Wayta Patmo is out on a mission to change the world. With a strong belief in cultural diversity, she is trying to inject the fashion industry with that belief – and lets her photographs do the talking. Now based in Amsterdam – she is ready for that new chapter in her career after having walked many a path; awareness through photography and beauty. And it is exactly because of this – we asked her to sit down with us for an interview.
Tell us something about yourself please. Like who are you and what do you do for a living?
I’m a young Dutch woman of Indonesian and Surinamese decent. I’m a singer, producer, girlfriend, cook, editor and have a career in photography.
You studied Fashion before you became a photographer – how did this process go?
I always had an unconditional love for image, but I didn’t have the confidence then to think I could be a good photographer. I lived and breathed fashion as I grew up with my grandma as a fashion editor, So I started there, and found my way to photography eventually.
How did you develop your style?
I started out imitating all my hero’s like William Klein. Seeing if I could similarly play with light, composition and movement. Soon after that I got a hold of Photoshop and was blown away how magical you can make a picture. I now like to create that same feeling with my camera
Where do you find your inspiration, and do you have any role models you look up to?
My inspiration comes from talks with my friends and family, from other artists like Viviane Sassen and Alessio Bolzoni, colors, energies and mostly from stories (films, poems, songs, fairytales etc).
What themes do you try to pursue in your work?
When I first started I tried to hustle my way through the business. But I wasn’t really happy with what I was representing. I asked myself what it is I wanted to accomplish with my art, which is cultural diversity and portraying beauty in the most un-common ways possible to break through our programmed view. So these are the 2 most important themes while shooting a story.
What do you consider as your own personal masterpiece (so far)?
I don’t really have a one (master)piece in particular. But I shot an advertorial for Fucking Young with this new face I scouted with a makeup artist. I think it’s the best story I shot so far, because the message is clear, Arjan the model has this amazing indefinable face and had made the most impression on me in regards to any other new model. So it was a combination of factors we nailed. Also Arjan lost 12kg(!!) before he started modeling. His determination was very inspiring.
You’ve studied Fashion Magazine Business at Central Saint Martins in London, what is the best business advice you have ever gotten and wish to pass on the others?
Be the best version of yourself in a place and business where you’re respected and feel free.
You’ve worked for The Source, and then made the conscious decision to leave that behind and move towards fashion. How and why did you come to this decision?
Fashion was always my core passion. Because I’m a nineties kid I grew up loving and listening to hip-hop daily. After being in the Hip-hop business in Holland and the US I realized that the hip-hop I loved wasn’t really relevant anymore. Hip-hop has a wonderful message, a message of growth, resistance and expression. Unfortunately times changed, and artistically I felt that particular business had no place for me. At least for now.
Describe a perfect day in the life of Wayta Patmo.
I wake up, open my eyes, the sun hits my face so bright it makes me wanna dance. Do a yoga class. Have breakfast (pancakes) in my bathtub. Try on 3 outfits, and go for the first one. Go out for a walk with my camera and sit on a bench watching people and secretly snapping them while listening to Anita O’day on my phone. Share thoughts and views with my hubby. Do a little online window shopping, get lost in a bookshop. Have inspirational talks with friends, and end the day with a home cooked meal on my roof terrace watching sundown with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
"Cultural diversity and portraying beauty in the most un-common ways possible to break through our programmed view."
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
My whole life I tried to fit in a scene or place were I didn’t feel welcome or free. After I had a so called “burn-out” my body refused to do anything. Migraines, stomach attacks, lower back problems turning into first stage hernias. I needed all of this to realize what I wanted, where I wanted it, and whom I wanted it with. It’s a bitch, but the best lesson I learned.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
The best response I ever got, was from a friend of mine in NY. She looked at a picture of mine and said: This needs to go on my inspiration wall. When I told her it was my work, she didn’t want to believe it.
What brings you joy?
Positive and inspirational energy, a neurotically cleaned house, good food, palm trees, fresh fruit smoothies, chocolate, massages, my camera, Jazz, ambition, watching a movie from my bathtub, colours like mint and turquoise, and 10inch designer heels (there I said it).
What can we expect from you in the future?
Tomorrow I’ll take over the world! Muhaha!
Okay, last question. Who do you think we should interview next for Los Bangeles?
My amazingly talented friend Jennifer Liu. She’s a PR goddess, has the biggest heart, has a wildly impressive resume, and deserves some spotlight.
More at teamwayta.com