Daniel Setiawan is an Art of Austin artist! Get to know him and his photography!
AoA: Lets get right into it, Daniel. When did you realize that you were a creative being?
Daniel: Aren’t we all born creative beings in one way or another?
AoA: A valid point. Where do you derive inspiration from?
Daniel: I don’t know where inspiration comes from and I don’t know where to look for it. Everywhere I guess. Mostly, I just pull it out of thin air. The brain works in funny ways. Sometimes some small detail from a long time ago will hit you suddenly or a confluence of ideas will come all at once. You’ll see something a certain way, like never before. Beats me.
AoA: Fair enough… Can you describe what you look for in trying to capture an image?
Daniel: I think its different in every situation/photo. Like a moment, of a face, or a view, etc, but mostly its just selfish. I just want to capture a memory. Something or someone beautiful I saw along the way that I can look back on and be like, “Oh yeah.”
AoA: You are very well traveled and your work definitely reflects that. Where are some of the places you have been and where are some places you plan on going and why?
Daniel: I do like to travel. I go to Indonesia a lot because that is where the majority of my family lives. India a couple times, Thailand, a few European countries – Germany, Slovenia, Northern Italy, Switzerland, Malta, Finland. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico and lived in the very small town of Belize for a year teaching at a Missionary High School. I usually try to spend alot of time in a one place, like a month or two doing something, sometimes working or volunteering, mostly rock climbing. I like living like this. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop. My girlfriend is German, so most likely I will be returning to Europe soon. The food there is great.
AoA: Are you old enough to have worked with 35mm film? What are your thoughts on the rise of digital photography and image services like Instagram?
Daniel: I love 35 mm film. Unfortunately, nowadays, its not very cost effective, and as you mentioned everything is on the internet so, even when I shoot in film, I end up scanning the photos regardless. That being said, there isn’t anything yet that looks quite as good as real film, in my opinion, and there isn’t anything that feels like an old metal SLR. Its just hard to spend all that money and time when you can take really great pictures with your phone. Well most people’s phones, not mine… my phone is a POS. For a long time I was shooting with a Minolta X-700, and then with a Canon A-1, but sometimes I’m a clumsy person and ended up destroying those cameras. One day I would like to shoot film again and I would like to have a darkroom. That is a dream of mine. When I make it big, I’ll have a darkroom.
I have mixed feelings about online photo services, Instagram, and well, the internet in general. On one hand, Instagram and other social media outlets have definitely widened the scope of photography in terms of just sheer volume alone. Its definitely cool all the different types of photos you have access to and can look at from around the world. And it’s definitely a powerful tool for photographers and artists who want to get their stuff out to a broad audience. I don’t have an Instagram account though. I don’t consider myself to be a very social media/tech-savy guy. Sometimes, it just seems like a lot of noise to me. Call me a Luddite I guess, or maybe just stubborn.
AoA: Well, that is exactly why artist collectives like us exist homie – to put your work out there. You just focus on doing it and we have no doubt that you will have that darkroom soon, Daniel. Thank you for sharing your work and talking with us today.
→ Website: artcentrik.com/danielsetiawan
→ Facebook: daniel.setiawan.353