We were talking to an artist friend of ours a while ago, a guy known for a very specific style of work, and we asked him how he developed his voice. How hard was it? “You know what’s funny?” he said. “It was only when I stopped trying so hard, stopped stressing out about it, that my voice really broke through.” Which basically sums up what’s so confusing about developing your voice as an artist. It seems to be both effortless and impossible. And we think that’s because when we talk about “voice,” what we’re really talking about is honesty. When someone tells you that you’ve “found your voice,” what they’re really saying is you’ve found yourself — and how the heck do you go about doing that?
It’s funny. One of the reasons we were so excited to talk to the creative husband-and-wife duo Sea Chant was to find out how they’ve cultivated such a distinct visual style. Everything they do is beautiful, colorful, almost hyperreal. They have a consistency of voice that a lot of beginning photographers and filmmakers strive for. But when we asked how they’ve done it, the conversation took a surprising (and great) 90-degree turn. It turns out Andrew and Carissa Gallo have no interest in aesthetic consistency, in voice development — in being “Sea Chant-y.”