Amanda Hutchins

It was a sunny Saturday morning when I met Amanda in a small, corner coffee shop. I, of course, after being stuck in continuous little league traffic of walking children and adults alike,was running late. Yet I was greeted with a friendly smile and sense of eagerness. We bought our coffee and sat down to discuss the story of Amanda.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I have lived here (Northwest Indiana) for all of my life. I’m the youngest of 4 and the first to go to college. Two siblings did their thing and had a bunch of kids (laughs) but my last sibling is like me–no babies and figuring things out. So going to school is something that is kind of huge for me. I’m planning on going to Indiana University Bloomington next year for a Masters in Arts and Art Administration. I might become a curator and help out my friends who are artists themselves. I also tutor for photography and printmaking at Indiana University Northwest.

What kind of stuff are you currently working on?

I’m not going to have any photography classes in the Fall, so I’ve been working on a new project, to get me out of what I had been shooting previously, for a while. I shot with a wide angle all semester, so I’m switching up my lenses to a 50mm to change viewpoints. I’m going to be doing printmaking and ceramics in the summer as well. I’m not a great ceramicist, but I enjoy….the act of doing it (laughs).

 

What’s your favorite stuff to work on; or are you all over the board?

Photography is my thing mostly. I worked at a photo studio as soon as I turned 18 and it just pushed my love to do it. But portrait photography is definitely different from a lot of other types of photography. Getting kids to sit still isn’t always fun. But I did other things too, like I tried working for this real estate company – it was nice because houses don’t move (laughs). But I was at the studio for about 8 years.

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What’s making you want to take the jump to curating?

I think I’m a type A personality. I like organizing , writing and putting things together. So as much as I like creating the work, I think I would like curating a lot more. I just like the idea of being behind the scenes. I like being precise about things. Doing a senior show in school kind of makes you see things differently. We had an art historian that made us write about the show and that kind of made me realize that I really had no idea what I wanted to do after the fall. After thinking about it, art curating sounded like something I’d really enjoy.

 

What other types of things do you do for fun creative-wise?

I like to go to ska shows. I like to hula hoop on my down time. I have a friend that got me into it and it actually helped me quit smoking cigarettes. I’m not amazing, but it gives me something to do in my down time.

So you worked for a while in a studio. Can you tell us a little more about that?

It was a photo studio in the mall. It wasn’t bad, but I can’t go to the mall anymore. Not like I’m banned (laughs)….I just physically can’t. I worked there with a really good friend and we just talk about how it was nice to get out of there. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely fun. I think it was the sales aspect of it that wasn’t really great. Having to make people pay for things they can’t afford…It wasn’t for me. I’m done with studio stuff. Unless it’s out of my house or something.

 

If you had your choice, what would you want to do/shoot?

This is the cheesiest answer from my childhood, but I’d love to be a National Geographic photographer. I don’t know if their work is really described as “art” but it helps make change. It helps document these things happening around the world that people otherwise couldn’t see.

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Where can people see some of your work?

My website is not up yet, but I plan on offering photographic services. My grandma passed away and I got this idea to digitally recreate these old photographs of her. I think it would be cool to offer that service to people. A lot of people don’t know what to do with all of that physical stuff. I have a huge chest of photos. So I’m turning that stuff into files instead. I’m not sure who some of the people in the photos are (laughs) but they look like they’re related to me so I’m going with it. They’re pretty old photos so I’m contacting all of this family, asking them who these people are. It’s a process, but it’s fun. I like organizing and taking care of these photos. But yeah, my website is coming soon!

 

Without a website, how exactly DO you show your work?

Well I’m an undergraduate, so most of the things I’m doing probably isn’t the BEST stuff I’m doing. Plus a lot of this work I’ve been doing is on social commentary and about this area. Everyone I know, family and friends, are from this area. It might be more negative for a lot of people than I would intend; I just don’t want to hurt or anger these people close to me. It’s still a process of deciding what I’m going to show.

 

Once the site is up, what’s going on it?

There will be a lot of portraits and weddings and fun stuff like that. I don’t do a lot of weddings, but I do have a few lined up and ready to go. I don’t have a solid second person to shoot with all of the time, so it would be a lot of work to do it all the time.

 

So what’s next for you?

Probably finding a job (laughs). Like I mentioned, I worked as a tutor in school, so I think I’ll be looking for some type of work along those lines. Then I pretty much need to figure out things in Bloomington with my boyfriend. After that, I’ll be on my way out there in Fall of 2017, ready to take things from there.

You should definitely be following Amanda on Facebook and Instagram.

 

All art/photos included in this article is property of Amanda Hutchins. Portraits of Amanda were taken by Genuine Staff.

Lawrence Tellez

In an age dominated by electronics and split second moments, someone like Lawrence Tellez steps back and smells the flowers (…or the film). I met Lawrence in a small comic/donut shop where I found him sitting on a couch waiting for me. With children running around and parents chasing them, it was a pretty chaotic, noisy scene. Yet Lawrence sat calmly taking it all in and enjoying the moment. After joining him on the couch (and grabbing myself a pre-interview donut, of course) he told me his backstory and why he does it the way he does.

