Featured Photo: Brad Ogbonna
Tell us your name, occupation and where you are from?
Q: My name is Quinn Wilson, I am from a tiny town in Michigan called Haslett.
A: Asha Efia, I am a photographer and I was raised in Las Vegas, NV. I lived in Minneapolis for a year and half but I kind of feel like I’m from there a little bit because it impacted my life so intensely in a short amount of time.
Photos: Cipriana Quann
How did you meet?
Q: Asha and I met on the set of a photoshoot, I was asked to do be the makeup artist for the shoot. I accepted the job because I found out that Asha was shooting it a week or so prior I had been admiring (okay maybe stalking) her instagram & had planned on reaching out to her to work together, turns out the universe sped up the process and put us on the same set faster than I could type an email. We kinda clicked after that…kinda.
A: Quinn and I met on set of a photoshoot, we had a mutual friend that is a stylist and asked us to work on a shoot together. Through out the shoot I’m pretty sure we were just quickly falling in love with one another. Although the shoot never saw the light of day (we won’t go into detail why haha) we bonded over it and the rest is history… we’ve been inseparable since.
Why the name Q + A?
Q: I’m Q…she’s A…together we are Q+A *takes bow, curtseys, leaves stage*
A: When we decided to start a blog everything came so easy. The name Q+A was the first thing I threw out there. I had the name in my head the moment we started talking about it and Quinn loved it instantly. I guess I thought it was kind of cute because it’s our initials and we do Q&A’s. A little play on letters. It’s turned out to be absolutely perfect though, people actually recognize us as Q+A. We’re both just letters now, we don’t have real names haha.
What is the concept behind Q + A?
Q: Showing our process while collaborating on photoshoots is really the basic concept. It’s about sharing and informing, kind of pulling back the curtain on how we come up with our ideas as well as how we execute them.
A: The concept was to show the whole creative process of a photo/video shoot. We wanted a platform to show people all of work we put into each collaboration from the mood board to the final photos. I felt like It was very important to showcase Quinn’s role in our shoots. A lot of people don’t know what an Art Director is unless their in the industry.
What is your mission statement for your site?
“We are n art director and photographer duo blogging our design process from start to finish”
Photo via Greenroom Magazine
Was there a defining moment in starting the site or did it casually happen?
Q: After our first photoshoot, we decided to work together again. Producing the shoot took a while, but every part of it was fun and interesting, we decided to not only show our final photos but to display the entire process…thus baby Q+A was created kicking and screaming
KNYEW x Q+A from Q+A on Vimeo.
A: I’d say so, we were working on our first shoot together as a duo. Quinn asked me if I’d like to shoot local artist Caroline Smith. It took us about a month to plan the shoot and because of all the work that went into, we felt we needed show the world!
Caroline Smith X Q+A from Q+A on Vimeo.
What is the strangest story, comment or reaction regarding Q + A?
Q: There aren’t too many strange stories….we are pretty strange girls though so that kind of surprises me.
A: I don’t think we’ve had too many strange reactions. I think one thing that was strange to me that I didn’t expect was for us to actually be referred to as “Q+A” in public. It happens all the time now. If we’re together people will say “Oh hey, you guys are Q+A” I love it though. I mean, we’re always together. So might us well just lump us together to make one super human.
What would you say to those who don’t have the positive reinforcement of family or and friends when pursuing a passion?
Q: I’d tell them to be the positive reinforcement for themselves. I’m learning how to be that for myself right now, and it’s what’s helped me produce this project with A. My parents are all amazing, they’re all very supportive but they didn’t really understand what I was doing with this blog in it’s initial conception. They wanted me to focus on school, rather than what made me feel creatively productive and happy. I had to go with my gut and put in time doing what made me happy rather than focus on what they’d rather see me doing.
A: Man, I’m really fortunate in that area. My family is my rock. They have supported me since day one of my journey. But I guess if I could say anything I’d say, You’re your biggest support system. It doesn’t matter how many people believe in you. If you believe in yourself nothing else matters, you’re going to achieve everything you want.
What does fear mean to you?
Q: Well, fear has always meant clowns, and thanks to American Horror Story I’ve now regained that fear. But on some real shit, fear to me is not finishing my creative goals. I used to start and stop projects constantly, partly because of self-doubt, partly because of procrastination. Q+A is the first thing I’ve followed through with creatively. It’s pretty exciting to see the success of the blog and know that it is an example of overcoming my own fears and self-doubt and old habits of procrastination.
A: This is a good question. I don’t usually sit to think about it. I like to pretend I’m a pretty fearless person usually. I’m not afraid of bugs or heights or anything like that. I think my biggest fear is and has always been not living up to my potential. I am so scared that I’ll look back on my life and regret something. It’s kinda silly but it pushes me everyday to be better!
Suggestions or advice for those who are afraid to take the first steps in building a business?
