Luke Mattson

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?

Luke Mattson: My name is Luke Mattson. I am 27 years old. I am a freelance photographer, writer of songs, and burgeoning candle maker. I just quit my corporate day job to more fully pursue these various endeavors.

TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

LM: I like to travel, backpack, read, watercolor, cook good meals, discover new music, and spend time in devotion and prayer every morning to start each day with a fresh perspective. These types of activities continually sharpen, stimulate, and revive me. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by an extremely talented, entrepreneurial and creative group of friends and family who constantly inspire me.

TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

LM: I am proud of the work I create, but I find that I oftentimes lack sufficient time to do everything I want to do, be it photography, music, or other personal projects.

TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

LM: For me, it seems like 9PM is the magical number on the clock. This is about the time the day begins to slow down and all commotion inside and outside my home begins to gradually dissipate and calm down. This brings me relief and focus, and is when I most creatively thrive. That being said, I know many creatives find the very early morning to lend itself to productivity and free thought, and I am trying to capture that as well, if I can better master getting out of bed. The early morning has gold in its mouth, according to our friend Ben Franklin.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

LM: Make beautiful photos. Record another album. Watercolor. Blog regularly.  Write a book. Build a beautiful product people love, based on an idea I haven’t had yet.

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

LM: Although I have some very firm goals and projects to someday complete, right now I’m on cruise control and not working on anything specific. At the moment I’m generally just focused on bettering myself as a photographer, learner, and human being.

TCU: What scares you?

LM: Pride.

TCU: What does success mean to you?

LM: I believe success is simply the goodness in who you are, what you do, and how you treat others without reward or recognition. I think it is also the hope and courage to press forward whether walking through the darkness or through the light.

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

LM: I’m just really excited about my latest thrift-store-find. It is a book called Wintergreen: listening to the land’s heart by Robert Michael Pyle. The cover art and title are what caught my eye. It’s about the Willapa Hills in southwestern Washington, probably the more neglected corner of our state. Excited to read it, and even more excited to explore and shoot that territory when I finish the book.

You can check out more of Luke's creative work (including a wonderful album called Penthos) over at