We had the good fortune of connecting with Cynthia Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cynthia, if you had a million dollars to invest right now, how would you use that capital?
If I had a million dollars, I’d create a non profit for creative people and meditation practitioners. There is an ultimately divine connection between being still and creative process. I create up close botanical photography….the stillness required to create is ultimately meditative and is a spiritual practice. I’d buy a building with many rooms/studios so artists could create. At the same time the energy that grows from meditation practice would inspire and emote. I’d insist that there be original art on the walls, either for sale or for viewing. Although we create mainly for ourselves, creative people need to be seen. The connection with viewers in integral to the creative process: a conversation takes place when a piece of art resonates with the viewer. There is an emotional conversation on a spiritual level. When we hold the space for ourselves, we ultimately create sacred space for others. Together we breathe each other into being. My non profit creative building would be a place where every step would lead to a deeper investigation of our creative process. The intertwining of spiritual essence and creativity is strong and necessary. Every breath, every shutter click, every paint stroke is completely divine.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
“Our stories are our tapestry, the winding form and color of all our collective circumstances. We reveal our authentic self in the images we make and share.” As a photographer, . I want to create well done, well thought out images that convey an essence. I want my viewer to harness that essence and follow it as it leads them to emotion. If you see something I’ve made and a feeling resonates in you, then we have had a successful photographic conversation. There is an action that happens when someone views an image. A series of events come together. Within that series are opinions, judgements, and frames of reference that determine how that viewer will “see” that image. The photographer can set an intention for his/her photography that will help guide the viewer to a particular emotional result. This, is the conversation about photography that happens between photographer and viewer. Without this “conversation”, the image is really just a snapshot–a captured moment in time without any “emotional text”. The physicality of photography is sometimes a challenge for me. Disabled at the age of 6 by a stroke caused by childhood Cerebral Palsy, I have significant weakness on my left side. My ability to overcome my limitations is rarely in question. Much of my photography is now a vehicle for my own personal evolution. I share that with other photographers in an effort to contribute to their evolution and opening of their creative process. I created a unique niche that includes a post-processing textured style that is added to my close up photography. The process can sometimes include layering or masking and is meant to evoke emotion from the viewer.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I haven’t lived in Arizona long, but I already can’t live without a few places. A must visit is near Page Arizona. The massive rock formations along the roads are surreal. This trip wouldn’t be complete without a jaunt to Horeshoe bend. But, before you get there, the winding road to Williams is both beautiful and nerve-wracking. The historic Rt 66 is full of character and variety. Closer to the city we will visit the Botanical gardens in Phoenix. Your camera will never get a rest as you saunter through the thousands of species. Hungry? Let’s stop at Gertrude’s for a Hibiscus refresher. Let’s watch the beautiful Arizona sky at sunset; it never fails to amaze every single night!! Still hungry? Let’s pop over to Ocotillos restaurant for an incredible meal! Want something easy? Taco Guild is beautiful and relaxed. After dark let’s drive over to the Copper Star for a tuxedo with a shot of lavender. I will probably buy some art from other artists…there’s always something great on the wall. Let’s get up early and walk in the White Tank Mountains for sunrise. Beautiful wildflowers impress and are abundant.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To all the people who believed in me and my unique vision! Thank you for standing by me. My process is one that comes from the inside; thank you for understanding it and not turning away. We create beauty together when we believe in our truth.