Plywerk Featured Artist: Kat Dierickx

Originally published at the Plywerk blog.

Give us a brief description of you and your work.

I love to adventure. Nature is my escape. I need to spend time outdoors on a regular basis in order to stay sane. I adventure in the hope of inspiring others to get out and adventure. I love exploring new places and sharing my experiences through photography. The hope is that others are inspired to get out and do some exploring of their own. All that being said, most of my work is landscape photography. I’ve always loved the stars. After moving to Portland felt like I traded the stars for city lights so I made an effort to get out of the city and really see the stars.

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How would you describe your style?

That’s a good question. I try to think it’s pretty natural. I do a little editing, but I don’t want to over edit a photo to the point it doesn’t look real. I want to show people what it actually looks like out in our world. It’s an amazingly beautiful place and doesn’t need overdoing. I also carry minimal equipment. I don’t want to miss a moment fidgeting around with my gear. Keep it simple, capture the moment.

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What’s your goal as an artist?

If I haven’t said it enough yet, it’s to inspire people to get outdoors and find their own adventure. We live in an amazing place that so many of us take for granted. Mother Nature needs no special lighting, makeup, or hours of Photoshop. Whether it’s through a lens or through your eyes, she’s beautiful. In all of this inspiration, I want to get people outside so they learn to care for our planet. Conservation is a big issue and we certainly need more people who want to protect the environment. More enjoyment, more caring, more protecting.

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If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Selfishly, if I could control the clouds and weather it would make my photography expeditions way easier. Seeing as I want to keep things natural and the weather is part of that, I think the second best thing would be to function without sleep. Lastly, I always thought if I had one wish I would make all the litter and garbage rise up to about 4 feet in the air for one day. Then make it disappear. People would have to walk through it, see it, and realize the pressure we’re putting on the planet. Then we could have the opportunity to start over and try again.

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From where do you draw inspiration?

Like many other landscape photographers, Ansel Adams is my favorite. The contrast of his images really speak to me. He showed the raw, rugged beauty of the places he photographed. Even though they are black and white, I can feel the pulse of the scene in his work. “I hope that my work will encourage self-expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us.” – Ansel Adams

I hope that one day my work will do the same.

I also keep my eye on adventurers and the way they can tell a story. There are so many wonderful action-sports photographers that can show a person doing something incredible with the most amazing backdrop.

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Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?

Plywerk is beautiful and natural. It adds so much to the image without competing for attention and really makes it a piece of art. Along with my conservation and minimalist mindset, the bamboo is the perfect fit for my work.

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If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?

Did you do what makes you happy? We all have a lot to offer this world, but only a few of us actually reach that potential. I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll make out of myself as a photographer, but I’ve wanted to be one since I can remember. One day I hope it’s not about a struggle to make a living, but pursuing photography to make life better for me and those around me.

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How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?

There are so many brilliant photographers always pushing the limits, doing new things and making amazing images who motivate me to try new things, go somewhere I’ve never been and share something different. I’m fortunate to work for Outdoor Project as it’s a huge inspiration. I stare at peoples beautiful images and adventures on a daily basis. Through this community, I’m always learning new tricks and discovering new places I want to photograph.

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Lasagna is my go-to meal. I’ve got it down. But seeing as it’s August, I don’t think it would be as big of a hit. I recently found a killer recipe for Korean marinated flank steak skewers. (My mouth is seriously watering.) I’d make those and an Asian inspired salad of some sort. I’m from Minnesota so the backup plan might include Johnsonville Brats, baked beans, ruffle chips and clam dip.

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What’s the last thing you took a photo of?

It was the Milky Way over the Metolius River. I haven’t had the chance to get out and do as much star shooting as I would like, but I spent a week in Central Oregon in July. My husband and I were camping along the river and the Milky Way was right above us. We made a speedy scramble to a bridge down the way to snap a few photos of the south end of the Milky Way (the more gassy and colorful section) that is only visible in the summer months. I then put my camera down and just stared at it for a while. It was probably the clearest I’ve ever seen the Milky Way and though I have photos of it, I’ll never forget that night. My brother always tells me, two for the camera and two for you.

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Anything else you want to tell us?

It’s something I sometimes struggle with, but to never sleep through natures most beautiful moments. This could mean getting up for sunrise, staying up late to see the stars or even taking a walk during lunch and consciously take in nature. Also, you’ll never regret exploring somewhere new.

Win a Kat Dierickx Print on Plywerk

Head over to Plywerk’s blog and comment on the original post to enter for a chance to win a print!

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