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In every artist, there is an impetus to create; it starts with a spark. While most of us are only privy to the final product, local photographer, Ilya Natarius wants the audience to be frozen within the illumination of that original vision. For the photojournalistic group exhibition, Creative Combustion, Natarius selected 18 creative makers representing a wide array of media and followed them to their place of inspiration, be it a physical atmosphere or an emotive memory. Documenting the experience through 35mm film and in-depth interviews, Natarius and his team of photographers and journalists hand-printed and compiled a photo essay exploring the source of creativity. Featuring photographers, musicians, aerial performers, master brewers, tattoo artists, curators, dancers, installation artists, and mixed media artists, the final project is a compelling visual photography series depicting talent and energy which offers an accompanying art book with pages of expose on the psychology of the art and the story behind their impulse to create. Relying on the photojournalist credo of “realistic imagery,” Natarius’ work authentically allows the viewer to experience the “aura” of the subject photographed, an element often lost in the era of digital embellishment. By stepping away from photo manipulation, Natarius returns to what is rawest and truest in storytelling through images. A departure from his previous personal photography work, which focused more on observing spatial environments, Creative Combustion is a mini drama of enfolding intersections and human connection. Each image projects the skill and confidence of the featured creatives while discussing the ingredients that come together to ignite their individual creative spark.