Ty Obsxura is a multimedia artist and photographer who hails from Columbiana, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he moved on to Los Angeles where he has produced music videos, visual campaigns and experimental short films all while writing and directing his unfinished feature film, "Save the South."
How did your interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?
At the age of seven, I assisted my Grandmother, who was a VHS filmmaker and film photographer at the local baptist church. I helped set up equipment, organize tapes and even develop film in her small storage house. Those young years with my Grandmother allowed me digest the foundations of storytelling that I still use today.
How do you feel about the relationship of an artist to their city or surroundings?
Having a deep relationship or history with your city or surroundings is great. I believe it allows you to make honest images. Currently, I live in Los Angeles. I have no relationship with this city yet. And if you are a competitive artist like me, it can be a fun challenge. It pushes me to create with the Southern aesthetic without being in the South.
How do you choose your subjects?
I choose my subjects based off how it connects with my childhood. Youth is something I often long for and it tends to fuel nearly all of my projects. My childhood was spent on a farm, raising chickens, pigs and horses. I was raised by grandparents who blasted Al Green and Marvin Gaye albums daily. Everything I create tends to be things that remind me of my family and the times we shared.
Who have been some of your biggest influences or your best teachers?
My grandmother taught me a lot. She taught me how to stand up for myself. She taught me that things are worth caring for. And that I could be anything I wanted to be.
Do you have a creative or artistic peer group in your area that you're a part of?
I'm located in Los Angeles and I work at a creative studio called Ilan Dei. It's a creative workspace and studio for all things art. I help host many different events and workshops at our local stores. We have Happy Hour, Showcases, Pitch Day, Convos which allow us to partner with like-minded brands, experts, artists and organizations.
Where do you go to draw inspiration?
I don't really follow any galleries, museums or have any favorite locations. I love surrounding myself with inspiring individuals, so I spend a lot of time around my family and friends. They fuel my creativity.
Are there any aspects of the Southern aesthetic that you embrace or ones you consciously avoid?
I believe there's a story in everything. The South has its scars. What you create out of those scars is where the magic is. I love to embrace all of it. Without it I'd be nothing.
Do you feel creatively satisfied?
Everyday I feel some level of satisfied. I have one job. Use my gifts to help others. But at the same time, I am an artist. I am constantly creating, fighting to be heard, changing, growing old. There are different chapters in my life. Much like an endless painting. One can never really be fully satisfied.
Tell me about a recent, current, or upcoming project or exhibition.
I'm currently working on my feature film called "Save the South." It's about three teenage kids looking to escape outer-city Birmingham and intend to sell drugs to offset the cost of art supplies, tech and music equipment, but their plans upset a local folk legend.
In addition to being a Content Producer and Event Host at Ilan Dei Studio, I am film director at More Media in downtown Los Angeles, currently working on some fashion commercials and retail video installations.