If you’re feeling down, just take one look at Matt Crump’s Instagram feed and I promise it will brighten your day. But seriously, this artist has created a movement with his signature #candyminimal content and it’s hard not to have a sweet tooth.
// Editor's Side Note
SS: What’s your 9-5? (or let’s be real, your 8-8?)
MC: I spend a lot of time answering emails, jumping on calls, and going over briefs for the first few hours of the day. Then, I go shopping for weird props I need for the day/week. Then, in mid-day when my brain is finally ready to start being creative, I’ll start shooting (whether it’s going out to a location or doing some- thing in studio). And finally, in the later part of the day and into the night, I edit photos and finally pass out sometime around 2 AM. And in between all of that, I need to find time to edit personal stuff for my Insta- gram, since I like to post stuff throughout the day.
SS: TIME’s Instagrammer of Texas, what a big hon- or! What got you started Instagramming? And at what point did it turn into a more serious venture for you?
MC: I started Instagramming soon after the app launched, because a bunch of my friends were on it and I was dealing with a lot of FOMO back then. After I started using it more and more, I discovered artists who inspired me to try and experiment with photography— specifically minimalist photography. When my work started receiving lots of positive feedback, I thought maybe I was doing something right, so I kept at it and focused on getting better and better. I think I got serious about it when I created the hashtag, #candyminimal, to brand my style. Once I started seeing the tag blow up with photos from other people in that candy style, I knew I’d created something worth dedicating my time and energy.
SS: You obviously have a knack for color, where does your inspiration come from?
MC: My fascination with color started early in life. As a kid, I loved Dr. Seuss, Van Gogh, and Warhol, all of whom played with super-saturated pops of color.
SS: Okay let’s be real - spill the secrets of your editing. Do you use specific apps? Filters? Just give us a taste.
MC: When I first started playing around with #candyminimal style, I used a lot of iPhone apps like PicTapGo, ArtStudio, VSCO, and others. I didn’t stick with a specific filter, I just used what- ever made the colors of that particular image pop. When I transitioned to professional photography, I created a workflow in Lightroom to give every- thing the consistent candy-colored palette you see today.
SS: If you could have dinner with one person, living or not living, who would it be? And what would you talk about?
MC: I’d love to have dinner with Einstein and just have him talk to me about how the universe works. I think that could help open my mind and see things differently.
SS: Quote you live by?
MC: Less is more.
SS: Someone to follow on Instagram?
SS: Do you consider yourself an influencer? If so, at what point did it dawn on you?
MC: I think anyone who knows that they’re an influencer loathes calling themselves an influencer, so when- ever I hear someone say they’re an influencer (and they aren’t being ironic about it), I question whether they’re actually an influencer, or if they know what that word means. It’s okay for other people to call me an influencer, but it makes me squirm to call myself that. But when you’re making a good portion of your money from collaborating with brands, it’s probably safe to assume you’re influential on some level.
SS: The theme of this issue is “Content” - a pretty big word right now in the creative industry. What, in your opinion, is the future of content? What’s next?
MC: First, there’s no other content medium that’s grow- ing as fast as social, so that can only mean that social content is the future. Second, I’m seeing more video content than I ever have before, so I expect that advertisers will begin requesting more video collaborations. There will always be room for photography on social, but influencers who don’t learn to adapt their style to video run the risk of missing out on more opportunities.
SS: What advice would you give to brands or other creators who are trying to get their work seen and shared?
MC: I have 4 C’s: Consistency, color, curation, and collaboration. Stay consistent in the quality and amount of content you’re sharing. Pay attention to your color palette (and all the parts of photography) when posting to give your body of work a solid look. Curate your gallery with reposts (with permission) from other Instagrammers that fit your aesthetic. And finally, collaborate with the right people. It’s not about working with someone who has the most followers, but working with someone who fits your values, vision, and style.