Martin: My name is Martin Gunchev, I am 34 years old, from Smolyan – a small town in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria. I have been making photography for over 15 years. For me tranquillity is the best catalyst for ideas and perhaps, contrary to popular belief, a small town like Smolyan turned out to be the perfect place to develop my creative ideas. If we stick to the literary meaning of the word professional photographer, then I am not one. I am grateful that I have been able to keep my passion for photography pure and separated from any commercial purpose. For me photography is something very personal and intimate – the perfect way to express myself, to visualise my ideas, to materialise my imagination.
Martin: These are photo series in which the main character is possessed by a female forest spirit – Samovila. Samovila is likewise a woodland fairy or a nymph. The origin of the word is Proto-Slavic and means unbridled force… like a blizzard. The idea came to me while I was drifting off, in the half-awake state called Hypnagogia, listening to the music. I always wanted to create photographs inspired by this phase of sleep and the collaboration with Bisweed helped me get such hypnagogic hallucinations from which the photographs were born.
What has mentoring other people taught you?
Bisweed: My students vary from elementary school children to grown-ups and I teach DJing and production. I think I’ve learned how to speak about complicated things in simple words, so that I’m understood when it’s needed. I’ve learned how to keep people interested and motivated, as well as learned when it’s better to be patient and when – to take more control over the process so that every party would benefit. Overall, I can say that I value these qualities as they help me in life, not just in music. Among other things, however, I’ve learned how both – healthy amount of freedom and limitations at right time can boost up the process, witnessed how much better music is, when it comes effortlessly and that no matter how skilled you are, music is all about the emotion that it sparkles in both – creator and listener.
What is an important factor for keeping continuity in one’s career?
Bisweed: I think it’s trusting and enjoying the pathway, staying humble and feeling grateful in moments of triumph and being able to sustain a strong spirit in moments of losses.