Featured Artist Interview

Jaime Johnson

Jaime Erin Johnson is a young emerging artist who grew up immersed in nature in the backwoods of Mississippi. It is there that she became fascinated with the concepts of ‘quiet’ & ‘impermanence’ and explores these through her imagery. Jaime’s medium is photography and her methods involve & alternative processes where she uses digital photography to create a transparency from which she prints her photographs. “Basically, you take any image and you make a digital negative out of it. That’s as simple as putting an image in black and white and then inverting it and then printing it off on a piece of transparency film. Sort of like an overhead projector and then you just print it off and so you have your negative that was made with a digital photo.”

With an ‘alternative process’, the photographer basically combines digital with traditional photographic processing methods which results in beautiful, ethereal artistic effects. Although she has created an online gallery with us that showcases some of her purely digital works, the real meat of her work can be viewed and understood on her website (http://www.jaimejphotography.com/). It is beautiful, thought provoking and somewhat disturbing yet at the same time, calming.

In this series of Featured Artist Interviews I basically stick to an outline of about 15 questions ranging from how the artist gains inspiration and works through creative blocks to how they price their work. One of the questions I love to ask is ‘What is your biggest accomplishment’? Jaime’s was this: making 30” x 40” prints on Japanese rice paper. She was told it couldn’t be done, so she took that as a personal challenge and made it happen.

I invite anyone who is in the least bit interested in this genre to thoroughly read Jaime’s interview. She was simply a delight; very open and willing to share her knowledge and experience. Stay on the lookout for a future YouTube video from her, showing how she works the process in her photography.

JJ: Hello

LJ: Jaime?
JJ: Yes

LJ: Hi! It’s Laura Jajko and Aubrey Koralewski from American Frame
JJ: Oh, great!

LJ: How are you?
JJ: I’m good. How are you?

LJ: Good. Is this still a good time for you to connect?
JJ: Yes, it is!

LJ: Great! Well, we appreciate you making the time and I’ll tell you, your work is exquisite. It’s such an honor that you’ve exhibited with us and entered the contest and I can see why you won. Just beautiful, beautiful photography.
JJ: I really appreciate that. You guys were a big support, definitely.

LJ: Good! Did you receive the list of questions that were sent over?
JJ: I did, yeah. I read through the questions.

In a way, it’s sort of like this removal from reality a little bit. I think you have photography where you can take a camera and capture something there but I always think about translating it maybe in another way. And I remember just trying out a bunch of different processes. And I saw something that looked kind of earthy and sort of mysterious, which created a mood and drew me in.
Jaime Johnson
We’re so immersed with technology so I’m kind of always looking for this quiet moment where I can reconnect with the wilderness.
Jaime Johnson

LJ: Okay. How about if we just start the conversation that way and I’m sure we’ll get off on some tangents.
JJ: Okay

LJ: Great! When did you start producing your art?
JJ: Well, officially about 10 years now, since studying in college as an undergraduate and then I went on to grad school. So that was about 2006, almost 10 years.

LJ: That sounds like it’s probably a big chunk of your life there. Were you always interested in the camera? Did you fool around with it as a younger person?
JJ: I did. I was thinking about it and even though when I was in high school and stuff I had a camera and I would always take photos, just for fun and I remember working in class on projects and if there was a presentation that needed designed I was always sort of doing that.

LJ: You were always the one that everyone else went to for that?
JJ: Yeah

LJ: It appears that you have one type of work in our gallery and another type of work on your website. It draws you in and it’s very mysterious feeling; it’s very moody photography, if I’m reading you right.
JJ: Oh definitely! I like that.

LJ: What kind of support did you have as far as going into the arts? Is this something that your family was supportive of or did you have to rebel to pursue your passions?
JJ: I was laughing reading that because I never expected to go into art and I was studying math and science in high school at this boarding school and I left home in Mississippi. So yeah, I was there and there was lots of creativity, like that’s actually where I took my first art class. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do but my parents were supportive. And I actually sort of went the practical route thinking I would do graphic design in college, so that’s where I started. I switched to photography pretty quickly, so that was sort of the gateway in. But my parents were supportive and I think my mom has always been very creative. She’s a nurse but she always saves and collects things and she’ll tell me if she saw something interesting today or ‘this would make a neat picture.’ So I feel like they were supportive.

