Jes Lee

day 53

There are times when inspiration is really hard to come by. Things seem to become mechanical and robotic.

It is hard to beat that feeling; hard to plan a way out of feeling like that. 

Today has been one of those days. It has actually been awhile in coming I think. The whole week has honestly been kind-of tough and quite a bit bland in the inspiration department.

It seems that everyone regains their inspiration in different ways. If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I have a few tried-and-true methods to get myself back on track, but I'm always looking for more to add to my list, more things to try. 

Right now I'm in some serious need of refueling, and I'm hoping this weekend will help with that. 

Saturday, we have a wonderful evening out with friends, that will involve me bringing an assortment of cameras and film along with me. No matter what happens, I know the night will be fun. Hopefully, I will be able to take some wonderful new images as well. 

Sunday, I plan to work on some writing exercises and get back into writing more. That is honestly one of the first things I neglect when I get busy, and one of the last things I should be neglecting. 

I'm really hoping that this weekend will fill my inspiration levels back up again and lead to a much smoother, more creative, and more productive week. 

Until Monday.


Day 52

It was kind-of a slow, blue day.

I'm looking forward to the weekend!

Until tomorrow,


Day 51

I feel much more back on track today, and I'm ready for a long day of photo work tomorrow, having time to continue finishing up some other projects, and getting back to working on my big one. In the mean time, every day I try to steal a couple of moments and continue to collect images to work into my big project when I get back to working on those things.

Tonight I took these. 

I love the moon, and most moon-related objects, and I have enjoyed this moon sun catcher for a long time. Tonight I decided to try and take a few polaroids with it, and I'm happy with how they turned out.

The first two were taken with my Hasselblad 501c/m medium format camera using a Polaroid back loaded with Silk 125i peel apart film. I love how soft the colors are with this film. 

This last one was taken with my Polaroid Sx-70 camera using expired 779 'share-the-love' film. This camera is quickly becoming one I don't go very far without.

Until tomorrow.


Day 50

I had been hoping to make a big deal here in my blog about making it to day 50 and only missing a couple of posts when I was really sick.

I had been hoping to have a bunch of new images to upload, new compilations, new polaroids, new dialogs.

The truth is, I have been working all day today finishing up applications. One small application to participate in a Holiday sale, and one grant application.

The grant application wasn't easy. It was an application for the Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship. Of course my chances of getting a grant like that are pretty slim – there are many many many awesome artists in the area that apply for these, and there is only so much money for the foundation to give out, so the odds are stacked against you just in numbers alone. No matter what your chances of winning though, applying for these grants is an experience. It is a long process with so many minute details you have to pay attention to and you are ready to rip things to shreds by the time you are done. But, the process makes you really think about your work and think about your purpose. In this case, it made me think about what I'm going to do after this show at Bloomington. Not that I am focusing on that right now, I think I have enough to focus on the way it is, but this grant has made me think about what will be next. And, it is kind-of a cool idea. I think I might actually stick with that, after this show. Grant or no grant.

Best part of the day:

Until tomorrow.


Day 49

People often laugh at the fact that I always have a camera in my purse. 

In fact, it is a test of mine, before I buy any purse, if it can fit one of my 3 favorite cameras (a Mamiya C330, a Hasselblad 501c/m, or a Polaroid Sx-70).

I always have a camera with me because you never know when the moment it going to be just right and you will get an image you love.

On Saturday while I was at work, the sun came out, and 3 trees in the backyard were just glowing with fall leaves. So I went out with my Sx-70 and snapped these photos. I love the vibrant colors in them, and I can't wait to add them to some compilation!

This week is full of deadlines for me, but I am taking it slow and steady, and stopping to take pictures a long the way.

Until tomorrow,


Day 48

I know I got a lot done today.

It is hard though when you can't really show anyone just how much you have accomplished.

My biggest accomplishments today were dropping off the 125 prints at MCBA and finishing that project completely. I am also very close to finishing sorting through the photos from my last wedding ever. I'm weeding out the less than perfect ones before I start processing them all.

I was excited to learn last week that I won first place in the annual member's show at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. I realized, that I had never posted the image that won here. I should have, but for some reason it slipped through. 

I probably never posted it before because I was always kind-of unsure if this one was finished or not. I was in a rush to get a few pieces together for the member's show, and decided to make a print of this one, just to see what it looked like on a wall. I figured that would help me decide if it was really complete or not. From the comments I have been getting, I think it is complete.

