interview by Britta Burger
When did you go to LA?
The first time I went was to do internship for Cobrasnake, it was during my second year at uni. I went for a month and a half taking pictures every day, meeting people, going to shows. The second time I went was right after I finished school in the summer for about two months.
How would you explain what Cobrasnake to people who haven't heard of it?
Cobrasnake is a cool website started by Mark Hunter as the first party photos website ever in LA. They were actually called Polaroid something before, but had to change the name because they got sued. At the time when I joined their team, they also had a vintage store in LA and a very popular Cobrasnake online store, selling stuff that was hand picked by the team, exclusive vintage items, found during crazy weekly thrifting trips. It's kind of crazy, this photo came up on my dashboard, I took it for Cobra, it has more than 66,000 notes.
Ha cool! What else did you do for them?
Well I mainly did shoots, like scouting a girl, getting a bag of stuff and just driving out somewhere to shoot. I also worked in the store, went thrifting together with the team, went to loads of shows and parties, one time I took a ride in Peaches Geldof's car when she lived there. It was just so fun.
Funny, what was Peaches like?
Didn't get to talk to her much, she gave us a ride. She seems like a cool girl, I don't think she was in the best place back then, heard she's got a family now, that's cool.
Did you skate out there?
Oh yeah, it's so nice to skate in LA because they have those slides at the end of every pavement so even if you are not very good you just never have to stop. Heat is a killer though. One time I just skated from Hollywood Blvd to my friends, all the way down La Brea, I managed to sprain my ankle and got prescribed vicodin.
Oh no!! Did you know anyone there before you went?
I didn't the first time I went, I'd only met Mark in London once. But I got to meet so many cool people, I still have friends out there I miss so much.
How did you meet Mark in London?
Oh because of Moni, Mark saw some pictures of me on her site and thought I was cool, so I met him and asked if can intern for him. It's kind of funny because I remember chilling with them instead of being at my degree show.
Haha, so you didn't go to your own degree show?
Yeah, I don't know, I felt disappointed in the whole university experience right at the beginning, just always thought there's real life out there and if I want to make anything happen school is not gonna help. I mean maybe it's just me.
How is the lifestyle different from London?
It's like everyone is really chilled out and quite slow and people don't ask too many questions. Very cool.
What are the places to go in LA?
Places um... It's a bit tricky because I always had friends take me around. Well Silverlake is a really cool area, it's very arty, cool cafes and stuff. In Hollywood, my friends have a store on the Blvd, called Freak City, they got cool merch and they're sweet lil Gs, Melrose is good for shopping. Otherwise my best places are Goodwill store for thrifting, In and Out and Taco Bell, yum! There's also a lot of art shows going on in Venice, and parties. Malibu Beach is really nice, take a ride to the hills, there's also this really weird lake with mammoths sticking out, kind of fun to see. Don't know, the best thing is to go out there and just meet people, everyone is really friendly.
You did an exhibition in LA too, didn't you?
Yeah, I did it in Freak City, they have three floors, on the ground floor there's the store, the first floor is like their studio and the third is a gallery space. It was really fun, my friends played a gig before. I set up a bunch of prints and a projection.
Cool! Do you think a lot of your work is quite LA inspired?
I mean I guess in a way maybe, it's just got such a free youthful spirit about it. I think it depends where I'm at really because some pictures look really like Russia, some like LA and I shoot a lot in London too.