Miami Vice: A Q&A with Franklin Mendez

The internet is the last wild frontier. In the depths of the 'sad girls' Tumblr pages and your mom's Facebook posts, you never know what you'll encounter. But even through the clutter of mediocre images and supposedly admirable people, I've found yet another true gem. Franklin Mendez isn't your favorite Instagram photographer, because he isn't just an Instagram photographer.  With photos that capture feelings instead of measurable aesthetics he's someone who's work to admire, and more importantly someone who I'm excited to watch grow. Listen in.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how do you want to be seen or perceived as an individual?

I'm just another person. I'm on the same journey of life everybody else is on. I just want to be happy. I don't care what people think or say about me because people will think or say what they want about me regardless. They don't know me, they just know an @ name and some tweets. People's perception of me are going to be false until they sit down and connect with me.

 What inspires you to take photos and film?

I think I'm inspired to take photos and film because I need to express myself and I chose photography. I've been experimenting with a camera since I was 14 but I recently found a new love for it. The pictures I shot 10 months ago hold so much more meaning to me now because all the memories I try to access and cope with are literally in these pictures. I love that those moments were captured forever and there will be new moments for me to capture.


Do you have certain subjects you prefer to shoot (since you have such a wide range from still lives of flowers, to rappers at shows)?

I don't have a preference on the type of subject I shoot, as long as the moment is perfect.

Having never been to Miami I don’t know nearly enough about the culture or atmosphere, is there anything specific you really love about the area or perhaps would be content without?

I grew up right on the beach and I hate it. But if you grew up somewhere in the middle of the woods and never got to experience a city like the one I live in, this place is probably beautiful. I'd be content if people learned how to drop their egos for a second, but that sounds egotistical in itself. 

Where you surrounded by ‘creative’ individuals growing up, or is your foray into art something that grew more personally?  

My family isn't really into art, I first found my love for art through music. Through the Internet and being a curious 14 year old listening to Tyler the Creator i just realized I didn't like sports and that I thought differently. I learned to appreciate art for what it was.

 In this age of Instagram and content overload, how do you separate yourself from the masses of images/creators out there?

I think what separates any person from another is what you know and what you do with that knowledge. It's hard to stand out on social media because we all put up this image of ourselves that is what we want people to see us as and it's just ego. I'm just making sure I'm as honest as I can be when presenting myself online.

Who has been your favorite person or group of people to work with so far?

Working with brockhampton thought me a lot about my craft and myself. I learned so much about work ethic and how to create an image. I know now that I can only create a moment in the moment. and I spent a lot of time not living in the moment. I enjoy working with people I can learn from and who enjoy working with me, that just makes me happy that somebody would like to create a feeling with me. The 1234 family is nothing but love, those people have inspired me to love myself in ways I couldn't before. They really make me feel like I'm apart of a family and it's through our mutual love for art. I don't have a preference over anybody I've worked with because I just feel like people are in my life for a reason and I need to make the most out of it while I can.

On a more I guess imaginative note, what would be your ideal day? Perhaps where you would go or who you would share it with.

An ideal day would be waking up in my house in LA, with a puppy and a person to share life with. a little bit of money in my pocket and no worries in the world.

What’s next?      

2016 I'm going to show everyone who I really am. I'm moving to LA in January. Makeout is starting. I'm really excited to show people what that's all about. The zines are coming soon and I'm super hyped on finally being able to show people what I've been working on. Kleber Jones & I have a radio show on dash radio if all goes well, and that is just another journey I'm really excited about. I'm also gonna learn how to love in 2016. I look forward to experiencing life a little more.


p.s. i'm on acid 

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