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Getting to Know You (Me)

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Sep 12

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Getting to Know You (Me)

I am proud to have my Mom on the show today! She drove 7 hours from Pittsburgh just to hang out for the day – What a lady! We decided to take the opportunity to find out what a growing up artist is like from a mother’s point of view. We share stories, and talk about how I got my start in photography.

Question of the Day

When did you first realize you were an artist? Share some of your stories from growing up. I can’t wait to read all of yours!


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  • Cory K

    You look a lot like your mother, Aaron! haha

  • Steve

    Hey Aaron,

    I dont know if you remember or not, but I msg’d you about an idea I had.
    Every one of my non-creative friends were saying my idea was too crazy, almost making me tone it down.

    But you bolstered my creative vision, making me go MORE overboard rather than tone it down…
    Well funny enough the story for my short is based on when I was a kid, and ALSO used to make forts out of my Mum & Dad’s Sofa.  God bless ‘em they let me have that fort for days : )

    I guess I have allways felt creative. It’s not a choice. It’s ingrained. This is a very BAD example, but it’s almost like when someone knows they are a man, trapped in a womans body or something less extreme.
    I chose sexuality, because it’s often a thing other people can’t see externally.

    You are either creative or not. I get frustrated, when friendcs and family tell me I sould work in a bank or something, Urrgh!!

    Anyhow, I can’t reveal my short film idea, not yet…  but when finish it, in a few months maybe?! Phlearn will be the 1st to know : )

  • Karissa Hosek

    haha your mom is awesome! I’d love to see custom Aaron Nace halloween costumes, now im on the search to make one, i made a poison ivy costume last year :)
    I dont know when I discovered I was an artist, I think because I was always creating stuff when I was a kid, and still continue to do it. I love being crafty and want to bring creations into my photography. Shooting brings out my inner child, my true happiness.

  • Steve

    A short sample of characters in their fort, in the house : )

  • Steve

    My image isn’t showing :(

  • Jeni

    From the time I was about 5 I wanted to be a marine biologist.  I never took any art classes (outside of band and swing choir).  My senior year of high school I had all the paperwork filled out to join the Coast Guard and attend the Coast Guard Academy to be a marine biologist. My husband (then fiance) was in the military and talked me out of joining.  It would have been a 9 year enlistment.  Thank God for him. LOL!

    When I was in 4th grade my mom bought me a pink Kodak camera that took 110 film and stick flash.  I took it to Ameriflora (a floral exhibit) at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio for a field trip.  It was then that I discovered that I LOVED to take pictures.  When I was about 16 years old, my mom bought me a Nikon N55 film camera.  I took it to Washington State with me when I got married and took photos of the Rocky Mountains.  I was IN LOVE with my SLR but was wasting film because I had no idea how to properly use it.  When I finally got a DSLR I was so lost…but with a lot of experimenting I finally figured it out.  And with the help of Phlearn I’m learning Photoshop.  I’m now getting to the point where I’m nearly ready to start a business. =)

  • Larry Chua

    Great to see your mom in this episode.  I can see where you get your cheerfulness and predisposition from.  Truly enjoyed hearing about your childhood and how you matured into an artist.  Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Omg Aaron thanks so much for choosing me! Really really happy write now :D Heres a link to me facebookpage:
    and to flickr:
    Did I won a phlearn pro too….if so….gahhhhhh awesome :D Thanks again!

    Oh and by the way you are your mum are so funny together :)

  • Benjamin Benson

    When I was a kid I took my mothers lipstick and drew a large mural on my parents kitchen wall while they were watching TV. I would ransack my parents closets and make costumes and perform plays for them. I would spend hours upon hours building things with Lego’s, not the instructional versions but my own thoughts and ideas for things. But I never connected with others and would try to fit in by riding a skateboard and biking and playing basketball, but it was never me.

  • Anonymous

    this was a cute episode :)

    I dont remember much, but I know I’ve always been creative. Since I can remember I always wanted to draw nice pictures, but I was also not very good at drawing, and my two best friends in primary school were really good! And that seriously pissed me off hahaha. So being quite competitive, I would go home and practice for hours. Eventually, I actually did really well, and drawing is somethign that I adore to do.

    It wasnt till I was 15 that I started to take pictures though. I’d been in love for the first time, and my boyfriend at the time had to move from Switzerland to Japan cause of his dads job. So you can imagine I was pretty much distraught and depressed because the person I cared about the most in the whole world was leaving me and I wasnt sure when I’d see him again (i still havent). Anyway, I didnt know what to do with myself! Until, I saw flickr. And then I saw my moms Nikon DSLR that was collecting dust, and i thought, hey! I’m gonna learn how to take good pictures. And then it was this huuuuuge revelation, about how much I adored to take photos. I’d always been interested in Fashion, but I didnt really know what I could do in a fashion industry cause I cant design clothes, I dont really enjoy writing articles, and I’m not good with numbers to business wasnt an option. Fashion Photography is definitely my way of being involved in the fashion industry, and i LOVE it.

