South Walton Artist of the year says COVID’s challenges help inspire him


GRAYTON BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — COVID-19 has proven to be a hard time for many especially artists in the South Walton area, but this artist took advantage of the hardships.

Longtime Santa Rosa Beach local, Chandler Williams said everything happens for a reason and COVID-19’s impact on his photography has been for the best.

“Some of the challenges that I have seen during COVID is, I do a lot of, or I have done a lot of national travel and international travel,” said Williams. “So I face those challenges, because a lot of those campaigns are hospitality resort management kind of campaigns, so that division of my work has completely fallen off.”

Williams has had to change his outlook during the pandemic.

“It’s actually harder to shoot in your own backyard, and so its really kind of made me kind of look at my own backyard landscape a little bit differently and it has been a challenge, it been a great challenge because a lot of the time we get caught up in the same routine,” he said.

In doing so, Williams won South Walton Artist of the Year.

“It feels great to win it now, I think more so than 10 years ago when I had first applied,” he said.

Without his regular travel, he has honed in on his skills and encourages all artists to do the same.

“You can always refine your skill or your craft, or really hone in on what you are pursuing and I am kind of isolated down to those key factors and learn and then apply those as far as photography goes and I am not much of a painter or a stick figure artist, so I would just recommend trying to really focus in on what you are good at and work towards those goals, and set them and achieve them,” said Williams. 

In the next few months, Williams is launching a fine art photography portion to Modus Gallery in Grayton Beach.

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