An Interview with Jessica Robinette.

I was first introduced to the lovely Jessica Robinette months ago when she sent me a friendly message asking for information about my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. She was planning on moving here from Kansas City, Missouri to pursue her MFA at the University of Cincinnati — which just so happened to be my Alma Mater! I could tell right from the start that Jessica was a genuinely kind and creative soul. Although we haven’t gotten a chance to meet in person yet, I know we will get along wonderfully when we finally do! As for her work, it’s simply beautiful. It is delicate and thoughtful and has this warmth to it that makes you really stop and take notice.

Jessica was gracious enough to sit down and answer some questions for me about her photography and her plans for the future. For more information, check out her portfolio website or visit her blog to see her latest work. I hope you enjoy!

 

Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where are you from? Where are you currently living? What did/are you going to school for?)

Until recently, I lived in (beautiful!) Kansas City, Missouri. I received a BA in 2010 and recently got married. My husband and I just moved to Cincinnati because I’m beginning an MFA program here in the fall.

How did you become interested in being an artist? What inspired you to pursue this career path?

I credit a lot of my path to good mentors. Back in high school I was lucky enough to have an art teacher who sort of let me have free reign and she encouraged me to continue with art. I knew that it made me happier than anything else, and that was enough for me. In college I had a professor who clarified everything for me. As silly as it sounds, I looked up to her and wanted the life (of an artist) that she had. I have never looked back and I’m grateful that I’ve always felt deeply and honestly that this is the path for me.

 

What material(s) do you use to create your pieces? Why do you choose this medium?

In school I mostly took photographs, but I was careful to learn what I could about printmaking, drawing and painting because I knew that I wanted my future in art to be interdisciplinary. My recent work is still rooted in photography but most pieces get manipulated with string, ink, paint and/or additional paper.

I use photos because I’m interested in their realism and also the romanticism that photographs can evoke. The photos show what it is that I see…but I also like the work to be abstracted and sometimes the photographs are “too real” so I take it back a little with the abstraction. I also like the additional process that the sewing, collaging and painting takes. Sometimes a photograph lacks process.

 

Describe your artwork.

I’m very interested in human emotion and relationships. For years I have been making work about personal places (specifically the home) and how people connect with their most private and treasured spaces.

My work is often suggestive but not specific. I want the pieces to feel like a memory, a familiar place the viewer has been before. It’s all about the emotional connection and stimulating some sort of comfortable feeling.

What inspires you?

Other people’s work spaces, random and simple connections with strangers, and watching people do what they’re passionate about.

 

What are some other things you enjoy doing in your free time (aside from art, of course)?

Lately I’ve been exploring Cincinnati and trying to find those hidden gems that every city has. I love going to farmer’s markets, traveling, reading and lately I’ve become interested in baking…mostly because I’m interested in eating.

 

Who are some of your favorite artists right now?  

I spend a lot of time looking at photographs by Uta Barth and Laura Letinsky. I can’t get enough of Cy Twombly’s paintings. For things on the more conceptual side, I love Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July.

What’s your favorite thing about being an artist? What’s the most difficult thing?

Since I’m still in the early stages of my career, I haven’t had the opportunity to make art full time– until now. I’m just so excited to begin the MFA process and make art my full time job.

There are definitely times art making seems harder than it should. As an artist, I essentially run my own small business. I have to be the publicist, bookkeeper, secretary and the artist.

 

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to have the time, space and money to make art. I also want to be teaching art to college students and raising a family.

 

If you had an entire day to do as you pleased, how would you spend it?  

I would sleep in, eat Thai food for lunch, maybe visit a museum or a park and then have friends over for dinner and cocktails on our balcony.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself/your work that you think we should know?

I just want to thank you and your readers for taking the time to learn about my work! I’m always interested in connecting/collaborating with other artists and creative types—feel free to shoot me an email!

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Summer Desktop Wallpaper Round-up

(Download: Life is Sweet” by Creature Comforts)

I love changing my desktop wallpaper to match the seasons (or my mood)! I try to change mine at least once a month; it’s a small and simple way to feel fresh and inspired. With that in mind, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite free summer desktop wallpapers for you with the hopes of making you feel a little more inspired. I’m currently using the “Life is Sweet” one myself. I hope that you enjoy them!

 

(Download “July” by Llew Mejia)

(Download: “Flow Forward” by Solefield)

(Download “Mini Strawberry Print” by Cath Kidston)

(Download: “Summer Patterns” by Alma Loveland)

(Download: “Macaroons for my love” by 5inthemornin)

(Download: “Cloud” by Helena Bello)

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Pumpkin everything!

