Jes Lee

This new year is still new



I am still getting the hang of this new year.

I have introduced a lot of new practices into my creative life. Some are sticking well, others not as much.

I have kept up with my film 365 project, and in the process fixed one of my broken cameras.

I have kept up with my ‘morning pages’ journaling practice, though not quite every morning, and not always 3 full pages. But I am journaling and writing more, and it is helping me more than I ever thought.

I have started doing yoga. I went to three classes last week, and really enjoyed the challenge and calm they provided. (Also, yoga makes me feel warm, which I desperately need now!)

I have started working with the studio manager at MCBA on a very exciting project there.

I have started a new book making class at MCBA that will guide me towards making a new editioned book. I admit, I was scared to death to go to this class. I still am, though much less than I was. It is intimidating studying under and next to book artists that I look up to and admire, and feeling like my work belongs. But it has been amazing. I have a lot of work to do on this project, and many articles and books to read to help guide me through this design process, and I am looking forward to it!

Through a very kind friend’s amazing generosity (if you happen to be reading this, you know who you are!) I am the owner of an Impossible Project Instant Lab camera. This amazing little invention creates instant photos of any image you can put on a cell phone. I have played with it all weekend, trying different exposures, making images of cell phone photos and artwork compilations, and double exposures. 2014-02-08 11.31.45

There will be a full blog post on this very soon! I am still too amazed at what it can do to really put in words yet.

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I have had to do more healing this winter than I ever expected to. For the first in quite a while, I finally feel like I have a better grip on it. 2014 is still new and still fresh, and still great.

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Today also happens to be the birthday of the guy I adore. I am very happy to be enjoying 2014 with him. Happy Birthday love!

Cold mornings and my ideal self

Winter is working very hard at arriving full force today. Of course as much as I would love to just curl up on the couch with a good book and watch the snow come, I must be out today. There are photos to take at MCBA, and a class to teach tonight at Bloomington.

I chatted with a good friend the other night about goals, and what we would love to be able to do every day and how these things make up our “ideal selves” which is not usually how we actually are.

My ideal self would not feel so crazy right now. I have had two classes run that I wasn’t really expecting, that included a fair amount of prep work. I have been also working like crazy to get caught up on a lot of photo  jobs, knowing that my hours at my “day job” will be increasing soon. So this week has seemed busy and stressful and way too full. Not ideal. But I know it will get better.

So what is my ideal self? My ideal self would have take time every morning to write. My ideal self would take more photos everyday than just those I use for my daily photo projects. My ideal self would be working on those leather journals for myself and Mr. FN and they would be perfect (this will in part happen soon – I am planning on working on the journals more next week, though they will not be perfect! I am ok with that part though!) My ideal self would never feel spread too thin. My ideal self would have time to work out every day. But, reading back over that, my ideal self would have a lot of routines, and that could get boring, so maybe it is better that I am not my ideal self anyway! ;)

My bestie reminded me today that November is just around the corner and with that comes national writing month. There are people who commit to writing novels in November, people who commit to writing a new poem every day, and people who commit to writing a blog post every day. It really is an exciting, creative month, and it has me thinking of what I would like to do for November. Perhaps committing to something like this would be good. Maybe it would be a good way to get myself writing more and blogging more again. Or, maybe it is just one more commitment that will leave me feeling too busy . We’ll see!

I know that I need to be more focused in my creative work flow, especially knowing that I will be working more. Working more is not a bad thing! So how do other creative types make it work? Is there a secret?

Just a few ramblings

I have honestly not done a lot besides bike to work, work, and bike home from work today. Considering it was 94 degrees out when I rode home, I guess that is ok. Yes, it was one of the hottest days I have biked. But, it really wasn’t that bad. Try working in a kitchen in a restaurant in the middle of summer. Riding a bike on a hot day is better than that. You actually have a breeze as you bike downhill.

Moving on!

Yesterday I finally allowed myself to order some more film from The Impossible Project! (Having a couple of paying art jobs allows that once in a while.) And thanks to the magic ‘express shipping’ fingers of Annie I got my film in the mail today! I’m quite excited. I’m hoping and hoping and hoping that Mr. FN and I will get out for a little drive on Saturday and I will be able to have a little photo day. Fingers crossed!

