Today I received the most unexpected “thank you” note. It’s said, “thank you for sharing your story with me,” and had a nice note alongside that spoke about art and creativity and the healing of trauma, grief and broken spirits.
I want to thank YOU, for much the same thing.
I think we often forget that a person’s art IS their story – regardless of the type of art they create – and that’s where I’ve focused my mind this afternoon. When we create any kind of art, even when it’s not a piece of writing that “explains” what’s in our minds, we are actively releasing SOMETHING. Whether it is good or bad, whether it is joy or pain, beauty or darkness, we are actively expressing our hearts in any creative endeavor that we are a part of.
I truly appreciate the kind feedback here, at Instagram, and all the other places. I appreciate YOUR art and stories so much. It’s a wonderful way to remember that we are really all the same, just living our own stories…even when we aren’t sharing our own out loud.
Thank you for the kind response to my sharing of my music. I was really very unsure whether it was “worth” sharing, since I only create it as a hobby. Turns out it’s much like my experience with sharing photography and writing – people enjoy other people’s art, they enjoy SEEING another human being, and you get to know other people who create the same kinds of art, whether it’s photography or writing or music…
I’ve enjoyed “meeting” so many different people since I started putting that stuff out there. It’s a blessing to get to know and learn from you.
It’s always been one of my greatest joys to share my creative pursuits and my spirit with the world. Thank you for encouraging and reminding me how important it is for a creative person and artist of any kind to do that.
I’m thankful for, and blessed by, you. Keep expressing yourselves in your ways, too. And stay awesome.
Instablog: Today I had (another) doctors appointment and I got put back on steroids and he made a sort of joke about how I was falling apart. It was a moment for me. You know, one of those moments where you kind of see yourself as you were and as then you wish to be, and what you are really plays very little into what your mind WANTS, and you sort of have a silent but stern moment with yourself to say, “this may be how the doctor sees me; it may also be how I’ve seen myself…but I want to change my perception, and I’m going to.
That’s been a continuing and active thing for me lately. It’s just like this reminder to live and experience life in a state of mindfulness. I caught myself falling easily into that state as I walked around my yard this afternoon shooting some flowers that are blooming. It feels good to feel myself within myself, despite what the doctor sees (or I feel) my physical body doing. Mind over matter…
Good hello, everyone. Welcome to today’s Mextures artist feature! Today we’re going to get to know a little more about the very talented Instagram/Mextures artist @cokejube (Corinna). Corinna’s Instagram gallery is a beautiful blend of fantasy and reality, created from her incredible shots of everything from nature to city walks to still life and even minimalist work. I hope you’ll enjoy her work and getting to know her as much as I have, and as always, thanks for supporting the artists and these articles about them.
Getting to know @cokejube
Hi, @cokejube! Thanks for being a part of this series with us. Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Hello! My name is Corinna. I live with my son Noah Ben and our dog Moody in a small town in Mecklenburg, Germany. I am 47 years old and my son just turned 15 years old. My son is in high school and wants to study psychology after. Unfortunately, I can not currently go to work because I am sick. I used to work as a secretary for many years.
How did you get involved with Instagram and Mextures?
I got involved with Instagram with my son about two years ago. For several years I have painted and taken a lot of photos. He told me that I could present my photos and pictures at Instagram.I was immediately very interested and excited. At that time I had an iPhone 4 and bought some apps. I was immediately thrilled by Mextures, Stackables and DistressedFX.
Three of my go-to apps, also! You are so talented with all of them, and with art in general. Have you always been interested in art and photography?
As a child I was very much interested in art. As a little girl I was given a simple camera. I was very happy, photographing flowers and animals from a farm. I was quiet and introverted as a child, and found such an expression in art. It has made me very happy. Today I am shooting for the same reasons. I love photography. I like being in nature in any weather. With my son and our dog we are always looking for something to photograph.
