Interview #46: Chelsee Ivan


CUS: First of all, the most standard question in the book: how did you get into photography?

Chelsee Ivan: I wish I had more of an exciting story but honestly, the internet (especially blogging). I wanted images to accompany my words so I started to try and make better and better pictures.


CUS: Tell us a little about where you live. How does your town/city/country affect your photography?

CI: I live part time in both Calgary and my hometown of Taber (a few hours drive south of Calgary). I love the different landscapes surrounding me - to the west; mountains, the south prairies, and to the east the badlands. I love to surround a subject in its emptiness. 


CUS: Do you have a favorite photographer?

CI: I think today my favourite may be Glen Erler (


CUS: Did you study, or are you studying, photography? If not, how did you learn

CI: I studied photography at the Alberta College of Art + Design. I graduated in 2010. 


CUS: What is your most treasured possession?

CI: I don't know exactly, I guess bits of memories.  




CUS: What are five things you can’t live without?

CI: 1. Glasses, I suppose

2. Ipod

3. Computer (although I wish it weren't true)

4. Pillow

5. Camera


CUS: Describe your average day.

CI: Each day differs, I suppose. I wish I had more of a routine. A day off; I try and wake up at 9, but usually it ends up being 10/10:30. I'll eat the same thing for breakfast - pears and blackberries, soy yogurt and granola. I'll leave my apartment to find coffee. In the afternoon I'll try and do something artistically productive, whether it be editing photographs or going to find something or somebody to photograph. I'll watch an episode of whatever TV show I'm currently devouring (right now, season 1 of the Killing) make something egg based for supper - and look at the beautiful things people are making on the computer.


CUS: What are your other hobbies besides photography?

CI: I can be a bit of a movie nerd. As well as reading and sleeping.


CUS: Favorite part of the summer so far?

CI: Each time I drink some beer with a friend it becomes my new favourite part of the summer.


CUS: If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs where would you go?

CI: The Southern States.


CUS: If every photograph should contain one key element, what would it be in your opinion?

CI: If I were to think any more about this I'd probably disagree with myself but love for the subject.


CUS: What is your fondest childhood memory?

CI: Playing elaborate games that involved tons of imagination with my 14 cousins on my uncle's farm. Jurassic Park was a favourite, the parked farm equipment would play the part of the dinosaurs.


CUS: Do you think that the Internet is a legitimate place to showcase your work? 

CI: Definitely.


CUS: Our last interviewee, Carlos Garcia Martinez, wants to know: I’m always very interested in the artistic process that goes through the mind of other artists. I’d like to know how people get their ideas about new projects and pictures, how they decide if a project is worth doing or not, how they decide what pictures to use, etc.

CI: I'm not sure if I can explain this exactly. I love spending time alone, driving or walking. Ideas usually just kind of appear during hours of thinking. As for which photographs to use, I think you just know when you look through them - the one that just kind of strikes you. 


CUS: Last but not least, what would you like to ask our next interviewee?

CI: What movie has the best soundtrack?

Chelsee Ivan, b. 1987 from Calgary, Alberta


Images provided by Chelsee Ivan. All rights reserved.