{1. Owl Pumpkin;  2. Scalloped Pointelle Loop Scarf in Orange;  3. Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate;
4. Cute pumpkin cupcake;  5. Oval shaped Flowers Print / Orange / Yellow;  6. Erika Persimmon Duvet Cover }

Fun fact: I’m obsessed with everything pumpkin! Seriously, you guys. October is one of my favorite months (in part) because I can unabashedly express my adoration for the color, flavor, scent and any/everything related to pumpkins! With that being said, I’ve decided to hand-picked a few of my favorite pumpkin-related items to share with you. I am especially fond of the owl pumpkin. He/she may be making an appearance in my home sometime soon.

Do you have any obsessions that come along with a particular month or season? Are you as obsessed with pumpkin as I am?

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This is just how my face looks! – a brilliant Kris Atomic illustration

Anyone want to help me finish my lesson plans for the coming week? I feel like it’s going to take a few days for myself as well as the students to get back into the swing of things tomorrow. On an unrelated note, I had to share this amazing illustration from the always lovely Kris Atomic. It’s been making the rounds in the blogging world, but I love it too much not to share it! Not many illustrations resonate so close to home with me.

How many of you ladies out there can relate? I swear I get told this on a semi-weekly basis!

 

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Spring is in the air!


Yesterday kicked off a week of Spring Break for myself! I am so excited. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Kevin & I booked a little rustic (i.e. cheap) cabin at Red River Gorge for a few days this coming week. I can’t wait to hike & make fires & watch my puppy explore the wilderness & generally escape the hustle & bustle of city-dwelling life. Spring is so inspiring to me. It’s like nature is waking up & stretching from a long much-needed nap. Here are a few inspiring spring-related images to get you excited about the upcoming season– as if you weren’t already!

I like this dress because it’s sweet & functional & screams “Spring!”

This is what I plan on doing while camping at the Gorge. {via tumblr}

 

I’m loving these gorgeous pillows made out of old sweaters.

Spring reminds me of riding bikes & falling in love. (via pinterest)

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A dose of inspiration!


{via eilan}

I’m sick, you guys! This is the first time I’ve gotten sick-sick in a while. And, it couldn’t have come at a worse time! The weather has been gorgeous outside for the past few days. Sixty degrees in February? What!? Plus, this is a three-day weekend for me, so I was hoping to enjoy it to its fullest. Unfortunately, I’ve spent almost the entire weekend on the couch watching Animal Hoarders & getting far too emotionally invested. Honestly, I’m just feeling bleh! I haven’t worked out in a week & I’ve been eating all sorts of junk food. I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is whining. And, you all don’t want to hear that! So, I’ve rounded up a dose of inspiring art in order to kick the sick blues away! I hope it brightens up your day a little as well.

I’m going to start reading again. I’ve put several books on hold at the library & I’ve updated my Goodreads account. Do any of you have a Goodreads account? If so, you should add me! Also, I don’t know who made this beautiful drawing. If you know who I can give credit, please let me know!

I always said I could never live in the suburbs. This cute piece by Camilla Engman is making me (almost) reconsider!

Café Scene, 1946
I absolutely adore this painting by Raphael Soyer. I would love to have some sort of a print of it to hang in my living room above the fireplace. It’s just perfection to me.

I just think this is an adorable little idea. A little forest made out of tea cups!

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Gift Guide: Let’s get cozy.

Here in Cincinnati, we’ve had two (that’s right TWO) Snow Days this week. These are the times when I truly savor being a teacher & still getting to enjoy the finer things that come along with being a kid. There is nothing quite like the giddy feeling of waking up to a blanket of snow & a voicemail telling you to stay snug in bed. Now, since I’m feeling all cozy & watching the snow fall, I figured it was the perfect day to round up some warm & cozy gift ideas for that someone special. Enjoy & stay warm this holiday!

These beautiful beige fingerless gloves ($35) from Homelab are so darling–especially with that wrist strap & button.  I love unnecessary, decorative buttons!

This sweet print ($20) by the lovely Elisabeth over at Poppy and Pinecone makes me want to whip out my over-sized headphones, bundle up, & go explore in the snow!


I’ve been wanting a pair of Frye boots for a while. I just wish they weren’t so dang expensive (the ones pictured above are $318). For those of you that have them, do you feel that they were a smart purchase?

I love this knitted leaf barrette (only $6!) made by Amanda Lee at I Love Life I Love You. What a perfect little gift to use as a stocking stuffer!

If I bought these snuggly red owl sweater lace-up booties ($34) from Urban Outfitters, they would never leave my feet when I got home.


This ruffly scarf ($38) from Anthropologie would be a great way to accessorize my winter attire.

What winter accessories are you lusting over this winter?

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