This month, Layla Pacha, interviews Fabio Forin. A photographer whose work was recently shown at the National Portrait Gallery,
What is a typical day for you?
What skills/qualifications/experience do you need to do your job?
Higher education is great, don’t get me wrong, and I’m sure that it’s the best option to go for if you want to build a career around your talent, but it’s not just skills that make an artist. I believe that’s something you can’t really teach.
How did you get to where you are at the moment?
It has been a tricky journey (and still is). My background is journalism. I moved to London to complete my academic studies and I got an MA in journalism in one of the best universities. After I graduated I started working as a TV freelancer, I did bits here and there, I also worked on a programme for BBC. It didn’t really work out though. Why? At some point I realised that wasn’t really the direction I wanted to take, so probably TV wasn’t meant to be my path.
I always had some sort of fascination with the medium, but I never thought it could be something to pursue in my life. Then last summer I found out that the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize is a photography competition not open only to professionals but actually to anybody, so I decided to give it a go. When they got in touch to inform me that my portrait was selected, I took it as a sign.
What kind of person do you need to be to do be successful in your industry?
Who is your creative inspiration and why?
I just happened to educate myself through the work of those photographers I was “envious” of in a way, those who I felt they would look at the world in the same way as I do – Diane Arbus and Anton Corbin are definitely the ones who inspired me the most.
By “envious” I mean the feeling you have when you look at a picture someone else took and you think “I want to take photographs like that!”.
I think envy could be a good thing for an artist, for it means you resonate with what others are doing and you are motivated by the need of doing it better.
I also have to say that those who inspired me and I always “carried in my heart” if you like, are not just photographers. Even though probably it’s not gonna make much sense to you, I wouldn’t be the photographer I am today if I didn’t come across artists such as Nick Cave and Patti Smith. Even though they are song-writers, I know the way they do what they do and how they do it had a huge in they way I grew up as an artist.
How did it feel to have your work hang in the National Portrait Gallery?
Always question yourself. Always ask yourself “why am I doing what I am doing? Why did I pick photography in the first place? Is it for the CV, for my mum or for my peers? Why am I taking that type of photographs? Is it because of who I am or because I believe that’s what is gonna work and eventually sell?” Understand (and accept) that you are truly alone in whatever is that you want to do in your life, the rest is just noise all around you.
Do not get distracted by that noise and keep asking yourself “why?”. That’s my advice.
Have a look at some of his brilliant work below: