Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!
This week’s featured artist is Jamie Redmond! She had us at hello with her hilarious Animal Tales; a fantastic collection of photography and fiction that finds you in all your feelings. Read more about her work, her inspiration, and more.
Who are you?
Jamie Redmond, a writer, and photographer out of Upstate NY. I am also a proud dog mom to 3 of the craziest furbabies in the world (okay, 2 are crazy and 1 is so normal he seems like he must be mad).
What do you do?
I create fun and quirky little visual stories called the Animal Tales. Ever since I was a kid I've been creating images and words together; for me, it's hard to create one without the other.
Sometimes life can be amazing and give us things to celebrate, and sometimes it's just hard; the Animal Tales were created as little pep talks wrapped in laughable life lessons that could be shared. I like to think of them as sending hugs or high-fives through the mail.
Who/what inspires you?
I am endlessly inspired by the wonders of nature, the antics of my menagerie of pets, and the lessons my parents taught me.
I lost both my parents in my 20s and in every Animal Tale I can see my mother's love of literacy (my earliest memories are of her teaching me to read) and my father's wicked gift for storytelling. It's a way for me to stay in touch with them and share their love.
What’s your favorite moment in the process?
I always get asked if I write the stories or create the images first. Honestly, it can go either way. But my favorite moment is when I come up with the exact story at the same time the shutter clicks. There is something so serendipitous about an image and story being perfectly made for each other.
What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?
Indulge in personal project, keep it to yourself, and don't rush it. I know it is hard, so much of our lives are on display and shared now.
But in the beginning portion of every new project is so precious. Just sit with it and play until you think you are ready to share, and then sit with it and play some more. This really allows you time to develop confidence and follow your creative instincts without having to worry about making mistakes or work that 'isn't good enough.'
The Animal Tales weren't a project I could have created if I sat down and tired: I would have second-guessed them to death. I started the Animal Tales as a personal project to challenge myself artistically and to make myself laugh (all of the Animal Tales, but especially the early ones, were pep talks that I needed hear at that time). I worked on them for about a year before I started to share them. And I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world.
More Animal Tales…seriously, I am always coming up with new ideas. But my focus for 2020 is going to be writing the longer stories behind the Animal Tales. You may not know this, but every character you see in the cards is always that same character, and each card is just a snapshot from their lives. So as I am adding to the card line, I am writing their life stories in the background. I'd like to do a book of about a dozen short story Animal Tales. Its something I've been working on privately for nearly a year now, and pretty soon I think I will be ready to begin sharing that new work.