The Oracle

Artist of the Month: senior Alex Barthelemy

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Photo by: Wendy Qiu

The Oracle: How did you start doing photography and graphic design?
Alex Barthelemy: I taught myself by reading stuff online and talking to other people who did photography, and bounced some ideas off of [senior] Michael Underwood. I never took a photography class, but I read a lot. I took art classes when I was a little kid, and stopped at age 10 or 12. I got into photography three years ago, and from there got a camera and got all the use out of that camera, then got a newer camera.

TO: What types of things do you like taking pictures of?
AB: People. I’ve done portraits for people, but really just shooting people on their own is what I like. I walk around San Francisco and take pictures of people. I take pictures of things that catch my eye, or interesting images that seem to fit well.

TO: What made you start graphic design?
AB: I originally took Graphic Design sophomore year to get some practice in for college, because I was considering majoring in that, and thought it was a good idea to take some classes in high school. I did that for a year, and went with what the class told me.

TO: What type of design do you do?
AB: I do a lot of signs and logos. At one point, I made a design for the University of Michigan sailing team because they asked me to. Most of my logos are retro-looking. I’ve done logos for different school events. There was a contest for an online library header, and our own library wanted a logo.

TO: What’s the process of creating like?
AB: It’s nice once you come up with the idea. I’ll sit in classes and sketch out ideas around it, and when I come up with a concrete plan, I go make it. If I come up with the inspiration in the morning, such as today I started the poster for the Spring Fling and I’m already halfway done, I can get through it pretty quickly. I made the Link Crew shirts. I made other designs that I liked a lot more, but more people liked the Nemo design. I’ve made the track T-shirts for the past three years.

TO: How did you start doing One-Photo-A-Day?
AB: I saw this blog online where a guy took a Polaroid photo everyday for 19 years until the day he died, and I was inspired to do the same thing.

TO: Why did you decide to start One-Photo-A-Day?
AB: I enjoy documenting my day-to-day experience and I think it could be something great to look back upon, as well as the fact that just taking pictures often will help photo technique among other things.

TO: How do you go about choosing the picture?
AB: Usually through the course of my day at least one thing will catch my eye, but most days I take several photos, an average of 30 or so. Ultimately it boils down to the one that I like best. Sometimes, it’s pretty difficult choosing one or the other, but a lot of the times it ends with either a heads or a tails because I am incredibly indecisive.

TO: Is this something you want to do later on?
AB: I’m thinking of either majoring in graphic design or in photography. At the University of Southern California, there’s a lot of internships with big companies, which is an easy way to get a foot in the door, and I might go get a job with ABC or Apple.

—Compiled by Elsa Chu

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Artist of the Month: senior Alex Barthelemy