art:. Kindness Inspires an Art Project

playing with record

Shaunté Glover lives in Phoenix Arizona. Yet, Phoenix is more than just where Glover lives, it’s a place where she takes risk. Like, that time she started following Levi Maestro of maestroknows.com, followed an Instagrammer, became inspired by his video work and decided to start some work of her own – a video series initially with the barista community on kindness. Now, its developed into Kindness Portraits, documenting people through photography.

With a specific trait of the human spirit as her intention, clicking a button has become a necessary and powerful form of play. In conversation with Shaunté  Glover.

c.: How did you start?

s.g.: I went to school for photography. And, I followed a guy [on Instagram]  in L.A. who was doing video. I didn’t want to take classes. So, I started on my own, it gradually became a thing that I heart.

c.: How did this project Kindness Portraits – first a video series, now expanded into a photography series- get started?

s.g.: Umm…she laughs. I don’t really know.  There was one day where I thought about kindness and I don’t know what happen. I thought how kind people are the coolest; I even got kindness tattooed on my arm.

c.: That’s a lot of liking. A tattoo is a commitment. What made you get a tattoo?

s.g.: I’m not sure. I knew I wanted to do something with [kindness] and make it cool.  I like people and their opinions. And, I like Instagram a whole lot as a platform.

c.: How did you begin the first video?

s.g.: They start in color; I edit them on my laptop and then break it down and put a black and white filter on them. I used Afterlight for a little bit, then I found VSCO and it was game over. With VSCO there’s options to work on brightness and contrast. I feel it helps more with what you want aesthetically.

c.: How do you go about asking subjects to be apart of the kindness project?

s.g.: I tell them about the project. Its super brief, its an IG video 15 seconds or less [and now a photograph]. It’s really brief, there’s no wrong answer or right answer. I don’t want them to think too hard about it.  Wherever I am, I ask people and it’s just an opportunity to get people involved.

c.: Can you share how you got involved with coffee, what’s your relationship with it, I know you went to a Big Western coffee competition in 2014?

s.g.: My friend is a barista. I’m still new to the coffee scene. At the time it was Big Western and he was like yea you should come, and that was pretty much it. I just started drinking coffee and I agreed to work on the project so I said to myself I should participate – it’s a whole new world to me.

c.: What are you usually drinking?

s.g.: I usually do cold brew.

c.: Do you have a coffee shop that you like to go to locally?

s.g. Certain spots in downtown Phoenix, like JoBot, Royal Coffee Bar, Greater Than Coffee… I don’t have a favorite so far.

c.: What would you like people to know about your kindness project?

s.g.: I just want it to be this authentic thing. Its cool if people want to think about kindness, or whatever it is that they believe kindness to be. And, if they haven’t that is even better, it makes the whole thing cool – to see what they think.

You can follow Glover’s Instagram Kindness Portraits project here.  And, soon her cross country road trip with Coffee Scene.

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