John Swartz – “In the Mood: Spotlight” Interview

Next in the spotlight is photographer, John Swartz who tells us the story behind his beautiful photo, “Three Fishermen” and shares his cherished memories of times spent in the Philippines.


Welcome to “In the Mood: Spotlight”, John! 

Tell me something about where you live 

I live and work in Japan. It is wonderful and expensive place to live. Crime is near nonexistence but they still have. Experiencing Japan is a daily thing for me. 


‘Local Soba’ by John Swartz

What inspires you most to create art or take photos? 

Hmmm…. That would definitely be the WOW factor. When someone looks at a picture or painting and you see their mouth say WOW without making a sound. For that moment they have left the world and put their mind in a different place based on that art work. Not all my pictures have the WOW factor but that is my goal to achieve. 
On the same notion I always welcome criticism good or bad. Yep even the bad. That too even inspires me.

Infrared Temple

‘Infrared temple’ by John Swartz

Can you tell me the story behind your “In the Mood: Featured” work? 

“Three Fishermen” was taken in the Philippines. A good friend of mine whom lived in the Philippines, which I would visit often suggested a trip, a trip to the local’s vacation spot. This spot was very isolated. The beauty there was so surreal. The water was crystal clear and the air was so pure. The daily life was so simple. It so reminded me of the movie “The Beach” a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. The down side to the isolation was the local power was shut off from 6 AM to 2 PM daily and cell phone coverage was in and out which made things so much more relaxing. I took this photo sitting on the decks behind our hotel while my friend and I enjoyed a nice cold Sam Miguel. To watch the journey of the sun setting in this spot and time was a spectacular event. Non that I have ever witnessed before and I have to tell you I have been and seen many. I was definitely at the right place at the right time. Sad to say not too long ago my friend has passed away due to health issues. Each time I do see this picture I think of him and the solitary beach paradise. 


‘Three Fisherman’ by John Swartz

Which image in your portfolio has received the most response? 

Heavenly Skies. What do people like most about it? Most like the colors and rays of sun light. 

Heavenly Skies

‘Heavenly Skies’ by John Swartz

What do you enjoy most about creating art or taking photos?

Learning something new. I love a change and experience. I am self-taught since I started at the age of 7 and haven’t stopped since. I have used all mediums to include Tattooing. My current medium/tool is photography to create art, as my current job doesn’t allow me to use other mediums as I do travel a lot. 

How important is art/photography to you?

 I try to make it a part of my life daily. It’s pretty important as it makes me feel good when I am creating it. To think that someone will look at this and it will make them feel good for a moment or create a conversation. 

Tunnel of Water

‘Tunnel of Water’ by John Swartz

What do you look for most in a piece of art or photography? 

I always look at the basics rules of art like rules of thirds, leading lines, texture, light, and colors. More importantly does it tell a story? My eyes do break the picture down and I am thinking about how one made the art and what steps they went through, in other words the journey. 

Apart from art or photography, what other interests do you have? 

Besides art, I have perfected making pens with exotic woods and other materials. Woods that are used for trim in exotic cars. These pens are more for personalized gifts. 

Do you have any advice for artists or photographers that are just starting out? 

WOW, I have several folks in my area always asking for advice from me. It seems that I always tell them the same thing, to perfect the basics, practice daily, get feedback, and learn something new daily. Most importantly enjoy what you are doing. If you are not enjoying then maybe you need to stop. By the way you’re not going to get good at it overnight. Some say it takes about 10,000 hours to be a professional at something. You can do the math. 

Colored Skies

‘Colored Skies’ by John Swartz

Thank you so much for being interviewed for “In the Mood: Spotlight”! Do you have a website where we can see more of your work? 

I do have some work in Shutter Stock but it has been years since I have visited this site. As you know this is a Stock photography site and it’s not me. Fine Art America is my only current site. I am new to this site and it fits me to the “T”. I have several more photos to upload. In time you should expect to see more. Hopefully one of them will be HONORED to be “In the Mood: Featured”! Thank you. 


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