Trendsetting and trailblazing — this die-hard local puts Seattle on the map.
Although Chase Jarvis the businessman is in a state of flux right now, Chase Jarvis the photographer and artist has never been more solid.
A few years ago, he bought a second studio space in Wallingford to act as “the brains of his operation,” to maintain his growing demand as a commercial photographer.
“This is where I go to work, if you can call this work,” he said. “There’s a staff here, we have phones ringing, I get asked a lot of questions and get pulled away from the creative work here.”
In order to keep his business and his art separate, he’s kept his South Lake Union studio to do most of his shooting and creative thinking.
“I need to get some headspace sometimes,” he said.
In the time since he acquired the new space, he’s released two books — and both are almost sold out. He also nabbed a few more enormous commercial clients, such as REI, Nikon and Mountain Dew.
While both his art and commercial pursuits are on a breakneck trajectory, Jarvis maintains that Seattle – his hometown and muse – has never meant more for him or his work.
“I’m a super core Seattle guy,” he said. “It was important for me to get my fingers dirty and study the place where I live and the people that I run around with.”
Last year, Jarvis completed and released “Seattle 100,” a series of dynamic portraits coupled with write-ups. The list included some of Seattle’s most public drivers, as well as its more anonymous figures. From Latin community activist Jaime Mendez to poetic hip-hop duo Blue Scholars, at one point or another, some of the most important Pacific Northwest players had their moment in front of Jarvis’ lens.
“What made me want to start this project was the fact that most of the work that I do is not in Seattle,” he said.
Which is a big problem for the guy who says, “I want to do what I can to facilitate the cross-pollination of different disciplines … and we’re really starting to see that here.”
From chefs collaborating with musicians to artists collaborating with politicians, Jarvis has seen it all in New York and Paris — and this is precisely how he plans to put Seattle on the map.
“That’s one of the reasons I live here,” he said. “It’s not the machine that other places can be.”
Whether he likes it or not, he’s committed to massive commercial campaigns like the one he completed for Mountain Dew in Dubai, featuring an airborne four-wheeler. More often than not, though, he loves it.
His models on these projects have been beautiful men and women, talented skiers and snowboarders and, of course, four-wheelers. For Jarvis, a jittery ex-soccer player, the sense of speed and movement he’s allowed to convey in his campaigns is the ultimate reward.
However, Seattle is still his home — and while he works abroad to have the creative control at home, Jarvis refuses to allow his work to suffer.