We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Vurnbrand and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diana, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up I was quiet and introverted. Silence gave me the mental space to observe the world. I imagined stories about people I saw through car windows. My passion for photography began when I realized I could capture these stories with a camera. Also a dear uncle gave me his antique photo enlarger. I would wait for my siblings to fall asleep so I could use our shared bathroom as a dark room. The magic began then. One by one the characters from my city, captured earlier in Kodak film, started to appear. Later in life, when it was time for me to choose a career, I didn’t think twice, I chose Photography.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art has changed a lot during the years. I used to see myself as an urban photographer. When we moved to Miami in 2012, my art became eclectic. I rented a studio, and spent many hours experimenting with different media. I love working with resin now. It allows my work to be tridimensional. It really does not matter what media I end up using, it is always about expressing my feelings, my nostalgia, and my dreams. Following an artistic career is never easy, it is filled with ups and downs, and moments you want to quit. I learned not to please everybody. Only then, you can create the most beautiful art. In the words of Ellen Degeneres: “Follow your passion, Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you are in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take her to the beach in the morning. Then a walk thru Wynwood and its art galleries. Nachos, guac and beer for lunch at Wynwood Kitchen and bar, while we admire the graffiti murals. The Mexican paletas at Cielito Artisan Pops for dessert. And later for dinner we would have the delicious eggplant parmigiana at Mazzi in Aventura. Then we would go shopping we will go to the Bal Harbour mall. Peres Museum is a must. We would end the day drinking wine at my balcony watching the awesome Miami sky. I could repeat this routine forever.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I was fortunate to have parents who let me follow my dreams. My husband is my rock, he is the one that never lets me quit. He always encourages me to take a step further. My kids are my greatest critics, and also my best portrait models. Two teachers influenced my early life to pursue an artistic career: In high school, Mr. Masoti, who took the time to read my poems, and pushed me to keep writing. My first photography teacher, later in college, saw some talent in me and was always encouraging. Henry Cartier-Bresson’s observational photographs were my first influence, career wise. The dreamy paintings of Rene Magritte’s sky still inspire my work.
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