I recently had the chance to interview the photographer of the original photo used on the cover of FLUTTER. Her name is Colleen Truskey, and not only is she a truly talented photographer and an inspiration to the idea of "story telling," she is also a high school student!
Colleen was contacted through her DeviantArt page (http://iiha.deviantart.com/) by the Random House design department, and her photo, originally titled The Sybil, became the cover for FLUTTER. Her photo captures the essence of the main character Emery on one of her loops (Yes, you will know what this means soon!). You can feel that this gorgeous photo tells a story. And don't you just want to know what that story is? Thank you, Colleen, for capturing a magical moment, as well as agreeing to come on the blog!
Isn't it cool to see the before and after versions?
Colleen was gracious enough to supply a few more of her brilliant photos, as well as answer some of my questions below!
Can you explain why you are interested in photography?
Photography is simply a wonderful medium to work with! So much can be said in a single motion of the eyes, a slump of the shoulders, the expanding chest from a deep, filling breath. Photography can seize these moments and, beautifully captured, they truly can tell a story. The best part is that the story doesn’t even have to be the “correct” story. Done right, a photograph can capture a moment that everyone can relate to in some way, thereby connecting everyone who has seen the photograph. It’s a pretty powerful experience, and it’s even better to have the ability to make those experiences.
Do you have any other creative pursuits?
Yes! I’m big into painting and drawing, and love to write. I only wish I had time to give all of my hobbies the attention they deserve!
What do you hope to study in college?
That’s a tough one. It seems that the closer I get to leaving high school, the farther away I get from having any real idea of what I want to do in college. I’ve always been envious of the kids who’ve known exactly what they wanted to do – whether it was go into medicine or journalism or what have you – since they were seven. It’d make things so much easier! As much as I wish I did, I really don’t have a definite plan. Anthropology, education, international studies, forensics – the doors are wide open.
What kind of career do you hope to have? And how do you plan to get there?
Well, since I really don’t know what I want for a major, a possible career is an even vaguer prospect. I know what I ultimately want from my career, but not necessarily what I want for my career. I know I want to be fulfilled and end the work day feeling like I’ve done something good that I can be proud of. I want something that gives me the opportunity and ability to meet new people who I can learn more from and have new experiences that broaden my perspective. I guess that, when it all comes down to it, I’m going to have to discover this mystery calling and career and then dedicate myself to making it my own.
Do you have advice for other young people that are striving toward creative careers, or just enjoy creative hobbies?
Based on my answers to the previous two questions, I’m not entirely sure if I’m qualified to answer this one! Personally, my creative pursuits will always be hobbies for me. They’re something I enjoy immensely and can’t imagine going without, but I have different plans than turning them into a career. However, just because they’re hobbies doesn’t mean they require any less effort. The best part of a creative hobby – or a career, for that matter – is seeing the finished project all polished and shined and being able to say “I made that!” Reaching that point is no walk in the park, though; it’s time consuming, often frustrating, and requires a lot of dedication. A lot of dedication. So I guess my only advice for others who enjoy the creative process in any form is just to stick with it. If you really want it, you’ll have to make the time for it and work at it, which I know is far easier said than done.
What kind of books do you read? What are some of your favorites?
I read more historical fiction than anything else, but that doesn’t mean I don’t stray into other genres quite often. Picking favorites is difficult, but if I had to choose I’d probably give the following (in no particular order):
-Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
-The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (Pretty much anything by Kingsolver, actually)
-Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
-The Winter King – Bernard Cornwell
-American Woman – R. Garcia Y Robertson
In reading the description of FLUTTER, are you excited to see how your photo fits into the story?
Oh yes, I’m thrilled! I always love seeing how people interpret my work, and can’t wait to read the book and see just how my photograph will be connected to the story.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
I can try...Thoughtful, Empathetic, & Eclectic!
Thank you, Colleen, for taking the time to talk with us about your gorgeous photo, as well as what it means to pursue creative work. You are truly an inspiration to all young adults -- and everyone -- out there!
And to my readers, if you would like to see more of Colleen's work, like the wonderful photo below, you can go to her DeviantArt page at http://iiha.deviantart.com/ .