A Day With a 19-Year-Old Phenom Photographer Myles Loftin | The_ONES
Sneaker Diaries: Up Close and Personal With a 19-Year-Old Phenom Photographer
If the world finally seems receptive to embracing alternative perspectives in art and design, the movement has no better ambassador than up-and-comer Myles Loftin. “My work centers around themes of blackness, representation, and identity,” says the 19-year-old photographer and Parsons School of Design sophomore. He provocatively portrays his peers with a sense of joy and intimacy that’s sweet, not saccharine, shattering stereotypes of African-American youth through colorful and emotive compositions. “I’m most interested in people who have unique ways of expressing themselves, whether through dress or art,” he says.
The unexpected exuberance and fresh perspective—which pops off Loftin’s popular Instagram feed @mylesloftin—has landed his editorial work on the digital pages of W and V magazines and his personal projects recognition in Milk magazine and Vice, a balance Loftin hopes to master post-college. “I would like to continue to produce conceptual work and find a happy medium between producing commercial work for clients while showing work in art spaces, books, and zines,” he says.
But for now, when not in class, Loftin can be found honing his craft around NYC. “My favorite project to work on so far has been this fashion editorial that I shot in Harlem earlier this year,” he says. “The experience was challenging but also super fun. We took over the streets.”
So we took to the streets with Loftin, asking him to document a day in his life—from waking up to lights out—to get a firsthand look at his pad, pals, and creative process.
11:00 a.m. I wake up after hitting the snooze button on my phone about four times; I really planned on waking by 10:00 a.m. It’s Friday, which luckily means that I don’t have class. Of course, I still have things to do. And I’m really hungry! It’s cold as hell outside, so I’m really not looking forward to dealing with that.
12:00 p.m. After about an hour of procrastination and mentally preparing, I finally leave my dorm. I’m headed to a cafe on the Lower East Side to get some breakfast. The F train is conveniently located less than a block away, so I hurry to the station to escape the winds, which are vicious.
12:20 p.m. I make it to my coffee spot and escape death by cold once again, ordering a small hot chocolate and a big, buttery croissant. I open my MacBook Pro and start catching up on emails while sneaking peeks of Twitter and Instagram here and there. They’re playing Frank Ocean’s entire discography here, and I reaaalllly don’t want to leave.
1:20 p.m. As I’m leaving I come across a small gallery with some really cool work on the walls (I make the mistake of forgetting to write down the gallery name). One of the women working tells me one of the paintings reminds her of my orange hair, and that I should take a photo with it. I opt for a photo of it instead. They have a cute black-and-white dog that I pet for a while before leaving to get back on the subway.
1:30 p.m. I rush through the turnstiles to catch my train to 42nd Street.
1:45 p.m. I told my barber that I would be there to get my hair cut around 1:00. That obviously didn’t happen. Afterwards, I take the train to see one of my best friends, Anzie.
3:15 p.m. Anzie’s place is about a 45-minute train ride away in Brooklyn, but it’s so worth it. My friend Jaylen comes over about 15 minutes after me, and we all just talk and listen to music. Jaylen does photography and poetry, and Anzie is a model, singer, and writer.
5:15 p.m. We head out because I have to pick up some film and get prints made for the Pin-Up show tonight at Parsons. Twice a year, this club called PhotoFeast invites students from all the art schools in the city to come pin up their photographic work in a super-informal group exhibition.
5:45 p.m. I hop back on the train to Manhattan for the show.
10:00 p.m. We go back to my dorm and order pasta from Uber Eats. I get fettuccine with white garlic sauce and grilled shrimp. After everyone leaves, I stay up for another few hours working on homework and browsing Tumblr until I fall asleep.
Photos by Myles Loftin.
“I love my Vans because they’re super comfortable and they go with pretty much anything,” he says. “Also, they’re pretty timeless; I could probably wear them 20 years from now, and they’d still be in style.”
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