Roberto Cuevas, known as iamcued, is an 18 year old photographer, musician and visual artist based out of Blacksburg, Virginia. He creates amazing 3D imagery using only an iPhone 5s.
The following is an interview with Roberto Cuevas where he discusses about creativity, innovation, smartphone technology, visual artworks, and his inspiration. The interview has been edited for brevity.
Niaz: Thank you, Roberto, for taking the time to join us at eTalks. We are thrilled to have you.
Roberto: Thank you so much for having me! I’m excited to share.
Niaz: You have an extensive background in music, DJ work, and visual art. You have been bringing creativity and art works to a different level. For the people who don’t know about you, can you start with telling us a little bit about yourself?
Roberto: I’m an 18 year-old content creator from Atlanta, Georgia currently based in Blacksburg, Virginia. I enjoy exploring new concepts, visualizing new ideas, and pushing forward to be an innovator in various creative fields. And every now and then, I enter alternate realities.
Niaz: What’s Cued Media? How are you involved with Cued Media?
Roberto: Cued Media is the corporate title of my independently-run freelance establishment. Simply put, it’s an avenue for me to channel different styles and generate various forms of content. Everywhere else, people know me as @iamcued.
Niaz: How do you define the terms creativity and imagination?
Roberto: I think they both are relatively synonymous, directly related to the idea of innovation. Those moments when one fuses commonly known ideas with experimental notions on the verge of creating the new. It’s not something that you can really learn or study, but it can hit you when you least expect it. Sometimes you may even plan on it, but you still won’t be prepared for where creativity may take you. And that’s where the adventure kicks in.
Niaz: The late Steve Jobs once talked about connecting the dots. How do you actually connect music, photography, and design to create amazing art works?
Roberto: They balance each other out well, in some cases. In other cases, I find myself putting one thing down and picking up another, and then switching those roles as time goes on.
Niaz: How beneficial is it to have different sets of skills and backgrounds?
Roberto: It’s really useful, as it provides many chances for me to alter my perspective in the process of making material in any creative field. Whether learning a new thing about music while making a photo composite, or learning how to capture source imagery more efficiently while editing a video, there’s a lot to learn from cross-processing among multiple mediums.
Niaz: The thing that fascinates me most about your work is the use of the smart phone. Professional designers and photographers have been investing thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, computers, and processing softwares, but you have been doing remarkable things by using smart phones. Can you tell us about the uses of cutting edge smart phone technology in creating your art?
Roberto: It is definitely something I’ve put a lot of work into. Creating scenes with my phone has provided many challenges for me to learn more about making visual material. With the convenience and accessibility of my phone, it is so close to being my photographic eye, allowing me to capture so much on the fly. It’s provided solid opportunities for me to switch it up and try new stuff.
Niaz: Over time you have developed a unique concept for your art works. How did you end up with this 3D imagery concept?
Roberto: In my visual portfolio, there is a progression from posterized graphic material to photo hyperrealism. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up with my current style, but I think it stemmed from my interest in exploring the magic in everyday life. I found myself visualizing concepts based around things that we see from a distance but might not get to experience up close on a normal basis. The atmosphere, outer space, other worlds, and magical fantasy settings instantly became my backdrop, and I have been having so much fun with it all.
Niaz: Sometimes it is very hard for photographers to stick to one concept, but you bring an enormous amount of diversity to your concept and push yourself constantly to make great art. What’s your source of inspiration?
Roberto: It’s a big challenge to be simultaneously consistent and diverse. I particularly enjoy looking to old concepts, stories, films, books, and other content for inspiration. It’s always fun to reimagine old ideas and create something new. The occasional trips to other worlds helps, too.
Niaz: It appears to be a complex process from building the idea to finding the location to making the composition to doing the final processing. Will you please describe the process of making these arts?
Roberto: It usually starts with a crazy idea of something I want to try, and then I go out and look for a location that can accommodate the concept. While shooting, I play around with various angles and orientations to capture the source material. Then I move on to the editing stage, bringing the image to a new level. The process is immediately followed by an exclamatory “woo boost!” upon finishing the artwork.
Niaz: Which tools do you use for post productions (hardware, software … )?
Roberto: For Instagram, I shoot with my iPhone 5S and edit with iPhone apps like ArtStudio, Matter, and VSCO Cam.
Niaz: When did you join Instagram? Why have you chosen Instagram as a platform for sharing your art?
Roberto: Over the past year, it’s been incredible to engage with so many creative individuals through Instagram. I joined several years ago, but I didn’t start actively creating stylistic work until last year. The community surrounding Instagram is incredibly connective and inspirational. It’s so awesome to instantly immerse yourself in visual content, and then turn right around to share content of your own. With this, it’s so fun to connect with others and learn collectively.
Niaz: What are your favorite hashtags on Instagram?
Roberto: #socality #STUNTitFORtheGRAM
Niaz: Would you list some of your favorite Instagrammers?
Roberto: @huseyintaskin is my biggest inspiration on Instagram, as he’s a massive influence on my work.
Niaz: You have built an amazing community on Instagram. What are your tips for someone who is just starting out?
Roberto: Engage with people. Build a community. Give people a voice, and share your own! Be sure to have fun, and remember to woo boost!
Niaz: What does photography mean to you now?
Roberto: It is something that fuels my passion to explore and embark on new adventures, all being opportunities that I’m beyond grateful to have.
Niaz: What is the one most important lesson that you have learned since you started creating these arts?
Roberto: That’s a hard one. One of the most important has been to always keep it fresh and never be afraid to try new things.
Niaz: If you were advising a young artist today, what would your words of wisdom be?
Roberto: Something I’m still learning is that I’m still learning. And learning..and learning! It’s always good to remember that there’s more to learn and discover. Sharing your unique creativity with the world can be scary. But never let that stop you from pushing forward and doing what you love. Be sure to encourage others along the way, too.
Niaz: Where do people find you to know more about your and your works (Website, Facebook, Twitter …..)?
Niaz: What is your vision for your art works as well as for Cued Media?
Roberto: To change the game, be an innovator, and create to inspire.
Niaz: Any last comment?
Roberto: If you’d like to see more about what I do, check out my livestreams on the Periscope app, available for free on iPhone and Android. Follow me there to see free tutorials, live art sessions, giveaways, and more. Because awesome.
Niaz: Roberto, thank you so much for sharing with us your incredible ideas. We are wishing you very good luck for all of your upcoming great endeavors.
Roberto: It has been my pleasure! Cheers, & woo boost!
Editor’s Note: You can follow Roberto on Instagram at @iamcued. The interview has been conducted by Niaz. He is the founder and curator of eTalks. You can follow him on Instagram at @neohumanity. And I am Ava Madigan at @lavatl
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