Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sharing time: Jackson Sq so far

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Its been about 4 months since I moved my art/life up to Jackson Square.  Adjusting to new rhythms and routines has been good and given me a lot of clarity how well my business plans I developed in the last year are working for me.  Its also challenged me to strengthen the foundation of my work and reaffirm my commitment to it.  

The larger crowd flow that circles through the square brings more exposure and sends my work further into the world.  I love witnessing how deeply my art and creative vision connect with passers by.  Witnessing my creating bringing joy to peoples faces is a daily pleasure which helps to buffer the strain of early morning set up times and the drain of long days in the NOLA heat (which has already begun beading sweat on my skin from dawn till dusk.)

Im learning so much about balancing being a street vendor, a creative artist and a business person from the other artists who set up on the fence.  Generally people are kind, generous, open to sharing their experience and curious about my journey.  Every day people have new creations and plans and I get as excited about my co-workers triumphs and trials as I do my own.

As I walk deeper into the hot season Im looking forward to - 
- screen printing some of my designs through the NOLA community print shop
- starting a 30 day daily practice of painting the blooming local flowers to celebrate the spring
- bigger canvas sizes for Beautiful Bodies designs
- taking time to contemplate the upcoming bends in my creative river
- committing to more frequent blogging about maintaining art and healing practices

Enjoy some of my favorite recent shots from my Instagram feed:

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Click: Lomography has taken my soul

I got a new toy in the mail:

The Tori Amos Lomographic camera box set.

Instagram: @JenelleLeighC

When this deluxe package (which comes with a live recording of a show she did in Moscow) came out a few years ago I thought, yeah, I would love to hear Tori play live in Russia but I didn't need a toy camera.  I saw how this purchase had charmed a friend of mine when she got it but it wasn't something I could bother spending money on at the time.

Flash Forward to a few months ago when I stumbled upon a photography show at the Scott Edwards Photo Galley at the bottom of Frenchman street where Clint Maedgen, a local musician I admire, was showing large prints of members of his NOLA Bingo! Show twirling around Pirate's Alley (which was extra exciting because I was setting up on Pirate's Alley at that time).  I loved the style of the photos which were all dark with rich colors, some images were layered with multiple exposures creating a dreaming and surreal mood in the gallery.  

This is where I learned about Lomography which is an analogue photography movement that celebrates pictures taken with toy cameras that were off kilter, blurry, vibrant "vingettes" of life happening in the moment.  I was intrigued and over the next few weeks did some research into what the movement is all about.  

"It began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s, when a group of students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking shots from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded with the mindblowing photos that it produced – the colours were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before! Upon returning home, friends wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting a new style of artistic experimental photography that we now know as Lomography!"

Tori Amos has long been a mentor for me as an artist and as a woman.  Her first album, Little Earthquakes, found my heart in 1992 when I was 12 and Ive stayed connected with her ever since.  Its been years since Ive ridden the intense fan band wagon (I only go to one of two shows a tour instead of taking in more shows that I have fingers to count (and loving each one)).

This year I started looking back over her more recent albums that I hadn't really been paying attention too.  In the last 5 years Tori has written a collection of holiday songs, a feminist opus culled from the history of western classical themes, reimagined part of her catalogue with a full scale orchestra, co-written a full scale musical now being shown in London AND most recently put out an album of original music.  

Listening to her reflections in recent interviews on turning 50 and her journey of becoming the high profile artist she is has been an affirmation for me when I think my own beginnings struggles as an artist in the world.  SO when I stumbled again upon this limited edition (only 2000) lomographic camera Tori Amos box set I grabbed it up.

I use Instagram to promote my art business and I enjoy the ease and flexibility of my digital smart phone camera but Im missing the tactile experience of analogue photography.  I figure I can also easily sell prints of my own lomo shots of NOLA in Jackson Square and through my website.  The Lomographic Society philosophy of being in the moment, shooting from the hip and not worrying about the rules are a good focus for me right now.  Brief moments of lomographic bliss are a tonic nectar to my inner child who needs a does of whimsical and spontaneous photography to balance out the drudgery of my longer commitment projects.

Watch my blogs/tumblr/twitter/FB/Insta for what "develops"   :)