Stories In Photography With Sean Dackermann | Inside The Lines

– When you can take this place that has been an artist sanctuary really for a very long time. And people go, “Oh, that’s in Baltimore? “That’s Baltimore, that’s Baltimore?” Yes. So come here and check it out. Don’t be afraid of what you hear because most of the time
that shit ain’t true anyway. – Exactly. (playful electronic music) What’s up guys? Welcome to another episode
of Inside the Lines. My guest this week is
Baltimore photographer, Sean Dackermann. Sean, thanks for coming out to the show. – Yeah, man. Thank you for having me. – So as usual, we have two
options in front of you for coloring books that
you can choose from. You have My Pretty Princess or Paw Patrol. The decision is yours. – I think I’m gonna go
for Paw Patrol today. – Okay, Paw Patrol. Good choice, good choice. – I didn’t even know there were options. – This is–
– Yeah, we trying to– – I’m goin’ off the fly here. – Come out with the VIP treatment. – I did not research. I wanted to just be completely blindsided by this whole thing. – [Dan] Exactly. – So. – So how long have you been
doing photography, man? – It’s coming up, let’s see, coming up on about probably
about 13 years right now. – [Dan] 13 years, man. – Yeah, pretty much
right out of high school. – Okay. What was it that got you
into photography initially? – I had used photos all
through middle school and high school as my resources
for doing traditional art. I used primarily hip hop magazines. I don’t know if a lot
of people, they might, they might remember Blaze Magazine. That stopped in the mid to late 2000s. Double Excel, Source, RESPECT Magazine, which was really cool. That was a very photo
heavy hip hop magazine. – [Dan] Nice. – Vibe, different pieces like that. And I was just intrigued by the portraits. People like Joel Greenberg
and David LaChapelle, who’s one of my favorites of all time. They would just make these
really striking portraits that let you see a more
candid side of people that are times, because of hip hop, had to have a very different kind of stigma about themselves. They had to have this
very hard edge at times, so when you got to see these more candid, more intimate portraits of them, it let you see the more
human side of just, instead of just superstar side
that you usually would see. – Yeah. – And I was really appreciative of that. And being able to just
take my own spin on it, whether it was using Prismacolors or using oils or markers or airbrush, being able to interpret that. And I just sat there
and I thought to myself, “Man, this would be really
cool if I did this one day. “If I was making photos
that someone else would “want to use and reinterpret
in their own way.” – Yeah. – And yeah, yeah, that’s what really, that was the first jump off of everything. – Nice man. Yeah, I was gonna say, before
we get too deep into it, when’s the last time you
feel like you colored, man? In a coloring book? – I colored in a coloring book, it was– – [Dan] He’s like, “I got the day.” – An adult coloring book, which I think that’s such a weird phrase. – Adult coloring book? – Yeah, every coloring book
is just a coloring book. – That’s true. Let’s just stop the hate right now and have it be all ages coloring books. – [Sean] Yes, every coloring book– – Start a movement.
– Is a coloring book. – Hashtag no age. – So it was the sun and
I had different gel pens and everything. I have a lot of different pens and pencils of all different colors
and shapes and sizes. And just to kind of mess around with if I just feel like doing that. And it was just this really unique sun so I sat there for like eight hours and just colored. I was also lit off of some very good weed. So– – That always helps. – Definitely helps. – Especially if you kind of
get into hyperfocus mode. – Yeah, that’s exactly what I was doing. – Yeah, and you’re just
in it, in that world. – So yeah, that caused that to happen. But it worked out really well. I was extremely happy with the result. – [Dan] Nice. – And yeah, it was good, it was good. I liked it a lot. – Well, I hope Paw Patrol
has something good to offer for you today as we talk. – So for you, is this like, are you now the Shawn
Evans of coloring books? – Like am I just this
connoisseur or (mumbles) all these coloring books? – Yeah, are you this coloring connoisseur and does it almost seem
like robotic to you now? Or do you still enjoy it? – I like it. – Are you still passionate
about the coloring? – I enjoy it.
