Hello Dear Jade Butay. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is how the “Covid-19” affects your art?

Quarantine has been a difficult adjustment. I’m sure everyone can tell you ways they’ve had their lives uprooted by Covid-19. I think my art became my escape. It’s always been a sort of sanctuary away from difficult times; but with Covid I went from working non-stop, shuffling between full time jobs and my art to sitting at home with nothing. It was a very long period of time where I had no distractions. I had to really sit down and come to terms with who I was and what I wanted my art to be. I think it really gave me a chance to explore new directions with my art.

What equipment is a must-have for you no matter where you are going to be working?

So I still use my Nikon D5300, it’s older but I find that it’s my good luck charm. I literally do not take pictures without it. I have also never successfully used a portrait lens for my artwork (despite a thousand attempts). My only lens for my work is a 35mm which means I have a lot of time fixing distortions some days. But it’s worth it. I have a lot more room when I shoot with a 35 so I can frame my scene and adjust as needed.

What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?

So I have two main influences with my artwork. The indisputably talented Brooke Shaden. She is an incredible fine art photographer. She is also actually one of the artists that influenced me to start taking pictures in the first place. Her art and how she uses it as a reflection of how she sees the world blows my mind. I had never seen fine art photography before her or knew that composition work could be created. I’m so lucky to have met and spoken with her about my artwork. The other artist I really admire is Gregory Crewdson. His pieces are so cinematic in nature that I found myself very drawn to the way he could tell an entire story within one image. I love his use of lighting especially, it’s very dramatic, everything is so intentionally placed.

What drives your choice of subject matter?

Honestly? I think it’s a lack of resources in the beginning. I didn’t have many friends who were interested in being photographed and I definitely didn’t yet understand how to approach models so I found it easiest to take my own picture. I knew exactly what I wanted for the image so it made things easier. Turning those self portraits into fantasy came from the concept of daydreaming to escape reality. I had always loved the way you could create anything within your own mind if you tried hard enough. I wanted to be able to recreate that energy with my camera.

Can you give us a spoiler on what’s coming next for Jade Butay?

That’s a good question. I’m still kind of figuring that out myself. I spent my quarantine opening so many different projects that I’m having a tricky time finishing them all. I’d say what’s next immediately would be my new series, “Beautiful Liar.” This is a series I have been working very hard on since the beginning of 2020 and I’m just now finally getting done with it so I would say to expect that very soon.