Jes Lee

Day 74

5 images framed, labeled, and inventoried + 6 canvas prints stretched, labeled, and inventoried + 29 cards and enveloped packaged, labeled, and inventoried + lots of pottery labeled, wrapped, and inventoried = all of the work I have done this weekend for the upcoming holiday sales. Just a little bit more to finish up this week. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm starting to finally believe it isn't just an oncoming train.

I did also manage a couple of polaroids this weekend.

The Uptown theater in Uptown (of course) where John and I were doing a bit of shopping on Saturday. I love the lights on old theater buildings. I tried to get a polaroid of the marquee, but it didn't come out very well. They were showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight with a shadow cast by the name of Transvestite Soup. There was a time in my life when I thought that movie was always shown with a shadow cast. I can't imagine seeing it any other way.

I found this building while driving around with John Sunday (we were looking for Makawber Books). The image is a bit dark, but otherwise I really love this photo. It is quite a bit of what I am looking for to add to my show. Not every image in my show will be a compilation image. There will be others that are just straight images, mostly black and white prints, but I would really like to add some polaroids as well. This one has potential.

Bed time.

More work tomorrow.

Until then,


day 73

Today I printed, trimmed, and framed 5 photos to go on sale at the Bloomington Holiday Sale. Tomorrow and Sunday will be for stretching and coating canvas prints for Banfill's holiday sale and for Dabble's last Holiday shopping day. Somewhere in there, there will also be a trip to Wet-Paint to get more enveloped for the blank greeting cards I have packaged up as well. It will be great if even a little bit of all of this sells. I'm also looking into options for an online shop, and hoping to get going on that a bit more next week after all the sale drop offs happen.

For now, I'm starting up my printer to work on the next batch of prints, and going to bed. 

Until Monday,


day 72

Today was a wonderful day.

I don't have much to show for it art-wise, but I think that is just fine considering it is Thanksgiving and I had a chance to spend time with my family, drink lots of coffee, and eat great food.

It is nice to take some time off and just be thankful for all the awesome people in my life. I'm grateful for my family and friends – close by and online and grateful that I have their support! I am lucky to know a lot of amazing people!

I emptied the kiln with dad this afternoon. Almost everything came out! There are a few pieces that need to be fired again, but we came out with 54 things ready to sell. We also managed to get everything priced for the Holiday sales that start next week. 

Tomorrow is a day off from working at the restaurant, and a day to finish prints, framing, and inventory lists. 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Until tomorrow


Day 71

In honor of Thanksgiving and the tradition of eating as much as you can and more:

The baby giraffe at the Como Zoo liking (and biting) his feed box. Taken with a Polaroid Sx-70 camera using 779 film.

Until tomorrow 


Day 70

Today was a darkroom day. 

It was wonderfully relaxing for a change, the first day like that in a long time. 

I was in my studio very early, due to needing to babysit the kiln during the glaze fire we were doing today. Instead of napping on the couch, I managed to stay awake and keep moving at a nice, steady pace. I developed two rolls of film (Ilford PanF 50 developed in Ilford DD-X developer – so far the results look good!).

Once those were done, I spent time making prints. It was nice to get back to that. I was able to just take my time, and I got two prints that I am very pleased with.

When you take your time, you can get the results you want. I need that reminder as much as I needed a day like today.

I worked on a bit of pottery as well today. 

Computer Labs finished the repairs on my printer today, and I already have it back. I'm looking forward to a bit of extra time with the holiday this week and plan to use it to get a few more things together for the holiday sales. Hopefully my next work day will go as smooth as today.

Until tomorrow,


Day 69

Today was not as productive as I had hoped it would be. Any of you who might follow me on Twitter, happen to be one of my daily chat buddies, or happen to be there to answer a slightly crazed and desperate text message from me today, you know this is because my printer went Kaput today. After a brilliant display of flashing lights and error messages of needing service, it just simply wouldn't print, and no amount of restarting or swearing was going to make it. So here is a printer I bought about 6 years ago, brand new, and have used to death since day one. My BFA show was printed on it, my Waiting Ribbons show was printed on it, not to mention many other images and portraits in between. I recently found that the print drivers wouldn't work in the latest Mac operating system upgrade, and heard more rumors that Epson wasn't going to support it anymore. I thought for awhile I was royally screwed, and on the path to shelling out $$$$ for a new printer. 