That's all I have for tonight. Until Monday…


Day 47


j:Where am I?

q:The internet.

j:Where is that?

q:Nowhere and everywhere.

j:I don’t understand. I feel like nothing is solid. Where are the trees?

I feel like this is a different world. Are we dead? Are we still real?

q:How do you not understand this? Don’t you see the world we programmed? What we created?

j:I see nothing here.


~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  


Real World had become merely a place to live for her.

She didn’t feel like there was anything else for her there.

Here she could re-invent her awareness. Her attention to detail was particularly heightened. She could see and feel so much more. 

There were of course a few people she missed, those that had a hard time finding her. But it was only a matter of time before everyone was here anyway.

Most of the artists have migrated already, and in a post-ironic way were remaking analog media here, compelling us to dream about a idealized version of our past.

She didn’t mind at all. It made her happy.




Day 46

I realized today that the next couple of weeks are not going to be easy. 

I'm feeling better, but still not 100%, yet I have many small deadlines and lots of things that need to get done, so I have to be working like I'm feeling 100%. 

Amongst the process of getting projects done, and slowly and steadily working through things, I am also trying to keep up on working on my project, and trying to keep taking pictures for my own sanity.

I'm trying to make sure there is something positive about each day.

Today was cold and rainy and basically gross outside, but I did notice that some of the trees are actually changing color around here finally, and while it isn't magnificent by any means, when you look at the landscape you notice little ribbons and splotches of red and gold. I saw that today around the pond behind our condo building. I snapped a photo to see what I could capture of it.

I've taken to carrying my SX-70 in my purse with me because it just folds up so nicely and it is instant gratification when I find something I want to photograph. There are many days that I don't use it, but it felt really nice to use it today. 

Tomorrow there are more projects to finish, and there will be another blog post to write. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy what I did accomplish today.

Until tomorrow




*Just a note: please don't ask me to do anything else right now. I have quite enough to do. There is a good chance I might hyperventilate if you do ask me for anything more! I'm just saying…*

Day 45

One more smaller project done today!

Today, I spent the day in my studio diligently working on (when not distracted by the internet) processing the photo session I did a few weeks ago for some friends of their two sweet little girls.



Even Grandma and Grandpa came with for some photos! 

We had a great time! I love watching these little girls grow up! 


Some of you might be wondering when I'm going to get back into blogging about my project and what I'm really working on. The truth is, it will be just a little while. I have a few more little projects like the above photo shoot to finish up. No, these won't be added into my big project in any way, but they are supporting it. These people are doing something pretty amazing – trusting me to take pictures of their family and record a moment of their life for them – and they are paying me! That money is being hidden away and will be going towards buying more film to take pictures for this project, buying matt board, and helping me afford to have someone else cut all of the matts I need so I don't have to go crazy with all of that math and straight edge cutting (trust me, that isn't pretty!)  So, to these patrons, I am very grateful, and I am enjoying the work!

Until tomorrow.


Day 44

Today followed a rather busy weekend.

I am finally feeling more human than I did last week though.

I spent a vast majority of the day in my studio, working on finishing up an edition for the Assemblage project at MCBA. Earlier I had been working on printing around 140 prints of this image. Today I was working on printing the dialog on those images.

I start with mixing ink in a color that will accent or work with the colors of the image. I chose blue for this one. 

Last week I did manage to get the dialog for this image typeset, which made my day today go a bit faster. After getting the ink mixed, the rollers put on the press, and everything put in place, it only took me a few tries to get the image and words lined up the way I wanted.

140 prints later, I was finished!

Ok, really, it did take me quite awhile today to get this done. Each image took a little bit of adjusting. No two prints are quite exactly dead-on identical. I don't see that as a flaw though. I see that as one of the reasons I love analog processes. Things can be similar, but in some way will always be unique.

I left the prints out to dry overnight. I'll see how they are doing when I go back tomorrow. 125 of these will go to MCBA, and 5 will be left for my show next September. 

I do love how my press looks with ink on it.

Of course some of my fingers are also that same color blue….

The last thing to do with these prints will be to sign and number the edition. Hopefully, the ink will be dry and I'll be able to do that tomorrow, and drop off the edition where it needs to be on Thursday, actually 2 days early!

Until tomorrow