Actor and passionate amateur visual artist Keegan Allen has published his first compendium of photographs titled live.love.beauty. Due to be released on February 3, 2015, he hopes to provide the public with examples ranging from the allure of Hollywood to the beauty/bliss of the every day. We sat for a brief chat prior to the book’s debut.
I&S: In your biography you list 2002 as the year you landed your first part. You are currently known for playing Toby Cavanaugh on the ABC hit series Pretty Little Liars. Would you tell us about the years between those two dates? What did it take to keep your acting dream alive?
KA: Keeping any dream alive really has to do with determination. I never give up when I want something bad enough…and my passion for the craft of acting has never waned.
I&S: Among the pantheon of professional actors, who do you look up to…and why?
KA: I really look up to Matthew McConaughey and how he transformed his career with the work he chose to be part of and how he has continued to challenge himself with characters that most actors in his position would shy away from. I also really look up to James Franco. He is constantly working on every element of his craft and his knowledge of human behavior science is fascinating.
I&S: All series run their courses. Where would you like to go in the future?
KA: I am very excited to continue exploring projects in film and television as I have been while working on Pretty Little Liars. It would be great to get back on stage again as well! Maybe the best of both worlds – a sitcom!
I&S: You are also an avid photographer and are currently on a book-signing tour for your photobook, “life.love.beauty” (St. Martin’s Press). What was the impetus for creating this book? What type of equipment did you use for the captures?
KA: I wanted to share my personal photo journal with the world. Growing up, I was very introverted and the way I felt connected to the world around me was through photography. It was one of my most important means of communication, so in this book I focused on 3 major themes of existence: life, love and beauty. Half of this book is the book itself- the other half is the interaction with the readers. It is fascinating to me when someone picks it up, flips to a random page and something about the image will bring them back to their own lives and loves.
I&S: Thinking about photography and composition as means and method for creating art, how did you develop your skills in this medium? At what point did you feel you were ready for a showing (in this case, a book)? Have you any thoughts on subjects for future photobooks?
KA: I developed a habit of shooting every chance I had. If something impacted me, I wanted to capture it and share it. I wanted to write about it and study it. But most importantly, I wanted to see if anyone else felt the way I might have felt and “why?” or “why not?” I love photography as a means of communication, so it was my way of speaking with strangers that are no different than I am. Images stitch themselves to our hearts and souls in a powerful way and this book is an accumulation of photos that pointed out our human experience from various perspectives.
I have many projects coming up but I am a very superstitious person…so until it is finished, you won’t hear it from me.
I&S: For fans who would like to follow you, would you please provide the relevant web and social media links?
KA: www.keeganallenbook.com www.facebook.com/keeganallenfans www.twitter.com/KeeganAllen www.instagram.com/keeoone snapchat: lifelovebeautyb tumblr: offpistepursuit.tumblr.com
I&S: And if you can make it, his book signing schedule:
Tuesday, February 3 – NYC
Barnes & Noble, Union Square — 6pm
33 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
Wednesday, February 4 – Atlanta, GA
Barnes & Noble College, Georgia Tech — 7pm
48 5th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
Thursday, February 5 – Miami, FL
Books & Books — 5pm
265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Friday, February 6 – Austin, TX
Book People — 7pm
603 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78703
Saturday, February 7 – Chicago, IL
Anderson’s — 2pm
123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville 60540
Sunday, February 8 – Minneapolis, MN
Mall of America via B&N – 1pm
60 East Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
Tuesday, February 10 – Los Angeles, CA
Barnes & Noble, The Grove — 7pm
189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Wednesday, February 11 – Los Angeles, CA
Leica (in-store event) — 7pm
8783 Beverly Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90048
Thursday, February 12 –San Francisco, CA
Books Inc — 7pm
Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
Friday, February 13 – San Diego, CA
Barnes & Noble San Diego — 7pm
10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126
Saturday, February 14 – Phoenix, AZ
Changing Hands – 5pm
6428 South McClintock Drive Tempe, AZ 85283
I&S:: As this is Mr. Allen’s first such work, we are certain he’d appreciate feedback from those who purchased the book. A “Like” and a comment regarding your reactions on his Facebook page would be a good first step.
We at Image & Style Magazine are pleased to have spoken with Mr. Allen and look forward to the delivery of our pre-ordered copy (through Amazon.com).