I love plants, flowers, landscapes and buildings to photograph. I want to capture my images so that each subject is made special, even the wilted plant or weed. I would like to convey emotions and moods. Mostly, I used to do some apps like Mextures, Stackables, or Icolorcama to achieve this. Thus I create my pictures according to my ideas and fantasies. Sometimes they are unreal, or enchanted. But always a part of me, my ideas, and my dreams. Instagram has an overwhelming community with whom I can share my images and edits.
I think we can all feel your personality and emotions in your work. You are so good at that, and your work is so relatable to the ideas, dreams, or emotions of so many others. What role does the community on Instagram and Mextures play in your life now?
In general, the art and IG community plays a big role in my life. Art is as a vacation and recreation for my eye. From this I draw strength and inspiration. Very inspiring for me, are Franz Marc, Klimt, Vermeer, Munch, Oudry, and many many other great artists.
What are your favorite subjects?
My favorite subjects in my photography are minimalist image, architecture, and nature, especially flowers.
How has Instagram, creating and sharing your art there, changed or inspired you? What memorable responses have you had to your work there?
Instagram told me to look at the world. I have seen so many pictures from around the world, and met so many fabulous artists from all continents! I never expected much positive response. I get so much praise and recognition for my work on Instagram, I never expect. I am overwhelmed again and again, every day, by the magic and love in the comments and friends, and I am very grateful.
Yes, there is so much love in the Instagram community. What is something you love, and why?
I love the silence, the peace and the quiet seclusion of a resort, the sea. Then I think, draw strength, recover, get new energy for every day life.
I think far too many of us forget, or feel that we can’t do that. We don’t take the time. My father always told me to take time for myself, to do just what you’ve said, and that it was very important. I think that’s probably the best advice I’ve followed lately. What is the best advice you’ve been given or would give to others?
The most important thing I’ve learned is always, within oneself, to listen – to my gut feeling and not only what is in the head. It must keep in balance. Do not immediately say “yes,” think it over.
Very wise, and good advice, indeed. Something else I think many of us forget many times. One last question, Corinna – if you could have a super power what would it be?
Oh, I would have no superpower. I have a dream. I want to travel with my camera all over the world and take pictures. For example, I want to see and take pictures of Ireland, Greenland, Norway, and the Galapagos Islands!
That is a fabulous dream, and I hope it soon comes true for you! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me – I know it was a bit of a challenge because of the language barrier but we’re all so grateful to get to know you better and continue seeing your beautiful art.
I thank you for your questions and interest, and all the Instagram community!
Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest Mextures Artist Feature article!
The article today will have a bit of a different layout – instead of selecting a gallery of images and formulas to share with you, I have asked our guest to share with me some of his favorite images and formulas from his gallery. I want to give our guests full control over their articles, as the articles are meant to highlight them and their favorite works. So, henceforth the layout will be done in a way where the artist’s selected images and formulas will be spread throughout the article. I hope you’ll enjoy this layout and format.
Today we’re getting to know a wonderful Mextures artist named Matt (@marbleinthedust on Instagram) and our chat was so inclusive I’m just going to jump right to it without much of my own “artist introduction” this time! Hope you’ll enjoy, and be sure to visit Matt’s Instagram page and show him some love and support!
Getting to know @marbleinthedust
Hi there! Who is the guy behind @marbleinthedust? Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi. My name is Matt. I’m 33 and from Boston, MA. When I was in high school I found a box full of photos my Dad had taken when he was younger and I was fascinated. I bought a camera, started shooting, and haven’t looked back since.
How neat! What did you start shooting with?
My first camera was a Vivitar V4000 that I used well through college. The iPhone was really a game changer for me, with the ability to easily snap a photo pretty much anywhere. I also have a Nikon D3300 that I use when I shoot.
That Nikon’s gotta be heavy! I bet the iPhone comes in handy even on “regular shoots,” doesn’t it? It does for me, at least. Hahaha!
