An Entrepreneur, Photographer, Woodworker, and Beyond.
I met Derik when I worked at Wolf Camera in downtown Denver at least 10 years ago. It seemed like he was just a teenager so in many ways I feel that I saw Derik grow up which is pretty cool. He was born an artist, the way he thinks, the way he sees, the way he lives. As long as I can remember he's been creating something interesting either with his camera or his hands. Not many people can express their art in so many forms.
Top: I got caught in the rain and running for cover i happened upon this couple huddled under a tiny umbrella bracing against the wind. The film was a high speed black and white, so the grain did the talking. 35mm inside of 120mm camera. Bottom Left: That beautiful girl framed inside of the MOMA's giant window's in New York, is Gina. She's been around for a long time always encouraging be to pursue all of the art forms I find interesting at any given time. 120mm Bottom Right: The building my Dad worked in since i can remember. When he passed away when i was seventeen i took a lot of refuge in art. I see this building in my day to day. Its an important piece in the skyline of my life. 120mm
Derik's dad whom passed away when Derik was just 17 made a huge impact on his life. At 17 you haven't quite grown up yet and you still need the guidance of your parents to become the person you're supposed to be. This is when Derik took refuge in his art. When someone is so important to you you'll find ways to keep that person close and remind you that they're still there. The image of the building above is where Derik's dad worked and so it's and important part of the skyline in his life which he states in the captions above.
Tell me about your background in photography and woodworking?
As far as my background goes in photography, There's been a camera in my hands since elementary school. Not constantly but its always there. Always trying to find my fingerprint in the art but a lack of confidence always kept it just out of reach. A classic case of Jack of all, master of none. Every camera I've ever used is still spread out through out my place, reminding me of my roots, a visible metaphor that things take time. Currently I'm pursuing another art form that's been in my life since I could walk, woodworking. I've been doing small stuff on a hobby level for years but recently got a part time gig inside of a design studio called Spark Design. The guy behind it all is a mad genius, the type that's good at anything he gets his hands on. From wood, metal, stone, concrete. Small scale stuff to entire build outs for restaurants. I'm trying to push a section of his business that is custom designed furniture and house wares.
What Inspires you and keeps you going?
I'm in a bit of a passion pit with a concept of my own "store." I'm dialing in a few concepts with wood, beard care goods, and the ever useful handkerchief with a design I cant seem to finish. And all though i'm not active in the money/passion pit of film photography, I'm currently using the oh so convenient smart phone camera to document my wife Gina and my travels to every ballpark in the Major League, through the eyes of each stadiums signature hot dog! Check it! thishotdoglife.tumblr.com Though now that I think about it, maybe documenting a summer long honeymoon adventure in hot dog photos won't make Gina fall in love with me all over again...
What inspires you?
I am surrounded by inspiring artists in my life. The top of the list is probably our good buddy Josh Olsen or OtterJ. It's a constant reminder of what confidence and courage will get you. And Jason Saffer's tenacity in his photography and style makes me never want to give up. http://www.jsafferphotography.com/ And I'm not sure who these guys are but it's some of the best street portraiture I've ever seen, my mind is blown whenever it comes across my feed. http://moodboard.streetetiquette.com/ A friend of mine, Breezy Sanchez who breaks comfort zones everyday for the sake of art.
And the biggest inspiration, has to be Gina my wife. I mean, the shit she puts up with in this "boys club" of a world is nuts. And she kills it! And rarely lets it bring her down. you gals out there have so many things going against you, i don't know where you find the energy to put up with it. She always reminds me that being mopey doesn't get me anywhere.
Check out more of Derik's work random bits of things in my life derikpenny.tumblr.com
Each artist that I introduce I would like to inspire just one person.
Jessica Oleksy is passionate about photography and creative people. Through this blog she will introduce you to the people that inspire her.