Artist of the Month - Connor S. Thompson
As a person on the autism spectrum, I am a very concrete thinker. I am very literal rather than conceptual. I think this is why I focus on photographing birds and animals. It’s easy to create beautiful compositions with nature. A beautiful bird in a pretty tree is instantly appealing and recognizable to everyone’s eye. You can’t go wrong with capturing nature and the beauty that surrounds us! I enjoy looking at life through my “spectrum inspired” lens.
What is Art for you?
For me, art is finding and capturing the beauty in nature that is all around us. I enjoy sharing my “spectrum inspired” view of the world with others.
What are you currently working on?
I’m always taking pictures of birds and critters.
What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
I am a young adult with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. I attend a music and arts themed day program where I study voice, piano and ukulele and photography, in addition to life skills. I’d say having a disability and trouble relating to people has given me an affinity for nature and animals. I don’t have to struggle to communicate with birds. I can just simply admire their beauty and find comfort being alone in nature.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere outdoors! Swamps, marshes, beaches, forests — anywhere there are birds and critters!
What is your creative process?
I look for birds doing interesting things, like preening, hunting and flight shots. I love capturing reflections and close ups of my animal friends.
I started out photographing still life (musical instruments) and architectural details. I gradually expanded to photographing the natural world. When Covid happened and everything shut down, I found myself with no where to go but outdoors. This is when I discovered the joy of bird and wildlife photography. I’ve learned so much about the many varieties and habits of birds, and there’s still so much to learn!
What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
Because I don’t drive, the most challenging part about creating my artworks is traveling to places where I can find new birds and wildlife subjects.