    I guess thats a bit of a story for you :) loved hearing about your stories!!
    Sorry i didnt enter the contest :P I took some shots, tried to edit them,but was just not happy enough with them to submit.. next weekend!

    xx Olivia

  • Rhinda Larsen

    I love that your mum nurtured your creativity

  • Lawrence Smith

    Hey Arron I clearly see where you get all your wackiness from lol, your mom seems great !

  • Tight Shorts

    Ahh… those were the days. I worry that 101 TV channels, mobile(cell) phones, and the internet may have stolen those years from kids of today :(

  • Dr. Marie

    aww, she’s so sweet hope you had grate time =)

  • Gixster92

    what a great phlearn episode.  Love that you brought your PHAMILY in on this one.  Your mom is a riot.

    Thanks so much for picking my image and the talk up on it put HUGE smiles on my face.  I sent you a tweet, but this works too.  What are the next steps, should I expect an email????  Thanks again for hosting this and for picking my image.

  • Aaron Nace

    Thanks Gixter! Submit an email in the contact form with your details, and I will send you your PRIZE!

  • Aaron Nace

    Hey Phil!  Send me an email, and I will send you your PRIZE!

  • Dunja Zupanic

    Wooow Aaron your mother rocks! :) Wish i have mother like yours.  I can tell you so many different stories from my childhood, but think one will be most interesting…when i was little girl i was “stealing” camera from my grandpa who was photographer, it was so heavy for me to hold, and he was afraid that i will brake it…finally one day i succeed to take a photo…this is first one i made in my life…i was almost 4 years old…you can see it in attachment….on photo are my grandparents…i’m so happy that grandpa save this, so now i have wonderful memory. :)

  • Malcolm Debono

    Great episode! Really love these one-off episodes!

    I think I inherited my appreciation towards photography from my father since he’s also a photographer. One of the first things he bought me was (you guessed it) a camera. It was one of those small film cameras (if I remember well it was a Kodak). Soon after, I was already taking this camera with me wherever I went.

    I’m also quite an organized person, and I find this as one of the best characteristics in my personality. When it comes to photography, photoshop and other video related projects that I work on, I find that this really helps me as I keep everything organized and always follow some sort of workflow. 

  • Shane S

    AWESOME episode! your moms awesome

  • Michael Nightmare

    Here is my story how I became an artist and I tell my students for a montage project we do.
    I was always creative when I was younger, not so much in high school and in fact I took art in summer school since it was less time than a whole school year so I wouldnt have to spend all year doing art. My parents did not encourage my art or for me to become an artist in anyway much like most parents. When I graduated high school I want to college to become an electrical engineer but after my first year I no longer wanted to do that too many classes, too much work and I just didnt like school anymore at that point. Transferred to a community college and got to take photography. I had an amazing teacher and fell in love with photo and art. I told my parents I wanted to major in Art and my dad said he wouldn’t pay for me to go to school to learn to take pictures. So I decided to get a degree in art education so they would pay for my schooling and I am now an artist and high school photogarphy teacher. and that is my story.
    Michael Nightmare

  • Dale Antony Richards

    I honestly have not had a proper think about myself as a creative until now but thinking about it in school I was always making blu tac figurines and not of the male genitalia, they were actually pretty detailed =] My Mother was not very ‘arty’ but my Dad is a huge fan of the Japenese ‘Origami’ and I have always been intrigued by I guess “3d art” which obviously has form and is something you can feel.

    My ‘art’ besides my sculptures I feel has come from a more media based lifestyle; I LOVE movies and TV, I would definately say I am influenced heavily by what I watch on the screen. Especially a fan of things such as Doctor Who but also crime dramas such as Criminal Minds so my influence is pretty much around what I can watch because I love seeing stories unfold which is why a lot of my work which I have in planning but not yet shot all have some form of a story, some are autobiographical and some are humourous =]

    I know ‘media’ may not be classified as art but I am hugely influenced by it and I find a good film a show of good production few influences because of the production quality:
    Ninja Assasin (fake blood was poor though)
    (500) Days of Summer
    Yes Man
    The Truman show
    Bridge to Terebithia
    these are a few I have recently watched that pop to my head =]

    Another thing that has influenced me into using photoshop as art for my concepts is the famous Cottingley Fairies story, I remember hearing this story as a kipper and falling in love with the concept because they make things so believable and I would love to create an image that I can say “Look I have fairies in my garden and you can’t prove this is a fake image” xD

    I suppose that is how I have got into admiring photomanipulations as art =]

    Not teh best story but for me it is all that matters =P

    I am always finding inspiration everywhere and recently on the internet I found this video which is not the sort of video I would normally consider inspiration especially as some may argue it’s borderline porn so don’t watch this with your Mum =] – I love her movement in this and her natural flow it is something that I think can be used as a great lingerie shoot! Yep that’s what I consider research =P

    Inspiration for me comes from what I see; when I see it my brain records it for me and I am always thinking about what I like and if I can turn it into an image.

