If you have spent some time perusing photography pages on Instagram, there is a good chance that you have been introduced to the reality defying works of Justin Main A.K.A Photified.
By using Photoshop in conjunction with his knowledge of photography, Justin has been able to concoct some mind-bending imagery.
This interesting brand of illusionism has earned him a healthy following on social media and expedited his artistic rise.
The metaphysical underpinnings present in some of his pieces make for some insightful rumination and pleasant viewings.
In regards to why he continues to produce these pieces and seek out opportunities to create he stated that:
"I find my images speak louder than my voice. That compels me to push myself as far as I can go. I really feel like I can change the world around me in a good way through my art."
With pieces this intriguing, it only made sense that i'd get in touch with him and ask a few questions about his life and work.
Prox: For starters, where did you grow up and what was your relationship with art in your earlier years?
Justin: I grew up in a small town called Alcona, Ontario. I was always into drawing and painting. I started photoshopping in high school. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of sending a message or having a narrative within my art.
Prox: From an aesthetic and cultural standpoint, what do you think Toronto offers artists and travelers that can help them with their craft?
Justin: There are people from all around the world living and creating a thriving art scene in Toronto. It is inspiring to see all the talent in the city, people can really be themselves and be accepted here.
Prox: What do you seek to capture with your shots? Is there an overarching theme to your work?
Justin: I want to provoke a reaction to the viewers of my work. Whether it’s engaging, perplexed, confused, or excited. If I made someone double take at one of my images, I've reached my goal. I use camera tricks, perspective tricks, Photoshop and editing techniques to create illusions.
Prox: Is there something that art offers you that you can’t find in any other activities? What compels you to continue shooting and creating?
Justin: I find my images speak louder than my voice. That compels me to push myself as far as I can go. I really feel like I can change the world around me in a good way through my art.
Prox: How do you approach your work? Do you spend a lot of time ruminating and planning or is it second nature at this point?
Justin: I edit every day for hours. Sometimes my images take 15 minutes and some take weeks. 75% of my work doesn't see the light of day. Doing illusions is a fun challenge and some work, and some don’t! I’m always trying to innovate and expand my repertoire.
Prox: Could you describe your shooting setup for us? What are some of your go to equipment and programs?
Justin: Equipment doesn't matter for my style of editing. Of course attention to light and detail is always key. My primary setup is a Canon 5D Mark II that’s beat up with a 24-105 lens. I also shoot with my Google Pixel 2 a lot! Photoshop is my software of choice. Editing is my favorite thing to do.
Prox: Are there any artists, books, movies/TV shows or music you’d like to recommend to the readers?
Justin: I like science fiction. I wouldn't suggest anyone watch my favorite show, unless you’d want to go where no man has gone before. I like Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Prox: Any releases or projects on the way that you’d like to tell us about?
Justin: I have a collaboration with one of my photography idols about to be released. I got to work with Von Wong on a piece and I can’t wait to share it.
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Justin: Follow me on Instagram if you like digital art! @photified :D
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