The Vision is iMackulate: Alex Lewis

“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” -Pablo Picasso

This quote* is a favorite of Alex Lewis, founder, and genius behind iMackulate Vision. This Mobile native is a multitalented creator of visual art. As a recent graduate of Troy University, he has been applying pressure to the photography and graphic design game. I was a bit nervous in asking him for this interview, but he kindly accepted. Alex inspires me to strive to see the situations around me as opportunities to get better at my craft, as well as not limiting myself to one of the many talents that I have. With that being said, embrace the greatness that follows because the vision is iMackulate!


 

Hindsight is 20/20: The Visionary

The name ‘iMackulate’ was brainstormed for social media purposes in 2011 when Twitter was still popular. The name was given by a friend and it remained because Lewis strives for perfection in all that he does. 23-year-old Lewis knew from a very young age that he wanted to have a successful entrepreneurial career. He might not have known what exactly what field, but it showed in his early teens.

When I was a teenager I started working the cameras at church. I think they started to realize I was kinda…gifted at what I was doing…[working] the cameras upfront, where you create the picture of what’s going on.

He went on to tell me that the quality of the videos was so good that “they could tell..he knows what he’s doing.” Of course, all greatness starts somewhere. Lewis explained that he had always envisioned success and achieving great things in his life. He told of starting out as a college freshman with not financial aid and one of his mentors telling him to utilize his skills and invest in himself. – Talk about advice!- So, that’s what he did. Starting with a point and shoot camera (a mirrorless camera), he shot for his clothing line. But because of the perfectionist in him, he decided to take a break from the clothing line aspect of his business.  During college, he held a position as the schools GDA (Graphic Design Artist). Self taught, but having a foundation in graphic design from his minor, he worked with various groups and models from Troy, UAB, and Tuskegee to mention a few.

Soon he realized that photography is a tough business for a nice guy, especially when it came to business with friends. If that wasn’t enough there were always people attempting to pin entrepreneurs against one another. He vividly recalled how he diluted and diffused that particular wildfire.

“Welcome to Moe’s!” (Spring 2015, Senior Year)

He [Reginald] originally thought that there was some kind of competition between each other, but once I actually talked to him it was no longer an issue…..Actually it happened, we were at Moe’s in line and somebody said, ‘Hey Alex, Reginald’s coming for you…’ and instantly it just snapped in me to just say, ‘There is no competition. There’s money out here for everybody to make.’ I think when I said that and that it came so fluidly and it just flowed he just knew that it was real, there was no bullshit, and that I didn’t make it up.

From there on Lewis befriended and established relationships with other entrepreneurs in and out of his direct line of business. Since, he has produced many different projects, whose favorites include the Levitation Series, the Tuskegee groups at the Tuskegee Airfield, the NBA Allstar Splash Art, and graduation shoots.

Of course, I had to ask how she [Morgan M.] landed what he calls his best image.  The incredible shot was captured in multiple shots, and made for one of (Kanye voice) the best graduation images of all time! They’d known each other since high school and she was a dancer, so the landing came naturally.

Recently Lewis got the opportunity to shoot his second football game, the Senior Bowl. He explained how Cecil Andrews emailed him, and that he thought someone was spamming his email. After reviewing and looking into it, he realized that this was an opportunity to advance his career. He told me that he prays day and night for opportunity; well God’s been delivering answers. One of his mentors, Keemotion, asked him to come to Atlanta to work with him. Lewis explains how Keemotion wanted him to teach himself because he was self-taught, and then the collaboration would begin.

Back to the Future!

iMackulate Vision creator spoke about his biggest fears.

I don’t want to plateau and not be able to grow. I hate being stagnant..[but also] being mediocre. So I stop and assess what I’m doing to figure out, is it me, the client, the equipment, the models? I want to continue to elevate and make everybody [I work with] feel different and feel special.

During the interview, Lewis also dished out a lot of nuggets of wisdom that he has acquired from his mentors and life experiences. Some wisdom was directed towards young photographers while the other was for anyone striving for success.

“I really think photographers should take my route through it. That’s just {be}cause that’s the way I learned. But people are going to learn different ways.”

“I started with a point and shoot…..From that I grew into a Cannon T3i…..from there I had to learn more and more about my camera. And I think..to be honest, I think it’s better for young photographers to start at a lower level camera then upgrade from there. {Be}cause if you start at a higher grade camera your pictures will still…well, they might come out a little bit clearer, but you still don’t know what you’re doing.”

“It’s really a learning experience. I think young photographers should really just learn with their equipment..grow with their equipment. So when you feel like you’re able to grow to that next level, to your next camera THEN you should elevate that.”

Here are a few other nuggets that he shared:

“Invest in yourself.”

“Know the value of your work.”

“Change. No excuses, just adjustments.”

“I elevate my game with work and practical experience…People respect consistency.”

“…Time honestly…[success] is not something you can rush.”

“Accountability. Time management…[they’re important because] I’m my own boss.”

“No man’s an island.”

The Latest Take

Currently, he is interning at the University of South Alabama with the athletic program, and will soon start a marketing internship. Amongst these things he has launched “Visionary Memoirs”, which I must say is off to a phenomenal start. He plans on putting the motivational series out either every week or every two weeks. Lewis explained “..it was just time. I heard God asking me, ‘Are you gonna keep watching them do it or are you gonna do it?’…” He also plans on incorporating different topics in the series after gaining more traction. Aside from that, he has big plans in store for his family, friends, and fans. Keep your eyes open for photography lessons, collaborations with Joey Spike, Keemotion, Elijah McCrary, and others…ALSO: well I can’t spill ALL of the beans! Just be on the lookout!

 

 

*This quote is one of his favorites, because it’s humbling that another artist would want to copy or steal your work.

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