Hailing from an upbringing that most could not even imagine—one full of real and natural experiences—Maylies Lang has a unique eye for capturing the most honest moments. Through her education at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, Maylies draws on her natural surroundings for inspiration for her work. With her natural surroundings being the beautiful British Columbia, it was always destined that her work would be something to admire.
First of all, tell me a bit about yourself? (e.g. where you’re from, kind of person)
Me… Well, I grew up outside of Lumby B.C. on an organic farm. My parents moved to Canada from Europe 27 years ago and dove right into farming. A lot of my inspiration comes from roaming in nature and growing up with animals and indulging in the peace and quiet. I love the nature and how it can calm me as well as bring on the stoke and get me all giddy and filled with adrenaline; especially outdoor sports. What type of person am I? Currently I am taking a hiatus from Vancouver in the Kootney’s tree planting and thoroughly enjoying it, even though there are times when I could just cry of frustration; but when I am truthful to myself, this is my sort of “paid-cation,’ where I get to be away from the city and enjoy the blocks without any stimulation 24/7. I get to feel the wind tickle my skin, hear the birds sing … be on the lookout for bears; feel lots of pain in my body and feel a satisfying exhaustion at the end of the day and sleep like a baby. Some day there is more complaining and other days less. I would say people describe me as quite the energetic person—of course that comes and goes depending on what is going on in life. I love to bring people together; mostly around a meal. I like to be busy. That is something I am noticing more and more.
Why/when did you get into photography?
I was shepherding in Switzerland just outside of Locarno for a summer. I saved up a bit of money and had this urge to learn again. My sister made me realize investing in myself (education) would be a great way to use up the savings. I made many lists of ideas and I noticed photography was the one that popped up consistently. I never thought of it as a profession even though I have loved it growing up. Once I realized it was in front of me, I made up my mind applied to a few schools, decided on Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VANARTS). I moved back to Canada in the winter and then next fall I started a year of a steep learning curve in photography. I graduated in September 2013 and since then I have been working in the industry and I have zero regrets with my decision. I love where it has brought me in my life and the people I have met on the way; as well as how I can express myself. Sometimes I can be feeling off and once I start photographing, everything melts away and I feel complete all of a sudden, a rush of energy goes through my body and instantly a smile forms on my face. I don’t know how to describe it. I more or less bounce for joy.
Is there anyone or anything that inspires you in your work?
My inspiration is around me; I wouldn’t say there is one specific person I look up to. It’s the people and environment around me that inspires me. It can vary from assisting other photographers to talking to other photographers or artists, or people running their own business, or podcast! Today I was listening to one and I completely related to someone that is in a whole different industry and lifestyle and I was inspired to keep pushing myself and not be afraid. I like to ask questions or observe, be a sponge and soak up what is in front of me. That gives me inspiration.
Why did you want to get involved with NV?
I love seeing how NV has developed over the last year and a bit and how it has grown so much. I never thought of why I wanted to get involved, it just happened all of a sudden. Roxanne contacted me, we had a fun Skype call and things just kept going from there. I love seeing small businesses grow and I want to be able to help and support in any way I can. I understand how it is to start with nothing and build it up with time. The support I have had on my journey is what keeps me going when things become a little daunting or tough. I think it is just awesome what you guys are doing!
This interview is part of our "Behind Issue 001" series, a series of articles that present each contributor of Issue 001 through an interview.
Grab a copy to see Maylies' work in the magazine!