What He Does: Chris McKay is a photographer who owns and operates The Nocturnal Utopia. Many of his subjects are from the Houston goth community, and he has worked with Mr. SINched corsets, Larry Rainwater and his wife Spleen from the darkwave band Ex-Voto, and many other notable spooky personalities. His work often has a painted-finish look that is his distinctive trademark. He achieves this through traditional photographic techniques as well heavy brushstrokes through Photoshop in order to give pictures a fantastical element.
Why He Likes It: McKay enjoys that with photography he gets to both create as an artist and also gets out to meet interesting people at interesting places.
"As a photographer I have to have an outlet to be creative," he says. "Creating something that can be enjoyed by myself and others is very fulfilling for me. Without it, I have nothing to stand upon and call my own based on my talents."
What Inspires Him: Like a lot of artists, McKay finds a lot of his inspiration from the woman he loves. His girlfriend inspired him to attempt photography with her own ability to compose photos. He also uses her as a frequent subject, and finds that being around beauty tends to stimulate the creative drive.
If Not This, Then What: Photography is not yet McKay's full time occupation, but he wonders if he would still enjoy it as much or if his creativity would suffer if it was.
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"I would still do things art related such as sculpture, painting, printing, etc.....Some people just need that outlet to mentally function properly and I have learned over the years that I am one of those people for better or for worse."
If Not Here, Then Where: McKay has called Houston home for most of his life, only occasionally spending a year or so away from the city. If the gates to the Bayou City were closed, he would head west as he shares Jim Morrison's fascination with American western cities and landscapes.
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Jason Ransom, visual artist Mr. SINched, fashion desiger "Uncle" Charlie Hardwick, poster designer Avital Stolar, playwright and educator Katherine Houston, visual artist Christopher Olivier, visual artist Dennis Lee Harper, sculptor David A. Brown, photographer Rachel Harmeyer, visual artist Kia Neill, installation artist Stacy Davidson, filmmaker Jennifer Wood, choreographer GONZO247 Kevin DeVil, filmmaker Kerry Beyer, photographer and filmmaker Robert Ellis, musician Davie Graves, musician and visual artist Robert Hodge, multimedia Mary Magsamen, photo and video artist John Harvey, theater Bret Harmeyer, visual artist Joel Orr, puppet master Rodney Waters, photographer and pianist Jeremy Choate, lighting designer Chuck Ivy, visual artist Tra'Slaughter, visual artist Jen Chen - visual art, designer Howard Sherman - Painter Nancy Hendrick - Founder of Dance Salad Misha Penton - Opera Singer and Theater Artist Ben Tecumseh DeSoto - Photojournalist Tracy Robertson aka Batty - Goth Fashion Designer Tierney Malone - Creative Type Dolan Smith - Painter Jenny Schlief - Mixed-Media Artist David Eagleman - Writer Anna Sprage - Painter Philip Lehl - Actor Andy Noble - Choreographer David McGee - Painter