Pho on the Birth of ‘The Spiral’
Photon Tide also known as Pho is a mixed-media artist known for his psychedelic and experimental art style. Pho wants you to not fear what is inside your mind but to embrace it. In this article, we dive into Pho's creation of The Spiral, what the symbol means to him, and how he maintains his creative edge. Please note, this conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
GEORGIA: What does the spiral represent to you?
PHO: For me, the spiral represents changes in the sense that every line is a new chapter as you get closer to the end. Ever since I was young, I would doodle on my homework and notebooks. I remember always doodling spirals and now—funny enough—it’s come back to me at another point in my life. To me spirals are myself, my consciousness, changing from within.
GEORGIA: Tell us more about why the spiral is a recurring theme in your work?
PHO: I feel like it’s a recurring theme because it’s something I’ve always been drawn to. Spirals are symbols of the unknown, and I’m an avid explorer. They’re really all around us from spiral galaxies to concentric circles in nature.
GEORGIA: What was the first piece where you started displaying the spiral?
PHO: The first piece that I made using a spiral was probably the “Learning to Let Go” piece made about two years ago. Of course before that I made plenty but none where I captured the vision quite like this one. This is still a very special piece to me.
For me, the spiral represents changes in the sense that every line is a new chapter as you get closer to the end.
GEORGIA: You’ve also become famous for #phospiral, can you tell us more about how that started? Where it has gone?
PHO: Famous wouldn’t be a word I would use. I simply strive to inspire those around me. If I can say that I inspired someone today, then my mission is done. It has been a blast seeing all of these amazing artists that I share this space with recreating my spiral piece. It really just started with me wanting to challenge and pick the minds of my contemporaries, currently there are over 200 entries from artists I respect.
GEORGIA: It is pretty cool to watch how creative this space can get and how willing people are to jump into creative challenges. What advice do you have for people who want to make more art?
PHO: For the people that want to make more art, I would say don’t be afraid of a challenge, inspiration is all around you if you stop and look around. If you’re not liking what you’re making then make something else, but always keep creating and pushing your mind.
GEORGIA: How do you get back in touch with the fun side of creating art when sometimes it feels like a job or chore?
PHO: This is what keeps it fun for me— I enjoy the challenge of figuring something out or of how I can depict something in a different light than it has been done before, while also remaining personal to me. I wouldn’t be creating if I didn’t love it; it’s therapy to me at this point while also being something incredibly fun.
If you’re not liking what you’re making then make something else, but always keep creating and pushing your mind.