Simply stated, Now On View celebrates and showcases the artists of Society6 and their work. Get to know them—and then get lost in their gallery.
As a way of introducing yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Diane Villadsen, and I’m a creative commercial photographer, meaning I am commissioned by companies to create artistic imagery. My work lives in a candy-coated world and features femininity, geometry and sunshine.
Current city: San Jose, CA
How did you make these?
Every time I set out to do a shoot, it usually starts with color. I define a color palette and work from there to conceptualize the shoot. Every aspect of what will appear in front of the camera is considered—from location, to lighting, to wardrobe, to props. I leave very few things to chance, while allowing myself just enough room to get inspired to try out something unexpected in the moment. As my standards for minimalism/cleanliness get stricter, I find myself spending more and more hours post-processing the images, cleaning up little specks of dirt or dust and other distractions, or filling in edges beyond a backdrop.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Found color palettes, San Francisco buildings, architecture, song lyrics, sculptures, paintings, other photographers… Anything, really. The best weird example I have of this: recently, I did an entire shoot inspired by a bandage. I specifically designed multiple sets based on the pattern and colors of Welly bandages. So, if I can get inspired by a bandage, I really am capable of being motivated by anything.
What is the best advice you’ve gotten as an artist or the most important thing you’ve learned?
I think the piece of advice that sticks with me the most is the essence of the quote by Ira Glass on “taste.” He basically says that the reason any artist gets into art in the first place is because they have great taste. They know what art they want to make and what they aspire to. But there’s a gap between where you start and where you want to end up, and it can be difficult to patiently wait out the years while refining your craft and experimenting to find your style. For me, I remember those years, and they weren’t long ago. I remember wanting to be like “X” photographer or have “Y” set of images in my portfolio, yearning for that feeling of success as an artist. And though I still sometimes feel that yearning, I do feel successful in how far I’ve come from where I first started. The simplest way to close that gap is to just keep creating—as often as possible. I would sometimes shoot at least once a week when I was starting out. And the more you practice, the faster you’ll grow.