Meet Jelena and her beautiful photos

December 7, 2011

I'm lucky enough to be friends with this talented lady. From the first time I saw her photos I knew she had an amazing talent for capturing moments, yes it sounds cheesy but she is an expert at it. Jelena is one of those people that feels like a breath of fresh air, she's exciting to be around, has a horde of bizarre hobbies and is always up to do something with you.

This interview is especially helpful in my opinion, especially to young creatives as so often when you hear designers etc. talking about how they got to where they are, they leave out the hard stuff. It becomes a condensed, romanticized version of events that forgets about the nail biting, hard slog that is baring your soul to the world, just hoping what you do is good enough to make a living from it. When I was in university I wish I knew what I know now, that confidence is key to doing great things and that its damn hard work to make it in this profession without believing at least little of your own B.S. 

So enjoy Jelenas interview and then head on over to her blog and check out her beautiful photos

1. Tell us a little about your background - what led you in to the creative field?I've always been a creative person and done art and artsy kinds of things since I was born, so I think it was just something that I've always had and would always do. My favourite mediums were mainly painting and sketching, but I never thought I was any good at it and looking back on some of my work from high school especially, now I do see that I was really very talented, however my lack of self confidence always got in the way. 

2. Do you think that confidence is strongly linked to being successful in the creative industry?
Personally I think it is, because it's easier to step out in a creative industry if you really believe in yourself and your ability. I spent many years unable to even show some of my art to even my family because I was so afraid that it was really crap, and I took any negative reception to my work very much to heart. I learned that people can tell you how great your work is but unless you really know that yourself, you may never go anywhere with it. My foray in to photography is a slow process only because my confidence in that area has been a slow progression as well, I know I'll get there eventually, and it does help to have people who are doing it professionally who will honestly tell you that you could make it if you really believed in yourself, and I've started to listen. 

3. How do you manage to stop your style becoming stagnant when you work alone? Is there ever a fear you'll turn into a reclusive hermit?
I have a really bad memory. Infact I have this talent of warping and exaggerating memories in my mind so much that sometimes I'm not sure if the event actually happened or if I made it up; and this is what really stops me allowing my style to become stagnant. I'm always striving to capture a moment of a memory exactly as I experienced it and saw it at the time. I've found that when I'm photographing I end up blending in to the background and a result I don't get to experience what I'm seeing through the view finder, which does make me a little concerned about becoming a recluse, but it's something that is making me more focussed on being able to recognise a moment that I want to remember and capturing it quickly, whilst being able to put the camera down and engage in my surroundings as well.
4. What do you think the biggest challenge is to the success of creative businesses?
I would have to say, not even trying. A wise man once told me that you only really fail if you never try it. 

5. Did you always know what your "style" was or did you have an a-ha moment where it seemed to suddenly make sense?
No, never, when I used to paint and sketch I did what ever I felt like and in what ever style I thought would suit. Now, I've found that it's just become very apparent in my photographs on it's own. I've tried mimicking other people's styles but I would always unconciously go back to photographing things the way that I do, but it was only after people had pointed it out that I realised that I did have a style. 

6. Have you ever had to deal with creative burnout? Any tips?
YES! I once didn't do anything artistic for eight years because of burnout! No painting, no music, no anything - but I missed it, and it got to the point where I missed it so much I would get very upset. I think if you're nearing burnout you need to reassess why you are doing it, and remember your first love for it and what made you want to do it in the first place. Sometimes I get really caught up in technical aspects or deadlines with my art that suddenly it's not fun anymore and I don't want to do it. Going back to my first love of the simplicity of taking a photograph reminds me of why I love it so much, and looking back at those picture which really capture that always pulls me back from the edge of burnout.

7. Do you have a dream creative project?
I do and it invovles a beautiful hardcover photographic book and a lot of travel - but it's a secret because one day I will actually do it!

8. What are your top 5 places/people you go to for inspiration?
In no particular order and unfortunately, I know, I'm not very specific with it: my friends and family, the internet with it's plethora of information, my own dreams and memories, other artists I admire, and the world directly around me. I get inspired by the most ridiculous things, like letterboxes for example! I think there's beauty everywhere and in everything that you don't actually have to go very far for inspiration, which is good because living in Perth I'm very much far, far away from most things!

9. What are your favorite medias to work with?
Photography, at the moment I'm trying to jog the memory with film photography but predominantly it's digital; and I still dabble with paints, but not to the same extent that I used to.
10. What can we expect to see from you and your blog/work in the future?
I am aiming to get the balls to actually turn this hobby in to work, so hopefully in the future I'll be able to proudly say that I'm a professional photographer, but I have to admit I do like the 'amature' tag, it sounds more adventurous I think.


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