Jes Lee

Well, well, well …

I have been so focused on finishing a book for a class at MCBA that I haven’t been posting much lately in the ways of blogs and new photos. The book is a-l-m-o-s-t done (pages are printing as I write this), so it’s about time to get back into updating.

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from my instant 365 project. After the last few frustrations, and with a book project to work on, I just haven’t had the energy to keep that up as well. I think the break has done me a bit of good though, as I am now looking forward to taking my polaroid camera with me when I go visit a friend in Nebraska later in July. I’m sure I will start using it more again before then, but in the mean time it has been nice to focus on something else for awhile. You can keep checking my Flickr set for the project. I’m sure there will be updates there soon.

I’m still kind of keeping up with my cell phone 365 project. Those photos you can still keep finding in their Flickr set. I may get back into posting images from both of those projects here on my blog, but in the mean time, they are just going to live on Flickr.

Anyway, enough with the old catch up business.

In the past couple of weeks I have learned what it really means to make a book – a book with content (not just a blank journal) from designing pages, content, picking a binding, colors, text, font, start to finish. I completed a mock up of my book last week. This week I’m working on a first draft. I’m not convinced I like all of my font choices, but I’m going with it for now. I’ll change them later if I decide to. If not, I hope to make this into a small edition and bring it to some of my next festivals. Where am I going with all of this? I don’t really know, but it has been fun so far!

I’ll post pictures of the finished book soon!

In the mean time, I made the transition from an Android Nexus One phone (which I really enjoyed, but seriously, I think that phone was cursed) to a (white) iPhone 4. Does this matter much? Not really. But, I do like my new phone, and I hope to post more photos and short blogs and other fun stuff with it! Since it is so far working much better than my old phone, there is a very good chance that will actually happen! *Note: I have nothing against Android! They have great ideas and plans and a nice operating system. Really, my phone just hated me. I need a device I can take to the Genius Bar and have someone fix it when I need to!*

Until next time,

Film is a harsh mistress

And today it is leaving me bummed that out of all the instant portraits I took on Saturday, the shots that didn’t turn out were all shots of my husband. It is frustrating, and hard to remember sometimes that this happens with all film, not just instant, and that in a strange way this is why I shoot film, because it is fickle and not perfect, and more unique. But there are times it is disappointing. Anyway, I’ll be posting more instant film shots here and on Flickr later today, and in the mean time, I think maybe it is time for me to take a medium format camera with me today.

Always a couple of steps behind

Sometimes I go for so long without writing in this little blog that I don’t even really know where to start.

June 4th, Minneapolis and St. Paul turned the cities into one huge overnight art festival. It was amazing! There was so much going on! I volunteered at MCBA helping to print 2000 copies of the book that is part of Amanda Lovelee’s Call and Answer project. It was so amazing to be a part of this! My dad made 6 pies at the restaurant to donate to the ‘hold a stranger’s hand, get a piece of pie’ part of the evening. I printed until 1am. After hanging around and drinking coffee for a bit, John and I headed over to the Walker to see a few of the events that were going on there. I was amazed at how many people were still out into the wee hours of the morning! We had tacos with a friend at 3 am, explored the Exposed photography exhibit, and finally headed home around 4am. I was completely exhausted, but so full of happiness seeing how important the arts are to this area. I am so happy and so lucky to live here. That night, I think, was a true test of the twin cities devotion to the arts. Art centers can plan events whether they are during the day, or all night long. That is nothing new. It is something that art centers are constantly doing to promote their cause and their local artists. Local artists volunteer for these events, whether they are during the day or over night. This isn’t new either – it is what we do to support our local art centers. What is amazing, what this festival was truly a test of, was the patrons. It is easy for people to come to a daytime event. It is even pretty easy for them to stay out late for one night (until 11pm or even midnight) but to see that many people still out until sunrise, celebrating the art community here…it was awesome.

In the mean time, I’ve been busy with photo shoots, new projects, upcoming shows, and with the little bunny that is inhabiting our condo with us. I have been continuing working in my visual journal. It has been fun, and a bit relaxing actually. It is making me print more of my photos to put in the pages, as well as trying out some media that I don’t normally use (like drawing materials and watercolor). 

I spent a bit of time today photographing books at MCBA – seriously, that is such a fun job to have! I get to actually touch the books that are on display and look through them, finding the best page spreads to photograph. I’m thinking that doing this, along with this page design course, will finally be enough to get my butt moving on making a few of my own little books. Stay tuned for that. 

In my errands today after the photo shoot, I started picking up frames for the next show I’m in (!) and I also picked up a bottle of fountain pen ink. I don’t know why, but something made me want to try writing with one again today. It’s quite fun, and I really like how it writes. So far, my hands aren’t too badly ink stained either! 

Anyway, here is the photo catch up for now:

Cell phone 365 #53

Instant 365 #53
I also made a really awesome transparency from this image. I’ll post the results of that sometime soon.

Cell phone 365 #54

Instant 365 #54

Cell phone 365 #55

Instant 365 #55

Cell phone 365 #56
(taken while at a friend’s wedding reception)

Instant 365 #56

Cell phone 365 #57

Until next time,

Searching for inspiration

I mentioned last week that I was taking a design class at MCBA. Tonight is the second class meeting. I admit it has been a bit more of a challenge than what I thought it would be. But, I really do believe that is a good thing, and that in the end, I will have a better understanding of what I am creating, and have a few more ideas shoved in the back corners of my brain. Honestly, the thing that has freaked me out the most about this class is that we are supposed to keep a visual journal, and have a certain number of new pages done each week (insert major freak out here). Why? I have never had the discipline to keep a visual journal. I rarely have the discipline to keep a written journal, or keep up on this blog that regularly. And now it is assigned?? *sigh* Of course, the instructor said that photographs counted as sketches and visual pages, so of course, I started filling up my required pages with printed cell phone photos (there would have been more film photos but that is another tragic story) and instant photos, and you know what? I realized how much those are really like sketches to me. Little snippets of my every day. Hmmm….maybe this can work. Not to mention, the awesome ladies (and guy) of letterpress at MCBA started giving me a long list of links to blogs of visual journal-ers. I’m starting my studying of their work tonight with Roz Wound Up. There is another visual journaling blog I found awhile ago, and can’t find again right now. I will post a link as soon as I track it down again though. I’m hoping they will provide a bit more inspiration. In the mean time, I’m still deciding if this journal of mine will remain offline, or if I will scan and post pages as I go….

In the mean time, a catch up on the 365 projects:

I was having a hard time with some of the instant film I was using, so there are a few days worth of instant photos that just aren’t there. But that’s ok. I’ll stop when I get to #365!

May 24th

Cell phone self portrait #46

May 25th

Instant 365 #48
Ghost bunny

May 26th

Instant 365 #49

Cell phone self portrait #47

May 27th

Cell phone self portrait #48

May 28th

Instant 365 #50

Cell phone self portrait #49
You can kind of see my new nose piercing in this one. It isn’t large. Most people haven’t really noticed it yet. It is something I have wanted to do for a very very long time though, and I am very happy I finally had it done. My sweet husband and my bff went with. She got her ears pierced that day as well :)

May 29th

Cell phone self portrait #50 

May 30th

Cell phone self portrait #51
with wine glass

Instant 365 #51

and a second one just to make up for all the days I didn’t post one:

May 31st

Instant 365 #52
I love seeing the lily of the valley come up at my parent’s house every spring.

cell phone 365 #52

I’m off to my class. 
Until next time,