 

Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself:

I’m a film photographer from Lake Station, Indiana. I basically just take a lot of Polaroids (laughs). Reading comics and taking photos is what I do. Other than that, I’m a pretty simple man.

 

Are Polaroids ALL you do?

No, I shoot 35 mm film as well. I used to do digital photography but I felt like I was just clicking away. I wanted to slow things down, so I started getting into film. Polaroids were my first instance of using film. I get it from the Impossible Project. I ended up finding my first Polaroid film at a local shop and the rest I get online. Certain things need to be purchased online, like for instance it’s hard to get ilford film. I shoot ilford and black and white mostly. Sometimes I do color if it’s for family or bigger events, but if it’s for my personal stuff I use black and white.

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What interested you in Polaroid and film?

A documentary on Netflix got me interested in Polaroid, actually. I figured, as anyone would, that it was just a documentary about how the film is nonexistent and how people used to use it. But it showed me about the Impossible Project creating this new formula and bringing the power of Polaroid back. I did my research and saw that they’ve had the film out for a few years and I ended up getting my hands on some. It’s a little expensive, but it’s worth it. Your photos mean so much more because you really only get one. Sure, you can stand there and keep shooting, but there’s only one real copy. It’s so different from digital…even some film too…it’s a different category all together. I prefer it to any other type. It makes the memory greater. Especially with my daughter, Allison. Every pack I buy (8 shots) has at least one photo of her come out of it. I want to preserve those memories, and for however long the film is made I’m going to keep doing it. I’m a special member with the Impossible project and they actually allow me to test film out for them. They’re improving their film rapidly. They share some of the behind the scenes stuff with me. Shooting film has opened my photography so much. I was a digital photographer from the age of 16, doing weddings and events and all of that. But after a while, they all start to seem the same. And you have to shoot so continuous and fast. I just want to do my own thing right now.

 

“When you have 24 or 36 shots on a roll of film, suddenly you really think about things…you know you have to make it count.”

 

Wow, you did weddings pretty far back. Did you ever try to incorporate film into the weddings in any way?

No, there usually is such a time limit that it’s really hard to try to step back and embrace the moment to get the right shot. It put a new dynamic on a wedding and clients would have to make the time to slow it down.

 

When shooting with film, do you find so much more pressure to get the right shot?

Well, like I mentioned, I’ve found it’s really helped me slow down. Before I would just shoot away. Now, I look at a scene and think for a few minutes and when I know what I want I go for it. It’s really made me become a better photographer because you don’t know what you’re going to get until it’s developed. You have to think about what you’re doing and make sure your settings are right and your composition is what you wanted. I don’t Photoshop or alter my photos in any way. I want my stuff to feel really natural when I present it. Now that I have a daughter, I want things to slow down more than ever (laughs). She’s only 2, but slowing down is what every parent wants and this type of photography really helped me get there.

 

It almost makes you appreciate everything around you more.

Right. I get these rolls of film and I’m capturing these moment around me that really matter to me and those close to me. I’m not just going to keep snapping everything I can. When you have 24 or 36 shots on a roll of film, suddenly you really think about things…you know you have to make it count. It’s much more worth it.

 

So you’ve had your work published/show in some things, right?

Yeah, the Impossible project has their own magazine. They saw my comic Polaroids and they wanted to do a story on me about it and feature some photos. Also, before that they had a Halloween article and they came across a photo I had taken of my daughter and our dog on our porch and they wanted to put it in their issue. I told them about how it was the first picture I actually got both my daughter and my dog to look at the camera (laughs). So they featured it and wrote a little description about it. It’s also pushing me to try to things with the photos I’m shooting. I’ve got a new project where I’m going to do Polaroid photos, but use high key photography lighting and make these intricate portraits. It’s kind of the opposite of a Polaroid, mixed with a Polaroid. It’s an experiment for me.

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Are you doing mostly comic stuff right now?

No, that was another experiment of mine. It’s a strange story actually, I tried reading a digital comic book, but thought I’d experiment and pull it up on my tv screen and read it there. Once it was up, it struck me and I knew I wanted to try to shoot what I was seeing. I pulled something up of my favorite artist and shot a photo and I loved it. I was shooting with test film that had really bright, interesting colors that worked perfect. It was really good timing.

 

What’s next for you Polaroid and film work?

Summer’s coming, so I’m just ready to go out there and shoot. I’m going to keep working on these experimental projects. I’m going to be shooting some film for a few live bands soon. I just want to push my work, try new things and maybe enlarge and sell some prints. I’d love to have my own shop or my own gallery and studio space. I don’t see a lot of people in this area shooting film. It’s crazy that these new generations might not have these physical photos anymore. Everything’s online and they aren’t even printing things out anymore. What happens when a hard drive crashes? What happens when you just want to hold a photograph? The other day I was shooting with my Polaroid camera and a teenager came up to me and asked what I was holding. He had never seen a Polaroid camera. People don’t understand them, or they think they’re outdated and make fun of them. But I think film is revolutionizing photography and is regrowing. You can even see the influence on movies. There’s a new super 8 camera coming out soon.