Q: Don’t even think about it. Just do it. I ‘m a head case, and I over think things often. It’s those quick decisions that have made me the most successful, I don’t give my self time to doubt or question, I just go for it. Just go for it ya’ll, all of the planning and technicalities will fall into place after.
A: My advice is very simple. DO IT! Don’t talk about it, just do it! I sound like a Nike add over here but I’m serious. Everything in life is obtainable. You just have to take the initial leap. Write down some goals (I like year goals) and make them your bitch!
What is the best piece of advice or life lesson you have learned regarding your work?
Q: Probably to produce as much as I could. One of my favorite professors Boriana from Minneapolis College of Art and Design told me to take advantage of the resources I had at my school and to just make. Even if it wasn’t required for a class, just make. That’s what Q+A is…it’s Asha and I just making, it’s going great.
A: Don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t try to fit a mold or try to make your work look like someone else’s. It’s one thing to be inspired, it’s another to copy. I think everyones guilty of it when you’re trying to find your own style, but it could be really detrimental in your growth as an artist because It’s never going to look exactly how you want it to. It took me a long time to be ok with that. Now I just know it’s not going to look the way I expect it to, but it’s still good because It’s me. So I’m usually happy with it.
Photo: Brad Ogbonna
Current music playlist and favorite book?
Q: You know what, I’m super into David T. Walker right now. I flipped out when I heard his song Lay Lady Lay because one of my favorite bands People Under the Stairs sampled that song.
A: There is so much good music out there right now! Q and I are always looking for new people to work with so we come across amazing stuff all the time. A couple of my most played are Anderson Paak, SZA, Badbadnotgood, KING, Flying Lotus, Lbeyi, Jessie Ware, Raury, SBTRKT…
…The list could go on forever or you can just listen to our UBB playlist we made for you guys
My favorite book would probably have to be The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It’s always a go to for me. I can just turn to any page any time and get lost in it. He’s one of my dad’s favorite authors so he really pushed him on us as kids.
Describe your style (fashion)
A: My style has always been a little quirky. I like to wear a lot of tailored vintage clothing mixed with new pieces. But at the same time I’ll wear boyfriend jeans and sneakers everyday for a week. It just kinda goes with my mood but it’s a little all over the place.
Favorite restaurant and dish you would not want to live without?
Q: My mom makes the best food, anything she makes besides pot roast I love (it’s a weird texture thing)
A: My favorite food in the world… yes world (so far) is the meatballs at a restaurant in Minneapolis called Tilia. OMG I have never had anything like them. I don’t even eat red meat but dude, I die over those! and tostones, Im puerto rican so I grew up on plantains. I could eat them everyday.
Do you have a workout/exercise routine? If so, what is your routine?
Q: I don’t work out right now, I’d love to start getting into a routine though.
A: I wish I could give you a fancy answer for this one but honestly, I rarely work out. I live in a five story walk up in New York. Sometimes when I’m feeling a little chubby I just run up those babies. I ride my bike pretty often as well. I love that.
Set the mood of your work space; do you listen to music, enjoy silence, turn off your phone etc…
Q: Before A moved to NY I loved going to her house and working. But now I work in this studio at my school on the fourth floor, It has a lock on it and a couch…a plant and a dirty chair, it’s nice.
A: A lot of times I like to go to different coffee shops to work. It helps me to get out of my house. But I loved working at my house in Minneapolis when Quinn would come over. We would put on our favorite new songs and dance the whole time. We hope one day when we have our own studio, everyone that works there is dancing all the time. Actually, thats going to be a requirement to work with us. You must dance.
If you could could spend the weekend with any artist (past or present) who would it be and why?
Q: Frida Kahlo. I could talk forever about my admiration for that woman. I just want to sit on a bench with her for like 10 minutes, and listen to whatever she has to say.
A: I think mine would be Yasine bey (mos def) I think overall he’s one of the most talented rappers of our generation. I think he would make for a very inspiring weekend. I’d like to pick his brain a little bit.
What is your favorite life lesson?
Q: My favorite life lesson is similar to Asha’s…take risks follow your gut. Your guts are always right.
A: My favorite life lesson this far in my life has probably been to take risks and follow your gut. If you’re not feeling right about something, really listen to that feeling. I think people are more intuitive then they think and when you’re aware of it, it can be a very powerful.
Favorite inspirational quote and/or book?
Q: “ Keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit!” Erykah Badu
A: In the Great words of Aubrey Drake Graham, “No Love for these bitches, I said this year is all business”
Future projects or goals for Q + A?
Q+A: We like to dream big so we have a whole list of projects and goals for Q+A. There is so much opportunity for us. We can really take it in any direction. Right now we have a pretty lengthy list of Musicians we want to work with. So that’s the focus at the moment. Our future SHINES so We’re excited to keep working with each other on making this dream a reality.
Photo: Brad Ogbonna
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