Oh yeah! I definitely use my phone even when the Nikon is hanging from my neck. I bought something called InstaLens, which are lens attachments for the iPhone. I have a wide angle/macro combo lens and a fisheye lens. So I am always taking those out to see what they can do.
How do you like those? I have a couple different versions and variations but mostly they leave a lot of distortion around the edges of the images!
My only complaint is that the magnet you use to attach the lens is slightly larger than my case, so I can’t put a case on my phone anymore. But that’s a small problem for the fun that comes with it.
Yes, I just received the Olloclip and that’s my only complaint with it – no “true” case on the phone. I’m very susceptible to destroying phones by simply looking at them. Walking around with one without a case is kind of, well, a stupid thing for me to do. Hahahah!
Now that we know how you got into photography and what you like to shoot with, tell us a little about your style. What styles and subjects do you prefer? Do you find yourself doing more with a certain style/subject or being drawn to all sorts of photography for your own work?
I almost exclusively shoot nature shots. I have a thing for trees, especially. I like most subjects though. Most of my shots are trees, sunsets or mountains and lakes.
That’s one of my favorite hashtags – #ihavethisthingfortrees. Nature is such an amazing and inspiring subject – many subjects within a subject, really. What inspires you the most for your work?
I think it’s a combination of two things. The first would have to be all of the talented artists I have discovered since I jumped into the Instagram community back in June (I had a private account for years where I would share the randomness with my friends, but @marbleinthedust as a public expression of art was a new concept to me). I was blown away by the amount of skill and creativity tucked away in the corners of Instagram.
Secondly, taking more pictures has inspired me to keep taking more pictures, if that makes sense. Not only because it’s fun, but also because I have my eyes open constantly, looking for the next shot. I’ve noticed that in the last year or so I have increasingly taken the time to study the clouds, or the way a tree is blowing in the breeze. It’s amazing how much natural beauty is around us when you stop to appreciate it.
Yes, it makes perfect sense. I operate under the philosophy that photography is almost a spiritual experience for me. It allows me the privilege of really connecting with what is around me, and with myself at the same time. To be connected, especially with nature, as you’re saying – noticing the clouds and studying them more, or the trees in the breeze, or for me it’s the tiny details of nature that so often go unnoticed like the tiny insect crawling on the flower or the finest elements of that flower – that definitely keeps me living more in the now and keeps my mind in a healthier place.
You mentioned the Instagram community and how it’s inspired you – how did you first get involved with Instagram?
I actually remember exactly how it happened: 192 weeks ago (I just went back and looked, haha) I was at brunch with my friend Sam and he was talking about Instagram. I had yet to sign up and he convinced me on the spot. My first post was an off centered picture of my meal, with an Instagram filter and one of the giant white frames.
Haha! I remember the frames! Was it a good meal?
Haha yeah it was definitely a good meal. The Bloody Mary’s were great, too.
Oh! Don’t tempt me! I’ve had a crazy day and a drink would be excellent right about now! Hahaha!
So, how did Instagram evolve for you to become a place of true artistic expression?
I had been editing pictures on the iPhone for a couple of years. Someone had shown me Camera+ and I had been using that for a long time, but I wanted more from the filters than it offered. I searched for the best photo editing apps and stumbled across Mextures.
Life changing, wasn’t it!?
Oh yeah, totally was. Haha!
I keep telling people!! They look at me like I’m insane until they try it out.
I just got my Dad to download it, but he’s in Florida so I think he might be waiting for me to give him a tutorial. Haha!
At first, Mextures was intimidating. But, I eventually got the hang of it. I had been using it for a while before I took the time to read the “News” section. That’s where I discovered just how large the community really was. They always suggest to share your edits, so I figured, “might as well.” I made a new account and started posting pics.
