Photography

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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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Yes, it's me. Is there anyone out there still ? Who knows. I'll give it a go anyways!

I've come to a (not-so-shocking) realization. I've realized that I don't update my blog because I'm lazy nor is it because of a lack of things to share. I don't blog because I have one of the shortest attention spans of anyone that I know. If you could just listen to my inner monologue for a few minutes, you'd quickly realize what I'm talking about. Here's a sample for you:

"I can't wait for the Hunger Games movie tonight! I hope it's as good as the books. I need to read more books. I need to use the Nook that Kevin got me for Christmas. I hope he doesn't think I don't like it. I hope we can get good seats at the theater. I wonder if I should wear shorts or pants. I need more shorts for summer. I can't wait for summer. I want to go on a cruise or something!"

That it is all to say, I finally GET why I'm not an A+ blogger! And, you know what? That's okay! I'm going to do the best I can & if people what to listen to me, let them. If not, that's alright too! So, this past week was my Spring Break! Another time I remember one of the awesome perks of being a teacher (apart from the whole preparing the nation for its future leaders -- blah blah blah). I have been very productive over my break. I did ALL my laundry which is pretty much something that should go into the history books. I've done a lot of spring cleaning, patio gardening planning, & also just straight up chilling. Here are some pictures to prove I'm alive & well!

I bought a new dress! Please excuse the blurriness. My boyfriend has shaky camera hands.

I'm taking a pottery class at a local art center with some teacher friends.
This is my first batch of completely finished & glazed pots. I'm (more than a little) proud of myself.

We got a new patio set for the balcony. It's so stinkin' cute. I also have plans to make a pallet garden. I've already "rescued" a pallet from the back parking lot of my local grocery store.

 

Stumbling upon murals & small parks such as this one around my city is the exact reason why I love where I love so much! People may talk crap about Cincinnati, but there are so many hidden gems if you are willing to do a little exploring!

To those of you readers who can stomach my spastic blogging, you get mad props from me! Enjoy your Saturday!

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Ah, yes! It's the beginning of a new year which means everyone is feeling all shiny & happy & we all have the highest of hopes for the months to come. And, what's wrong with that!? As cheesy & over-used as it may seem, it's so wonderful to be able to metaphorically start fresh every year. Kevin & I went to the grocery story & stocked up on healthy snacks for me (that being part of one of my "resolutions"). Our cart was filled mostly with fresh fruits & veggies. It was intriguing to see how low in stock the store was on fresh produce. I'd be interested to find out if that has any correlation to all the people & their New Year resolutions. I would put money on the answer being yes!

That being said, I'm keeping my resolutions small & simple this year. I know I'm a couple days late, but here are my resolutions for 2012 (in no order):

  1. Drink more water. I've already begun this one, but I want to keep it going. I like to freeze lemon slices & plop them into ice water. There's really few things that are more refreshing! We all know how important our water intake is, so this resolution needs little explanation.
  2. Cook more! I've actually already started this one as well (I'm on a roll!). I made a delicious homemade soup a few days before Christmas. It was GOOD if I say so myself. And, even better the second day! I'm so spoiled because my boyfriend is such an amazing cook. But, I feel like 2012 is the year for me to step my game up. My sister also got me an adorable apron for Christmas that needs some serious breaking in! Oh, and I want to not only cook more, but cook healthier as well.
  3. Be kinder to myself. I seriously, seriously, seriously need to cut myself a break! I am determined to stop being so hard on myself & do little things to pamper myself. More massages . More manicures. More bubble baths. More time to unwind & not feel guilty about it. Less worrying about what others think of me. Less being my own worse critic. It's time for me to learn how to really love myself.
  4. Shower those that I love with appreciation & adoration. This one is self-explanatory as well. I have some really amazing friends & family in my life. I am determined to be more selfless & show them how much they truly mean to me.
  5. Work out or shut up! I am constantly whining about my weight & how out of shape I am...as I shove chips into my face & watch my third episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey. So, I either need to get off the couch or stop bitching about my physical appearance to everyone. It's annoying me, so I can only imagine how annoying it is to others! I plan on really working out this year! I'm still researching gym memberships, but I'm also considering actually purchasing a tread mill. That way, I'll have no excuses!

Well, there you have it! Here's to an amazing New Year with endless possibilities!

Here is a little round-up of inspiring pictures with a little holiday twist!

(Clockwise from top-left: 1|2|3|4)

I love, love, love it when people get creative with their holiday decorating. I especially love when they veer away from the "classic" bright red/green combo & put their own creative twist on it.

(Clockwise from top-left: 1|2|3|4)

Twinkle lights never, ever fail to put me in the holiday spirit! My apartment is currently decked out with enough twinkle lights to make it feel like daytime in the middle of the night. And, that's just the way I like it!

(Clockwise from top-left: 1|2|3|4)

Not only is there no snow in my neck of the woods, it's unseasonable warm (60 degrees on December 21st!?). So, at the moment, I'm forced to look wistfully at these beautiful winter wonderland photographs & hope for my own taste of it before the end of winter.

What gets you into the holiday spirit?

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Basil vs. Basil

Meet Basil! She's the newest addition to the family. She's a petite little Siamese beauty whom I've already grown to love very, very much.


Clearly, I'm not the only one who has fallen for Basil. Harper's a pretty big fan as well!

With that being said, I'm excited to be blogging again on a semi-regular basis! It feels good. I have some really, really great posts & ideas swirling around in my head. I don't know what it is about autumn that makes me feel so utterly inspired, but I LOVE it.


I'm just stopping by really quickly to share with you some glimpses into my life over the last month. I'm in full-swing teacher mode at the moment. I'm also waiting for fall to finally come. I'm absolutely over this muggy summer weather. I hope that you are all feeling inspired by the upcoming fall months.

What do you do to jump-start your inspiration when you feel it's running dry?

Love all around,

Emily Abigail

About a month ago, I had the absolute pleasure of receiving a copy of the most charming photography book called About a Village. It's a stunning photographic study by acclaimed fashion photographer Eamonn J. McCabe of a real English village called Firle. The images, taken over the course of a year, are rustic without seeming quaint, and offer a wide pallet of inspiration. I've had it sitting on my coffee table in the living room & had several people over who looked through it & commented on how lovely it was. I photographed a few of my favorites for you, but they don't do the pictures justice. You can also find a preview of the book online here