LJ: That’s wonderful! That’s exactly what artists do-they learn to see differently. It’s like your mother was helping you learn to see.
JJ: And my dad actually gave me my first camera and he used to do black and white photography. I didn’t even know that when I started out. I found some prints around the house and he had a darkroom a while back. So he’s much more technical in a way and he always jokes with me that I can always do the artistic things and he knows more about technical equipment.

LJ: Have you ever collaborated with him that way?
JJ: No, I gave him my old camera recently and he started taking photos again so I thought that was kind of nice.

LJ: I understand that you’re a degreed artist and you went to Louisiana Tech and before that, University of Mississippi. They must a good program if you’re representing them!
JJ: Yes, both schools were really nice.

LJ: You said you started studying math and science. Did you select the school based on math and science and then move to photography or did you select that school based on their art program?
JJ: I chose graphic design at the end of high school when I was looking around, so when I got to the art department at the University of Mississippi, they make you take a little bit of everything before you choose a focus. So of course I was in this elective for photography basically and it’s just really nice when I could kind of observe the professor at the time. I saw what she was doing and saw her photography and thought ‘wow, this is a real field.’ I really didn’t have much exposure before that to exhibiting artists or anything like that really, so that’s sort of when I switched into it and thought ‘I guess I’ll figure out the rest later, but I know this is what I love doing.’

LJ: So you were obviously inspired. This professor must have been a great teacher. What was the professor’s name?
JJ: Brooke White. And she’s still the teacher there.

LJ: Does she exhibit her work?
JJ: Yeah, she does a lot of work in Mississippi, as well as abroad, dealing with the landscape. She’s really wonderful.

LJ: I’m sure you have some beautiful landscapes in Mississippi to work with!
JJ: -laughs- yeah!

LJ: So then, did you go on to your masters right away or did you take some time off?
JJ: I did an extra year in undergrad. I ended up doing 5 years and took my time with that last year. And then after that I did go straight into grad school. I hadn’t really planned that but I felt like it was just the beginning when I was graduating.

LJ: I have a daughter in art school that wants to take that extra year just to focus on her art. Just get the academics out of the way and just be in the studio. She works in clay and wants to try to get a really good portfolio together to get into grad school, so I understand the mindset.
JJ: That’s wonderful!

LJ: Do you have a real photography studio? Or do you mostly work on location? How do you work?
JJ: Well, the nice thing about graduate school is that was the first time I had an actual studio like just a room to work in and work that way. But truthfully, I don’t have an official studio now. I have a lot of things I collect and save but mostly I’m going out and photographing on location. I could see one day actually getting a nice area set up but right now I’m constantly moving from one place to another.

LJ: Isn’t that nice though?
JJ: Yeah

LJ: Like a nice mobile light kit and a few pieces of equipment. What kind of camera do you use? What do you like?
JJ: I like Canon. I do shoot digitally. Like the work in the gallery on the website, and then the other work you saw on my website, those are all digital images but instead of them being super colorful, I’ve done a historic process with them. I can kind of combine digital photography with the darkroom. For your contest, I was trying to figure out what to submit and I thought ‘well maybe I’ll do something different. Colorful digital images!’

LJ: How do you combine digital with darkroom?
JJ: Well if you ever get interested to look into alternative processes is the genre they call it. Basically, you take any image and you make a digital negative out of it. That’s as simple as putting an image in black and white and then inverting it and then printing it off on a piece of transparency film. Sort of like an overhead projector and then you just print it off and so you have your negative that was made with a digital photo.

LJ: Then you manipulate it from there?
JJ: Yes, and then mine are just contact printed, so you just take a negative that’s the same size as your print, say an 8 x 10 and then you just print it, typically with UV light or sunlight. So each process is a little different but it’s really not too difficult.

