What is the story behind Lintroller?
Lintroller was born out of friendship and the mutual passion for collaborations and artistic production, especially in the photographic medium. A couple of us are actually friends who went to school together. We knew we wanted to keep making things together, so it was a natural progression to create an entity that would help unify our creative vision.
Who are the people behind your brand?
Lintroller is not a static organization, for the most part. While I (Alex Thebez) am responsible for most of the administrative side of things, Lintroller exists because I am interested in making works in tandem with other artists. Lisa Gonzalez is a regular collaborator and co-founder, who also help manage one of our projects, Lintroller Online. Vicki Thai, is another artist who work with us a lot as well, especially on the social media side of things.
Currently, Lintroller is working on a new publication project called TAGTAGTAG. For that, we are working with photographer Elizabeth Renstrom (who regularly makes work for magazines such as VICE, TIME Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek) and artist Robert Hickerson.
GIFRIENDS is also another Lintroller collaboration, that consists of myself and three other great artists / photographers: Marisa Gertz, Peter Marquez and Michael Fivis. Together, we make GIFs and other still photography projects for commercial or fine art purposes.
Why did you start Lintoller? Was there any special decisive moment that made you decide to go for it?
There was no specific moment that comes to mind. Instead it is something that I always kind of knew I wanted to do. I wanted to continue working as an independent artist who also actively show the works of my contemporaries as a way to support them. The timing felt right, so we started to take it as a serious project about a year ago.
What’s the passion that drives the company forward and where do you get your inspiration?
I personally cannot stop thinking about making things. I try to keep up to date with what is currently happening in contemporary photography with the help of my dear colleagues. It helps that one of our projects, Lintroller Online forces us to constantly look at new trends both in the conceptual and visual sense.
All of us in Lintroller, including our collaborators, are very passionate about photography as a medium. That passion definitely drives us forward. Not to mention, also, that we live in an exciting time to be working in the creative industry, especially in publishing and photography. Things are definitely bustling – and massive changes are happening, whether they are for better or for worse – so that keeps us on our toes.
What’s the best thing about being your own boss?
It can be a bit nerve wracking, but the fact that everything comes down to what your own decisions. You have complete authority, and that is a huge responsibility.
Where is your favorite spot to work?
I am a hermit, so I do a lot of my work at home when I am not working on set. We also have a studio space downtown that serves as an office and a shooting space. Most of our work happens between the studio and home.
Do you have any other dates or stories that were significant for your business?
We were recently invited to attend the 2014 Tokyo Art Book Fair that is organized by ZINE’S MATE. I am excited to introduce my new book at the event: Feelings & Similar Items Vol. II.
In addition, later this year we are also publishing the first physical issue of TAGTAGTAG which features a legendary photography figure, George Pitts.
Do you ever regret doing your own thing and starting your company?
Nope. Never regret.
Could you count up all the different materials and tools that you use? Every single one is important :)
One of the things that I cannot function without is my Hobonichi Planner. I’m a total scatter brain, and I’ve definitely tried multiple electronic solutions to help me organize the multitude of things that need to be done. In the end, pen and paper works the best. Hobonichi Planners are not only amazingly cute, they are also the perfect size for my needs. I use it as both a planner and sketchbook.
As for photography purposes, things are pretty expected: We have a digital SLR, a couple of film point of shoots, a couple of bulb holders and portable flash for lighting.
We also work on Mac computers, with the help of Adobe Creative Suite.
Lindley Warren – an independent photography curator who has organized international exhibitions and publications based on her internet projects has recently started taking pre orders for one of her projects, The Photographic Dictionary.
While the store is pretty sparse, I am definitely sure that it won’t be long before more iterations of her projects appear there: http://thephotographicdictionary.tictail.com/
Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs?
Not too sure whether I am a legitimate source of advice – but definitely don’t forget to turn your computer and phone off when you go to bed at night.
And just in general (this applies to everyone) don’t be a dick.