The photographer and his muse: NY artist Travis Matthews (@a_kid_named_trav) photographs this beautiful series with FIT student Brea Pipkins (@littlebreathatcould). We chat with the two of them about their friendship and creative process.
Can you each introduce yourself and tell us a little more about who you are and what you do, where you are from, etc?
BP: I am a full time student at FIT. I am a stylist from GA who currently lives in Brooklyn.
TM: I was born in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. I’m a photographer based in Harlem, NYC. Inspired by any and everything.
What projects are holding the main focus for you right now?
BP: We are working on separate projects. He is working on a project that I can't speak on. I am working on a project featuring primary colors.
TM: I have a project called "Long Lost Sistas," where I get two girls that look alike or have similar features, then I come up with a concept and shoot it. I will be having an exhibit for it.
Can you describe how you met one another?
BP: I met the kid on Instagram. I went thrifting earlier that day and I wanted a photographer to be able to capture the look that I had sketched out. I took a picture of the jersey and posted it on Instagram asking for any available photographer to reach out to me. Guess who reached out to me first? A kid named Trav. We met for the first time in person in Times Square. The first photoshoot took place in China Town.
TM: Brea posted a picture saying she had a dope outfit to shooting...and who wants to shoot it. I commented "Me!" and then slid in her DM...
What was your first impression of the other?
BP: His skin is perfect! I thought to myself, "wow, I wonder what skin products he uses." I asked later on. He only uses water and vaseline. We instantly clicked. I felt like we were long lost friends who had finally crossed paths again. There was definitely a vibe. We didn't have to force it.
TM: My first impression of her was that she was dope, different, and unique. That is what attracted me to her the most. Can't forget BEAUTIFUL!
What is your favorite quality about the other?
BP: I love that Travis knows how to improvise. He has a studio now but I remember when he took pictures inside of his apartment and used random objects to create art. It's inspiring to watch someone make something out of nothing.
TM: My favorite quality is her drive. She's always on the go, nonstop from school to work, to occasionally styling a shoot. That motivates me to always be progressive in anyway I can.
Great collaborators bring out the best in the other person; can you talk about the ways this may be true for you? Can you describe more about your creative relationship with one another?
BP: Travis helps me to be creative. He is a creative person and because he has that characteristic my ideas make sense to him and he is able to add to it. He is patient so at times when i'm styling and it becomes hectic he is there to remind me to be patient.
TM: Our creative relationship is weird, we clash heads a lot...and it always comes out dope. I always wished for a girlfriend that I can create with to inspire the world together.
What artists, creatives, or individuals most inspire you?
BP: I am inspired by Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Jcole, Solange, and Kanye West
TM: My mom, Brea, @nadineijewere, @ronanksm, and a lot of ppl from London.
Describe a dream project.
BP: It would be a dream to work with Solange.
TM: A dream project is getting all my cousins together and doing a series of concepts that ranges from genre to genre.
What are some of your goals for this year?
BP: I want to style people in different states.
TM: My goals for the year is to keep inspiring people. To better my craft, and exhibit two or three projects.