LJ: It sounds interesting! But you didn’t use that for your winning image? ‘Rain’ it was called. How did you photograph that piece? Was it through a window?
JJ: That’s just a regular digital photo. I did alter the colors a little bit using Photoshop. But yeah, that was just a straight photograph shot digitally.

LJ: Was it through a window or was it outside?
JJ: I was outside, standing on our porch. Trying out some pictures.

LJ: Was it during the day or in the evening?
JJ: It was in the daytime. I remember sort of afternoon rain.

LJ: Nice! Again, it’s like you capture the mood - that mellowness of a light beautiful rain and how it makes you feel. So Jaime, are you a full time artist or do you support yourself in a different manner?
JJ: Oh, so this past year actually, when I applied for the contest, I basically came back home and I was staying with my parents, just making art, while I was looking for employment. So I just became an educator officially, teaching photography at the University of Mississippi. It’s sort of a part time position, so I’m still looking around but it was nice to have a paycheck.

LJ: Congratulations! I mean honestly, that is a really great credential to start your career with!
JJ: Thank you!

LJ: That’s meaningful for your resume as you try to build upon your background and portfolio. People like to see that: that you know what you’re doing and that you’re recognized by your peers.
JJ: It was really important just being an active artist, exhibiting art, so when I heard that, it was just huge support as far as staying busy and people noticing ‘oh this person is showing a lot of artwork and they stayed active, they didn’t just quit making artwork.’

LJ: Yes! Exactly! So I think we covered the next question about your artistic process. Would you say your primary way of working is using an alternative process? Combining the digital with the darkroom?
JJ: I would. That’s pretty much been a focus right now.

LJ: What do you like about that?
JJ: In a way, it’s sort of like this removal from reality a little bit. I think you have photography where you can take a camera and capture something there but I always think about translating it maybe in another way. And I remember just trying out a bunch of different processes. And I saw something that looked kind of earthy and sort of mysterious, which created a mood and drew me in. So I’ve been doing them and I keep thinking ‘maybe I’ll try something else’ but so far I haven’t stopped making that type of work yet.

LJ: I would imagine that there’s a lot to that. It gives you a broad range of techniques or maybe a broad range of results you can achieve with that technique. Perhaps that’s maybe a better way to say it.
JJ: Yeah! You nailed it.

LJ: Okay, I got lucky there! When you describe your work how would you articulate the themes of your work? Are there any underlying common themes or is it more the technique that you’re going for?
JJ: I’m going for sort of how I remember growing up and that was just very connected to nature and the outdoors and animals. When I was in graduate school I moved to a more city like area, and so I just needed a way to get out find places that are quiet. So that’s what I think about. We’re so immersed with technology so I’m kind of always looking for this quiet moment where I can reconnect with the wilderness.

LJ: Isn’t that the truth! What a gift it is to just be able to let go and forget about all our adult responsibilities! Even if you’re sitting in your city apartment: to have a beautiful way to immerse yourself in nature through your art. So you mentioned one influence, who was Brooke White. Are there any other artists or photographers or individuals that have influenced or inspired you in your work?
JJ: Yeah mostly, I read a lot of poetry and literature. So there were a couple of poets. Sometimes it’s just people I have never read before but there have been poetry books or authors that I return to if I need inspiration. A couple of those were Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and David Abram. I just started reading a book he wrote called “Becoming Animal.”

LJ: Oh let me write that down!
JJ: It’s really meditative and has a lot of sensory descriptions in there about the environment. It goes along with what I’m trying to photograph, I guess. There are other artists and photographers. I could probably think of a ton, but primarily I would say the poets.

LJ: That’s so interesting because you’re just taking that and synthesizing it into an image, is what it sounds like you do. You get inspired by a feeling and create a reality around that is what it sounds like.
JJ: Yeah, and I forgot to mention Thoreau.

LJ: Oh, of course!!! Who in nature isn’t influenced by Thoreau! Emerson! Those are the godfathers of environmentalism. So how do you keep a fresh perspective?
JJ: You know, I follow a lot of art blogs or look at other things people are making. It’s just good to see what’s out there. I do follow a lot of my peers and see what other people are doing, mainly.