That’s great! I thought I was going to be a total FAIL with the Mextures app when I first started using it. The truth was that I just needed a little patience and to realize that the whole point of the app is to create. Unlike other “filter” apps, where you just change the image with one tap, Mextures is filled with, for lack of a better word, power. The point is to give you control of what you create, as much control as possible, and that in itself should be something that I was really immersing myself in with my pieces. Once I realized it wasn’t your normal “filter” app, that it was a true tool, I slowed down and really immersed myself in it and thus in my art. It was a totally life changing experience for me in my little art world. It’s just such a different, amazing tool.
Yeah, I look at my Mextures “skills” from back then versus now and I have evolved for sure. You’re totally right about the control it gives you. I don’t know any other apps that work quite on the same level as Mextures. So versatile, too.
Definitely! Speaking of sharing your edits, do you share your formulas as well?
Yes, I share all my formulas. I’ll be happy to give you a bunch of my favorites.
That’d be excellent!!
How has Mextures helped you to grow and expand as an artist? What looks/styles do you find yourself gravitating to as you use the app?
It’s helped me grow to the point where I think “can’t wait to throw that one in Mextures,” like the second I take the picture. I even find myself looking for shots that I know would work great with the app, especially foggy days.
Oh yes! Foggy days are one of my new favorite obsessions – especially in the woods, with those trees we were talking about earlier. Haha!
Yes. Haha! For the other part of that question – I find myself working with two different styles when I use the app. Ones that I have dubbed “color bombs” – just massive amounts of colors and textures and saturation, and then unfiltered looking pictures that have more subtle enhancements like adding more light or balancing contrast a bit to make a cleaner shot.
I am really enjoying the faded looks myself. I love the contrast of shadows and the looks that can be achieved with the new packs, too.
I love the faded looks. There are some feeds that pretty much always post with a little fade and it looks great. I don’t use it too much because I feel like it doesn’t compliment my style. I have debated starting a separate account that almost always uses fade.
I did that recently with my black and white work, as I had several Instagrammers explain to me that black and white is such a beautiful style all it’s own – a genre, really – and I don’t shoot it as much as color (or edit it, for that matter) so they suggested that I do a separate account so that the black and whites wouldn’t get lost in a sea of color on my main account. I love how it’s turned out aesthetically and otherwise. I’ve connected with a lot of black and white only artists since doing that and learned tons from them.
I’ve done a couple black and white edits using Mextures. I used to exclusively shoot black and white when I was younger. I was fascinated by the depth you could pull out of a colorful scene using black and white film. Like you, I would need a separate feed to make sure they didn’t get washed away in my color.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given regarding your art/art in general? What memorable responses have you had to your work via Instagram as a community?
Being told to “shoot what you like” was very helpful advice. Same goes for editing styles. It gets tough when you’re posting to a public forum sometimes. It’s easy to get caught up in the, “well, my last post was this style and it got a ton of likes,” game. Being told not to think about that stuff and just post the work you’re proud of without trying to cater to a specific audience was extremely helpful advice.
My parents are super supportive and they always say stuff encouraging me. I’ve shown people my feed for the first time and gotten the, “whoa, this is you!??” That always feel great. And, I’ve made some Instagram friends that are always very supportive. The best compliments, though, are those where someone comments on a subtle shadow or light or something, because that means they actually looked at your picture for more time than it takes to do a double tap while you scroll through your feed. And, when people comment that they like a formula I shared, that’s always a great compliment, too.
But, I think the biggest compliment for me is when someone tags someone else in the comments section. To me, when someone appreciates what I’ve done to the point that they want someone else to see it, too, that the ultimate compliment.
Yes, that’s been one of my most useful attitudes about posting in a public forum, that really started way back in the deviantART days. I don’t know if I have been lucky or just grown to be more self confident but I originally post my work for me – because I want to share it. If it’s something that reaches others, which it’s bound to do in SOME way because that’s what art is about in the first place, then it’s just icing on the cake for me. I want my work to reach people once I share it – to speak to them, to connect them with each other and with me…but I am on Instagram, first and foremost, to share myself through my art and my writing. I’m very transparent in that way, and always have been.
