Unlike most of today’s youth, junior Henry Austin has video skills that extend far beyond Snapchat and Vine. Austin, a visual arts and economics double major who hails from Lander, Wy., has been creating short films since his senior year of high school. Although inspired and assisted by others, Austinmostly taught himself.

Although videography is one of Austin’s most refined skills, he said that he is quite adept in multiple artistic areas. He focuses on printmaking in his academic studies at Bowdoin.

Austin spent this past fall  semester studying at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. While there, Austin took courses in color photography, High Renaissance art history, creative writing  and of course printmaking. 

“I took a color photography class in Florence and am taking photography again this semester,” he said. “So this academic year has been an introduction to photography as a fine art as opposed to something that I just do.”

Austin’s favorite part of creating art is collaboration, which is why he is drawn especially to making films.

However, Austin said finding a common time that works for all involved parties has proved to be the most difficult aspect of completing a project. But he enjoys the challenge.

“Collaboration is the best part of art, in general,” he said. “Videography in particular requires working in teams—that’s why I’m so drawn to it.”

Austin says he approaches the process of photography and videography in the same way. 
“Almost everything depicted in my pieces is basically just me having fun with my friends,” said Austin. 

The themes of fun and friendship can be seen by watching a few of Austin’s short films. Austin’s short film created in his sophomore year, “Burnt Decks,” depicts his childhood friend woodburning a design onto a skateboard. This short film, as well others, reveal Austin’s ear for music.

“Music selection is always a critical decision,” he said. “I shuffle through my playlist and pick a song based on what type of mood I want to convey. Sometimes, though, I will have a song and make a video for that particular song.”

Although Austin is not focused on videography from an academic standpoint, he has still been able to intertwine videography with his life at Bowdoin. He has entered two campus film festivals in the past and was recently hired by the Career Planning Center as a video intern. 
Clubs and individuals often contact Austin to shoot footage. Some of Austin’s photograms are currently on display in the Blythe Bickle Edwards Center for Art and Dance. 

Austin said he draws inspiration from both renowned artists and his peers.
“I like to view others’ work and try to imitate or capture what I liked about their method,” he said.

Austin cited Wes Anderson as his celebrity filmmaker inspiration, stating that Anderson’s refusal to compromise makes him a strong example to follow. 

As for long term plans, Austin said he intends to keep his art in the picture. 

“The ultimate goal is to fuse art and the process of creation with being active outdoors and exploration,” he said. “The dream job would be some sort of outdoor filmmaking.”

For now, Austin said he seems content with his focus on friends and fun. 

“Any time you hit the record button with your friends around, you have nothing to lose—but everything to gain,” said Austin. “Every moment is a special moment that can easily be forgotten.”

To suggest an artist for Portrait of an Artist, email Arts & Entertainment Editor Emily Weyrauch at eweyrauc@bowdoin.edu.