Stephen McMennamy is a creative director from Atlanta whose work often encompasses visual tricks that play with scale, everyday objects and food.
Besides his ultra colorful, witty, and visually curious Instagram account, he’s also the master mind behind work like AT&T’s riffing kids campaign and new Milana Vayntrub work. If there is any doubt left about the creative brainpower of this artist, it’s good to note that he shoots all his images and every composition comes from his take on what’s happening socially or just plain wit.
I could see something that catches my eye and it will inspire/challenge me to combine something interesting with that thing. It’s a game for me. A mental exercise.
How do you work with your images?
Initially I was shooting and editing everything on my iPhone, but people started to express an interest in buying images or suggesting making a book. Once that happened I decided I needed to improve my edits and the overall quality of the images. Right now I’m shooting on a Sony A6000 and editing the high-res images in photoshop (unless I need aerial shots, then I use a Phantom Vision+ drone).
What are your favorite elements to use in your art?
Food tends to surface a lot in my images. So food seems like a logical answer, but really I like working with anything different or unique. It’s always an experiment and I feel like I’m always trying something new. I started working with liquids a lot recently (paint more specifically), that’s been a lot of fun. Also, I like to incorporate my kids when I can.
What inspires you when you pair images?
The world that surrounds me is pretty inspirational. Truly, since starting this, I just look at everything differently. I could see something that catches my eye and it will inspire/challenge me to combine something interesting with that thing. It’s a game for me. A mental exercise.
What message are you trying to convey through your collages?
The ordinary objects that surround us are a lot more interesting if we look at them a little differently. A handful of my food images have a bit of a message about our excessive food consumption (at least that’s the case in the U.S.). But generally speaking, they’re just supposed to be fun and entertaining to the eye.
Do you see social media as a tool to inspire or the other way around?
I definitely see it as both. It’s very much a give and take. I was 100% inspired by so many talented minds that I was exposed to on Instagram. A lot of those artists made me think and ultimately led me to the combo photo series. But I’ve also learned from my followers that I’ve inspired some of them to try their hand at doing their own combo photos, which I love. A while back, I heard from an art teacher that challenged her class to create their own combo photos, which was a tremendous compliment that someone thought my work was worthy of even being discussed in an art class. I get a lot of positive comments form followers and that’s highly inspirational as well.