Some invaluable advice helped shape the artistic success of this former musician and marketing executive: “Your work is beautiful, but we can easily find beautiful work. Give us something narrative, something special.” Those aren’t exactly the words an artist yearns to hear. Fortunately, Bobby Baker allowed the critique—from a prestigious art society—to positively motivate him on his journey from professional musician to sales and marketing executive to fine art photographer.
Maybe it’s the panda in me, but black-and-white photography truly speaks to me. Bobby masterfully captures the lines, patterns, and natural beauty of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, through stunning black-and-white imagery, as well as in vivid color. Of course his work isn’t just about the subject matter, but the feelings these scenes conjure. And now that he’s retired from his music and sales careers, Bobby focuses on his art from an antique Cape Cod home with a charming studio barn.
A longtime fan.
Bobby tells us that he’s used Frame Destination products for years. His gallery walls feature many prints in our Black Wood Frame Profile 503, and “always” with Bainbridge 8-Ply white mats. His dramatic “Fenced In” photograph is custom framed in a White Wood Frame Profile S24.
See more of his work.
Since we can’t show you all of Bobby’s work here, be sure to see his latest efforts on Instagram, Facebook, and on his website. If you’re wondering about his musical destinations and his most indispensable photography tools, your curiosity will be satisfied in my Q&A below.
Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Bobby Baker…
1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I am an artist whose medium is photography. My life has been spent in the arts in some fashion, from grade school to present. I spent a great deal of time as a professional musician, before a 25-year career as a sales and marketing executive. My photography career began in the late 1970s as an assistant to an event photographer in Palm Beach, Florida. A demanding tour schedule with a musical act relegated my photography to the backseat for a while. However, it was through my musical travels across the U.S., the Caribbean, and Mexico that I was treated to an incredible smorgasbord of vistas, people, and cool things that stirred my creativity. From day one, the ocean and all things coastal provided inspiration, and it remains so to this day. About 15 years ago a coworker viewed some of my work from my “musician on tour” period and encouraged me to get serious about my art. I heeded her advice and began to show new work with quick success that moved me to remain on this artistic path. With the executive career now in my rear view mirror, my time was now about my art. And with Cape Cod so often at the center of my creativity, it only made sense to live on the Cape full-time. Four years ago my wife, Dena, and I purchased a charming antique house and barn on the Cape. We converted the barn into the Bobby Baker Gallery featuring my work and that of some very talented Cape artists.
2. How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with their subject?
I think it’s very important for any artist to “connect” to their subject. A work of art should stir emotion – and if the artist is not connected in a special way to the subject of their work, the piece will probably be void of emotion.
3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
Many years ago when I was working to have my art accepted to one of the country’s most important art societies, I received this critique: “Your work is beautiful, but we can easily find beautiful work – give us something narrative, something special.” This simple piece of invaluable advice caused me to rethink what I was creating and made a world of difference in my success.
4. What ways does your work reflect your personality?
I think I have always been a “beach bum” at heart. That is where I have always been happiest — at the beach. My work is about all things coastal; the ocean, beach, sun, and the emotions that these special scenes can evoke.
5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
Not really. It’s hard not to be inspired when you live in a place like Cape Cod.
6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
My eyes. My creative vision is what sets my work apart.
7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
I am always working on creating art that conveys the special feelings I get from living on the Cape. You can follow my latest work on Instagram (@BobbyBakerGallery) and two Facebook pages (@BobbyBakerPhotography and @BobbyBakerGallery).
8. What “fad” gadget do you most regret purchasing?
Nothing fad-wise, but I have far too many tripods from being in search for “just the right one”!
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
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