LJ: Do you hang with other photographers or do you not really do that?
JJ: Thanks to the internet it’s been pretty easy to just keep in touch, especially with fellow MFA graduates. We were all areas combined, from ceramics to photography to painting and a good friend of mine, Peter Hague , he does a lot of really large paintings that deal with environmental themes. So it’s really nice to get on the internet and maybe see him post something he’s working on. It’s just refreshing to see people still making things even though I’m not in that academic environment so much where I was more immersed in it.

LJ: Do you find that most of them do blog?
JJ: Yeah, I think social media has really taken off. I know for photography maybe it’s easier for people using Instagram for putting images online. But I know quite a few people who keep up to date that way.

LJ: I’m trying to pull your website up again. Okay, you have a blog. Let me try to pull that up. How often do you try to post?
JJ: You know, I realized usually its something I’m about to share on the internet, maybe I’ll put it up there but I don’t know, mine might not be as active as it could be.

LJ: It’s hard to keep consistent!

LJ: Next question. When you’re working on a particular photograph or a series, how do you know when its time to say ‘this is it! I’m moving on.’
JJ: That’s something that this whole past year, finishing up my MFA, thinking ‘okay am I finished with this series yet?’ For me I feel like all my images, the things I’m thinking about seem to naturally connect. But I think a lot of people work from project to project. Like, they have a specific project and they’ll photograph for that and then they’ll do the next one. But then I look at other artists - I was just on this website of this lady whose art I like, and hers is just organized by year. Like 2009, 2011. I looked at all the work and it all really connects well. So I thought, okay, I’ll make a bunch of images. And right now I’m just making ‘things’. I haven’t really put anything new up. But I figure I will once I get a group of images. I sort of remember being that way in graduate school. I tend to look at all the work after it is made and then start organizing it or seeing what goes with what. I like to work with a series that way.

LJ: That’s interesting! You make stuff and then kind of group it from there and try to figure out how things relate to each other?
JJ: Yeah

LJ: It’s kind of an evolution as opposed to having a plan.
JJ: Some people are really good at planning and maybe it’s different with photography and maybe it’s even easier to just keep producing things and then to look at it.

LJ: Does it ever come down to “I’ve got this deadline, it just has to be done. I’m just going to move on.” Does it ever come down to that for you?
JJ: Hmmm. The closest I ever got to that was maybe my MFA show, having to choose a few things. And I remember thinking ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’ and it turns out once you make the decisions it’s like ‘okay it wasn’t that difficult.’

LJ: Isn’t that interesting?
JJ: Yeah!

LJ: So what does a typical day in your life look like? Are you a morning person? Are you a nighttime person? How do you organize yourself around your work?
JJ: You know, I’ve figured out I can be a little bit of both depending on what I’m doing. If I’m photographing I can do early morning and get out. Lately with printing, making these prints that are sort of one of a kind, that I have to do by hand, I’ll work all night long. Usually like maybe I’ll start at 9 pm and finish at 9 am.

LJ: Oh, you’re kidding me!? That’s amazing!
JJ: My hours got really crazy.

LJ: So you just must be totally immersed in the process when you do that?
JJ: I don’t know what it is, or how to describe it. I was doing that in school for a while, working all night through morning and you know, I’ll leave at 10 am and no one will know I was there all night.

LJ: When you work like that do you even notice the time passing?
JJ: No, not really. The only time I’ll really pay attention is, well I don’t have to worry about it now, but when I was in school and you had something to do and need to be there. I’ll try to keep track, maybe I don’t want to stay in here all night long, you know? But it’s pretty easy to just keep on going.

LJ: Wow! What a gift! Do you have your own darkroom?
JJ: You know, with these processes I’m doing, I don’t have a darkroom but I did get a few pieces of equipment that are helpful.

LJ: An enlarger or…?
JJ: Sort of an enlarger. But it’s actually a UV exposure unit. It’s sort of like a tanning bed. It puts out UV light and so with these cyanotypes, you can make them in sunlight, but since I work at night you can also use a UV exposure unit basically. So that’s the one big piece of equipment that I got so that I could print, so yeah that’s not quite a darkroom but I just got a few pieces of like darkroom trays and running water. That’s about all I need.

