I've been accused of concentrating on the character of the person that I feature here. My thought process has always been to showcase a person in the light they deserve. I would hate to shine the light on a person who didn't have a good and true character. I feel that if I'm going to invest the time and energy to cross-promote someone, he should be a stand up person. A perfect example would be ChopCult contributor Mikey Arnold, also known in the industry as Mikey Revolt. I've had the privilege of watching Mikey come into his own with his photography. His photographs have graced the pages of The Horse Magazine, Lowside Magazine, Street Chopper Magazine, and Cycle Source Magazine to name a few. Mikey captures life as he sees it and has opened our eyes to the roads less traveled. Mikey is dedicated to his craft, and is a reliable, honest, and trustworthy person. All the characteristics that you should expect from a true human being. Mikey's body of work for ChopCult spans over a year and he's really helped us highlight the Midwest motorcycle community. Looking at his photos below, you'll immediately be taken on a journey of freedom.
Location: Cleveland Ohio, born and raised.
Company Name: Forever The Chaos Life
How long have you been a photographer? I started somewhere around 2011; I picked up my wife’s camera and started playing around with it, taking it places and shooting cars, bikes, skateboarding and parties. I have always been a part of art in one way or another, from painting, to sketching, to filming small ruckus films with my friends and editing them, to being in bands and playing guitar. Photography was something that felt more personal than anything else I have ever done before and it fulfills the instant gratification feeling that I crave constantly. Creating stuff from scratch is amazing, but being able to permanently capture the way your brain sees something and telling a story without words is really gratifying.
What was your first camera? I’ve owned plenty of video cameras growing up; however my first still camera was my wife’s Canon Rebel Xti. Then, I picked up a Canon Rebel t4i because I felt bad I was using my wife’s all the time. After my house was burglarized and all my shit got stolen, the insurance settled and I upgraded to a Canon 70d. For some reason, I have always just stuck to Canon. User preference, I guess. The interface on Nikons confuses me every time I look at it. It’s like it’s backwards and foreign to me.
Favorite location to photograph? Anywhere outside with natural light. I never want to go back to the same place I shot something at, if I did it would just be boring. I think it’s the skateboarder mentality in me, always wanting to search for new spots and interesting backgrounds.
Best time of day for you to shoot? I love when the sun is setting, it makes for some really amazing skies and lens flares. You’ve got to move fast though, because you only get a short window of good light. When it’s gone, it’s gone, and it may never look the same ever again.
Who has been your inspiration in the world of photography? There are a ton of people that I get inspired by every single day. I look at their stuff, just drop my jaw and say, “Man, I need to step up my game.” All the time. People like Luke Mouradian and Ken Driscoll have the natural touch with their colors and B&W that are so crisp and speak to me as being honest and true to the eye. Cicero Deguzman makes me feel like I should quit photography, while motivating me to be better at the same time. I absolutely love everything he does. It’s effortless and brilliantly composed every time. He’s a true legend in my eyes. I love seeing what Ben aka bentheboog is doing daily. He has a brilliant style of detail and capturing a story with a subject, especially when people are involved in the photo. Matthew Aims and his lighting game are off the grid. I wish I could master the shit he does with a light box. Ken Carvajal has this eye that is interesting and fresh, he sees things a little different than most and it looks like a movie but in still form. Of course, there’s Josh Kurpius with his moving images that just make you want to jump on your bike and ride. Josh and Luke were the sole reason I shoot and ride. Seeing them do it last year at Hood Bush 2013 made me determined to learn, take the risk and capture those moments you only can see while riding. There are only a handful of guys doing what we do and Kurpius is one of the originals and best at it. I met a guy named Jeremy White at Born Free this year and I instantly fell in love with the way he takes portraits. He’s inspired me a lot as of late, trying to capture faces in a different light, and tell a story with the way I capture the person’s face, the feeling, the way they are expressing themselves in that “now” moment. It’s really hard to do and he's definitely got it. My list of inspiring photographers could go on forever. I’m honored to say that I have met most of them over the years. We have all shared stories, tips, and tricks. I love that inspiration is shared between all of us; it’s truly a remarkable gift and feeling.
What does it mean to when people purchase your prints? When I see an order come in at first I say to myself “no way” and I double check that it’s not just some spam mail. It’s so flattering and a real honor to me that anyone would want to hang something that I captured and envisioned in their house, garage, or wherever. It gives me that feeling of, “hey this person actually felt what I felt” when seeing that image as I captured it. Somehow they connected to the image in more than one way emotionally and they had to have it, just as much as I had to capture it. I love photography in the fact that it could mean so many things to so many different people. I’m so thankful to be able to share my vision and people actually enjoy it enough to buy it.
Anyone you would like to thank? I always and will forever thank my wife, Kat, for supporting my dreams and being the motivator she is to push me to continue doing what I love. I love you with all my heart and glad I get to share my journey in life by your side. I wanted to thank any builder, shop, friend, stranger, and/or company that I have worked with. Thank you for believing in my vision and letting me capture your brand, bike, and way of life. Without you guys I really wouldn’t have anything to shoot, and none of this would even be possible. I also want to thank anyone and everyone that has ever supported me by purchasing a print, following my feeds, helping promote my vision, or introducing themselves and expressing their love for my photography. I want to give a special thank you to the staff at Biltwell Inc. and Lowbrow Customs for always taking care of me, bringing me in on projects and things they are doing. It is a true honor to work alongside you guys and be able to call you good friends of mine. Last but not least I wanted to thank Lisa Ballard and Chop Cult for always letting me portray my vision with them on their site and the never ending love and help with so many opportunities. Without Lisa and CC I don’t think many people would ever have seen my vision nor would I be where I am today. So, thank you to everyone for giving a dude like me from Cleveland, Ohio a chance to share a vision of chaos through this amazing community we call our way of life. - Forever The Chaos Life.
I would like to thank Mikey for his dedication to ChopCult and our community.Check out his ever expanding website for prints and apparel, and give him a follow on Facebook and Instagram. Mikey has also been chosen to display some of his images in the upcoming Mama Tried Motorcycle Show. Do us a favor and support those who support you!