Photographer, Visual Artist, Traveler, and Explorer of Cultures
Purchase Josh’s work on his website: www.joshbulriss.com
Follow Josh: Instagram – @joshbulriss and on Twitter – @joshbulriss
OmArtist: Josh, are you pursuing your art/photography as a full time career? If so, what did you leave behind to pursue your dream and what made you take the leap into following your passion full time?
JB: My art is full time, but it’s less like a job and more like a lifestyle. I’ve made huge sacrifices as does any artist trying to make their dream become a reality. But I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Sacrifice, dedication, passion I believe these are the key ingredients for success.
OmArtist: What can you tell us about your story and how you came to be in your current creative mindset? Was creating in your cards early on in life or something that struck you later?
JB: In my teenage years writing music with bands was my outlet for being creative. After High school I started taking trips out to Hawaii to visit my Grandma, it was there that I started taking photos with a small point shoot camera for fun. That’s when I realized photography and traveling were exactly what I wanted to be doing.
OmArtist: I see from your website and portfolio that you have ventured into painting and even composing music, how did the adoption of these other art forms come into play for you? What inspired you to reach outside your photography to create?
JB: Music came first as a teenager then photography, then painting. Art is something I always loved viewing especially abstract art. I started painting in Hawaii for another way of expressing my creativity, and ended up selling my first painting within 3 months of learning. That was huge eye opener for me. Even though my paintings and photography are so different, they actually have some similarities like texture, color and appearance of aging.
OmArtist: How many countries have you traveled to in order to capture your impressive images?
JB: 12 countries across Asia, and most of them more than once. I am on a journey to find and photograph some of most unique and beautiful Buddha statues in the world.
OmArtist: With regard to your very popular “Buddha Project”, did you set out to create this series purposefully from the beginning? How many images are available in this project to date? How long have you been creating this body of work?
JB: I have spent over 2 1/2 years in Asia photographing a lot of various things. I was always looking to photograph things that brought me peace, with hopes of the images bringing the viewer some form of peace as well. I really didn’t have a direct focus like I have now when I started my travels to Asia. It was a slow progression that evolved into the Buddha Project.
I knew I needed a direct focus on a project that I have passion for in order to be successful. I had written to some accomplished photographers to ask them if they could take a look at my work and give me some advice. They would all say the same thing. “What’s your direction? It’s best to have a project with a narrow focus.” I knew I needed to to come up with something that I was passionate about along with being quite original.
I have never seen an artist doing anything like what I am doing with my Buddha project, and I think that’s important. 3 years ago my mother passed away and I knew she wanted me to keep following my dreams and passion as an artist. That’s when I came up with the idea of the Buddha Project. Seeking out statues across Asia that were were unique and beautiful in their texture, color, decay or had an interesting surrounding.
OmArtist: What would you like to share with our mindful audience about the purpose of your art?
JB: My daily goal is to make people just feel better. I use my photography with some inspiring quotes to try to uplift and teach people about Buddhism and having a more positive outlook on life. I think Finding our purpose in life is extremely important. I really feel I have found mine. Following our passion and dreams help us feel alive, and when we feel alive we help make others feel alive as well. This can impact the world in a huge way.
OmArtist: Your body of work as a whole is very much dedicated to capturing the essence of cultures. What is it about these traditions, ceremonies and cultural experiences that draws you in?
JB: I really enjoy photographing rich timeless culture, especially with Buddhism, that’s my main focus right now. There’s something so peaceful and uplifting to me about photographing monks and Buddha statues in ancient historic places.
OmArtist: The age old question that every photographer gets asked…. Canon or Nikon?
JB: Canon. I’m not sure if one is better than the other, I started with Canon so I stuck with it. I use the Canon 7d
OmArtist: What’s coming next from you Josh? Any new projects for focus coming in the near future?
JB: I will be heading back to Asia this November (2017) for 3 months to keep working on my Buddha Project. It has been huge for me, and I can’t stop the momentum I have going. Not sure of the exact countries yet. I am still working on it. But so far I have Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal and maybe Indonesia. I am also looking forward to having my first solo art show at Makers Gallery in Rochester, NY Oct 14th, 2017.
OmArtist: Josh, I love to ask this question of artist that connect to create. Do you feel connecting (ie. meditation, prayer. mantra etc) plays a roll in your creative process and/or success?
JB: I do believe this is a huge part of the process for creating art, at least for me. Being in that moment when I am photographing or painting is big part. I use photography as a form of meditation. When you are in that moment and nothing else around you matters, it’s a form of mediation. It’s important to be present in life, art teaches me this.
OmArtist: Thank you so very much for talking with us Josh! We are excited to see what you bring back for us (all of your fans) from your next journey. You are appreciated! Sat Nam my friend, and safe travels!