LJ: Running water, absolutely! And hopefully not a hose in the backyard, right?
JJ: -laughs-

LJ: What kind of paper do you use when you do that? Are these large works? It looks like on your website you have them displayed as really large works.
JJ: Yeah, it’s a Japanese rice paper and it comes in really big sheets.

LJ: That sounds incredible! You should make a YouTube video one of these days of your process.
JJ: That is funny! I’ve been thinking about that. It’s funny you said that!

LJ: I think that would really be interesting to a lot of people who are interested in this kind of alternative process. It sounds like a lot of work but the results are stunning. I hope to see it someday in person.
JJ: That would be wonderful!

LJ: I saw that you had exhibited in New York. Do you have a relationship with a gallery there?
JJ: No, not in New York. You probably saw one of the juried shows I entered there. Mostly like this past year, being back home in Mississippi, I tried venturing out seeing what’s around and where I could show. I could see how it could take some time, just going places and figuring that out.

LJ: Well, we’re putting in a Showroom gallery up here at American Frame. Long story short, we have a factory store that we’ve traditionally called the Showroom, where local artists or anybody could pick up their supplies and not have to pay UPS shipping. Well, over the years, the service we’ve provided has grown and grown and grown and we decided to go big with it. So we are putting in about 3,500 square feet of space and a lot of it will be gallery space; wall space for exhibits. One of the things we were thinking about doing is a Featured Artist exhibit and maybe that would be a chance to bring some of your original work here, if that would work for you.
JJ: Wow! Yeah, that’s amazing that you’re doing that. I did see your construction going on.

LJ: Oh yeah, it’s crazy! We’re supposed to be done in August but construction never happens the way It’s supposed to so.. .we’ll see. But we will keep you informed on that.
JJ: Wow! Okay, wonderful!

LJ: So, Jaime what would you say is your biggest accomplishment in your field so far?
JJ: I was going to say making these 30 x 40 prints on this Japanese paper.

LJ: Wow! That’s incredible. Are you inventing this process or do people really do this?
JJ: There are videos of other people printing on Japanese paper. But I guess the large scale; I hadn’t seen a lot of people making photos that size. There are people out there who have done it, I think. But it is a bit of a challenge doing it now without all the equipment. But making the negatives that big, it takes a bit of technique to make sure everything looks right and the funny thing is I was working last summer in Maine at the East Photo Workshop and I was talking to a guy who was sort of in charge and he said ‘oh you cant make something that big’ and he didn’t really know what my work was. And I thought ‘interesting! He said all the things he couldn’t do’ and I thought ‘hmmm.’ But anyway, I felt like for me, it was an accomplishment.

LJ: That’s a huge accomplishment! When you create a negative and you do a print, how many prints do you do in a series?
JJ: To get one that works or as far as just making…

LJ: Well let’s say you get one that works. Do you just do a mono-print then or do you do several?
JJ: I thought about with these large prints, I did an edition of 5. So far, I’ve been printing them as I go. I haven’t sold very many, but when I do, so far I’ve made a few and just kept track of where they are.

LJ: I’m going to jump ahead here because I’m curious to know. How do you frame those pieces?
JJ: I actually ordered one from you guys. I had to get something traditionally framed with a mat, so I got like thick black frame, but you’ll probably see on my website, I’ve been showing those unframed most of the time, just because of shipping. I would love to have them all protected, but that’s a huge FedEx art box. It’s great but it’s tricky.

LJ: Oh it’s extremely expensive at that size. The oversize charges are crazy. As for exhibiting something like that, that’s a tough one. So you exhibit them just as paper?
JJ: Yeah, and I do like that better. I got to sort of try that out in school for my MFA show. I got this wooden bar with magnets imbedded in it and then I put the print on top and just put tiny magnets to attach it. They kind of hang loose. They kind of moved a little bit, like lean. But I’ve only sent them off as a group to about two places and I’ll send a bottom bar so they can firmly secure it.

