I find the work and vision of Tim Walker endlessly inspiring. A Vogue photographer who trained under Richard Avedon in New York, he’s a consummate storyteller who takes inspiration from classic tales such as The Princess and the Pea, Swan Lake, The Wizard of Oz but gives them his own particular Alice in Wonderlandlike twist. I adore his photographs which are so rich in mood, beauty and narrative. I want to step into his world, where everything is achingly beautiful and crumbling. Where everything and nothing makes sense.
Here is a wonderful quote from him which I think applies as much to illustrators as photographers.
“When I think about it, photographs, to me are really a kind of dream state…and, as you tour your imagination you want to photograph what you are seeing…BUT…the only way you can do this is by BELIEF…really utterly/absolutely/passionately firmly believing…you are so very keen to show what you’ve seen that somehow it becomes true, and the pictures become a souvenir, a piece of proof brought back all the way from the daydream.”
I had the good fortune of visiting his exhibition in Somerset House last year and spent hours ooohhing and ahhhing over the giant props, full size prints and wandering transfixed from one piece of art to the next. If you missed the exhibition get the book Tim Walker: Storyteller. You’ll be happy you did.
And check out his website for his most recent work based on mermaids.