JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
PAT VALADE: I wanted to be a fighter pilot when I was quite young, and I wanted to be a musician, photography came about later in life but now I couldn’t/wouldn’t want to do anything else.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
PV: Lately I have been inspired by a number of things. The resurgence of small print based publications is incredibly important, also the joy of working collaboratively with other artists. I am constantly surrounded by talented people, Noah Spivak, Mikhayla Roht, David Roth, and the work of people I look up to such as Scott Pommier, Tim Barber, Arto Saari to name a few. I’m always inspired by design, light, music and the natural environment.
JC: What are you up to right now?
PV: Currently I am planning a 10,000 KM photo/motorcycle trip for the end of the summer documenting certain issues across Canada and the US. I am also working on a collaborative project that brings photographers, filmakers, designers and local artists together which I am very excited about.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
PV: I have been lucky in that I have met a lot of encouraging professionals in my photo life so far, sometimes I find the photography community has a tendency of being a little too doomsday about the photo industry, and I’ve been lucky in my life to have met people as enthusiastic about photography as I am. I can’t thank people like Andrew Snucins and Marshal Chupa for motivating me to take photography seriously. Arni Haraldsson, Kyla Mallett, Steven Waddell and Scott Connaroe have been a huge help in beating down the ego.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
PV: I am currently based in Vancouver, BC on the west coast of Canada. The amount of creative people on the West Coast is staggering, and more and more I find myself working on projects outside of strictly photography and to me this is very exciting, I think photography is very open at this point in time, and working with people passionate about where they live and what they do is something that I love.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
PV: I think it is important for anyone to realize that in this day and age you have to create your own opportunities. The importance of photography has changed, it’s up to a new generation of artists to decide why it’s still one of the most important art forms.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
PV: My plan B is to not have a plan B therefore making plan A the only option.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
PV: One of the reasons I love photography so much is because it has allowed me to meet so many amazing and creative people, being part of a creative community is immensely important to me. Having people to bounce ideas off of, get critical feedback and having people around to inspire you everyday is why I love what I do so much.