Cath Simard is a photographer who specialises in photo compositing. Her unique artworks mix reality with her imagination as well as capturing nature taken during nocturnal times. Her work has been featured in publications like Sony Alpha Universe, DP Review, Art of Visuals and many others. She is also an ambassador for 0x Society.
NOCTURNALS by Cath Simard
Could you start by introducing yourself and the mediums you use?
My name is Cath Simard. I’m from Quebec, Canada, and right now I’m based in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and the little town of Canmore. My specialty is in photography and I have been doing a little bit more composite photography in the last few years. I love to go into the wilderness and spend hours, days and, sometimes, weeks just to get one or two images. That’s what I’m passionate about.
How was your journey leading to your career presently?
I’ve tried a lot of things in my life before getting to where I am presently. I have a background in biomedical sciences, which I studied in university for two years. I was also modelling a bit at that time and I was starting to develop an interest in fashion. So, I started studying fashion design in Montreal instead of becoming a doctor. I worked a few years as a fashion stylist, but I got tired of it and the work in the industry slowed down. Once again, I took this opportunity to take the leap and do something completely different. So I sold almost everything I owned and I bought a one-way ticket to Australia with a working holiday visa. I ended up working as a farmer for two years in Australia and while I was there, I started documenting my side adventures with my iPhone 3. Then a brand from Australia found me on Instagram and contacted me to take photos of their products. With the money they gave me, I bought a camera and then I learned photography by my own means. As you can see, sometimes I get a really strong idea in my head and I just go for it. I listen to my instinct, especially when I feel out of place. And because of that, I’m doing something I’m really passionate about now.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of your expeditions and how you go about creating your work?
As an artist, I need to work alone in order to be in my creative zone. As for my expeditions, I always start them off by finding locations through Google Earth and researching them thoroughly. I usually look for unpopular locations that haven’t been photographed as much. Then, I will scout the location for a few days and, despite being nocturnal, I will try to go at least once during daytime in order to figure out my compositions and pre-visualize. The important thing for me is to create something unique and I don’t want to create something that has already been done before, so I can spend a day just looking around and trying to find something different. Then, once I have a clear idea of what I will be going for, I will come back at a different time of the day, so either during sunrise, sunset, blue hour or night time, to capture the necessary images for my composites. Finally, I gather all my shots and edit them on photoshop to create the final results.
How did you get into NFTs exactly and how has your experience been?
I first got introduced to NFTs by my friend. I would ask him a few questions and then he would guide me and suggest that I get informed on Clubhouse. I would sit for hours in Clubhouse during the entire months of February and March, just listening, trying to understand and trying to come up with my own ideas for a drop. I really wanted to take my time before joining this space and it took me about four months to do my first drop, Genesis. I feel that NFTs are really focused on creative intentions. It’s focused on the story of the artist and the story behind the piece and there is just so much more substance. Personally, this platform has enabled me to focus on creating and teaching. It also allowed me to take the time to sit down and have a deep look at my work which helped me understand myself and my creations better, as well as the meaning behind my pieces.
Can you talk about the project you’re doing for 0x Society?
This project has been a bit tricky for me since most of my work is so dark and they’re done mostly at night. In all honesty, during the summer solstice, I usually just stay inside during the day and then I go out at night. But it is a way for me to bring my own creative interpretation of the summer solstice because it will relate to my identity as an artist and add a story to the piece.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists in the NFT community or in general?
One big piece of advice that I can give is that there’s a lot of value in taking your time. I’ve observed some photographers entering the space and then, two days later, they dropped something. I feel that understanding the community, the space, the collectors, the artists and just anything in this space will pretty much help you come up with a better strategy for a drop and for your pricing. This is not something that you do quickly, otherwise it might look like a cash grab. I think this is important and you really need to have that long-term vision because this is how you will succeed over time, create a bigger name for yourself and solidify the community around your art and your branding. Even if it’s really exciting and you can’t wait to jump in this space, patience is the key to success.