I was also quite excited yesterday when Milkweed Books re-tweeted my little book review post! Maybe I will throw a book review when they are relevant to shake things up a bit around here…

I got three rolls of film back from the photo shop today and hope to get started scanning tomorrow. There are a few old car photos on those rolls!

Of course there is also work to be done for MCBA. I will be thrilled if the network at home holds out and allows me to work tomorrow! #FirstWorldProblems

Soon enough it will be time to really get to work on creating new pieces for the show in October. For now, I am enjoying playing and scanning.

But tonight, it is time for me to go to bed early, curl up with my steampunk-zombie book, and actually sleep.

Sweet dreams internet!

Nebraska – last summer. I am so ready for another road trip!

Insert witty title here

I remember during my short stint writing for the school newspaper in college how we were always scolded not to title an article during layout night with anything like “title goes here” or “this article needs a title” or anything with a bad pun in it because invariably it would get late and you would forget to change that out with a real title and it would go to print looking stupid. But this blog post is keeping this title. Honestly, thinking of a title for a blog post is my least favorite part of blogging. I have a hard time thinking of a title! Especially now that I have been blogging everyday for awhile! Dear blogger friends, how do you keep coming up with titles??

Moving on.

As we always say, eventually things turn around, and the bad days are followed by good days, and the world keeps turning.

Today I started going on a 13.5 mile bike ride with my grandpa and his wife’s son. It was a gorgeous day! And because my biking company tends to take breaks a bit more often than I do (since this was actually an enjoyable bike ride and not an “omg I am late for work” bike ride) I brought a couple of cameras with (ok, 3 + my iPhone) and took quite a few photos along the trail. Results will be posted soon! It was a great day to be outside, and I enjoyed spending the time with my gramps and having an excuse to get out of the house for awhile with my cameras.

After that I spent the afternoon processing film scans on my new laptop. Oh man! Is this little laptop fast!! i am adjusting to the size – it is smaller than my old laptop, and it has a glossy screen instead of the mat finish – but what it lacks in those details, it makes up for in speed. It is so cool!

I have been focusing a lot on going through photos from the past year or so that I have not yet had a chance to work on. There are plenty of them! It is giving me a chance to compare cameras and film again, and see how much material I really do have to work from for the next shows coming up. It is fun work actually! While there are plenty of gorgeous summer days that I dread being cooped up inside working on my computer, I do really enjoy finding photos I had forgotten about, and finding film that I would like to use more frequently, and realizing how much I love a particular camera, etc.

There were good parts to yesterday. The main positive bit was that I managed to get to Wet Paint to buy a few art supplies. I now have a large mylar sheet which will assist me in screen printing! I also have a new medium to try photo transfers on, and two new journals to start collecting my next project in. I am excited to get started on it, and excited to actually tell all of you what I’m doing! (I’m not going to tell you yet though!)

Tomorrow promises to be a busy day, but I plan on getting a lot of exciting work done again, as well as finally being able to pick up my screen prints from the drying rack at MCBA! Yay!

Until tomorrow,

Nebraska, summer 2011. Among the cool photos I have been working on that I didn’t have time to work on before.

It is going to be a bright day

Yesterday ended up being pretty epic. It started out with me getting caught up on a lot of work, and ended with a wonderful evening out with friends!

Today will be busy, but filled with artwork and friends, so I expect it will be fun.

My work at the ArtStart gallery comes down today. It was a lot of fun having my work on their walls!

Tonight my friend Laura Brown has a book launch party at Minnesota Center for the Book Arts at 7pm. Her book is gorgeous! You should come see it! I’m excited to have a chance to celebrate with her tonight. Finishing a project like that is a huge accomplishment!

I hope to get a bit of pottery done today as well, and hopefully drop off the mystery roll of film I just found in the camera I am giving to my cousin. Yes…I am giving my cousin a film camera! And she says she will use it! This little Pentax doesn’t get enough use from me, and I now own two of them, so one needs to go to a better home and get used. She and my aunt are going to Europe for 3 weeks! I am also sending a long a zoom lens for them to borrow. I am quite jealous that they are going, and that my lens gets to go to Europe and I don’t! ;)

On we go! It will be a bright sunny day!

Who is she?

(one of the images that is coming home from the ArtStart gallery today)