1:1 - Matt Crump

Posted on: March 26, 2014

interviewed by Mark Killian
Welcome back to 1:1, the second interview in a series of conversations in which 1:1000 sits down with 1 writer or photographer, and forces them to spill their creative secrets.

Last week I chatted with Matt Crump, the photographer behind behind “You Only Live Once” and “Finding Faith at 30,000 Feet,” while hiding in the luggage compartment of Lady Gaga's tour bus as she fled SXSW covered in vomit. With a pound of Pop Rocks and a hundred miles of I-10 behind us, Matt was finally ready to explain why his Instagram account looks like something out of one of Katy Perry's teenage dreams.

1:1000: Candy Minimalism. Is that your term, or are you one of a handful of Candy Minimalizers?

MATT CRUMP: I started using the term "candy-colored minimalism” to describe my style about a year ago. 43k Instagram followers later, I launched the Candy Minimal movement with the hashtag #candyminimal. In just a few months, candy minimalists from across the world have tagged over 11,000 deliciously colorful photos. I feature the best ones on @candyminimal (which is the sister to my main account, @mattcrump).

1:1000: Wow. Two plugs in the first answer. You've come prepared.

MC: You can take the boy out of advertising but you can’t take the advertising out of the boy.

1:1000: So what came first, your photography or Instagram?

MC: Instagram came first. If I hadn’t joined IG, I doubt I would’ve become a candy minimalist, or even a photographer.

1:1000: Well thank God you did. What's the first thing you remember photographing?

MC: My first Insta-post was of my friend @rygal. It’s an awful photo. She’s overexposed, the background’s underexposed, the composition is crap, and I used Earlybird, the worst filter with an even worse frame. I thought frames were pretty cool back then.

1:1000: Ha! Frames. It's encouraging to know that even a pro like you was once trapped by that four-sided barrier. However, how DARE you besmirch the good name of Earlybird! How else am I supposed to soften my latte art at sunrise?

MC: You are literally the most pretentious person I know.

1:1000: What-evs. Moving on. From where and/or who do you get your inspiration?

MC: I have tons of Instaspirations, but I credit @mollymgrubbs as my first influence. As for what inspires me: wide open spaces. Being in a wide open space is freeing. Think about that field in The Sound of Music. I would’ve frolicked through it just like Maria. Wouldn’t you?

1:1000: I prefer to think of the battle scenes in Braveheart, but to each his own. Speaking of battles, a little birdie (aka your Twitter account) just told me you recently slaughtered your advertising career in the name of Candy Minimalism. What was stronger, your disdain for the ad world or your devotion to your craft?

MC: Advertising has taught me a lot about creativity. What people like, what people buy, and how to sell things—the very tools I need to run a successful business. There is plenty to hate about advertising (focus groups, amiright?) but I appreciate everything I learned. I’d never have left if it weren’t for my Candy-Minimal passion.

1:1000: What was the straw that broke the camel's back? What made you say, "Eff it! I'm focusing on my passion?”

MC: One morning at, IDK, 2 AM, I was finishing some spec work for a client presentation. I knew the work was going to die. Everyone did. So the next day I put in my two weeks notice.

1:1000: And did it?

MC: Yes. RIP.

1:1000: Well, you fought bravely. What was the most encouraging piece of advice you received while making your exit?

MC: "If you fail, you can always come back to advertising."

1:1000: And the most discouraging?

MC: “If you fail, you can always come back to advertising."

1:1000: ZING! What's on the horizon for the leader of the Candy-Minimal movement, other than stand-up comedy?

MC: So much, Mark. So much. But that’s classified. What I can tell you is that I’m launching a how-to guide at candyminimal.com for anyone interested in candy-minimalizing their own work.

1:1000: WHOA, WHOA, WHOA! You can't give away the secrets to Candy Minimalism! That'd be like Coke teaching everyone how to give little kids diabetes! That's your thing, man! You've got to hoard it.

MC: That’s exactly what my mom said! But candy minimalism inspires a lot of people, and I love seeing how people interpret it. So what if I tell them how to find the hue adjustment in Photoshop? It's the least I can do for the supporters of Candy Minimalism.

1:1000: Well while you're being all generous about it, will you Candy Minimalize me?

MC: Is the sky not blue?

1:1000: Anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

MC: Get involved in the #candyminimal movement! Tag your photos, check out my accounts, buy some of my work.

1:1000: If they ask nicely, will you Candy Minimalize them?

MC: For a nominal fee.

Interviewer Note: At time of publication, Mr. Crump had yet to Candy Minimalize me.

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