Interview: Sevan Ichkhanian
What made you want to take photography?
I’ve always liked taking photos. I remember in elementary school I would always be the one with the camera, always be the one taking photos at recess and bringing a camera to parties, making all the Facebook albums and editing everyone’s profile pictures. I think something small like that stemmed into what I’m doing now. I really like the idea of capturing moments, I always want to remember everything, and when I tell a story I want to have a visual beside it. I think that’s the main reason I like pictures so much – because you don’t need to have words in order to tell a story. And you can create something beautiful and let other people experience how you felt in that moment without them being physically present there.
How do you like school so far? Do you think it's absolutely necessary to go to school or not?
I don’t think it’s necessary to go to school, but I think that it’s important to me that I went to OCAD specifically. I feel like before art school, since my high school prior to OCAD wasn’t an art school I didn’t know any of the stuff that I do now. Coming into OCAD I really developed myself as an artist but also as an individual. And I feel like for me it was necessary because I wouldn’t have been able to learn and produce the work I do if I wasn’t in this institution.
Film or digital?
I guess it depends on what I’m shooting. I’d prefer to shoot all film but I’m still learning, so a little bit of both.
What was your first camera?
I can’t remember what it was exactly but it was an Olympus, and it was a shockproof and waterproof one. It was so sick.
Do you think it's important to have a good social media presence to become a successful photographer?
Yes and no. Right now I would say it’s important to have at least some sort of following, because right now everything is just so digitized and internet culture is really growing compared to, say, print media. It’s accessible and easy for people to see your work, and I think it’s the easiest way to get noticed.
What are you watching on Netflix? Do you sleep with the TV on or off?
I’m watching gossip girl. And yeah, I usually sleep with it on.
What are you listening to right now?
The gossip girl soundtrack. They have really great songs I promise!
If somebody gave you a million dollars right now, what would you do with it?
I’d go shopping. I’d blow all of my money on film. I’d buy so many polaroids, I’d buy a studio. I’d honestly just waste my money on photo stuff.
Favourite colour palette at the moment?
Oh, definitely reds and yellows and pinks. Warm colours.
Are there specific photographers that you look up to? If so, can you talk about how they inspire your work?
Oh, definitely. Right now I’m super into Nan Goldin and Ryan McGinley. I think the reason I like their photos so much is because the pictures aren’t just pictures – they tell a story, they tell a narrative without having to have words. And I feel things looking at them without having to know exactly what’s going on. The way they photograph people is so honest.
What are you most excited about these days? Any projects that we can look forward to?
My thesis! Super excited for that. I’ve been working with a group of eight women over the past six or so months, and it’s been really empowering to see these women come together and create this community, because none of them knew each other before I started shooting them. And the fact that I’ve been able to create this is really something big, because I didn’t think I was capable of creating anything like that. I’m really excited to see where this is going to go.
Where can we follow you and see more of your work?
I have a website (http://sevanichkhanian.format.com/) for my work and also my insta - @sevanichkhanian.