Leo Martinez Captures Duality in Chihuahua

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All images are copyrighted Leo Martinez, and are being used with permission.

Cities are microcosms of culture, history, tradition and art, and they often make for very fine photographs. For Leo Martinez, that city has been Chihuahua, the capital of the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, and it’s one that hasn’t lost its history. Martinez sought to capture the essence of the place, the traditions that are very much alive, the modern sensibilities that can occasionally eclipse those traditions and more. His work caught the attention of VSCO, and he earned a grant from the company’s Artist Initiative. Here, he talks about how he goes about capturing what makes Chihuahua Chihuahua, the inherent challenges of street photography and more.

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The VSCO Artist Initiative is a $1,000,000 Pot for Artists

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VSCO has $1,000,000 in its Artist Initiative, a scholarship fund for artistic projects across platforms. The fund, announced earlier this year,  is ten times higher now than it was when it was announced. This is due in large part to a $40 million investment, according to Fast Company.

While anyone could potentially apply, VSCO urges anyone interested to download VSCO Cam if they haven’t already. People should then upload their work to VSCO Grid, the company’s in-app social network that coexists with Instagram, rather than competes with it. After getting involved with the community, you can then apply for a portion of the pot with a project that is both unique and relevant, and should you win, you’ll have to then document it via VSCO Grid.

Since announcing the Initiative, VSCO’s only given the green light to a handful of projects, despite receiving well over a thousand applications. On the landing page for the Initiative, VSCO lists four requirements:

  1. The project has the potential for positive social and artistic impact.
  2. The project is unique and interesting.
  3. The budget is reasonable.
  4. The applicant displays passion, initiative and creativity.

It’s an admirable effort to foster creativity in a field where funding is often hard to come by, not that VSCO’s scholarship fund is easy to obtain. Yet, if you’ve got a project worth doing, and VSCO’s in line with your vision, then head on over to the page and apply.