The Raccoon spoke to Dean Stephen Davies; a renaissance man when it comes to fashion design and photography who best describes himself a Visual Communicator. Dean is based between Bristol and the Wirral and recently won the Photography Award at the 2013 Graduation Fashion Week. We caught up with him about his work and his creative process.
Hey there Dean, how long have you been working with photography?
I’ve been working with Photography for the last 3 years, but my work has become much more Photography driven over the last year.
You describe yourself as a ‘Visual Communicator’, what does that mean to you?
I describe myself as a Visual Communicator as I believe the term best describes what it is I’m doing. My main focus is always the visualisation of the ideas; sometimes this can take the form of a complete ‘collection’ of clothes, a photographic series or an amalgamation of the both. The terms ‘Photographer’ or ‘Fashion Designer’ seemed a bit too restrictive to me.
You seem to use a lot of humour in your work, putting surreal images in very normal surroundings. Is that something you actively look for?
The humour aspect hasn’t been a conscious decision, but is something people have picked up on.
How often do you put a shoot together? Do you have a set process of how you go about it?
I shoot when I have the idea for a full story – I like the idea to be fully envisioned before I go ahead with it. Once I’ve worked on the idea and sourced/produced the ‘clothes’, I aim to shoot straight away. Previously I’ve shot 3 times in one week and then not again for a month or so. I’ve got a photo-diary on my website which is a stream of photographs I take on a daily basis, documenting the visually interesting and the visually banal.
How did it feel to win the Photography Award at Graduate Fashion Week? Has it helped you gain more attention?
It was great to win the Fashion Photography Award at Graduate Fashion Week. It was the first year they had run this award and the talent of the shortlisted graduates was extremely high – I wasn’t expecting to win at all. It has helped me reach a wider audience and the feedback has been really positive.
If you had to suggest one other artist we should check out, then who would that be?
My friend Charlie O’Byrne (the guy responsible for the fry-up shirt in my pictures) is doing some interesting things with print right now. Check him out.
Finally, how likely is it that you could slip a Raccoon face mask into your next shoot? We’re just curious.
It’s not un-likely. I’ve used a plastic vagina as a face mask before, I’m sure I could easily implement a Raccoon.
More information on Dean Stephen Davies and his work can be found below: