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Monday, August 3, 2009

Artist Series ~ Byron Jorjorian

I am taking my Artist Series to new heights. If you haven't noticed by now, I am enamoured with art. Almost all mediums of art. I think art is an important element in the development of children. I believe interior design is an art form ~ that is how I think about it in relation to those the design touches.

I have always known how environment affects us as humans; how it stifles or encourages the development of the brain, the heart, and the soul. I learned about this deeply in my previous profession. Environment incorporates the relationships one experiences throughout life and the structure one finds themselves in at any given time. You can imagine various environments people have been exposed to and consider how it affected them. A room with thoughtful stimulation for a toddler (caring people and furnishings including art) versus a room devoid of of these things. How would the child in the latter room feel, think, develop compared to the former? Heavy stuff. I know. But I think about these things and if you visit my blog regularly, I'd say you do to.

So I decided to ask people that have embraced art and share it with others why and how that came to be. You know I am always asking 'Why?' For the record, my daughter asks 'why' more than I to anyone and everyone ~ the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I smile every time that word escapes her lips.

On with the art! I thought I would start with a visual art ~ photography ~ but not just any photography. I chose nature as nature is our environment. We are surrounded by it every day but how well do we really see it; appreciate it? With this in mind, I of course called on Byron Jorjorian. "Sure thing ," he said, "I'd be happy to be interviewed." Wonderful! First a bit about Byron and then the interview accompanied by some of Byron's beautiful images. That is his image at the top ~ striking ~ isn't it?

Meet Byron Jorjorian (as if he needs an introduction) ~

About Byron (from his website) ~

Fine art photographer, Byron Jorjorian has been capturing the natural world on film for over 30 years. With over 210,000 images in his files, his photographs have appeared on nationally published greeting cards, calendars, magazines, posters, murals, fine art prints, brochures, and advertising. Byron has had over 10,000 images published.

Some of his fine art business and corporate clients include:

Watermark Hotel, San Antonio, TX
Atlanta Hilton, Atlanta, GA
Hyatt Vacation Club, San Antonio,TX
Wind Watch Hyatt, Long Island, NY
Morgantown Radisson, WV
Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, TX
Niagra Falls Restaurant, Niagra Falls, NY
Seattle Westin Restaurant, Seattle, WA
Turning Stone Casino, New York, NY
Bellsouth - Private Corporate Collection
Middle Tennessee State University Library
Subaru Corporation
Regions Bank
AmSouth Bank

Gallery Showings:

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens (Show & Permanent Collection)
The Renaissance Center
Gallery Sklo
Jackson Cultural Center
Crockett Gallery (Nov. 2005)
Flying Solo Exhibition @ Nashville International Airport (2006)
Donelson Corporate Center(2007)

Fine art prints of his work can also be found in private/residential collections around the world.

His award winning photography has also appeared in 100’s of publications such as:

Time Magazine
National Geographic Society
Outdoor Photographer Magazine
Smithsonian Books
Audubon Field Guides

Byron was recently published in the National Geographic Magazine Special Collector's Edition.

Some of his corporate stock photography clients include:

Ford Motor Company
Toyota Corporation
Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel
United States Postal Service
Universal Studios (CA & FL)
The Alamo

Without further ado, here is my interview with Byron Jorjorian ~

Paula Grace: Tell me about yourself. Your family.

Byron: I live in Franklin, TN with my wife, daughter and son in our home and have two grown sons who live close by.

(double click on the images throughout to see them larger ~ they are truly spectacular)

Paula Grace:
Please tell me how you decided to do photography for a living?

Byron: Almost as soon as I became interested in photography I began selling images to magazines, greeting cards, prints, etc., but it took me nearly 10 years of making money part-time to convince myself that I could make a good living for my family.

Paula Grace: Do you do any other types of art (e.g. paint, music)? If so, what are they? Are they available to see and purchase?

Byron: I started out actually thinking I wanted to paint and in my late teens had some pieces in galleries, but once I picked up a camera I never looked back.

Paula Grace: Did you study photographer? If so, where? If not, how did you learn about this art form?

Byron: I actually took a correspondence course and spent about $2,000 on books. I also worked in a camera store for several years which helped me learn about and handle lots of gear.

Paula Grace: Your work focuses on nature. Why?

Byron: I have always been drawn to nature in all its forms. It probably goes back to my childhood being raised in Mississippi. I spent my childhood exploring, catching lizards, snakes and turtles, and wading in creeks and swamps.

Paula Grace: There seems to be an intimacy with nature in your photos to me. So close, so detailed. Is this so? What are you trying to show or reveal?

Byron: I would say that does describe much of my work. There are so many patterns in nature on so many levels. I want to share how I see what we all walk by each day.

Paula Grace: How do you decide where and when to shoot?

Byron: So many different things influence my decisions. I read a lot about different places then I try to choose places that will challenge me to see in new ways.

Paula Grace: Can you tell me where your inspiration comes from?

Byron: My inspiration comes from my close affinity for nature. My excitement comes from discovering new ways of seeing and sharing beauty in the things that we walk past every day.

Paula Grace: How do you remember art (all art forms) growing up?

Byron: My dad was a commercial artist. All of my family drew and painted really well. I was immersed in art while growing up.

Paula Grace: Do you think art is important to one’s development as a person? As an artist?

Byron: Yes, I always felt that the artistic side of each of us and especially in children should be nurtured.

Paula Grace: Can you recall your first taste of art (any art form)?

Byron: I remember visiting my dad’s art studio in an office building downtown and seeing easels, drawing boards, and supplies everywhere.

Paula Grace: Any memorable brushes with art that has stuck with you? If yes, what and why?

Byron: Watching my dad create Japanese black ink style art when I was about four years old inspired a whole gallery of images on my website (the Zen gallery).

Paula Grace: Were there specific people that guided or mentored you toward art? Away from art?

Byron: I think there is a general feeling in society that artists of any type can’t make a living. That misconception holds a lot of talent back. If an artist will understand that he needs to be a business person as well as an artist he or she can make a great living.

Paula Grace: What are your thoughts/beliefs about art education?

Byron: I am neutral about it. I think ultimately the world judges your work on its merits and if you are outstanding you will rise to the top regardless of your education. Some people thrive with a formal education that others would find stifling.

Paula Grace: What are your thoughts/beliefs about art education in schools for our youth?

Byron: Art should be taught in public schools, but in a way that encourages each child to find his or her strengths in a non-judgmental way, but in a way that praises each child’s own vision. I would hate to think that the next great art movement we will see emerge 20 years from now was stopped because some art teacher criticized a student’s work.

Paula Grace: Tell me where I can see and purchase your work.

Byron: My website is the best place.

Paula Grace: Is there anything else you think is important for me to know about you or your work, your life?

Byron: Really and truly, I am fortunate that I have been able to blend my love of nature and photography into a business that allows me to do what I love for a living.

Paula Grace: We appreciate it very much! Thank you for taking the time to tell me about your self and share your art.

Byron's intimacy with nature is seen in any photo one looks at. The detail is incredible. We DO walk by these things everyday. Bryon's art helps look at it differently and captures the beauty for all of us to enjoy with his skillful eye.

I am not the only one that believes art aids brain development. There is research supporting this. There are interesting books to read on the topic. Here they are with more to come.


  1. Absolutely stunning!!! Kristin

  2. Thank you! Byron is a wonderful artist ~ it is easy to look good with his images on the post!

  3. Wow .. I love all of his work!! Such beautiful artistry!


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