Instagram Creators Presents: Kristian Mercado

Check out his account, @krismerc

First, a bit about Kristian:

As a photographer and filmmaker, Kristian Mercado is a chameleon. Where one music video captures the simple heartbreak and adventure of young love, another is awash in neon lights and full of super-specific pop culture references. His short film for Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” is a powerful love letter to Puerto Rico in the long aftermath of Hurricane Maria that garnered critical praise and was part of the official selection of Raindance Film Festival in the UK. Also among his oeuvre are videos for performers and artists such as De La Soul, Gary Clark, Jr., Craig Finn (a Vimeo Staff pick and a 2018 Webby Honoree), The Peach Kings, Hannibal Buress, Awkwafina, Migos, Ty Dolla, Joey BadA$$, with features in Nowness, Rolling Stone, Complex, Stereogum, Motionographer, Adweek, Creativity Online, Ad Age, and elsewhere. He has also created award-winning work with frequent collaborator Adult Swim.

Curated: How did you get started creating the work we see on your Instagram?

Kristian Mercado: It started with my obsession with photography, but eventually it shifted to my film work.

C: How has technology inspired you?

KM: For film making, technology has made building and creating more democratic. It’s a lot easier now to create, fewer gatekeepers.

C: Are you speaking to a specific community through your work?

KM: I feel my audience is a shifting thing, I make work that hopefully speaks to marginalized people. I’m also interested in things that speak to universal truths — honesty, powerful emotions. How I pull that emotion shifts.

C: What do you need to do your best work?

KM: When struggling, when I’m in pain, trying to solve things, trying to figure out how to cope, I work from the inside out, so my work is personal and a deep reflection of my own internal struggles.

C: When do you know a piece of work is finished?

KM: I feel like I’m always taking a risk. No work ever feels finished; it’s always a back and forth, trying to make it pop. Pencils-down is a hard concept for me.

C: How do you challenge yourself to get better at your craft? What does better look like to you?

KM: I think the more powerful the emotions I hit, the better the work. For me if the audience feels something, I’ve accomplished my job. That’s my biggest goal, to make people feel something.

C: What’s a project you are most excited about right now?

KM: I’m working on a short film that I believe will be a very strong narrative; it’s been my guiding light.

C: Who is on the top of your playlist right now?

KM: Travis Scott and Pusha T.

C: What inspires you?

KM: Everyday struggles of common folk. I’m inspired by simplicity and people who are just working class.

C: Who are your favorite follows right now?

KM: @sekanisolomon.

C: If you had more time, you’d be doing what?

KM: Making more films.

Watch Kristian’s interview with Instagram below.