In one way shape or form a camera has always been a presence in my life. Dad had these non working 35mm film cameras around with the hopes of fixing them one day and he had one that worked but dad just didn’t know how to exactly use it outside of it being on an automatic setting. The point is that the cameras were a constant and a mystery at the same time. The day I was able to afford a simple point and shoot digital camera I had no second thoughts and went to purchase it. At that point I let a year pass by shooting everyday. Towards the end of the year I printed out a few photos in 8″x10″ and I was captivated with the amazement of seeing how beautiful I was able to capture these moments. The subjects of my photography were many but my preference was always geared towards nature. With nature I always felt like I was entering a whole other world, a world which society simply was not paying enough attention. A genuine awareness is key for these types of photos. One must have sense of respect and awe in order to see further than what your eye sees on the mere surface. In order to capture nature I had to use the macro setting on my point and shoot camera and be ready to be amazed by nature and its wonders. I have a long way towards mastering Macro Photography but I’ll take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey. Here’s a photo of one of my nature photos and little video I found that breaks down macro nature photography, it’s a very simple video yet effective.
As a visual artist I am self trained and have a love for cartoons, graffiti, typography, and abstract paintings which have geared me towards the avant-garde taste in performance art. I have trained as an actor and have been involved in the audition circle. I also trained in improv comedy and tried stand-up comedy back in 1991, I went as far as to work with a comedy troupe called El Barrio USA with the well-known comic, Angel Salazar (Chi Chi from Scarface.) The experience with El Barrio USA lasted for two glorious years that were filled with plenty of growth within production and creative work which re-affirmed my belief that my work belonged on stage. I went on to produce my own work and that was a few more years of trial and tribulations, culminating to co-producing, “Spotlight,” a one time cabaret show in September 2000 over at the Como Coco space in the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. Immediately following that show I produced my first group art exhibition/AIDS fundraiser, “Alchemist.” In both of these shows I created spontaneous performance art pieces. The Alchemist exhibit was my first experience with acquiring an in-kind sponsor with Urban Latino Magazine. After this experience I came across the New York International Latino Film Festival and that has been 13 phenomenal years of growth in the Entertainment business. After all this I still hold on to my first love which is drawing and painting. Throughout this journey in changing from one discipline of art to another, the fear of the unknown was ever present and it served me as fuel to continue to venture and grow. What’s your artist seedling?
Here’s a short film based on the great art of sign painters,
Later on I will post an interview that I had with a musician and his take on the artistic process.
Sometime ago I briefly started a tumblr blog as an attempt to write about my growth experience as an artist and cultural event producer. I published a few photos via instagram and that was that. It has been a somewhat trying period to seek out my true & genuine voice in this competitive field of arts & entertainment especially within this digital social media world. I have been side tracked to other ventures which have pulled and stretched me from one thing to another and onto another, resulting with spreading myself thin and not giving any project my full energy and dedication. Then again, I have had some of my most precious gems take place at certain times throughout this journey. I am an artist who happens to produce work for the need of my mental & spiritual growth and to somewhat control the fear that can work as a creative fuel or a mental block. I love to create and share with my immediate community of which is vastly growing within this digital world. I am an artist, son, brother, husband and recently became a Dad to my beautiful baby boy, Miles Octavio Santana. My name is Gary Douglas Santana, and I genuinely hope that my experiences can shed some light throughout your own journey, I am here to be of service. Oh yeah, I love, love, love music!!!