– Good. – I mean I’ve always
enjoyed coloring books. I mean, long road trips back in the day. Once upon a time there was a world where we didn’t have smart phones. And the Game Boy only got you so far. And once you got burned out on
Pokemon Red, Blue or Yellow, you jumped to the coloring books. – You mean there was a day where we didn’t have everything to access
at the palm of our hands? – No, it was, you had your Game Boy
if you wanted to game. Then you had your CD player if
you wanted to listen to music that wasn’t on your parent’s radio. Because that was always just the worst. And yeah, then you had coloring books and that was your road
trip survival guide. (soft piano music) For you, what’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled to to shoot and what’s a place that you want to go to to photograph or work in? – My favorite place. Honestly, I really love
shooting in Baltimore. Granted, I’m not traveling to do that. But when you can give people
these little perspectives of the city that has this opportunity to become something and continue to become something honestly. Not the opportunity. It really already is. – Yeah. – But continue to flourish. And being able to be a part of that and help that happen is
just really satisfying. Being out in L.A. and all
those places is great, and I mean I’ll never
say it’s not going to be. And it’s really enjoyable. But there’s definitely enough
people representing L.A. and New York and Miami
and Atlanta (mumbles). – Yeah, man, they’re huge markets. – Exactly so and even D.C. So when you can take this place that has been an artist sanctuary really for a very long time and people go, “Oh, that’s in Baltimore? “That’s Baltimore, that’s Baltimore?” Yes, so come here and check it out. Don’t be afraid of what you hear because most of the time
that shit ain’t true anyway. – Exactly. (soft electronic music) Well, looking ahead in that world what’s a five years,
10 years down the road, what’s the goal is there for you? – They, honestly I hope
that I can get a just large fraction of the ideas I have done. Because you can’t stop
the mind from thinking and wanting to come up with new stuff, but that same time it’s a matter of well, you need to get this
other shit done first. So it’s a constant battle
honestly with just, okay, let me get this
done, let me get that done and build from there. I would like soon to have
representation by an agency, just to make my life a little bit easier, so I could focus on certain things and they could do that. I would like it to be something maybe a
little more lucrative, that it’s not maybe your
standard photo agency and it’s maybe something that
can be a foundational piece for other people to look at and say, “Oh, well he did it this way. “I can do it that way too.” – Yeah, so carving your own path. – [Both] Exactly. – I’d like that to be sooner than later, within the next five years. At some point, I’d like to direct a movie. I’d like to direct a series. – [Dan] Nice man. – I’d like a few exhibitions
and installations to happen using different
forms of working with light. And really experimenting with the idea of what does drawing with light mean. – Okay. – And really building upon that and putting that out there and different theories and ways. I like the science of art a lot, whether it’s experimenting with
the tool that you’re using. Experimenting with the perception
of something you’re making and how people will receive it. And just kind of playing
around with different variables to see what comes about. And it’s just really
a matter of, at times, getting the right budget together to make sure it’s done right. There’s hundreds of ideas that
if I just wanted to do them and be willing to just say, “F it, I don’t care how
it really turns out,” they would be done already. But I want to just, if
you’re in the opportunity and you’re in the space
to create something that can inspire people,
well, do it right. – Yeah. – Don’t, ‘scuse me, don’t half ass that. – That’s true. – Too many people want to just jump in and I get that. Just jump in head first and go for it. And I don’t blame them, but after a while, you
learn that that can really be harmful to yourself, because you’re setting up this expectation and if you don’t get that, you don’t complete it
the way you’re expecting and you think, “Oh, what’d I do wrong?” And you just keeping on jumping in, well, you know what? Just put your feet in a little bit. Get used to the climate. And then make your waves from there. (smooth jazzy music) – Exactly. Well, before we kind of wind
things down and everything, is there any last thoughts
or anything you wanna get out to the world? – Well honestly man, tell me about this. Tell me why you brought this together? – [Dan] Okay, so I’m being
interviewed (mumbles). – Yeah man. We’re gonna flip it a little bit. – Okay, that’s fine. So why this?
