Jimmy Thorn

Jimmy Thorn captures the colorful, youthful side of Nashville, Tennessee, in his color Polaroid photography.


Instagram: @jimmythorn

Are there any aspects of the Southern aesthetic that you embrace or ones you consciously avoid?

I don't have nearly enough photos that back this up, but religion in the South has always been fascinating to me. My dad's whole side of the family is from the South, and I was raised in a very religious household, but you've never heard anything until you've heard a real hellfire sermon in the South.

How did your interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?

My dad called me and said he found a load of old cameras. The camera itself was really clean and still in it's original packaging, so I started trying to find film ($8 a pack at the time). After my first shot with it I was hooked, and everything else has been trial and error.

Because it's such a simple camera it has a lot of nuance to it and I think the past few years have been exploration into what it's capabilities are and pushing it's limitations.

How do you feel about the relationship of an artist to their city or surroundings?

I don't think you can truly understand something without it being a part of you. If you're not deeply ingrained in the community surrounding you, what can you actually know about it?

How do you choose your subjects?

It's all spontaneous. It just depends on my surroundings. I rarely ever set up shots, and if I do the direction is mostly "Go stand over there."

Who have been some of your biggest influences or your best teachers?

Miles Price. I love Jeff Divine's 70s surf photos, and my buddy Sean in Indianapolis is putting out a new book soon. Shout out Cash4Gold

Do you have a creative or artistic peer group in your area that you're a part of? 

I think I'm blessed in the fact that almost all of my friends are creatives in one way or another. Living in Nashville spoils you in that way. It's a creative city to its core, and it's all-encompassing.  

Where do you go to draw inspiration?

Instagram for sure. ignant.de is another site I like. Day to day it's what I'm surrounded with. I'm always looking to find small, weird detail I've missed. It's like noticing that building you've never seen, but driven past a million times.

Do you feel creatively satisfied?

I've never been creatively satisfied, and I'm honestly not sure if anyone should ever feel that way. I think having and finding joy in what you do is wildly important, but to be creatively satisfied (at least in my mind) involves concession and creates complacency. I think artists should always be pushing themselves because outside your comfort zone is where the best work seems to come from.