PINELLAS PARK – Fine art photographer Dylan Todd is the latest artist to join the roster at the Studios@5663 in the Pinellas Arts Village, which spans from Park Station along the 5600 and 5700 blocks of Park Boulevard.
He signed the contract for his space in October, just in time for that month’s art walk, which offered residents the chance to trick-or-treat at all the venues in the arts district. Though he didn’t have any of his work on display in his studio yet, he still was eager to participate. So, he offered free pictures of children in their Halloween costumes to families.
Hailing from a small town just outside of Ocala, Todd has always been drawn to the arts.
“As a gay male that came out very young, I was always different and took art classes whenever I could,” he said.
He attended a magnet arts program at a local high school. The program focused predominantly on drawing, painting and sculpture.
“I am not the best at any of those,” Todd said. “I can kind of scribble. I can kind of sculpt.”
Then he took a photography elective class.
“I loved it,” he said. “I decided to stick with what I was good at and what I loved to do.”
He moved to Daytona, where he attended Daytona State College and later at the University of Central Florida to study photography.
Three years ago, following “a really, really bad break-up,” he decided he wanted a fresh start. He could move back home with his parents “in the middle of nowhere,” he said, or join a friend in St. Petersburg. Though he had only visited the St. Petersburg area once for a long weekend, he knew it has a reputation as an arts haven and also enjoyed his time here. It was a good decision, he added.
In addition to his fine art, Todd also works commercial art gigs, such as weddings and portraits. In fact, he works with a wedding company “that feeds [him] wedding [jobs] fairly regularly.”
Over the past year, he’s branched out and shown his creative photography more regularly too, including an exhibit at The Complete Sweet Shoppe in the Pinellas Arts Village. His personal work tends to focus more on landscapes reminiscent of where he grew up and other personal images.
Joining the Studios helps him take his work “to the next level,” he said. He added, “Also, I ran out of space in my apartment. But really I wanted to make a home base for my photography.”
For more information, visit www.dylantoddphotography.com