Paducah (and Paducah Bank) is making a pretty good impression on a returning young photographer.
Brad Rankin, son of Paducah allergist Dr. Brad Rankin, has developed his art since his days at Lone Oak High School. As an artist who excels in the medium of photography, Brad is ready to make an impression on the Paducah arts landscape.
“I started out as a painter,” says Brad as he reflects on his early interest in the arts. “I was very intrigued by the hyper-realistic look. But in painting, that takes a great deal of time. I found that it was easier to convey my ideas through photography, and the resulting artwork had more of an impact.”
Brad followed his artistic leaning and enrolled at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “Art school was extremely valuable for me. It’s really great for networking. It opened up a world where artists help each other grow, learn, and succeed. The environment prepares you for the world of a professional artist. Even if an artist is working on a commercial piece, the work is still intensely personal. You have to develop a tough skin for criticism and not take it personally. Many times, especially in commercial work, criticism is simply a business decision. I was able to learn those things during school, and it has grown my art and my potential.”
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art in Photography, Brad moved to Atlanta and opened Brad Rankin Studio in an old factory. “The atmosphere was amazing. The tall ceilings, wide-open spaces, and character of an old factory are perfect for a commercial photographer.” Brad worked in Atlanta for two years, perfecting the art of beauty, sports, portraiture, and fashion photography.
“I saw a lot of potential in the growth of the arts in Paducah,” adds Brad. “I was excited about Lower Town and really wanted to be a part of the arts in my hometown. I knew Paul Lorenz and had some work shown in Paducah galleries. It didn’t take too long to decide to come back home,” Brad adds.
Brad returned in the spring of 2009 and promptly established Paducah as his base. “Now that we live in a digital world, and we have great ease of travel, I can live anywhere. So coming to Paducah was easy. If I get work outside of Paducah, it’s easy to go, do a job, and get back home without any trouble.
“Sure, there are differences between Atlanta and Paducah. The traffic etiquette sure is different! Photography is just now coming up as an art here. I want to help create a growing respect for photography. Photography is the fastest growing art form in the world. But Paducah is my home, so there really wasn’t a culture shock in coming back. Paducah is very advanced and forward thinking in so many ways. Working with Paducah Bank is just one such example. They are on top of technology, which means greater convenience for me, and they have excellent security features that I like. Above and beyond all that, they are still a hometown bank. I’ve not seen a customer service staff that is as friendly as people at Paducah Bank. The bank is just another advantage to being home!”