Friday, June 8, 2007
Michel Tcherevkoff - The Image Maker
Michel Tcherevkoff's process of creation takes his imagination in new directions as he embraces digital technology
Although digital technology frees me to do things differently, I don't necessarily find that I need to follow a 21st-century digital workflow model to achieve a given result. For example, 30 years ago I did an image with cubes for General Motors. The art director created a sophisticated advertising campaign to illustrate a very complex theory about pairing and evaluating statistical data; he knew exactly what he wanted. For the cubes, I chose the colors used by the GM scientists. The puzzle was made by a model maker and rigged in the studio using still wire and fishing lines. A good concept and clean design make a classic image. I'd do it very much the same way today. I think my ability to work effectively with digital technology grew out of my early work to find creative solutions within the confines of working with film.
In the photograph I call “Spheres of Influence,” I was working for a French company that manufactured and distributed homeopathic medicine. The client wanted to suggest the medicine's delivery process within the body. I floated spheres, and by blending the colors from blue to purple, I created movement within the frame.
From the beginning, I used shapes instinctively. It made sense to me that a smooth sphere traveling through space was whispering. I used cubes for percussive impact. Why I use one shape or effect rather than another isn't something I question. Most of the time, I don't know that I have an artistic reason I could articulate for what I do. That fact disappoints people who ask me why I do many of the things I do with shapes and colors. The style of an image doesn't always have to do with reason.
When digital really came onto the scene in the 1990s, it was a wild time. Digital gave me two gifts—more control over the final image and more possibilities to effectively collaborate with my clients. Working with a good client is like dancing with a good partner—we look better together.
Today's art director/photo editor is computer-savvy. He or she often comes to the studio with the expectation of leaving with a finished file. None of us has the luxury today of taking a breath to reevaluate our images the following morning. Sometimes, it seems we're all eating our way through a creative feast at a fast-food counter. Seeing results in a quarter of a second can make the creative process frenetic, but if I had to choose between film and digital, I'd choose digital—ultimately, it gives me so much more creative latitude than film. We find ourselves with infinite possibilities to explore and identify in microseconds.
My ideal workflow? To make my images digitally and evaluate them over a nice lunch. In truth, digital makes my days interesting and the quality of my life better, which, of course, is good for the work. I wouldn't change a thing...for now.
To see more of Michel Tcherevkoff's photography, visit www.tcherevkoff.com.
Page 3 of 3