So, as you say, being encouraged to remain true to your cause, so to speak – to remain “as I am” in my sharing, sharing what I want and what I love, is absolutely encouraging. I’m not there to complete. I’m there to be me, to grow, to learn, and to build relationships with amazing artists and friends. It’s fabulous, all in all.
Yes! Very well said, I feel the same way. Although, I do take it personally when my favorite posts totally flop. Haha!
Yes! As do I. It’s kind of a blow when something that you love and means so much to you doesn’t get the response you hope it will. For me, that’s feeling like I’ve failed in the way of inspiring others with my work or my expression. Not so much that they didn’t like the piece – because if I liked the piece that’s most important to me, or I wouldn’t have shared it. But, it’s that I feel like I didn’t put enough into it that they could take something away from it, or bring out with my writing what might be hiding in the piece…
When I feel like they couldn’t find anything to take away from it for themselves, I feel like I’ve failed as an artist and as a human. It becomes even more personal, then. It’s definitely a fine line between posting for myself and hoping it inspires many once I have shared it.
Oh, and I love that feeling as an artist when someone is so inspired or encouraged by your art that they tag someone else to make sure they see it, usually because they know the person they tag will relate to it, as well. It’s like this feeling of true connection at such a cosmic…deeper or higher?…level, a more collective consciousness type thing rather than cliques and groups of general friends.
Haha! Yeah, you’re on point! It’s a cool feeling to know that someone connected with something you’ve created to the level that they wanted to show someone else. To inspire people like that is really what it’s all about. Not just in photography, but life in general.
Ok, so, do you have any professional plans or goals for your art/work? Do you have any dream projects?
No, I don’t really have any big plans for my photography. It would be super cool to do a blog series where I toured a bunch of breweries and then paired the experience with photos I took and reviews of the places/beers.
That would be insanely awesome and interesting! I think you should totally pursue that!
Or, to tour with Phish as their staff photographer…but they already have a couple of those.
Oh wow – that’s pretty ambitious! But you never know, Matt! You’re really fabulous. Don’t give up on that idea!
Haha! I would just need to learn how to photograph food for the brewery idea.
Always learning! Right?
Thank you! I’m a little ways away from that level still. Hahaha!
What couldn’t you do without regarding your art, besides your camera(s)?
Music, for sure. I never really played an instrument (trombone for a few years) but music is such an important part of my life. There’s songs and genres for every mood and occasion. I listen to music when I edit a bunch of the time. And it always works its way into my edit, whether just in the title of the formula or inspiring colors and textures. That probably sounds insane. Hahaha!
No and yes! No, not at all insane, and YES because I so deeply relate to that. I’m a HUGE music person. I play a few instruments (not regularly, not anymore) but I literally ALWAYS have music playing, no matter what I’m doing, even when I’m shooting and ESPECIALLY when I’m editing. It inspires my work in exactly the ways you described. It’s almost like medicine for me. It inspires me, heals me…it’s like a tonic in so many ways. And, I’m a person who hears and feels music down into my bones. Literally. THAT probably sounds insane if anything does! Hahaha!
No, that doesn’t sound insane at all to me! I truly get it. I’m the same.
Was that the only thing you couldn’t do without regarding your art?
Oh, no – more importantly is Mextures. And, some of the other iPhone apps I use. I have never posted something on my feed that I didn’t wash through Mextures. I’ve also dabbled with Union App, Matter App, Alien Sky, and a few others. Sometimes I end up with something that looks kind of plain and being able to use some of those apps to bring out more creativity is such a great thing to have in your hand.
Agreed – couldn’t do without Mextures at this point. Not because the photos aren’t good without the edits, necessarily, but because the edits help to bring out so much more of what I want to express in the original image.
I’m not great with the more advanced masking apps like Union, myself, but then that’s not my style as a general rule. I love the edits I see others doing with those apps, though. And sometimes I do wish I could get myself to spend some time with them and get to know them a little better.
