• Gathering Table

Artist Spotlight: Keaton Punch

This week we are excited to highlight Keaton Punch. Keaton has a variety of creative talents, and his work first caught our attention while scrolling through Instagram one day. It was so unique that we couldn't help but connect with Keaton to learn more about the inspiration behind his work. We hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!

Q: Who are you, and what do you do? Share something fun our readers might not know about you.

A: Hello! My name is Keaton Punch, and I’m a digital artist. I’m 22 years old currently living in my hometown, Bakersfield, CA. I create surreal, eye-catching, imaginative, and magical types of photos and videos for myself and occasionally for clients. I’ve been creative for nearly my entire life, but I’ve been taking it more seriously for about 6 years. I simply love bringing my ideas to life and creating visuals that are otherwise impossible to see in the real world. I graduated Bakersfield College Spring 2017, with an Associate of Arts in Studio Arts. Before I found my passion as an artist, I thought I would end up playing golf professionally because of how well I played in high school! My mind quickly changed after taking photography and video-production classes my last 2 years of high school. Today, my career path is locked on leading a life of creativity, and I’ve never been happier!

Q: Where do you find your inspiration?

A: Curiosity is my main source of inspiration. I often start my projects by asking, “I wonder what it would look like if I tried bringing this idea to life?” I have an active imagination that sometimes exceeds my skill set, but that usually motivates me to keep trying harder and to step outside my comfort zone. It’s also very inspiring to be around other brilliant artists in town, like Jocelyn Dimaya, Amanda Shay, Joy Kamel, Jake Tovar, and HATE DRUGS. Outside of my friend group, there are some people around the world that greatly inspire me, such as Olan Rogers, Kevin Parry, Corridor Digital, Film Riot, and Jake Roper. Lastly, I’d say that watching cartoons and playing video games while growing up drove me to create unique and otherworldly content that strays away from typical beauty portraits.

Q: How did you learn to create special effects in both photography/video? Are you self taught or were you formally trained?

A: When it comes to the basics and principles on how to use cameras and edit photos and videos, I was formally trained in my classes during high school and college. However, I knew the type of work I wanted to create was way outside the boundaries of what I was taught. So, I’ve had to teach myself all the special effects I’ve been incorporating into my work the past 6 years. Tutorials online and from YouTube have been a great resource for me to learn more about the world of visual effects and camera work! These tutorials can only help me so much, though, since there isn’t a guide on every idea I can imagine. It’s all about learning the main concepts, being able to apply those to my projects, and gradually improving with each one!

Q: Have there been any recent highlights with your art that you are particularly proud of? You can also consider this in a different way and talk about a challenge you had to work through or overcome.

A: I’m very proud of how much my work has improved over the years and amazed how my life has changed just by doing what I love! I never sparked too much attention until I started working with HATE DRUGS back in 2015. They’re a local band who I create all the music videos for, and they’re my best friends! My first fan interaction happened because of them, and I eventually became well-known for creating their music videos. While this was very flattering, I thought it would be even nicer to be known for my own original work. With this in mind, I challenged myself back in October of 2017 to create a unique project every other day during that month. I ended up gaining a ton of positive feedback and support from the people who appreciated my work! This experience gave me so much confidence that I’ve never wanted to stop creating my artwork since!

Q: Where do you see your art leading you in the next 5 years? Any particular goals you are working towards?

A: My art is constantly bringing me to new people and opportunities in Bakersfield, and I think it’s just a matter of time before people from other cities want me to work with them. It’s my dream to be able to use my artistic vision to work on creative projects for other brilliant minds around the world. I can see myself making music videos for bigger bands; designing album artwork; creating commercials for well-known companies; and working on movie posters, feature films, and fine art photography. It’s my goal to stay on the path that’ll bring me the most enjoyable experience, rather than the most money.

Q: Is there anything else you think would be helpful for creatives or entrepreneurs to know while building their business and pursuing their passion?

A: Stop waiting around for the perfect idea or concept. Start creating any little ideas that come to mind because that's usually when you'll think of something great to do later on! Sometimes, we compare our own work to other peoples’ and end up feeling bad. Instead, try comparing your current work to your past work, and be proud of how much you've grown and improved! Focus on making decisions that bring you the most joy, and stop doing things just for money or because it’s trendy. It’s your life, so you should be taking the steps that will lead you to the most satisfying experience. Lastly, just be kind, supportive, and respectful to the people in your life!

Check out the following link to view one of Keaton's films:


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