Especially after your last post on the aquarium/magnifying glass, I picture Vicki as the "magician's assistant". Does she have a voice?

Asked by oceanblue265

Hmmm… good question. Here are the three most probable answers…

a. No, Vicki does not have a voice, because Vicki is not real.

b. Vicki is very much real, but has no idea I exist. I watch her with my telescope. 

c. Vicki does her talking with her fists, not her mouth.

d. All of the above

The answer is obviously “d”.

Anyway, I’m not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way this blog became primarily about my awesome wife Vicki. She is real and I keep telling her to start a Tumblr, but it hasn’t happened yet. At one point she almost started a Tumblr that would’ve been about her making a Tumblr about my Tumblr, but that got complicated in a Charlie Kaufman-esque sort of way and she called it quits.

Anyway, maybe one day she’ll have a voice around these parts, but until that day I plan to keep blaming her for stuff that is probably my fault.

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Where do you get your inspiration?

Asked by arturo9419

That’s a tough question as there’s too many to name. But here’s a few off the top of my head…

1. My awesome wife Vicki - If you look closely, my Tumblr is about her at least 50 percent of the time. In retrospect naming this blog “Tanner Blog” was quite unfair to Vicki as she is usually my partner in crime.

2. Nick Prevas - My best friend who also happens to be an insanely talented filmmaker, photographer, graphic designer, actor, and musician. The dude can do it all and inspires me daily.

3. Hollie Lavenstein - She was my Film 1 teacher in college. She really instilled in me the belief that every shot in a film should have a meaning or reason behind it aside from just “looking cool” or “being funny”. Obviously this can be applied to photography as well. Do I always follow this advice? Probably not. Do I at least try? I think so.

4. Vin Grabill - He was my “Video Art” teacher in college. Before Vin I had no idea video was something that could ever be shown in an art gallery. We watched some crazy stuff in his class, much of which I found to be absolutely terrible, but it was always interesting. I recently invested in some old VHS equipment on eBay in an effort to start toying around with some “video art”. We’ll see how that goes.

5. Several filmmakers, most notably early Tim Burton (The Pee Wee through Ed Wood era is brilliant, after that, not so much), Wes Anderson (If I had time I’d watch The Life Aquatic every day), and Jean-Pierre Juenet (Delicatessan is perhaps the most quirky and creative film ever made, and don’t get me started on Amelie).

6. Dr. Suess because he made reading fun and magical for a kid like me who absolutely hated to read. I’m pretty sure he’s the only reason I ever started writing these poems about my pictures.

7. The Adventures of Pete & Pete is a brilliant TV show that used to be on Nickelodeon. It’s definitely influenced my sense of humor and sort of “out there” style.

8. Flight of the Conchords - A more recent TV show that I was particularly drawn to, so much so that I made this.

9. Thrift Stores - Particularly Value Village in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Every single time I’m in that place I find something new that blows my mind. Quite a few of my photo and film “concepts” have been formed while roaming the many isles of the Value Village.

10. The Salton Sea - I’m really inspired by old abandoned places, most notably The Salton Sea, a place where I’ve shot way too many of my film and photo projects. I love being out in the middle of nowhere just shooting without having to worry about anything aside from the sun going down.

11. The Madonna Inn - Next to the Salton Sea this has been my second favorite place to take pictures. It’s a magically campy hotel located north of LA in a town called San Luis Obispo. Every room has an awesome unique theme and I was lucky enough to shoot two films there right before I left LA for Brooklyn. Sadly I’ve been in Brooklyn for a year now and have barely scratched the surface on editing either film.

Insert Mini Rant Here: This is a huge issue for me that I can never seem to figure out… with work and general “life stuff” like laundry and cleaning the shower I have very little time to work on my own stuff. Yet for some reason I keep shooting new things when I probably should just stop shooting new things and finish old things.

12. Folks on Tumblr and Cargo - My blog runs on Tumblr and my portfolio site runs on Cargo. Both platforms have been incredible sources of artistic inspiration, so much so that they led me to start a second Tumblr called iPhoneosaurus Rex a few months back. For the first time in my life I started taking a more documentary approach to photography, which never would have happened had I not been inspired by talented Tumblr folks like Patrick Joust, Boy Ghost, and Photo Garage (a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known as iPhonepic). I should also credit these guys for inspiring me to take photographs non-stop during my recent trip to Japan, something I honestly don’t think I would have done a year ago. My “thing” has always been setting up planned out whimsical scenes with colorful fictional characters, this new approach to photographing “real people” and “real places” has been quite frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. Please note that I mean frustrating in the best possible way.

And although I haven’t done this yet, I think I may soon give black and white photography a try due to other fine tumblr folks such as The Photographist, John Carleton, My Leica Year, and The Lisa Show. I know I’m leaving a lot of talented folks out, I apologize.

13. My Mom - I think this one’s pretty obvious. If you don’t know why it’s obvious click here to find out. Caution: Your mind may blow up.

14. Dave Matthews Band - I take so much flack for liking these guys but I will love their music until the day I die. I like to think that Dave Matthews has influenced every photograph I’ve ever taken, unfortunately this has never actually be the case. As a side note, one band that has never influenced me is Radiohead, I just can’t get into those guys. I’m not sure which I take more flack for, not liking Radiohead or liking Dave Matthews. I’d say it’s probably fifty fifty.

15. Childhood - Probably my biggest source of inspiration. I never want to loose my imagination and I think that photography and filmmaking are the two things that prevent me from completely “growing up”. If you look closely at a lot of my “work” you’ll see a lot of old toys and games, not to mention me and my friends basically playing an adult version of “dress up”.

Aside from what I photograph, the process of simply walking to a lab to pick up film is the closest I’ll ever get to feeling like a kid about to open Christmas presents on Christmas morning. So yeah, I’d say keeping the kid in me alive is my main source of inspiration. 

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