CARYN DREXL - Photographer & Mixed-Media Artist


( Artsy fartsy stuff creator / Puppy cuddler / Coffee drinker / Old house lover / Pickle hater)

The basics:

I'm Caryn, in my mid-30's, and (finally!) an escapee of my native Florida, now happily living in the foothills of Western North Carolina. This is working out much better for me because I don't really do heat, I think flat land is boring, and the sun annoys me. I live here with my puppy and my cat and my best friend / platonic life partner, B. Generally i'd describe myself as pretty boring. My ideal evening (or day, who am I kidding) would involve being on the couch in my pajamas with my favorite people, watching some ridiculous movie or tv show and drinking coffee. While my images might illicit a specific image of the type of person I am, I'm actually pretty bubbly and light-hearted. Goofy even. I'm always trying to make people laugh. So, don't judge a photographer by their images. (But, ok, I do like skulls and some other things people would label as creepy. I have layers.)

The art stuff:

I am completely self taught. Everything I know I learned through trial and error or the internet, starting back when I was a teenager and taking off more fully in my early 20's. This whole thing really started as an emotional and mental outlet for me, therapy really, and I used whatever tools I had (scanner on its side, a broken old 2MP digital point and shoot, webcams that took stills, etc) to create images. Mostly self portraits, which I still continue with today, but i'd say these days it's more 50/50, depending on my mood.

Currently I shoot with a Canon 60D, but in the past i've used a bunch of Canon & Nikon DSLR's and a few film cameras as well. While I love film, I'm not the most technically sound photographer, as well as super impatient and broke, so it's something I now only using sparingly to not at all.

But what does it all MEAN?!

Inevitably, when you create all the weird stuff that pops up in your head and share it, people are going to start looking, and asking for, an explanation. But i'm not really interested in giving one! There's a few key reasons for this. First, my process varies. Sometimes I have a specific story I want to tell, sometimes i'm processing something going on in my life without even realizing it, and other times I was at a craft/antique/hardware store and something caught my eye and it all just sort of grew from there. (Which is to say I create some stuff just because I think it will "look cool".)

Second, and probably most important, is that once I finish a piece and share it, I think it stops being about me. The creation part, polishing it after, whatever I take away from the whole process, that's all for me. After that it's up to every one who views it to find their own connection and story. Or not. In the past i've referred to it as a "choose your own adeventure", because that's how I see and process art. It will either speak to you, or it won't. No one should need their hand to be held throughout the process. You don't need to "get it" to have a reaction, love or hate it, etc, etc.

My one concession, in hopes that I'd get questioned less, are the image titles. If I have something to say, or want to give a nudge in a specific direction, i'll put some breadcrumbs there. The only problem is that when i've created something 'just cuz', I still have to title those images, so I guess good luck in figuring out which is which?

If you have any questions, feel free to head on over to the contact page and ask away!