Miami definitely got shit in control… More and more artists are emerging every single day. I got a chance to get personal with the creator of Locoslens to bring you another Senclaire exclusive. This vibrant artist keenly generates the image she has in mind; To produce a culmination capturing everyone around her. She represents the classic young side of Miami, with vivid and bold snaps, she’s giving photography another outlook.
What’s your name and how old are you?
My name is Cloe Leclerc and I’m 17 years old.
How did you come up with the name ‘LocoLens’?
Loco means wild/crazy in Spanish which fits my weirdo self pretty well.
‘Lens’ in the name means my perspective on the things I photograph through my camera in the world around me.
How did this journey get started? When did you know you wanted to pursue photography?
From the time I could hold a pencil to now, drawing has been a creative outlet of mine. Self-expression has always been really important in my life. I write a lot and carry around my idea journal everywhere. Art is the way I make sense of all my thoughts and feelings, a way to calm the chaos in my head. Photography officially started for me when I got my camera my junior year of high school, but I’ve always taken pictures with my friends for fun.
How would you describe your style?
As of right now, I would describe my style as colorful, in your face, emotional and intimate. My style is always evolving and I like to chase my excitement because it always takes me somewhere new. A couple of years ago, I barely used color and tended to have really simple drawings and it changed a lot since then. Now I find comfort in the chaos of my drawings and photography, the bigger the better. Some of the portraiture I do has a contemplative effect to it, emphasizing the tender side out of my subjects and working on the atmosphere of the image. My photography is also focused on the fresh faces of Miami and dictating whats cool for myself and my friends. I want to decide for myself, a little bit of disrupting the norm. I used to shoot mostly my friends but I’ve been coming out of my shell and shooting new people and its really helping my photography grow.
What elements are most important to you when taking pictures?
I’m drawn to people with strong personalities and sense of style. I try to emphasize emotion and movement in the subjects of my photos, nothing too posed or stiff because the point is to really capture a juicy moment. Perspective is really important to me, making my subject look really powerful and bold. Style is everything too. I’m drawn to people who are really different, colorful and funky.
What/who would you say inspires your work the most?
I ain’t gon lie I’m angsty as hell! I tend to get overwhelmed or really curious and I enjoy channeling that into my art. Films also inspire me because I love how a couple of hours can bring me into a completely different perspective. They’re perfected sessions of people watching.
The fact that my parents are both immigrants really inspires me too. My mom is Peruvian and my dad is from Ivory Coast, Africa which has really given me a rich appreciation for diversity and colorful cultures so I look for that when taking pictures. Other than that, 90’s and 2000’s punk and hip hop fashion/music really inspires me.
Who do you plan on working with next?
I’m more than excited to be working with new artists in the future but I don’t really have specific people in mind because these possibilities are all new to me. I’m still a JIT in the Miami art world because only a month ago did I even start sharing my work on social media and have barely entertained the idea of collaborations. Currently going with the flow and seizing all the opportunities that present themselves by putting myself out there. So far, I’ve met the coolest dudes and I’m really happy about that.
Film seems to be coming back now, what do you think about that?
It’s definitely coming back. I recently finessed a Canon 60 Zoom 35 mm film camera at the thrift store for 4 dollars and finished the roll of 24 shots in two days and I’m waiting for them to come in. It’s my first film camera! I’m ready to ditch the overly ‘easy’ aspect of digital photography and challenge myself with film. There’s something about film photos that is timeless.
What are your favorite locations and spots to shoot at?
There isn’t a specific spot that I go to because I spend a lot of time all around Miami. I take a lot of inspiration from my surroundings, always looking for cool new places, holes in the wall. I love the “ratchet vs classy” contrast of downtown Miami and the beach. Plus I love to talk to strangers and get their portraits down there.
My brother and I are avid people watchers and because the beach has so many different faces, it’s always amusing to chill there. I live in an awkward middle between this division of Miami called Kendall and one called Homestead and I love it because they’re their own little worlds. They’re both really prideful of their mini cities. I love suburban culture and the strong Hispanic influence of where I come from too. It’s intimate and I’ve completely romanticized the ratchet-ness that it tends to have, it’s in your face and loud, nothing like France. I mean ratchet in the best way possible too. Nobody cares, the people here are raw and bold so I like to capture that.
Do you see yourself getting involved with brands/ music artists?
Absolutely! My dream is to travel with my favorite rappers and bands to take pictures of them and capture the world through their eyes and help create their personas. I have always wanted to design album art and posters for musicians too because music has always been such an important part of my life. I can’t do anything without music playing and I feel that the visual aspect of music is essential. I’m planing on learning to design cover art and taking some graphic design and animation classes in college.
How do you feel you’ve progressed throughout time?
I think I’ve progressed through confidence. The more I was sharing my sketchbooks and pictures with my friends, the more I was creating because I loved seeing them excited over it and they encouraged me to continue. Now I’m painting my friends rooms and backyard areas, starting commissions and making submissions.
Do you care about the money aspect in this area, will you pursue this as a full time career?
Right now, it’s not my focus but I do care. I’m applying to art schools at the moment and I’m excited to be taking my first art classes. I know that if I end up going to the art schools I’m aiming for, there won’t be any problems for me in terms of dedicating myself 100% to my work and creating my own success. If not I know I’ll be working even harder because this is something I really want. My mission is definitely to make it a career; I want to work for i-D Vice, Fader and other favorite publications of mine, trying to do what I love and get this money!
You do more than photography, do you think you’ll focus more on those creative aspects?
Yes I always am! I have always drawn on my clothes and made t-shirts for friends and family. I’m working on some t-shirts now with my friend Alex. I also have painted my friends walls and currently planning on doing some more for the friends who’ve asked. I’ve spray painted some spots in Miami, like this underground bomb shelter next to Matheson beach, and I’m constantly looking for more spots to mark. I’m hoping to be doing some mural work in restaurants and shops but right now I’m focused creating a sort of “portfolio” for my large scale work.
How do you feel about Miami’s underground scene?
I absolutely love it. There’s a really strong narrative on the rebelliousness of it all. Miami has tons of underground scenes of our youth and even though eventually everybody hops onto them, they are really special and underrated.
What do you have upcoming in the future?
I’m working on my first zines! I spray painted this couch and I’m going to be taking it around some special spots of Miami and doing some exciting things with it! Also going to start selling prints of my art and making some stickers too. I’m mostly focusing on getting my work out there and chasing my excitement.