Jes Lee


We need to keep challenging ourselves, stretching our boundaries, changing what we are doing so we can continue to grow as human beings.

My challenge this year was presented by my friend Kathryn Kysar, who asked me to create poetry videos to accompany her new book.

I accepted.

It has been a challenge learning the video editing software all over again, and figuring out where my creative tendencies fit into this new (for me) medium.

But I am up for the challenge.

This is version two of the first video. It is still a bit of a work in progress, but it is enough that I can post it here.

Until next time,


Nothing beats

the feeling of actually getting somewhere on a project.

It makes you feel like anything is possible!

More details to come soon.


25 things

25 things you probably don’t know about me
(This was a Facebook thing awhile ago. I didn’t do it then, mostly because I have a hate/kind-of-like relationship with Facebook and the various things on there. But I decided to post something like this here.)

1. I love the idea of making plans, but I generally get very overwhelmed trying to make and organize them, and often end up wondering why I try to make plans.

2. I don’t really like waitressing.

3. I’m very needy of attention and snuggling when I’m sick. Also, I think everyone is in need of attention and snuggling when they are sick (this drives my husband crazy because he want’s to be left alone when he is sick.)

4. When I was little my granny taught me to eat jello with whipped Miracle Whip on top. I think my husband thinks this is about as disgusting as Amanda Palmer thinks Vegemite is.

5. I don’t really know if I want to have kids. I get really fed up with people asking me if I’m ever going to have kids.
6. I want to be a writer as well as a visual artist.

7. I adore the Harry Potter books.

8. I love playing board games and card games.

9. I hate competitions. I especially hate when people make everyday life things into competitions.

10. I’m usually quite shy in large groups of people.

11. I have a very hard time concentrating on what I should be working on during the day when I have friends to talk to online.

12. I love when it snows

13. I love skiing – downhill skiing is a little like flying

14. I started out riding my bike more as trasportation because of the oil spill last summer, but I found that I really enjoy riding my bike.

15. I love my volkswagen beetle and I really miss driving it! (I hate when people tell me my car looks like it is sporting Vikings colors.)

16. Lacross and the Roller Derby are really the only sports I don’t hate. (Though I admit I am a bit curious about the new player from Japan that just joined the MN Twins…)

17. I think one of the worst thing in the world is having to pretend you are happy and make other people happy when you aren’t feeling well.

18. The supplies for my artwork are extremely expensive, and I sometimes feel guilty about spending the money on them, but that doesn’t really stop me.

19. I’m thinking about artwork pretty much all the time.

20. I am very easily intimidated. It takes a lot, but I usually get over it.

21. I love handwriting, and I still keep a handwritten journal.

22. I love hugs.

23. I’m really very nervous about the project I’m currently working on.
24. I am usually a very happy, upbeat person, but sometimes, I just need someone else to be upbeat for me.

25. My granny started me collecting Russian dolls when I was little. My collection is growing.

New things and the prairie

I have been working hard lately. There are a lot of big projects coming up, all of them quite fun, though, as usual, it does mean some things get neglected in the proces.

Today, I actually took a bit of time off from working on projects for other people, and started a new compilation for a project I am working on for myself. I don’t know if it is finished yet, or how this will all pan out, but It is a start on a new journey. 


Prairie restoration site, Theological Seminary, New Brighton, Minnesota 

When my friend first asked me to work on videos for her poems, I found many poems that were full of imagery from the prairie. Knowing I would need some images for that, I talked to my uncle who happens to work for the DNR. He pointed me to a number of prarie restoration projects that are going on not far from the cities. One of them was practically in my back yard. The more I talked to him, the more I became fascinated with these places. Almost a perfect mix of analog, land, growth, returning places to what they had naturally been, mixed with digital, tracking growth, predators, controlled burning, life cycles…
It has been taking over my mind lately. I see my Digital Dreams of Life series stretching towards this. Everything needs a new direction sometimes. I think this is where I’m going.

In the mean time – Yes! Videos! My friend Kathryn Kysar will have a new book of poems being released March 19th. We are working together to create videos of her poetry, which will be posted on the website for the book, as well as here. It is an exciting project. Video is can be an unforgiving, frustrating medium, but it can be beautiful when layered and finessed just right. It is taking me awhile to catch on, but I keep working. In the mean time, there are some still images that pertain to this project in this gallery. Mostly portraits right now, I will be posting some of the still images I am using in the videos.

I am also starting a little prairie gallery just for all of the prairie images I’m working with. 

It has been a busy winter. Around here, that seems like a good thing. It doesn’t leave for much time to relax, but it does leave a lot less time to mope around with the winter blues. Just this last week, I was at a kareoke bar for the first time ever, went to visit friends at their studios during First Thursday, saw a screening of some of Jay Rosenblatt’s films at the Walker, and checked out a couple of great local date night places. The date night time did a lot to get me out of my winter funk, and all of the great artwork I have seen at the galleries and at the studios of my friends lately has done a lot to inspire me and get me working again. We all need pick-me-ups like that sometimes.

While I wish that these days of “so freezing cold you don’t dare take a camera outside for fear it will freeze to your face” would be over, today I am so grateful for the sunshine!

Until next time,