LJ: You’re not concerned about them ripping?
JJ: I have two thoughts on it. Some of my professors who had young kids said ‘well, you know, what if a kid comes in here and grabs it?’ And I thought, well you know what, I would be okay with that. I feel like impermanence is a part of all this artwork.

LJ: That’s absolutely true. That allows you to take the concept of impermanence a step further.
JJ: I haven’t had any casualties yet.

LJ: I hope you don’t because it sounds like you put a lot into each one! It sounds like this is almost like a very tactile process for you, even though you’re a photographer.
JJ: Absolutely. I was trying to describe these prints to a place that said they don’t really sell a lot of photography and I was like, ‘they’re sort of like paintings in a way.’ I do know that paintings are sort of one of a kind, I could remake this print but they’re all a little bit different each time, so if something did happen I know its not a complete fiasco.

LJ: So I’m just going to throw an idea out at you and you can tell me if it’s a bad idea. I don’t get offended. But maybe what you might want to try, is after you finish one of your rice paper works, is to photograph one and then print it. Have it available for printing on another type of substrate so that it has a longer life. So you’d have one set of images on the rice paper and then maybe it would take a different form if you photographed it and printed it another way.
JJ: That’s an interesting idea. I hadn’t figured all that out yet. Even when I was submitting for this contest I thought ‘hmm how would I do this print’ like if someone printed it, it would be on another material or it would be sort of just a copy of the original. That’s a good idea.

LJ: Yes. I definitely wouldn’t want to see it printed on a watercolor paper or something like that. But maybe some of your rice paper things would be really good on a textured paper or a real soft, one of the papers we sell is called Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. But it’s just a beautiful, soft white, thick art paper. I could see some of the rice paper images translating well to something like that, in order to give an image a different kind of life after you’ve worked it. Just a thought.
JJ: Yeah, I completely agree with what you said, as you were talking it made me think of people who do tintypes, you know the one of a kind process. And I thought about it and I do think that some of them print on a paper like Hahnemuhle and do prints that way.

LJ: If you ever want to experiment let me know.
JJ: I appreciate that!

LJ: Seriously, I’ll get a proof done for you. It’s not a problem. So how do you see your art evolving at this point?
JJ: That’s a tough one. I guess I’m still making some images right now that still sort of go with a series I’ve been working on. But this summer I’ll be working up in Maine again and they do a lot more processes so I’m open to trying out some other things. Maybe even using color, since everything I’ve done is kind of monotone. So that was probably my first thought. I’ll see maybe about trying another process possibly.

LJ: When you say you go to Maine, what’s it called, there’s an actual series of workshops up there every year for photographers.
JJ: Yeah, Maine Media Workshops.

LJ: Yes, so I have a friend who is one of the instructors there.
JJ: Who is it!?

LJ: Do you know Terry Abrams?
JJ: Okay, the name is familiar but I don’t actually know him.

LJ: If you have a chance to meet him or take any of his classes, he’s a local Ann Arbor photographer and he runs a program at Washtenaw Community College. He used to run it at University of Michigan and then left 20 years ago to start it at the community college and he’s just really an incredible photographer. He takes this idea of a painterly approach to his photography as well.
JJ: Wow! That’s amazing.

LJ: Yeah, he’s bought up tons of enlargers for the Washtenaw program. Anytime he has a chance to buy equipment from photography studios or dark rooms that have closed. He’s brining in a lot of the old equipment and mixing it with the new technology like you were talking about. So it might be interesting for you to connect with him.
JJ: I’ll have to look up their schedule and see who all is coming. I’ll be working there as a teaching assistant.

LJ: Oh good!
JJ: Mainly just in that one area, in the alternative process area. I did go there last summer as an intern. So that’s sort of how I started. It was a really great place and the instructors - there are so many of them coming in, and it’s wonderful to meet them.