Oh, last question – my favorite. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
Yeah – that’s why I love this question.
I think I have to go with telekinesis – being able to move stuff with my mind. I think it would be fun to take a “hands free” approach to life when needed. Also, I would be able to levitate myself to get those hard to reach shots.
Absolutely! That would be a fabulous superpower as an artist. It would totally give you the ability to get those awesome in-air shots without having to spend the money on those camera drone deals that are around these days. Hahaha! Love it!
Hahaha! Yeah, or without having to rent a helicopter.
Well, Matt, this has been a great chat. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, as an artist and as a person, better. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me for this series!
You’re welcome! I’m flattered to have been asked. It was a fun experience for me, too!
Happy Monday, y’all! I hope you’ve all had a pleasant start to your week this week – I have, as I’ve been given the opportunity for a quick interview with the amazing @orbabgirl for today’s Mextures artist feature article. Kristi (@orbabgirl on Instagram) shares with me a love of the details of nature, and with all of us a love for all things Mextures. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better and, if you’re not familiar with her amazing photography and art, I hope you’ll find yourself as enthralled with her work as all of her followers and fans are. Enjoy the article, and have a beautiful week, friends!
Getting to know @orbabgirl
Hi there, @orbabgirl! It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with you. Let’s start with getting to know the girl behind the username. Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Kristi, aka @orbabgirl, and I am from BC, Canada. I am married and the mother to a bunch of cats and one awesome little 6 year old boy. I live on a small island of about 3500 people and I work in the local pharmacy. I love to garden and spend as much time as I can outside taking photos. I love nature, art, and photography and with Instagram I am able to combine all 3.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in pharmacies lately – I wish I was getting paid for it! ((laughs)) How did you get involved with Instagram/Mextures?
I started Instagram 4 years ago as a way to keep in touch with a friend who had moved overseas. My first posts were of the usual things: cats, coffee, inanimate objects around my house (lol). But, it wasn’t long before I discovered new friends there and was introduced to the JJ forums and all of that. Fast forward 2 years and I see an edit a friend did for an @mexturescollective editing challenge. I had never heard of Mextures before but I had to try it out. I hadn’t really done much editing before then but I was really interested in giving it a go. Especially to have the chance to edit such beautiful photos! So I downloaded Mextures and I was hooked! Such an amazing little app.
Yes it is! How and why do you do Instagram and photography? How has it changed for you over the years?
I just love photography and have always loved taking pictures. Over the years I’ve had lots of different cameras but getting my iPhone 4S for Christmas in 2011 was a huge game changer for me. Not only was it super convenient, I could take it with me everywhere, but the camera was also really amazing, too. I’ve upgraded since then to an iPhone 6 and new Olloclip setup. As for why I do Instagram, I do it as a way to express myself and share my photos but also as a way to connect with others. I just love the sense of community and all of the friends that I’ve made over the years there. There are truly some amazing people out there. I just hope one day I have the chance to meet them in person.
Me, too – I’ll be staying in New Orleans for an extended time in a couple of weeks and I hope that while I am there I’m able to meet up with some of the great friends and amazing artists I’ve gotten to know through Instagram. It’s interesting to step back and really look at the role Instagram and art plays in my life. What role does Instagram and art play in your life?
Instagram plays a huge role in my life. It is an amazing little community that not only connects me to so many incredible people, but also helps to inspire and motivate me to create more and push myself further. Every single day I am inspired, encouraged and motivated. It is amazing! I have always loved taking photos but now I feel like I have a purpose and a drive to get out and find new places and new angles. Of course those macro treasures are my favorite finds.
Same! The macro aspect comes naturally to me because I’m so aware of details in general. I suppose my obsession with macro photography helps me to channel that constant, overwhelming sensory input and focus it somewhere that allows me to express what I’m seeing/realizing. In doing that I’ve been able to help myself to not feel so overwhelmed by my sensitivities (both physically and spiritually) and those two things have changed my daily practice with each them dramatically – if that makes any sense. How has your practice changed over time?
