Pablo Picasso reportedly once said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
With this in mind, we are pleased to announced a new feature of HuffPost Arts: Instagram Spotlight. We just love the youth-centric iPhone feature that turns amateurs into artists with the click of a button. Instagram reminds us that even those who aren't working artists still have a vision worth sharing, and HuffPost Arts wants to provide a platform to these photographers who are moved by beautiful moments. We will be featuring our favorite gems on the site along with their stories and inspirations, and will continue to scour the web for budding photographers. If you think this could be you, keep being creative and we will find you!
Today we are featuring Melissa Vincent, a Mississippi mother who brings surrealism to her images of Southern comfort.
HP: Tell us about where are you from and what is your 'day job'. Are you a professional photographer, or is photography just a hobby for you? (If you're an artist, please include any links to your other work).
MV: I live in North Mississippi -- right outside of Memphis, TN. I have a degree in cytology, but my day job is being a mom to my two amazing boys. I have always enjoyed taking photos of my kids, but Instagram stirred up a creative part of me that was dormant for a long time. I now take photos as a hobby... It's actually more of an obsession.
HP: When did you start using your phone as a camera?
MV: When I joined instagram last April, I fell in love with my phone camera. The quality of the pictures is awesome and I always have it with me.
HP: Has there ever been a moment when you were especially happy to have your camera phone handy?
MV: All of the time! Once I was riding around the backroads in the Mississippi Delta looking for photo opportunities when I saw smoke. I followed until I got close enough to take a shot of this huge field burning. I love that photo because it makes me think of a tornado, which brings about many emotions for me being from the South.
HP: Who are your favorite people to follow on Instagram?
MV: My top favorite person would be my big sister Ali Jardine/@alijardine. Her photos always inspire me. We started on this instagram adventure together a year ago. We've held numerous sponsored contests on ig as the #twosisters as well as starting a blog adventuresoninstagram.tumblr.com. I also really love Cole Rise/@colerise for his beautiful landscapes and use of light. I recently discovered Fajar P. Domingo/@ohfajar. This instagrammer creates inspirational art through digital mash ups.
HP: What is one beautiful thing you can only see in the south?
MV: I don't know if there is one particular thing, but the flat landscapes are perfect for photographing. Mississippi isn't a place most people visit, so I enjoy showing the world beautiful landscapes they might not see otherwise.
HP: Who is your favorite photographer?
MV: Ansel Adams is my favorite photographer. My inspiration comes mostly from artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Edvard Munch. I am also heavily influenced by music and books.
Check out the strangeness of the south below and follow misvincent to see more: