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May 18, 2016 3:15PM

Young Artist Myles Loftin On The Art Hoe Movement & The True Meaning Of Prom

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Myles Loftin is an 18-year-old photographer who's not even finished high school yet (and is making us feel very old). His work does good stuff with faces and colour, and we're extremely into his 80s prom portrait series in all its soft-focused glory (see more below). 

We caught up with Myles to chat about the scene in Maryland, his work with the Art Hoe Collective and how he wants his art to make people happy. <3

Name: ​Myles Loftin (@goldenpolaroid)

Age: ​18

Star sign:​ Aquarius

Where's home?
​I'm from the suburbs of Accokeek, Maryland. It's not too interesting, but it's where I live for now.

How did you first get into photography?
​I first started becoming interested in photography about three years ago. My parents took my sister and I to Italy for summer vacation, and we borrowed my uncle's DSLR. I took pictures during the whole trip, and I found out I really liked it. I got my first camera later that year for Christmas.

Are there any particular themes or obsessions that you find yourself drawn to in your creative practice?
I​'m really drawn to faces. They don't have to be beautiful or perfect, just different or provocative. I think that's why I love portraiture so much. When I see someone with an interesting face, I'm drawn to them and inclined to snap an image. I enjoy capturing intimate moments; creating images that facilitate a connection between the viewer and the subject. Another obsession I have is with colour. Shades of pink, yellow, blue and brown are my favourite. When I see people use bright colour schemes, it makes me happy, and I want people to be happy when they look at my work.

How did you become involved with the Art Hoe Collective?
T​he co-­founder Mars contacted me early August about being a part of the collective. After that, they made a group chat with all the curators.

How has being part of that community influenced your work?
​It's inspired me to do work that serves to be more than just visual entertainment. It's gotten me interested in doing work that puts a spotlight on those who aren't always recognised.

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Tell us about the 80s prom series. What were your intentions with it?
​There are a lot of extremely talented artists in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, so I wanted to do a series of portraits that put a spotlight on a few of them. The word prom is short for promenade [promotional dance] and I feel like DMV art scene is definitely in a huge stage of promotion in terms of the creative talent coming from it. We deserve to be recognised just as much as the artists in NYC or LA. I wanted this series to showcase the creatives, and the waves that they are creating (however significant).

Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
I'm inspired by the future.

Best piece of advice you've ever received?
K​now your worth.

What's on rotation on your iTunes/Spotify at the moment?
Lemonade by Beyoncé, and 99.9% by Kaytranada have been on repeat since they came out. I've also been listening to DVSN, Zayn Malik, Tinashe and just a lot of Soundcloud mixes.

Whose work do you admire?
I​ admire the work of my friends, and mutual followers. They inspire me to be great. Some of my favourites are Sydney Vernon, Ohlafemi, and Darryl Riley.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I ​look up to a lot of freelance photographers, like Harley Weir, Petra Collins, Tyrone Lebon. They really seem to love their jobs; I've always looked at magazines like i­D and Dazed, and imagined my work being there in full colour print.

What are you working on at the moment?
​Right now I'm working on finishing high school. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to think about my art. I do have a few group shows coming up in May though, both in DC.

Will you send us a selfie?

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Photography: Myles Loftin

Nadia Bailey