Woodchuck 30th Anniversary Artist Spotlight – Mike Dawson

October 6, 2021

Name: Mike Dawson aka “Dawsy”
Age: 28
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA / Park City, UT
Profession: Action Sports Photographer – Focus: Snowboarding
How long in the field: 4 years

Welcome to our Woodchuck 30th Anniversary blog series where we will be highlighting hand-selected creatives every week through the Fall. This year marks our 30th Anniversary and we have asked 25 creatives from across the country to help celebrate 30 years of creativity and innovation by sharing with us what creativity means to them. We sat down with each creative to hear more about how they use creativity on a daily basis and what influences their work. See below for our conversation with Mike!

W- Mike, thanks for hanging out with us today and letting us ask you a few questions about yourself. There’s no question you know what your doing behind the lens. With that said, it doesn’t sound like you’ve been a “photographer” as long as some might think. How did you get your start?

M- Long story short, I got laid off from my finance job back in 2017, so I packed my life into my car and moved to California. I had no idea what I was doing, all I wanted to do was use my camera, so I did every single day. I studied other photographers’ work and traveled anywhere I could to shoot any sort of action. I was determined to make a name for myself in this industry and honestly am probably even hungrier for that success today.

W- Man, that takes quite a bit of commitment to just pack up and head out, especially with no structured plan. Sometimes that kind of spontaneity can help you find motivation. On that note, what tends to influence you as a photography. Where do you source your creativity from? Does it come from within, or is it driven more so by external factors and the people viewing your work? 

M- So my creativity comes in waves. I naturally get these crazy ideas, a lot of times they come to me when I’m about to sleep or just wake up. I try to write as much as I can because I can be forgetful at times. I then take these ideas and incorporate snowboarders into them. I’m insanely grateful for my friends, I’d seriously be nowhere without them and they are a driving force in my creativity and in what I do every single day. Getting my homies put on and helping them grow is a top priority of mine and I’ll do whatever I can to align that with my creative approach to any projects I work on.

W- Those moments of creativity are fleeting for sure, so I’m sure writing things down helps you keep a log of ideas. Those ideas are often with us one minute and gone the next! On that note, what does the word or idea of creativity mean to you?

M- Freedom to express yourself without feeling the weight of judgement. Being able to just go out and do your thing is so dang important. Throw all the “Rules” AWAY!

W- It’s refreshing to hear your take on “creativity” and the fact that you don’t find yourself being burdened by other peoples’ opinions. Freeing yourself from those confines certainly allows you to work more freely within the framework of your own creative mindset. 

W- One last question for you, Mike. Had you had any prior experience with or connection to Woodchuck before joining us in our 30th Anniversary Celebration? If so what did that look like, and might there be something that resonates with you even more so after having been involved with us on this level?

M -It’s crazy to hear that Woodchuck has been around for 30 years. I remember drinking Woodchuck back in college not even thinking twice about it, so it’s a trip to work on this campaign fast-forward a quick 5 or 6 years later. A cider from Vermont just hits home, so it’s great to have it out west with me. So much love over there on the East Coast from growing up in the woods of Connecticut and spending my winters in Vermont.

W-Spoken like a true east-coaster at heart! Thanks again for your time today, Mike, and thanks for the amazing photos!

Mike created an artboard of sorts that features our first love, Woodchuck Amber.

Head on over to our Instagram to check out Mike’s spotlight and his collage of Woodchuck Amber photos!

Cheers, and happy cider sippin’!

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