    WALL OF TEXT =D If you have been bored enough to read all of this you’re a beautiful person =P

  • Ian Arneson

    When I was very young I had a lot of friends who were extreme athletes, guys with no necks at ages 10-12. I knew I was an artist when I figured out the hard way I sucked at sports. However, I was good at illustrating, specially cartoon type illustrations. From that point on I knew instead of competing in sports I was meant to create in art, wherever that path took me. From there it was illustrating to music, and music to photography, and I have to say, I hold zero regrets. 

  • madara lapiņa

    I already love your mom too! :)

  • Anonymous

    You have your Mother’s smile… So awesome that you have such a great relationship with your Mom… I never had that, and I don’t speak to her and I keep my distance as well…. the video was awesome, you were both awesome.

  • JoshLaiho

    I’m from Bolivia originally and part of my family still live there, and of course i owe some of those “bichos” you have, those are great! It’s a beautiful country and i love it!
    I loved your mom too!! 
    Great episode!!!

  • Griffin Beste

    Aaron, you might just be a genius…. in a way I deff think you are 100%

  • Mark ODo…

    Boy can I relate!  At age 5-8 I was building models and stuff from scratch.  In middle school I was involved in art classes.  Late in middle school and all through High School I wanted to be the next Rick Baker, Tom Savini, or Rob Bottin.  I would spend hours and every dollar of my allowance practicing the trade of make up artistry.  Then I met a very influential art teacher the sophomore year of High School who had his own dark room and I fell in love.  I picked up my first camera and roll of film and from there on I spent every lunch period, study hall, and after school hours taking photos and developing my own black and white photos.  In college I continued with photography but I quickly learned after school that I lacked the business knowledge and I failed (twice).

    Those early years influence my decisions now later in life more than ever, and now that my kids are getting older I am back with a vengeance making up for the 10 years I didn’t do anything to feed my creativity.

    My kids think it’s the coolest thing in the world and I am glad that I decided to take control and start doing what I love while I can still make a difference their lives.

  • Paul Liebrand

    What… Santa isn’t real?!?!  WTF!!

  • Demetrius

    I wish I had a great story, but it’s likely boring..  When I was a kid I got one of those art training programs via mail to learn how to draw.  While it was interesting, I absolutely sucked!!!  From there the only creative piece of my life was music (piano, saxaphone, etc…)

    I picked up photography and fell madly in love in August of 2009 when I bought a DSLR for my trip to Hawaii..  1 hell of a transition from there because my company was shut down and then I decided to go “ballz” out and truly become a photographer and here is where I am..  I still think my stuff sucks, but I don’t want to do anything else and it drives me to get better daily..

  • Gixster92

    sent to that and your personal addy.

  • LND

    I’m late in posting, but I’m going to post anyway.

    First, Aaron I love your mother! She is awesome. And I personally love all of your comments when you are teaching a Phlearn episode, the fact that you are funny and just throw stuff in there in great. Please don’t change that–that’s part of what makes Phlearn Phlearn. We could get instruction anywhere. 

    I first started photography in high school (think pre-Photoshop, pre-digital) when I took photography class (a million thanks to Coach Cathey) and I always had crazy images that I wanted to get on paper. I learned how to expose two negatives and print them as a double exposure. I had one that I thought was great. It was taken at a nearby lake with some people floating in tubes. I took another close-up of a school mate standing in the water and superimposed the two of them together and it made him look like a giant getting ready to step on the people floating in the water. I tend to see things, even music, as images. I guess I am a very visual person and photography is my way of expressing what I see in my head. 

    I lost my camera and previous work in an apartment fire in the early 80s, so photography was put on the back burner. I have raised a family and am just now just catching up with photography and all of the technological advancements. I would love to create photographic art as a business eventually.

    My 13-year-old daughter uses my camera and is turning out to be quite an awesome photographer herself, which is very cool. 

    Thanks again, Aaron for sharing your knowledge!!

  • Steve

    After watching this video I think the reason Aaron breaks up with all of the women he goes out with is because he doesn’t want to admit that he’s actually gay.  When his mom did her “Aaron Impersonation” it totally sounded gay.  And there’s nothing wrong with being gay, nothing at all, but it this video does make me wonder.  

  • Andrea Christina

    Wow, you two look so alike :)
    When did I discover I am an artist…I guess that was last year only to be honest! When I realized I wanted to learn soo much to be able to do so many creative photos and I realized I wanted to do everything I can to achieve that because it makes me happy!

  • feng yun

    it is great to see ur mother

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