We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony DeVoney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tony, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is something I personally see as crucial to growth and success. In my own life I’ve taken risks to explore and embrace my sexuality as a gay man, since in todays society and in certain areas of the world its frowned upon, some even labeling the ”decision” as a setback or flaw. Risks are necessary. It follows over into my career as well, with almost every choice I’ve taken in the pursuit of my art. Moving to California from my home state of Louisiana at the age of 20, where I knew no-one, surviving only off of an idea of what could be. To recently quitting my full-time job and living strictly off of my savings to direct all my focus into my work, having no clue if anything will ever come of it. In my experience though, it’s the things that scare you the most that seem to have the biggest turnout. We all only have one go at this, so why not risk it, who knows what could be.
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.
Well to start, I think what I’m most proud of and rarely give myself the credit of doing, is simply the art of consistency. Though its been not that long of a road thus far, the past almost 7 years I’ve stayed steady in growth with my work and staying consistent with creating, holding my ambitions high on the focus. I’m not sure how to describe “where I am today”, because I don’t feel I’ve achieved enough to represent that idea of success or accomplishment. Looking back I think what’s been most important in my evolution is again consistency, hard work and risk. Which is not easy but I feel crucial. One big lesson I’ve learned along the way is patience. It’s so important. When I ponder on what I’d like to represent me and my story, what becomes most prevalent is where I come from and the direction I’m going. The road that’s built me plays a big part. Having come from a homophobic, drug filled, unstable childhood, I like to think I’m moving the farthest from my home life, while still appreciating my struggles and how they’ve help to form the man I am today. This all flows equally over into my work and how I tend to represent ideas and concepts in society.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend were to come into town, first on the itinerary would probably be Tacos Tu Madre, mainly because it was close to my last apartment but their food is bomb and its been a staple in my life. Next would probably be a good ol’ hike, but by the ocean. Joshua Tree or Big Sur would definitely be on the list. For drinks, somewhere on Melrose would be my first pick, Echo Park would be my second. If it was allowed, LACMA, The Broad and any other art museums would be next. Then some hangs at friends houses, movie night on a projector and some red wine. I don’t get out that much lately, so my list is stale but that’s what comes to mind first.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve always instinctually chosen my grandmother or sister when it came to questions like this, but having a moment to reflect on the past 6 years of my life, I feel the person that deserves the most credit is my previous boss and mentor, Mark Seed. He has single handily changed the course of my life and looked after me like no-one else in my world ever has. From allowing me the financial freedom with his employment to pursue my art, to giving me life advice from a gay mans perspective. Mark is someone I’ll always look up to and hold close to my heart. Thank you, Mark.
David Simon, Blake Eiermann – Photographers