For those with a quiet disposition and wide artistic interests, there are few things in the world more appealing than spending their days collecting images from the web and creating a visual library of beauty, curiosity and intrigue. For almost three years, that’s exactly what Yimmy Yayo has done.
Quietly spoken, congenial and erudite, he admits that the formation of Yimmy’s Yayo has been less about starting a blog and more about finding the right outlet: “I studied design and was finding all these reference images and procrastinating by building up a library of really obscure, weird imagery. Eventually my library was getting bigger and bigger and this folder on my computer was so huge that I figured I may as well start a page online and share it. It’s been up and running since January 10th, 2008 and there’s close to 8,000 images up at the moment, and 15,000 more on my computer. The blog has always stayed true to the initial idea and it hasn’t really changed since, but lately it looks like it’s going to evolve into something bigger.”
With each new set of content on the site Yimmy performs a kind of artistic brainstorming, choosing a set of interconnected images from a library of thousands before opening the door to viewers and sourcing more new material. “I find images from photographers, directors that are friends, reference libraries on the internet, databases, other people’s blogs – literally everywhere,” he says, adding, “the one thing that I don’t really use is Google Images.”
His love of art and design throughout history is evident in the variety of styles that influence his blog, making Yimmy’s world mysterious and always beautiful. With a focus on art and good music, Yimmy’s selections span the scale from photography to charcoal, film still images to oil paint, and even submissions from his viewers. “You can gain an idea of my personality, but in a more primitive and pure form, where I’ve removed myself to an extent. The anonymity and persona allows me to get away with anything”.
Letting things evolve naturally, like the website itself, is one of Yimmy’s core philosophies; he has avoided contrivances, putting his own twist on visual stimulation without tracking trends. When it comes to Yimmy’s own photography, he captures moments of random, un-staged pockets of life. His first solo show earlier this year, Untitled and Unrelated saw Yimmy exhibiting his works at Sydney’s Lo-Fi Gallery.
“Marty Routledge who runs Go Font Yourself called me wanting to do a show so I figured, why not? I moved to Sydney in March last year and ever since I’ve been here I’ve said yes to pretty much anything that’s come up. For this show, my first solo show, I went through negatives from the past two or three years and eventually found photos I had taken in New York and raffled them off for a dollar each at the end of opening night.”
“For me,” he pauses, “I thought, well, you didn’t create it as a monetary thing, so why ask anything for it? I didn’t want to take any money because I don’t believe I deserve to yet. Also there was no commission on the space, no rent and I had a print sponsor, so it was perfect.”
Yimmy believes he may have inherited creativity from his artistic-minded family, but his feet are firmly planted as he recognises that the time he has to dedicate to his art and his website are precious. “Each day is unpredictable, punctuated by meetings, emails, and work obligations. The moments I’m able to commit to the website are some of the most valuable and enjoyable.”
With increasing interest all over the country and plans for an overseas project in the near future, it feels like the Yimmy star is on the rise. It’s no surprise, as Yimmy’s own sense of pleasure in his work is palpable from the images he authors. “It’s an unbelievable sensation to know that people are looking at my blog, whether it be in their spare time, as a source of inspiration or even just as a form of procrastination. It’s exciting.”
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From time to time, Side Street, Sydney sources photos from public sharing sites, such as weheartit.com, and the attribution to them isn't always indicated. If we publish a photo that belongs to you, feel free to email us telling us to take it down or credit you. We'll be happy to do either one!