An Interview with Lindsay of Mas Gatos

I love the way Lindsay’s photography reveals the beauty in what most others would overlook. Her appreciation of the little things in life is certainly prevalent in her work and that just makes me smile. It’s thanks to her influence that I have developed an affection for the colour turquoise, bones, and most surprisingly an appreciation for antiquated gold.

I got to ask Lindsay a few questions about her work the other day…

What inspires you?

It may seem a bit vague or too easy of an answer, but honestly, everything inspires me, the life inspires me.  I mean this in the sense that every day when I’m out and about, I see things that make me stop and take a picture, whether it’s some peeling paint, an interesting shadow or some pigeons hanging out on the roof of an abandoned building.  It’s the little things that inspire me, because I find  it is crucial for my general state of happiness to retain a sense of fascination and wonder within the day to day.  Some days it takes a lot of effort, but there is always something visually intriguing or conceptually fun to be found if you pause to look down alleys or up at windows.

Aside from photography what do you do?

Artistically speaking, while photography is my passion, I also dabble in and have much fun with printmaking, ceramics, and found object sculpture making, and am currently brainstorming ideas for an art exhibit for dogs.

On a more practical and serious level, I study art theory and history, as well as Spanish.  I also work as a custom framer at Images on Bank and am the darkroom technician for the Ottawa School of Art.

I pretend to do exercise sometimes, and I bike everywhere I can.

What’s the story behind the name Mas Gatos?

Mas gatos means “more cats” in Spanish.  It is really quite simple: I like cats. A lot.  “Cat” was actually one of the first words that I learned to spell because I wanted to put it on my Christmas list.  It was an obsession from an early age and if I end up single in my 50s, I will be that cat lady in your neighbourhood.  I already have the bag.

What are some of your favourite things?

Well, cats.  Also, dogs and all other manner of critters, trees, cheese, my “man-friend,” minimalist art, Russian film, nature documentaries (especially if they are narrated by David Attenborough), swimming outdoors, my bike and my camera.  The Dalai Lama is not necessarily a thing, but I like him too.  Quentin Tarantino and Hayao Miyazaki also, but for different reasons.

Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again?

I pretty much say everything on my mind already, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers or artists?

Just make your art!

I try to take photos every day, even if I might not be in the mood.  It keeps the artistic juices flowing, even if the images you create aren’t top quality.  Think of it as exercising your art muscles.  I facilitate this by carrying my camera with me everywhere, and I believe the most important thing to consider when getting a camera is whether you will carry it with you or not.  If not, it’s not the camera for you.

Finally, look for inspiration in unusual places and in everyday activities.  There are so many marvelously ordinary things to be found and subjected to whatever your art-making practice may be.

To see more of Lindsay’s art check out her Etsy shop: MasGatos

Or see it in person at Images On Bank downtown Ottawa

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