LJ: It’s a superior experience! So this is a question where I get a lot of chuckles from the artists, when I ask: how do you decide what to price?
JJ: It’s a good one. I think it took me the entire past year to figure all that out. Being out of school, because you know, people would ask to buy something and at the time it wasn’t much a priority. But I started calculating; well first I emailed one of my professors who gave me a very logical answer. And my dad kind of gave me the same sort of business-like model. Basically, just calculate your time, your materials and what your time is worth of making something. So I just took that and came up with some estimates. But I still, personally, struggle a little bit, thinking about what to charge. But I just started selling some prints on Etsy and so I thought ‘okay what’s something that’s affordable but also worth the effort of making it?’ so I managed to come up with a pretty good price for different sizes.

LJ: What do you charge for one of your large rice prints?
JJ: What I did was, instead of doing them on the Japanese paper, which is really fragile, I used a stiffer watercolor paper and then did them smaller, like 12 x 18, and I charge $260 a print which included the shipping materials. So, they’re still printed the same way, just on a stronger paper so people won’t worry about it falling apart.

LJ: Do you use like a Canson Watercolor?
JJ: Yeah, Canson. These are whiter than the Japanese paper which has kind of a yellow tone. So they look a little different. But I enjoy both of them for different reasons.

LJ: But you haven’t sold any of the large rice paper ones yet?
JJ: I did. I sold 2 of those, they went to a university. So I sold them for $800 a print.

LJ: It’s funny you said that number because I had that number in my head.
JJ: Oh, that’s good!

LJ: Yeah!
JJ: At first I put a $1600 price tag on it and then I thought ‘well… they say you should have a selling price if it’s something you’re okay with selling and if you don’t want to sell it you could put a higher price on it where you’d be happy if somebody bought it.’

LJ: Exactly! And so is that what you did?
JJ: Yeah, basically. So they bought two prints and I sort of thought, okay, that’s when I came up with the $800, which seems to work.

LJ: I would think that, just hearing your process and the fact that it’s not commonly being done and the time that you put in, that sounds very fair. Probably even on the low side, depending on your venue. A gallery would probably sell it for $1600 a piece.
JJ: Yeah, that’s about right. I was thinking, I know they charge commission and that sort of thing.

LJ: Well, do you have any questions for us?
JJ: Actually, yes. Do you guys have a mailing address if I wanted to send you a thank you or something?

LJ: Oh! –laughs- That’s on the website, absolutely!
JJ: Well that was my only thought!

LJ: That’s so sweet! Well, we should be posting this article in a few weeks. We’re a little bit behind on the interviews, but we’re catching up. But we will be giving you a landing page so you can link it from your website or whatever. You’ll have your own separate presence besides your art gallery on our website. A lot of artists like this because you can share who you are with your audience. And then the audience likes it because they like getting into the minds and experience of the artist they admire. We hope that we’re putting content out there that people will value. And then going forward I’m going to be putting together a LinkedIn group for the Featured Artists so we can grow our community. I am just stunned at the quality of artists that are connected with us, and I feel like you now have this common experience, and although you’re all doing very different things and its always interesting to share knowledge and experience in an ongoing format.
JJ: Well your support has been wonderful. I remember American Frame just because my professor in graduate school just said ‘okay, go to American Frame for your picture frames.’

LJ: Oh really?
JJ: Yeah! That was kind of like ‘the place’ so when I started teaching I just send out a link with instructions on how to order from American Frame.

LJ: Thank you!
JJ: Since the contest, I’ve had people writing me online like asking me questions.

LJ: So have you gotten any of your friends to want to enter the contest?
JJ: I actually sent the link to a few people. I don’t know if they entered but, it’s really wonderful and I was able to get a couple of pieces sent out after that.

LJ: Nice, very nice! Well, if you don’t have any other questions, I will just say thank you again and it’s really been a pleasure spending this time with you. You’re really interesting and have a lot to say through your work and I’m excited to get your article written and posted and hopefully it’ll be helpful to you.
JJ: Definitely! Thank you so much and good luck to your daughter too with her ceramics!

LJ: Oh! Thank you! We will keep you posted with any exhibits we do here as well.
JJ: Okay.

LJ: Well thank you Jaime!
JJ: Thank you too!

LJ: Talk to you soon, bye!
JJ: Bye!