JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
MOLLY MATALON: When I was growing up I honestly never thought about what I wanted to “be”. I liked animals, taking pictures and punk music…I liked traveling and thought I would be a flight attendant. Then I just ended up at art school.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
MM: I am most inspired by my friends making work all the time. Corey Olsen, Zak Krevitt, Damien Maloney, Caroline Tompkins, Mike and Claire, Rob Kulisek, Ryan Lowry, Lauren Cook Vivian Fu, Tim O’Connell, Tim Schutsky, Thomas McCarty, and Frankie Carino. I’m also inspired by old yearbook pictures, pictures of people in water, sunsets in California, and this group of 16 year olds I teach every summer in the black and white darkroom.
JC: What are you up to right now?
MM: Right now… I am writing some emails to editors, cooking vegan buffalo wings and stamping dust off of scanned negatives.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
MM: I am lucky enough to have just graduated from an amazing photography program at the School of Visual Arts. Joe Maida, Lyle Rexer, Willian Nabers, and Ellen Wallenstein are some teachers I had that I consider a mentor.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
MM: I live in Brooklyn, NY. I have lived here for the past 4 years. It has shaped me to be an even harder worker than I am and keeps me on my toes. It has also fully exhausted me at the same time.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
MM: You get out of life as much as you put into it. You have to work hard. No one is going to come knocking on your door saying “oh i heard you take pictures…” Organize your negatives. Once I had a teacher tell me…”if you don’t like pictures taken during overcast, wait a day and go out when it’s sunny… but always go out and make pictures”
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
MM: There is no plan B.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
MM: I would not be who I am without my creative community. It’s vital to be around people who are all working towards similar goals but on different paths. I love photography and so do all my friends, there is nothing better than that.