Dondrell Lee: “Better Me, better You… Better You, better We… “
Dondrell Lee: “Better Me, better You.. Better you, better We ” interview by Jen L.P.
Jen’s intro: Life gets hectic, and like millions of people, I use Instagram and Flickr to escape the details of my own life for a little while. Every so often, I find an artist who speaks to me in a special way. Dondrell is one of those artists. I get mesmerized by the details in his life. They are the same kinds of details as those in mine, but they’ve got his love all over them. I can feel it. His images are so raw and always beautiful.
J: Jen D: Dondrell
J: Hi, Dondrell. Thanks for letting me chat with you. I’m very drawn to your images. Your capture of light, shadow, and visceral subjects makes me pause to admire and reflect–and with the multitude of life’s distractions, that’s significant. I don’t recall how or when I found you, but I was obviously impressed. I do remember the next time I was stunned into taking notice. It was this shot here:
I paused and took it in for a long time. There is so much “story” here and though I have no idea what it is, I’m fascinated. After that, I dove in and eagerly awaited more.
Can you tell me about yourself?
D: Indeed .. I’m 26 years old, currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m a SELF taught artist that began CREATING in the year of 2010. I spend most of My time, reading, exercising, and finding ways that are new to Me to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle.
I like NATURAL things.. I tend to keep it simple, for LIFE can seem so complex.
I think about Photography day through night. With every breath inhaled and exhaled, I feel My BEing more and more. This gives Me a stronger sense of awareness. Sometimes I think of how I’ve GROWN since a child and I smile. I say to Myself, ”you’re just getting started young man”. I didn’t grow up with My father in our household, so after high school life sped up! I bumped My head a few times, in which I’m grateful for now because I’ve learned a lot.
Photography enables Me to learn more about life, others, and even Myself as well. I think that MEMORIES LIVE within photographs, and when you look back into the past, for a moment .. You live it again…
I capture whatever interests Me along My journey, while I’m homing in on My specialties. I aim to feed My gift and starve My character with hope and actions that involve doing things that are bigger than Me.
A goal I have in mind, is to work for National Geographic as a Photographer. I want to learn, I want to be humble, and I will be great.
J: Inspiring words, Dondrell. What are you using to take pictures, and what are you doing to teach yourself? And what drew you to photography in the first place?
D: I use mainly My iPhone 4s to capture, although I do have and love dearly My Canon 5D Mark ii. To teach Myself, I utilize the world wide web doing research, I speak to others who’m are also passionate about their endeavors, and most importantly I explore the outdoors. I feel that hands on experience, is the best and more thorough way for Me to learn.
What drew Me to Photography was the feeling that came to be, when I would freeze time, moments perhaps.
In high school, during Christmas one year, I remember getting a Kodak point and shoot camera with a printing dock as a random gift from My Mother. I was able to take a picture, and then connect My camera to the dock and print instantly. From then on, boredom was nonexistent.
I would capture the many shapes of clouds, blades of grass, and facial expressions of the different moods I could put My girlfriend in.
I taped the images to the steering wheel, the headliner, and the dash board of My 1984 cutlass supreme. I don’t remember what happened to that camera…
I lost focus after high school, distracted with the streets. Following the wrong crowd, trying to impress others. I’ve paid My dues. In 2010 I stumbled across a Canon Rebel xti. As of now, I promise I don’t look back . . .
I think that Art is everywhere, but if we don’t appreciate and share the Art, it won’t live and cultivate to its full potential. Better Me, better You.. Better You, better We .. Oh, how I think of how better the world can BE …
J: Amen to that! And I think you’re exactly right, Dondrell: you’re just getting started young man. The world is fortunate to have you and your art in it. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us here on WeAreJuxt.
To see more of Dondrell’s work, visit his webpage.