Outside The Frame: The Fantastic Works of Wayman Stairs
When referring to the iPhone art of Wayman Stairs, I use the term “fantastic” in both the awesome! and cool! sense as well as the pertaining-to-fantasy sense. We’ve been featuring his works in our weekly showcase pretty much since he’s been submitting them. When I first saw his abstract dreamscapes filled with such diverse elements as bizarre plains, distorted giraffes, and bodies that were not of this continuum, I immediately thought of Dali with an iPhone.
We were very fortunate to catch up with iPhone artist Wayman Stairs and get a little insight into his work, his influences and himself. Keep reading for a fascinating look at the artist in his own words behind these amazing works. =M= >>>>
My name is Wayman Stairs and I live in California. I work as a Physical Education teacher and Coach. I am a husband to a beautiful wife and high school sweetheart. I am also a father of two boys, who love to keep me on my toes and often find their way into my edits. I have no formal art training, unless you count the one year of art I took in high school, which was taught by my football coach. We usually painted ceramics, modeling clay and talked football.
I never really considered myself an artist or creative for that matter. I originally started editing photos after seeing one of my friend’s pictures she posted to an app called Instagram. Instagram is what helped awaken my creativity and from there I became hooked & never looked back.
I really enjoy working with landscapes and transforming them into an alternate reality — taking things that are real and tangible, then creating something unusual and fun by blurring and distorting the lines of reality. The main component in all of my creation process is to have fun and enjoy the process!
I take inspiration from many things, whether it be a shadow on the ground or an interesting object on the shelf at Target. Some of my biggest inspiration comes from artists such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Vladmir Kush and especially from my fellow mobile artists who continue to amaze and inspire me daily.
I usually do not have a specific thought or plan. I like to throw my headphones in and blast my music — usually dubstep or 90’s rock — zone out and create. After I develop my background image and play around with my go to apps for awhile, I usually develop some type of concept of what I want the final project to look like. It is a great way to relax at the end of the day.
I have a few go to apps that I use for every edit. I like to use Snapseed for fine tuning, sharpening, structure and drama. Filterstorm is usually what I use for shadows & selective noise reduction/sharpening. Fx Photostudio I use a lot to distort and blur backgrounds. No piece would be complete without using my all time favorite Juxtaposer. I use it to layer, blend and add all the pieces to the puzzle. Until recently I did all my work on my iPhone 4, however now I have and iPad I have begun experimenting with Artstudio and Artage, which I love. I have many other apps that I might use here and there, however these I use on almost everything I do.
Marty, one of my favorite images that I have made is a piece titled “Lunar Exploration”. Not only do I enjoy the visuals on this piece, but I also enjoy the meaning it has to me. The moons looking down on the little boy as he stares up in amazement. The faces on moon are actually mine and the little boy is my youngest son. It symbolizes me looking after my son and him looking up to his dad! As far the ascetics are concerned I really like the blue blurred sky, wavy mountains and how the moons are tied down as if the boy has them wrapped up and not letting go!!
I can be found on Eye’Em and IPA (iPhoneArt.com) as @wstairs and Flickr as @w_stairs. I still have my Instagram account, but don’t really use it anymore. I also have an online gallery/prints store (http://www.gothagram.com/galleries/wayman-stairs/).
One day I would love to see my art hanging up in art gallery, which would indeed be a great accomplishment. Until then, I’ll keep enjoying what I am doing.
All photos © Wayman Stairs.
This is Life In LoFi’s regular feature, Outside The Frame. It’s the story of one photograph (or a series) of an iPhoneographer in their own words. It’s less of a how-to and more of a why. It’s the stories behind the iPhoneography we see, told by the artist who created it.