him in them. So far there are murals in Miami, Toronto, Venice, CA and Sydney, AUS. We hope to do 5 more around the world. Donations can be made to this project through this website. https://dakuwaqaproject.com/
Can you tell me a bit about your process? How you go about it? I like to work alone but that's hard to do in this world. I like to get lost in my own thoughts and I often have an idea in my head but rarely sketch them out. I need to feel everything as I go. Experience it myself in order to capture the right image. Get up close and sometimes scare myself to get the right shot. That's my meditation.
10) What are the biggest struggles in your creative life as a artist in the city or just in general? How do you generally move past any blocks?
My biggest struggles are often promoting it. Selling it and making a living. All I want to do it take my images and show the world but I suck at sales. I have always worked by word of mouth and had some big struggles with injuries and hurdles along the way. I do take breaks. I build and renovate at my home and create that way when I can't in my art. I spend hours in the forest listening as well when I can't get away to the ocean. I spend a lot of time with my husky and train him. And I ride motorcycles. That is when I really need to clear my head and get back into the right head space for me. Doing a long road trip on my bike always clears my thoughts and helps me find my way.
11) What projects are you working on now, and what are you dreams for your future for your work and life ?
I'm working on a book project about mental health in the arctic. I hope it will shed some light on the struggles the Inuit people go through day to day as they are so far from our daily lives and people seldom think of them and how import they and their culture is.
12) Travel? Where have you been and where would you like to go? Too many to list. But I want to go everywhere. And if that means other planets too then I'd jump at the chance.
13) Any words of advise to other emerging artists on being a creative person..any motto’s you live by or remind yourself on a daily basis.
Never stop trying. Your biggest hurdle will be yourself. If you believe something is possible you'll find a way. I strongly believe in the power of positive thought. That being said negative thought will do the opposite and you'll have a bigger hill to climb. For the ocean, I am a storyteller who will inspire future generations and youth to be the protectors. Through my vision and art, I hope to teach children to get motivated to make big change for the better.
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