Foreword 005: Daniel Cox
So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that life's a Great Balancing Act... And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) Kid, you'll move mountains! -- Dr. Seuss
Tell us about yourself!
I'm an Australian born, French raised curly haired weirdo who calls himself a Creative Content Creator because I've actually got no idea what I'm doing. At the moment a lot of people are calling me a photographer, and to be honest I don't consider myself to be one whatsoever. I'm a creative. And every means I use, to tell an emotion or try and explain what my eye sees, has its own story to tell and beautiful complications.
I was born in Sydney, Australia but moved to France when I was seven years old. I was that really silent nerd at school and spent my childhood building forts in the woods and always using my imagination to create. I finished high school after majoring in physics and chemistry, leaving with a Scientific Baccalaureate, planning on following my friends into medical school and becoming a neurosurgeon but was not convinced that was right for me.
Anyway, long story short, I decided that spending 12 years studying for a job that I might not be motivated to wake up to in the morning might not be the best idea. I wanted my job to be my hobby.
This might sound so cheesy, but I discovered a wide variety of people, photographers, designers through Instagram including Daniel Simmons and Christian Watson, who blew my mind away. I started to dream, to develop my skills on my own. I taught myself how to use a camera, to use Photoshop and Illustrator, to code my own websites and to become a more passionate cineaste.
I flew back to Sydney and started studying Design in Communication. I didn't really find it challenging enough and through being inspired to create with the tools I already had, I started filming again and designing not for homework but for myself. I developed my style in photography and spent all my free time shooting and editing none stop.
In the end, because of some things happening, I decided to move back to France. And there, well I felt my creativity in the things I do blow up. I started directing short films and finding out the specific things that I was good at in design and photography. And here I am. I am still trying to find out what to do, still learning, still being inspired by the people around me. And every day I find new ways to combine all my skills.
Does that answer the question? I think I rambled on for a long time. Sorry. The quick answer is that I wanted to create and when I couldn't tell the message I wanted through one method, I learned another one.
How has living in two different cultures shaped you?
I'm not quite sure how living in two different cultures has shaped me to be the person I am today. It's quite a tough question to ask myself. I think when you've grown up in two cultures, it becomes normal so it would actually be difficult for me to see from my point of view how living in two cultures has shaped me any differently from living in just one (except that when I am in Australia I feel French and in France I feel Australian). I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't moved to Europe and grown up in France. I feel like that because I moved around, and changed cultures often, I adapt faster to an environment. I can get lost in a city I'm completely unfamiliar with and not get scared or panic. But apart from that, I don't really see the changes it has done to my life. I'm lucky to have had the chance to be surrounded by such a diverse environment and culture difference. Maybe it's opened up my creative eye to see more and observe the people and places.
What is a memory that makes you smile to remember?
I remember being in the Redwood forest when I was really young during a road trip my parents were going on across America. There is a photo of my dad holding me in a tree and I’m wearing pants and a coat my mum made me. I don’t know why, but it’s a special memory. It’s 'literally' a younger me. I still climb trees and I still wear clothes my mum has designed.
Can you talk about something you've learned from your mom?
My mum has always encouraged me with everything I have ever created from a very young age. And she has always shared what she sees in the world with me. So I think I learned to see the simple beauty of everyday things, thanks to her, what she sees and through the things she created. She also taught me to just create without thinking of what I didn't have or what materials I wished I had.
A young stranger approaches you and he's nervous because he's about to go on his first date later in the evening: What advice do you have for him?
haha. A stranger wouldn’t approach me. I think I scare people because I’m really silent and I don’t talk that much. But if it were the case, I would just tell him to be a gentleman, to be himself and to listen to her.
What gives you peace?
Listening to music. A soft cello, a grainy piano, etc…
Photo Credit: Daniel Cox
Written by Clayton Fuller