 

That’s really incredible. Where can people catch some of your work?

Instagram, Facebook and Flickr are my three major places. I’m on Twitter, but I don’t put too much work on there. Also you can see a lot of stuff on my website http://www.lawrencetellezphotos.com/

 

Do you have any last thoughts?

I’d just like to thank my wife and daughter, the rest of my family, Jaimie Radar (for introducing me to this great zine)…and everyone that’s influenced and helped me with my photography!

 

 

Emily Casella

I met Emily in a library on a quiet Saturday morning. With libraries being her second home, she led me through rows of books to a small table in the back and sat down, ready to talk. With bright eyes and a sense of eagerness, she led me through the journey of how she got to this point and where she’s headed from here.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m 21, vegetarian and a mixed media ceramicist and photographer. Basically, I take photos and then and incorporate them into different sections of the ceramics. Occasionally I draw, but I’ve been pretty focused on the ceramics and photo for a while now.

 

Have you always been majorly focused on those specific mediums? Or did you fall into them?

I went to a Montessori school where we had the opportunity to use clay 2 times a year. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school when I was like “okay, I like this”. Before that, I wanted to be a teacher my whole life, but it’s so political and there are so many problems (especially in this area). I wanted to try something different.That’s where Fine Art came in.

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How long do your ceramic pieces usually take you to create?

Well I coil-build, so it really depends on how big the piece is. The longest I’ve taken on a piece was about 6 weeks. It was two large cones with a light table under them. You look into the cones and see various photos. I’m very into interactive art. When you give someone a ceramic piece, they tend to not use it as often as they should. They tend to be too afraid of breaking it. I want to bridge that disconnect so they can be comfortable with the medium. A lot of ceramics are usually just cups or vessels. I try to make things that really have a purpose or use.

 

You’re still in school and in the process of your Senior Thesis. Can you tell us about that?

I’m dealing with the idea of homes and the idea of absorption. It was a concept studied by Telegan and Atkinson on how people get so absorbed in something, like a smart phone, and they lose sense of their surroundings. I’m taking that idea and kind of merging it with this idea of how we stay in our homes, only getting this access to the outside world through television and the Internet. It starts to create skewed realities when that’s all you’re seeing, and you start to compare your life to these people you see on TV. It can have both negative and positive effects. I’m a very domestic life type of person, which drives me to think of these people at home all of the time. I love to travel, and a lot of people don’t necessarily have that opportunity, so they get stuck in these sad situations where they can’t go anywhere due to financial reasons or other problems.

 

“I feel like I need to continue that. It helps people document life.”

That’s really great. Are you excited about presenting all of this?

Absolutely. I’ve been working on this concept since around last summer. I can finally move on with life (laughs). It was different for me, because I don’t really get attached to my pieces. In the ceramic world, you have to sort of detach yourself from them, because there’s a large chance you’re going to give it away at some point.

After your graduate, what’s next?

I applied for an internship with the MCA, but haven’t heard anything yet. Other than that, I’d like to possibly get a gallery job locally. Then I can get a studio set up and continue working on projects. I’d like to get a Master’s degree, but I don’t know what media I’m ready to really focus on for that (or if I should even do mixed media). There’s a year wait until you can do that, so there’s time. But that’s also left me with this gap where it’s like “I don’t know what I’m doing” (laughs). No matter what, I want to continue with ceramics and photography in some way.

 

Do you work with any other mediums?

Drawing was a big part of what I did, too. With drawing, you work so hard to get space and perspective. Photography feels so much more efficient to me, and I can put more focus on the actual concept and visualizing an image. So I kind of divorced drawing, married ceramics and have a best friend in photography (laughs). That’s how I like to think about it…I do like drawing a lot, but we just fight too much.

 

Do you have a website or online presence?

I just have Instagram and Facebook for the most part. I do also have a Twitter and a YouTube Channel where I make content about traveling and events I go to. And I’ve been working on capturing the process of my senior show up to this point. Once it’s over, it’s over, so I wanted to capture myself working through it. You find that Fine Art isn’t really on YouTube, so I want to make more content about different historical moments in Art. I’m really interested in Dadaism and early 19th century art. Art changed into different things and a lot of people don’t really understand these changes it went through. With art being cut from public schools more and more, we need to keep the history of it alive. If we don’t, how are we supposed to help people learn about it? That’s what I want to do after graduation. Teach people about these things that happened.

 

People do tend to look over that, don’t they?

They do! They even overlook going to galleries and exhibits. It’s not a widely done thing on Youtube. I think that would be an interesting thing to start showcasing–reviewing things and showing people these events and work they might not otherwise have a chance to see.

 

Have you built a big following around that?

It’s slowly building, and I think in the summer I’ll try to grow it more. It’s an outlet for people to be creative easily without having to go overboard spending money. I feel like I need to continue that. It helps people document life.

 

Do you have anything else you’d like readers to know?

I don’t think so…just thank you for all of the support!