Anousha Hutton is a British photographer based in Los Angeles. Her journey with photography began in London, whereupon graduating high school, she was awarded a “Top 5 in the UK” designation from the AQA. From there, she studied Photography and Film at University of the Arts, Camberwell, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree. She then began working with musicians and related figures in Toronto’s art scene, shooting gritty black and whites on film. After her 2009 move to Los Angeles, Anousha began developing her signature high-contrast color palette, along with her production ethic that emphasizes bringing out the internal. You can check out her beautifully photographs here.
“I am inspired by dreams a lot of the time, particularly nightmares. I do energetic work with each of my clients, bringing out areas of their psyche from deep within themselves through my lens. The story of each character always comes to me psychically when working around the subject. The characters are a blend of my dreams and psychic messages coming through the subject.”
1. Do you actively do anything to keep your brain healthy, and if so what? I try to meditate as often as I can, I also take serotonin daily and exercise.
2. What or who mentally stimulates your growth the most? My spiritual life stimulates my growth the most, it gets me asking deeper questions regularly which in turn creates a shift in thinking and actions which continue the expansion of personal growth.
3. If you could add or take away anything from your brain what would it be? I would add practicality, being so rooted in the creative can be draining if not managed properly.
4. Are you more emotion or reason based when making decisions? I am definitely more emotion based, gets me in trouble sometimes.
5. In what situations have you learned the most about yourself? When I am in love.
6. Do you think you have to learn good judgement? (Are people inherently self destructive?)
Yes, absolutely. Sometimes I think the only reason we are here is as an experiment to see how quickly we can mess the world and ourselves up. The human condition has been designed to destruct and act solely out of ego needs. I think we are the laughing stock of the universe.
7. Do you have any daily or annual rituals? Are they personal to you or your family or are they related to your culture or religion? I try to meditate as much as possible. It helps in my personal and creative development. I drink coffee every day. Being British in LA is unusual as there isn’t anywhere to go that authentically reflects British culture. Sometimes, I think that’s why I moved here though.. anyway off topic.
8. Can you speak any other languages, and if so why that language? No other languages, unfortunately. I did try to learn Japanese when I was 10, didn’t go so well.
9. If you could live inside of a book, which one would it be? Alice in Wonderland.
10. Are there particular books you find yourself buying for or lending to people close to you?
I find myself buying and being given a lot more books on the occult. I’m currently reading “The Chaos Protocols” by Gordon White. A book all about navigating through the new economic structure using magic. My favorite astrologer, Mystic Medusa recommended it. I follow her blog closely.
11. Is it more important for you to speak or to be heard? To be heard, always, I hate feeling ignored.
12. Do you think a time exists that is easiest to create? For instance, do you strike the muse or does the muse strike you? There is rarely an easy time to create. I resist it greatly but when it happens I never regret it. I have tried to maintain a photo a day principal which I post on my Facebook but that’s purely to just keep the muscle moving. They are shot on the Iphone. I capture the images when the mood strikes me so entirely different methodology to my creative work which is carefully staged but nonetheless a useful exercise to help target resistance to creating and releasing.
13. Do you have an emotional state that you find it easier to create in? No, it’s variable for me. Although I do tend to make better work when I have little distractions.
14. Are there certain elements that you employ to set up the perfect mental space for creating? For example: Music/Food/Smells/Locations I always send music to my models before arriving to set so they can get in the space I need them in. During the shoot I mainly need unlimited coffee and some music playing. After a creative shoot I tend to hole myself up in a dark room with my editing software for several hours doing post, interrupted by lots of pacing. Fairly unromantic. The post production process is always my favorite part, even when I was shooting on film, I preferred the final stages than actually taking the picture.
15. Do you think you have to have an elevated ego to be an artist? The amount of rejection would destroy someone without an elevated ego.
16. What smells do you most associate with your childhood? The smell of fresh rain and tea.
17. Do you have spiritual needs and if so how do you nourish them? Yes, deeply. I nourish them by meditation and prayer, communicating with others that elevate my energy, helping others, my art.
18. Do you have a place you go to, either physically or mentally, where you feel the most at peace?
Yes, I’m in it right now. My friend’s place in the hills. It’s a deeply comforting space for me. This temple was the headquarters to the Theosophical society in 1916, there’s something about being in a space with so much history of creatives and mystics that balances me out. I’m very at home here.
19. Do you think that people need some form of discomfort to make art? To a degree one is never fully comfortable in life wherever they are. Life is fluid and constantly changing, it’s impossible for any feeling or moment to last forever; Unless you create art from it, then it does live on. But to answer the question directly, I feel a sense of creativity come through me irrespective of my stability in life. The ideas come when they are ready. The tricky part is the execution, which can only be done when I am grounded and centered. Sometimes I have ideas float for a few years before I shoot them, others need to happen same day.
20. Are you more motivated by the promise of reward or the threat of punishment? Reward, always. Punishment never motivates me but the word certainly brings a photo shoot to mind.
