Sarolta Bán, “Helping Dogs with Images”
I’m very happy to share with you this interview with Hungarian photo artist Sarolta Bán! You may have already seen some of the magical images she creates with Photoshop. Each photograph seems to come straight out of a fantastical fairy tale…
Her latest project is called “Helping Dogs with Images”, and aims to put shelter animals in the spotlight and show that they too can make wonderful pets. Submissions for the project will be accepted until June 30th, 2014, so if YOU know a shelter animal that could use some extra visibility, make sure to head over to Sarolta’s Facebook Page to upload a photo of the animal in question. She will then edit the image until it becomes truly a piece of art.
Can you shortly introduce yourself?
I was born in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary. Originally I’m a jewellery designer, later I discovered digital photo manipulation and it became my passion and main activity.
I like using ordinary elements and by combining them, I can give them various stories and personalities. I hope that the meanings of my pictures are never too limited, are open in some way, and that each viewer can transform them into a personal aspect.
I’m not so good in talking about myself, I prefer to let the pictures ’talk’.
You started a wonderful new project: “Helping Dogs with Images”. How exactly does it function?
Via my Facebook page, I ask people to upload photos of dogs, cats or other animals that are currently in shelters. I then create photo montages from these images, Photoshopping animals in majestic and fantastically splendid settings where the pet takes center stage. The images are shared on my Facebook page of over 150,000 fans, along with a description, contact info and location of the animal in need of adoption. So far, I have received over 400 images to work on.
As an extra nudge, future owners will receive a free print of the animal they adopted. Tucker, the black labrador amidst the tall buildings and planes, is the first to the first to find a loving home through the project, adopted earlier this week at the Northwoods Humane Society in Wyoming. Help Dogs with Images continues through June 30th, 2014.
How did you get the idea for your project “Helping Dogs with Images”?
I would love to help because I feel this is the way I can help for shelter animals. I work with photo montages, that’s what I do every day and I hope I can help to give them exposure through my Facebook Page. I actually wanted to adopt a dog a few months ago and it was shocking how sad all the dogs in the images were. That’s when I was thinking to change their story and try to give a better chance for them to get them adopted.
Through this project you want to change our perception of shelter animals. What makes these animals so special, in your opinion?
All the animals are special, while they are not fortunate all of them are perfect and deserve a loving home.
Do you have any adopted pets yourself? And if you do, can you tell us a bit about them?
I have a three months old dog called Mese (Mese means Tale in Hungarian).
The images you create are really stunning pieces of art. Can you describe your working process? (Where do you get the ideas for your photos? They look like fairy tales!)
I work on the images in Photoshop. I work on a picture from a few hours to a couple of days long and many times I use up to 100 different layers on a picture. I get inspiration from every day happenings in my life or from existing images of mine.
Until when can people send in photos of shelter animals? And what happens afterwards?
Because of the awesome interest I have extended the deadline until June 30th. We are having negotiations with galleries to present them to the public.
How would you convince people to adopt, rather than buy, a pet?
I don’t want to convince anyone, I just hope that I can show that all the shelter animals can be very special and beautiful too.