MICHAEL JASON WILLIAMS is an award winning visual artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Close to achieving his Master Photographer degree, he is also exploring the combination of acrylic paint, photography, and digital art; he has coined this new process "Photonic Painting."
My journey into understanding visual art began at an early age. Between my father and grandfather working in film and TV, my mom studying voice, and my brother dancing professionally, everyone brought home a high degree of artistic energy. And there I was, absorbing it all. Every day was like going to art school. One day my brother and I were writing music, producing a play, painting, the next we were creating stop motion animation, editing film, or borrowing Dad's cameras. I can't put enough emphasis on how much my early years influence what I do today. My improvisational impulses and artistic talents were encouraged by my parents, giving me the freedom to explore who I am. That is essentially what I am still doing.
Following in Dad's footsteps for a number of years led me to a wide variety of experiences working in film/TV, both in front of and behind the camera. The compositional and editing techniques I learned in post production greatly affected a later career in magazine publishing and graphic design, and finally still photography. Furthering my study and working with mentors led me to photographing action sports, portraits, events, products, and my images eventually found their way into magazines, books, and calendars.
Over the years I found that I was most happy when my focus was on landscape and nature photography. While publishing Inside Look Magazine I found myself creating travel articles just so I could get outdoors and shoot. In 2013 I got more serious about landscapes and started working with a friend/mentor, James Hickey (Ph.Cr.), who helped me to bring my photography to the next level. I can't emphasise enough to young artists how important it is to work with a mentor. In this way you absorb their knowledge, almost like osmosis. You cannot get this from a book.
In 2016 I entered my first PPA International Print Competition and won a Gold Medal. I have also collected the Bronze and other awards since, and am furthering my relationship with the PPA as an instructor and pursuing my Master Photographer Degree. I am also a proud Viewbug Curator, author (Sacred Waterfalls), and contributor to the LAC+USC Healing Through Art Program (work on permanent display).
Accolades aside, what is really important to me is that I continue this exploration in visual art. It gives me a deeper understanding of who I am, and sometimes inspires others to look inside themselves.