STUDIO PROCESS: David Humphreys
When David Humphreys was a young child, his mother said, "You'll either grow up to be a garbage collector or an artist". Over fifty years later, David is a thriving artist that is continually pushing photography and printing to its limit. His early life was surrounded by creativity; family members who were highly musical and talented artists. Growing up, David would always find ways to express his creative energy through art and music. Graduating from Baton Rouge High School in 1969, he was a semi-professional singer traveling with bands all over the South; even opening for entertainer Herbie Hancock. Throughout his time singing and performing, he continued to pursue artwork on the side. For most of his young life, he was strictly focused on painting but neither he or his parents thought that he could rely on his artwork as a profession.
After a few years of working as a performer, David was persuaded to go to LSU by his parents and decided to enroll in the professional draftsmanship program. After receiving his degree, he worked in a professional setting for a couple of years. He found the work unfulfilling and didn't enjoy the structure of a corporate environment, remembering one job where he "...fell asleep at the drafting table". Trying to find his way after losing his job as a draftsman, he bought a used point and shoot camera and went back to playing music to make a living.
He moved to the historic Spanish Town neighborhood in the late 1970's. He quickly fell in love with learning the rules and principles of photography. He attended a few photography classes at LSU but was ultimately unable to afford to finish the degree. To supplement a formal education, he bought tons of books on photography, at the time these were expensive and a big investment for the young artist. He read them cover to cover. He built a darkroom in his bathroom and starting to diligently practice printing.
Some people have labeled Dave as only a photographer, not an artist. People in the art community view David as a fine art printer, commercial photographer and artist, admitting that he's not sure which defines him the most and "is just confused as they are". But in truth, David identifies first and foremost as an artist, "...the camera is just a tool". Throughout Dave's journey as a creative, there has been so much failure but a multitude of successes; "I can't escape the need to create. Every aspect of what I do is done from a creative level, not technical".