21. How much does your conscience/morals come into play when making decisions? All the time. To the point I over think things.
22. Do you ever experience your emotions in physical ways? If so, how? Yes, I am a deeply emotional, empathic person. I tend to pick up on other’s emotions very easily, if not more so than my own. My camera often does too. It’ll show me exactly where that person is at the time. I do experience physical symptoms depending on the emotion. Anger feels tingly in my hands and feet, sadness feels like a hollow feeling in my gut, excitement feels like a million butterflies around my heart.
23. What is your least favorite physical sensation? Stubbing my toe.
24. What is your favorite physical sensation? A warm bath.
25. Do you think a person has to understand art in order to be able to appreciate it? No. My favorite art I don’t understand hence why I keep on going back to it to try to uncover it. If a piece of art is easily understandable, it’s not for me, I love complexity.
26. Do you connect more to the lyrics or music in songs (assuming a song has both!)? Music always. I’m not a words person.
27. What is your earliest memory? Being in my mothers womb, I remember it clearly.
28. If you got alzheimers or dementia what memory or memories would you be saddest to lose – or – which ones would cause the biggest loss of your personal identity? The memories of feeling love would be the saddest to lose, the ones I feel formed my identity can leave whenever they like.
29. Do you expect happiness in your life? I expect life to be flawed and in turn it makes the happiest moments special.
30. Do you feel like falling in love is a spiritual or chemical process? Falling in love is spiritual, lust is chemical.
31.Do you try and avoid feeling negative emotions or do you feel it is more constructive to experience your emotions fully?
I never avoid the negative emotions, instead I accept them. I don’t resonate with the ethos of only positive thinking, there is a lot to be learnt from darkness and the shadow self. My creativity is a celebration of the mind within both areas of darkness and light. You simply can’t have one without the other.
32.What flaws do you think you have when it comes to communicating with other people?
I have an awful tendency to look at everything around the person and get easily distracted by people watching. It can be frustrating for others who want my full attention. I’m constantly looking at every piece of visual information at all times.
33.How do you deal with situations or individuals that fail to stimulate you creatively or emotionally? Do you avoid this situations/have a set of tools in which to navigate them?
I believe everyone, even the people who don’t stimulate you, are here to teach you. In fact, there’s a certain form of detachment I enjoy when you find someone really uninteresting. I’m constantly learning about people even when they are boring, then that gets me thinking, why? What made them boring in the first place. I think about these things too much.
34. What do you think your ex partners would say the hardest thing about loving you was?
My love for drama. Sorry to all of them. I know i’m tough.
35. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? If so, what do you think they mean?
Nothing recurring. My dreams used to be almost always scattered nightmares. I’ve definitely been experimenting with lucid dreaming over this year too. My work is mainly centered around dream state. Most of my imagery comes from dreams. I’m interested in layers of consciousness and whether our reality dimension is inter tangled with the dream world. I met with a very profound spiritual teacher about two years ago now and that’s when everything changed for me. The two worlds did really merge into one. I’ve noticed that my ideas for the next round of work I’m shooting are even more surreal than before. I’m just about to make my first film which is based on a dream I had where I transformed into my past lifes. It was one of those dreams that hung around for years afterwards.
36. If you have ever taken psychedelic drugs, did you have any interesting hallucinations on them? Do you feel changed from having taken them? Never taken them. I’m on them naturally.
37. Do you find your mood affected by different colour palettes? Yes, absolutely. I see the world in bright color palettes, especially since moving out to LA. Everything is big and bright and sparkly this way and nothing like England. I think there’s something very important about color. The associations we have with colors are so deep and run through all of us on both a subconscious and conscious level. I enjoy a sharp, punchy color palette although experimenting with pastels and a more muted palette can be interesting also. I want people to feel something in their gut when they look at my art. Gut responses can be easily initiated by color. I like the confrontation and intensity of bold colors. When I look at intense colors I feel a deep power.
38. If you could live in a world where the aesthetic was controlled by a particular visual artist or film director, who would you choose? David Lynch or if I was in a light mood, Wes Anderson.
39. What’s the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen? I see unbelievable things everyday, I’m never not transfixed and in awe with life. I see everything as if I was four years old for the most part. Never really left that childlike state.
40. Have you ever seen something which you feel has directly resulted in certain elements of your personality today?
I do recall one of my earliest memories of life was laying down by the front door of the house I grew up in. I think I was about 4 or 5 and tapping my body down in full recognition that my soul was stuck in it. It was a crazy thought for such a young person to have but it never left me.
41.Would you rather lose your sight or your hearing? Hearing. One of my biggest fears is to lose my sight. Actually, I think that fear may have been what made me want to be a photographer.
42. Do you feel like you surround yourself with the people who see you for who you really are?
Yes, definitely. Life is short and you only really need the people who see you clearly and accept you in truth without a projection of their ideals. There will only be a few, but those few you never stop surrounding and collaborating with.