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Check Out Robert Trupp’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Trupp.

Hi Robert, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Childhood art interests are encouraged through many waits in hospital hallways. My skills increased through much practice and being something of an introvert. When I went into the US Navy and received extensive training as a Photographer’s Mate where I mostly flourished as a chemicals/darkroom guy and practiced litho film and infrared film images. So fast forward to the early 90s when I moved my family from San Francisco to Kansas City, where I began to work at Custom Color Lab, then owned by Nate Accardo and Guy Clark.

I began doing some studio work with actors involved in the Renaissance Festival, which lead me to participate myself. For 15 years, my wife and I were the Premiere Face Painters of the festival under the name of Fantasy Faces. I was still hobby activated in photography until I discovered a few awesome APPs for my phone in 2013 till present times. These apps opened the floodgates of creativity that now has me developing through other apps, in-phone images that I export to the desktop, and log approximately 200 images a month. One app, in particular, is called LongExposure 2, which allows me to shoot images while moving the camera to create impressionist style images and when oversaturated and other editing steps are taken, they become interesting Abstracts. I was getting prints made and we were showing our art pieces in downtown Kansas City at 920 Baltimore in an art space known as PopUp Gallery under the management of Camilo Estremadoiro. Camilo would hold art activities functions and at one of these, I started to draw again. At one art show my wife and I were each participating in, a friendly visitor expressed great interest in my bin full of prints and started to talk about licensing designs into the marketplace. This is where I am today, designing or filtering the images I produce for the purpose of placing them in the marketplace on as many products as I can.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Finding my “style” has been a challenge. When I left the Navy in the early 80s, I began working in photo processing labs where my skills in chemical controls and management from Navy training. Seeing hundreds of commercial works each month lead me to see trends that I liked and practices I didn’t. I started trying my hand in the high-end portraiture and created my own lighting systems and a sense of communication with my subjects, really quite challenging for an introvert, but a camera was an effective barrier.

When I moved from San Jose, CA to San Francisco, it was to try and get into the model portfolio building action. Creatively these endeavors were great, financially they (I) was doing terrible. I had a young family and I was in despair that my children were going to be lacking in values that I grew up within the midwest. We moved to Kansas City, where I began to prosper for the first time while working at Custom Color Lab. I had set aside my art interests to focus on growing the business of my employer, which I believe I did quite well for 18 years. When the new ownership took over, I was not welcomed in. So, in short, money was always a challenge, money for insurance, housing, food, and used cars, that was all we had.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My wife BJ and I are an Art team, we practice widely different types of artistic skills, which reduces the competitiveness. We are each able to support and encourage each other in our relationship and in our art. Most of my photography that is seen is the product work I do to showcase the items that my wife (BJ) makes under her brand – Quantum Creations KC. As for my art, I enjoy challenges. At one art event for Figure Drawing, I was waiting for the start when a gal (Halston Livingston) sat next to and we began to bump elbows since she was left-handed.

We agreed to try drawing Wrong-Handed and comparing our results together. She is now our Friend-for-life and a frequent model for my experiments in abstract imagery. Developing my photography has to do with being able to view the image take place while I move the camera (phone)! When I use a standard digital camera (DSLR) the mirror locks up and all goes blank, when I use the app on my phone, I can see exactly where I moved too fast, too slow, too long, too short… absolutely everything it takes to make the image I like. Then I am able to do the same thing with my Nikon.

I now have 40 years of working history in photo and printing companies and have the skills to know how to create great printing images so that I don’t get the expensive disappointment by a great image but a poor useable digital file.

How do you think about luck?
Luck, as instances in life are known, as has been a constant in my thought life. I tend to rehash my words and actions over and over, looking for patterns and breakthroughs that can be a step towards success, however it is recognized. I have thrown out countless art images in my past while the image in my current frame of mind became the success I was looking for then, now, however, they are next to worthless, while my old trashed negatives and slides are the treasure I wish I had. I have had the luck of meeting just the right person like Bense Garza, who mentioned getting my images out on the marketplace. I had the luck of meeting a young man working at the RenFest, taking him home to meet my wife and we treated him like family and now, all these years later, he is in the process of building a home for us on his property deep in the southern Missouri forests so we can retire there.

Luck is being open to the possibilities that come around you, the ability to see with open eyes the opportunity to move forward, maybe not the way you thought you were going, but forward nonetheless.

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Image Credits
Model-Halston Livingston Kit Bond Bridge

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