Thankfully a wonderful friend was on the other end of the phone this afternoon and assured me I could most likely get it fixed and pointed me in the direction of a repair shop. One phone call to them later, and I was on my way out to Computer Labs in Mendota Heights to drop it off. The guy who checked it in today assured me my printer wasn't junk, was still fixable, and was still a great model to have. Digital equipment goes the way of being obsolete so fast, so this was a really awesome thing to hear.

Since I can't possibly work on printing anything digitally tomorrow, I decided to take this as a sign that I need to get back into my darkroom and work. So that is what I will be doing tomorrow. Cameras are packed, rolls of film are ready to be developed, and hopefully there will be enough coffee to get my brain cells functioning enough to mix up some photo chemicals. Back to analog. 

I updated the Holiday Sale post. I'll be working hard this week and next to get prints ready and framed for Bloomington Art Center's sale and for Dabble's next Holiday shopping day. (That same friend who pointed me to where I could get my printer fixed, also kindly offered to let me have some time on her printer if mine isn't fixed in time!) At least there will be no worries about if I can get things done in time. Who knows – maybe things will work tomorrow and there will be some traditional black and white prints in some of those sales too!

Last, I tweaked this compilation just a bit tonight. The changes are subtle, but I feel like it is closer to being finished now.

Until tomorrow


Day 68

In between places to be today, I tweaked this image just a bit.

We Are Here

I like it better. I'm not convinced it is complete, but I like it more than the first edition of it.

Until Monday


Day 67

Today, thankfully, ended better than it started. I like days that are great all the way through, but I'll take this over a completely down day anytime.

I started out slow this morning. Really slow. I've felt very foggy and uncreative the last few days, and those of you reading this that know me personally, know that really drags on me. There are a ton of things I can attribute it to: working on too many other things, getting out of the mode of creating art, not feeling good, being overly tired, just basic blah. Any one of those is a good scape goat for me.

I had a lot of things to print today, so I finally got enough coffee in my system and got started, hoping it would be a mind numbing warm up. 

Everything was still weird and I still felt foggy. Many weird, sad things were going on in other parts of the world and I still couldn't get into working on anything more productive then that, so I finally grabbed a camera and walked around a little bit. I finally ended up shooting this:

No, I'm not depressed, or crying. I was letting my mind wander, and looking at the dead sticks that are filling my little flower pots right now when I finally snapped the picture. It is one of the first times in a portrait I haven't thought about my expression, and just let it be there. 

I decided it was enough of a start for the day and headed back to the computer. I came back to see this post on Twitter which lead me to read this blog about giving yourself permission as an artist to try, fail, succeed, and to be true to yourself. I have heard things like this many times before from many wonderful people. Seeing it again in writing today helped a lot. I finally gave myself permission to work on my artwork again, and gave myself permission to try.

Once I did that, I worked on these:

St. Anthony Main Reflections (or something like that) – this one is still a work in progress. I'm not convinced it is finished yet, but I am happy with the start. 

I also worked out this:

Where You Walk – which started out as this. I am much happier with it now. 

I'm happier with my day. I hope there are more like this coming up soon.

Until tomorrow,


Day 66

It has been a busy day. The kind where I spent most of the time working my paying job and tending to other things that happen in life (if anyone has figured out how to get their house to clean itself, please let me know!!) and spending much less time working on or even thinking about my artwork. It is just one of those things that happens.

I did go to a sale with my aunt which did make me think a bit towards my project: where do 'vintage' things fall into the spectrum of 'analog' things? Something I haven't really thought about before. 

Considering that I don't have anything else to say about my artwork progress in this post, I'm going to shut up, stop reading my friend's blogs, stop obsessively checking my email/twitter/facebook and go write. I think I need some time to journal and see where I'm at.


Until tomorrow.


Day 65

Today was, in a way, productive, though, once again I don't have much to show for it.

I was out in Dinkytown today (ok, yes, my mom and I went to get massages at The Refinery – that place is amazing!) and since it was another gorgeously sunshiny filled day, I tried taking a few photos. I got a couple of Polaroids (which I will scan in later this week sometime) and I took a few photos with my Holga. Right now I have 35mm film loaded in that. I'm anxious to see how it works.

I started working on the book of photos from our Japan trip. So far, it is easier than I expected it to be! Blurb has a set of templates that you can use in Adobe InDesign. So far it makes it pretty easy to create your own layouts. I think it will take me awhile to finish, but someday you'll see it!

In the mean time, I get to go through our trip photos again, and I'll post more here! I have plans for Thursday to spend the day printing and working on some new compilations. Maybe there will be more new things here later this week!

Also, I cleaned part of my studio today. That actually is a pretty big accomplishment.

Downtown Osaka, our first night.

Until tomorrow!