"Untitled" / by Zack McDowell

In today's oversaturated world of commercialized images I find that many times it's hard to be truly inspired to create new images.

Progressively it has become harder and harder to find artisans who strive to create new and original ideas. I myself have fallen into the trap of 'safety' and like many image makers look to create carbon copies of the 'greats' as a way to strive to the same level. 

Over this summer I've taken it upon myself to refocused, reconsider, and really hone in on what it is we do at the Dugud Lab. As with any process it has required a lot of wrestling with personal and industry values. One of the many issues that I've had to deal with is Racism. Being a multiracial director in America has definitely made me directly and indirectly face the ever present issue that people of color are not considered "desirable," especially when it comes to high-end fashion and beauty brand standards. While commercially we have seen a huge shift in the faces that fill our screen overall there is still much work to be done.

At the Dugud Lab, I would hope that we could be a brand of image-makers that expand our industries views of beauty and not limit them. 

This morning I've had the pleasure of rediscovering Nick Knight's phenomenal work. Over the course of his career he has been able to repeatedly change and mold industry standards. While looking at his gripping portfolio of images I began to wonder what were some of the politics of the man behind the images. That is when I came across his short silent film "Untitled" featuring Naomi Campbell. While there is still much to be said about how racial politics play into the way we perceive beauty. Today I am inspired, knowing that there others out there striving to be an original and to really challenge our industry structural problems. To other's out there fighting the good fight we would like to tip our hat to you and let you know you're not alone. There is much to be done...