– Yeah. – Well, so you know, I’ve
been doing video for a while and I’ve been wanting to
do more content creation. I was doing a lot of weddings for a while. I was doing a lot of
corporate work for a while. And this year sort of became
my year for just wanting to create original creative content. And so earlier this year, I did my first feature film, which is done and it’s being sent out to festivals right now. So that was my first bit of that. And then the next bit was
like well, how can I keep up with creating original content? And over the years, it’s like any other, like your industry too,
you meet a lot of people and a lot of cool cats over the time. And there’s been so many
people that I’ve wanted to sort of help out with
or give a platform to. But before, when I was
trying to make a living and also have a platform,
it’s almost impossible, ’cause people, we’re all in the same boat. Money is always tight. So trying to make a living and then also helping these people out was just, it’s impossible. So now that I’ve finally
got myself in a good place where I’m partnering
with different companies, doing freelance work, doing corporate work as a daytime type thing, I have that ability to just say, “Okay, I can take my time, that spare time “and put that into something
that’s beneficial.” So I started thinking about
what a talk show type format would look like and it started with
thinking about just sitting on a floor and just chatting with someone as if you were just kids, kind of laying down, chattin’. And then that evolved to
what else do you sit down and do as a kid? And then it turned into
the coloring book thing and it just sort of
evolved out from there. And like I said, the main goal of this is just to create content, but also give a platform to so many people that I think they’re unique in the area and to help out create positive light, positive imagery from Baltimore ’cause I grew up here. I grew up more on the suburbs side, but since I’ve expanded my career, I’ve come to love the city
like I thought I would. So yeah, so that’s really the main goal is just to have this outlet for everyone that I think should have a voice and should be out there
more for people to know. – That’s amazing, man. And the more content we
can make like that together and just in general, the better. – Yeah. – Just because people
need that reinforcement, especially in (mumbles). I try to tell people all the time, you gotta be your biggest cheerleader. Darn, we lost a crayon. I think it hit the ground. – Yeah, we’ll recover it later. – But just be happy
with what you’re making. I mean, I know at times, as soon as you finish some photos and as soon as you hit post or you upload to YouTube
or Vimeo or whatever, you’re like, “Oh, I hate it now.” – Yeah. – It’s out there to the world. – Well, especially if it’s not, I think people get discouraged when it doesn’t break a
record of YouTube views or something like, you know what I mean? – Yeah. – Like that’s the scale
that too many people I think measure themselves by. – Yeah, and I think
they have to realize too that for you to break those records, you have to be involved
with certain distributors and people that make sure
you break those numbers. Going viral is something that is still at times a shock and all thing, because for you to go viral
and not be represented by these companies that are designed to make things go viral, you are kind of breaking
the matrix in a sense. So when you can do that, it is something that is
truly at times unfathomable. – Yeah. – But at the same time, when you do meet those
companies that do exist and you get that peek behind the curtain, you see that it is just
a click of a button. – That’s true. And with that, as we wrap up, I present to you our gift. A Pog. – Oh my God, is this a Pog? – That is a Pog.
– That is amazing. – That is an authentic
Pog from the ’90s as well. – I have some of these. – You have some? – Do you want me to donate so
you can give them to people, or do you give Pogs all the time? – That’s what we do after every show. We give Pogs. – Can I donate my Pogs to you? – If you want to. – Yeah, because I want to
do something with them. – Okay. – I don’t want them to sit. I have little slammers and stuff. – Yeah, I just went on a
collection binge one day and a bunch of people were
selling just like huge, so I got a whole thing worth
of Pogs back at my place. – And I have ones that are
the actual milk caps too. – Yep, yep. Yeah, I got a couple of those and a couple of the metal ones. The metals ones are always, that was when I was a
kid, I loved those ones. – Yeah. – ‘Cause I never had any. – Dude. Awesome. Well, I’m gonna keep this one. I’m not gonna give this one back. – Yeah, exactly. – But yeah man, I will
definitely, I gotta find that. – Yeah, let me know. – But yeah, I’ll give that
to you so you can have that. – Well, my friend.
– Dude, that’s incredible. – Thank you so much for
your time and knowledge. – Yeah. – And everything else.
– For sure, thank you. – It’s been fun coloring with ya. – Yeah man. Do we get to, well, let
me see what you worked on. What do you got in here? – I got a couple, I mean– – Yeah, yeah, what is your book like here? Yeah, come on, let me see what you got. – (mumbles) we’re breaking the plane. – Yeah, that fourth
wall is down, all right. – [Dan] I mean, yours,
I think yours is great. I just sort of scratch around.
– Thanks. – [Dan] I’m like eh. – [Sean] I like that though, it’s nice. – [Dan] I mean, it’s okay, it’s okay. And I’ve got Barney
over here so, you know– – I dig that, I dig that. – That’s how it goes. – Yeah, I get a little
(mumbles) when it comes to this. I gotta make sure it looks good. – [Dan] No, that’s a good thing, man. – I gotta make sure it
looks reasonable and stuff. So, I’m gonna take a picture of it ’cause my little nephew loves Paw Patrol so he’s gonna be hyped off of that. – Yeah man. – He’s gonna be like, “What?” – Well, yeah, we always ask
everybody to sign it for us. – Oh yeah, well, let me
do that real quick too. – ‘Cause I keep ’em,
I’m gonna make something out of all of ’em some day. So yeah, if you can give
us your John Hancock, that would be amazing. – Absolutely. More than welcome to do that.
– Sweet. (smooth hip hop music) Oh, I’m gettin’ a note. I feel special. There we go, dope. But again, thank you man. – Yeah, absolutely.
– Thank you out there for watching another great
episode of Inside the Lines. We’ll catch you next week. Peace. (soft electronic music)

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