How did you get into fishing?
Most people say you can't recall memories from when you were 2 years old but I can totally remember my first fishing memory. I was with my grandmother, of all people. She took me out to Susquehanna State Park and we caught a bunch of crappy and blue gill. I distinctly remember having a run in with a huge bass. This memory always stuck with me. Something about the feeling that fishing that day gave me got me completely hooked. I haven’t turned back since.
I have known you for many years now. I know you have a deep connection to nature and to water particularly. What draws you in? How else do you connect with water?
I love to swim. I love going under water and holding my breath. I grew up spending summers at the beach always checking the waves, constantly chasing the next best thing. I sponged (body boarded) hard for a while. I can remember being really young, the waves were probably small but to me they were massive and I felt like I was in Hawaii. Nothing was ever more special to me than being in the ocean by myself; in this seemingly unknown and dangerous situation. I find peace by the water. When I need to clear my head I go to the water and sit. If I am happy I go to the water. When I met my girlfriend and I wanted to get to know her, I took her to the water. It’s all I know and all I need.
You have a blog and your own brainchild, the uncommon angler. What’s the drive for you in creating this?
A professor told me “the best photos are the ones that are relevant content to the creator.” I love fishing and the culture around fishing. So the creation of this outlet for me was natural and is the way that I can express myself. Otherwise, honestly, I am not that great at expressing myself in the right way. Art allows me to show exactly what I am thinking, feeling, yearning for, in a single format. I love working hard on a project and putting it together, drawing connections along the way with myself and with others around me. Being different is what it has seemed to always be about for me. The blog is simply my vision coming to life.
You’re an artist Austin. What’s art mean to you?
Art is simply a way to show how someone’s spirituality and inspiration looks. It’s a medium to express difficult concepts or touchy subject matter instead of arguing. Art is the bridge to connect this divide. I have always spent a lot of time alone and it has always been a thing that I have been critiqued negatively on. Art allows me to be that loner and to focus on my vision and myself. It’s just like being on the river alone. It’s peaceful.
What’s your dream day?
Happiness is a journey not a destination. Enough said.