We had the good fortune of connecting with Wesley Kirk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wesley, why did you pursue a creative career?
It’s the only thing I’ve ever known. When I was 13, I started taking pictures. My mom had accidentally bought an extra film camera, and my dad had recently quit his job as an insurance adjuster and had 99 rolls of film left over. They were kind enough to develop all the photos I took. Not long after that I had an idea for a short film, and without knowing anything about filmmaking I got a camera, got some friends together, and we started making movies. When I was 17, people wanted to start paying me for my work. Since then I’ve never had a real job. I’ve always made money through a camera. It’s the main way I know how to be useful in the world, by capturing and sharing people’s stories.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is called Vision & Verve, we’re a film & photo production company. We focus on commercial & creative projects. We tell human stories about artists, creatives, people trying to do good in the world, and we like to tell those stories in creative ways, through a heavy emphasis on art design and very human storytelling. We’re a collection of artists who all bring different ideas to the table. I’m the director & cinematographer, I’ve run the business since 2007. Besides being a photographer & filmmaker, I also do woodworking, play music, and build electronics. I love bringing in high concept ideas. Our producer Kendall McCrae, is also a photographer, a fashion designer, and a painter. And she brings fun to every project (and also dad jokes). Our editor, Penny Halcyon, is a photographer, model, dancer, florist, and sculptor, who brings thoughtfulness to our projects. We combine our talents not only for our client’s projects, but also for projects where we can put our talents to use in giving back to the community through pro-bono projects, group art shows, and an artist residency in the studio that we built, Eureka Studios.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up in Fort Worth, and love getting to show people around. I’d start with the museums, particularly Amon Carter & the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, since they’re free. Then get tacos at Salsa Limon, maybe a hike through Marion Sampson Park in River Oaks, or a stroll along Trinity Park. Then check out all the shops up & down Near Southside & Magnolia, getting some BBQ at Heim, and playing some games at Free Play. And finish off the night by playing some music in the echo chamber outside the Modern. But even with that, I think the city is what you make it. When friends have gotten tired of there not being enough art spaces to show their work, they’ll throw their own art shows. When there aren’t enough places to play music, they’ll have a house show. When you start getting involved in the community and upturning rocks, you’ll find all sorts of fun and interesting stuff hiding in the cracks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe everything to those around me who saw more potential in me than I saw in myself. My parents always encouraged my creativity, and believed I would be my own boss. My friends always believed in my talent, supported my ideas, and agreed to help out when I would ask. Some of my teachers believed in my leadership and pushed me towards being a voice and mentor for others. My thoughts of myself have always fallen short, but just because people believed I could go further I’ve followed their advice and pushed myself beyond where I saw myself. I wouldn’t be here without those around me supporting me and nurturing my ideas & creativity. That’s why I’m such an advocate for others to share their ideas, to encourage their ambitions, to fuel the fire of their creativity even when they only feel it’s a spark.
Vision & Verve