Artist Spotlight Nolis Anderson
The Simple Good stands with those who share our message of connecting the meaning of good around the world. As our youth embark upon their artistic journey, we love to connect them to guides who we know not only walk The Simple Good walk, but can also share with our youth what it’s like to be a professional in the arts. Nolis Anderson, of Nolis Anderson Photography is one of those people- A self made professional photographer who’s done several photography workshops with our youth and has passed along great knowledge on how to break into the freelance industry. He shared his story, his Simple Good and why he feels programs like The Simple Good are important.
“I don’t know it kinda just happened.”
A Chicago thoroughbred, Nolis was born and raised in Bronzeville and stayed a south eastsider having attended Kenwood Academy High School in Hyde Park. He graduated High School in 2005 and went to grad school for pharmacy. Photography was always an interest of his, but he had no knowledge on how to break into it professionally. Back then he mentioned he was just doing it for fun and reflects on his time as an intern for LEADERS, an urban lifestyle sneaker shop, as one of his earliest photoshoot memories. He used to use their studio space to take photos of his friends, and notable Chicago rapper Rockie Fresh. But he doesn’t quite recall a eureka moment that called him away from pharm school and into photography full time. He does however recall having his camera on him almost all the time. When asking him for any advice for anyone looking to break into the field he mentioned “The more you shoot, the more experience you gain”. Nolis recalls just sitting on his mother’s couch, knowing his camera like the back of his own hand and shot everything he could even if “95% percent of it is terrible, it’s still a learning experience” he resolved to say.
“I like to shoot people who have a craft and I like to shoot them within that element, and mix it with the portrait style and bring those two elements together”
Nolis loves to portray people in their element. He recalled over shooting for Nikes Fall Campaign, a project where he was given total creative control from models, to location. Nolis was charged with shooting every nike clothing category from women to street wear in two weeks, which could be pretty exhausting but so incredibly enjoyable for a man who lives his passion. He mentioned another interesting experience shooting in Gianni Versace’s mansion with Woody Harris, a shoo that most photographers don’t have a chance to do. But among all of these unique opportunities, Nolis remains a close friend of The Simple Good for his humility and willingness to empower youth.
“The Simple Good is important to me because it gave me that pathway to be useful to other people.”
Like The Simple Good Nolis is always looking to uplift those around him. Nolis got into pharmacy because he wanted to be useful, saving lives was definitely one way. But After breaking away from pharmacy after two short years, photography to him felt selfish. So when our Founder, Priya, contacted him about the opportunity to impact younger kids he leapt at the chance.
“I try to remind myself as much as I can to be grateful for what I’m able to do. Im able to live my life and work my passion”
Nolis’ Simple Good is Gratitude. He reminds us all to remember that there will be periods of success and failure, but to remain grateful for the chance to do what you love and continue to learn from both the high’s and lows. When it comes to business overall he is most grateful for the Simple Good of networking. He advises that for anyone wanting to get into photography, the best thing to do is surround yourself with likeminded people, grow and build together. You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunity may come of that relationship. Our youth still contact Nolis for advice on how to break into the industry and he still travels around Chicago, teaching youth how to capture their interest through the lens. These days, you can find him preparing for an upcoming project with Chicago Bulls in June, he shot their retail book last year. He is also taking some much needed time-off after a long period of traveling and looks forward to some upcoming leisure travel this Summer. Wherever his travels take him you can look forward to meeting him at one of our events and showcases coming up! Follow his Instagram or check out his website to stay updated on what’s he’s up to. Thank you Nolis!