I have definitely matured as an artist, especially over the last 2 years. I’ve found myself stepping out of the box more – trying new styles with my edits, collaborating with crazy talented people, and really trying to create some sense of emotion with my work. That’s where Mextures fits into my world perfectly. Before, I would rarely edit my work. I was proud of the fact that my photos were unedited. I would maybe add a little lux but I tended to stick to more no edit/no filter images. But since discovering Mextures I’ve found this ability to take my work a step further, to create more than just a photo but an actual piece of art. It’s magical and I love being able to do that. I still do post quite a few unedited photos but my go to editing app is always Mextures. I just love it.
One of my favorite things about Mextures is that it allows the opportunity to create any mood/theme out of almost any shot. What themes do you pursue?
I’m not are I ever really base anything on themes but more so on my emotions or the emotional feel or potential of an image. But, I tend to post based on the aesthetic look of my entire IG gallery. I try not to post back to back photos of the same things or have it so that similar photos are on top of each other in the rows. Not sure if that really makes sense…
Yes, it does! I have my own little system lately where I tend to post in threes and using the same style/theme to the image (as far as the edit). Sometimes it’s different angles/interpretations of the same subject, sometimes completely different subjects. But lately, color themes in my edits are a big thing. Hahaha. It’s interesting because I’ve gotten a lot of feedback where people have noticed the change in my posting style. What memorable feedback and responses have you had to your work?
I’ve had some great responses over the years, many on IG and quite a few in real life, as well. I love knowing that someone else has a connection with my work. To me, that is what art should do. It should speak to someone, almost call to them. That is what I want from my work – to create a connection.
So very true… Do you have any professional goals with your work? What’s your dream project?
I just want to keep growing and perfecting my craft. I would like to get more comfortable photographing people as well as nature. I don’t have any specific project in mind, but I would love the opportunity to collaborate more with some of my favorite artists and friends on Instagram, either my editing their work or vice versa. I recently had the opportunity to do this with the incredibly talented @ja_s0n and I just loved what he created with my photos.
You mentioned a bit earlier on the great inspiration that comes to you from Instagram and the people there. Do you have a favorite or most inspirational place?
My favorite place to take photos is just around my own yard. I have a tag #kristisgarden for all the photos I have taken over the years around my house and it’s a huge percentage. It’s just so easy to step outside my own door and find the treasures I’m after, whether it is a droplet covered spider web, a beautiful dandelion puff, some foggy trees, or some flowers.
I dream of finding that droplet covered spider web someday. I go out hoping it’s there regularly in the warmer seasons and I haven’t found it yet. I find that my favorite subjects live in my own back yard, as a general rule. Maybe it’s the comfort zone I’m in at home…who knows. Hahaha… What is your favorite or most inspiration subject?
My favorite subject would definitely be a tie between dandelions and spider webs covered in droplets. I am madly obsessed with both of them. All you have to do is look at my photos and you will see it for yourself.
I think your work with droplet covered spiderwebs was the first time I’d ever seen that subject really showcased. It fascinated me and inspired me so much, and I’ve been after that shot ever since. Someday I will find it. Any advice on that? Hahaha! Speaking of advice, what is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
One thing that happens a lot on IG and in life is that people get caught up posting for other people and what they think other people want to see. Obviously this will probably get you more likes, but at the end of the day you have to post what makes you feel happy – what you want. It should’ matter what other people think. If they like it half as much as you do, bonus!
Well said. I often get frustrated with the ever-shouted “rule” that you should limit your IG gallery to certain styles and subjects because that’s what makes viewers/followers happy. I disagree with that “rule” completely, but you see it all over the web in articles and such about Instagram. I don’t tend to do well with rules – especially those related to gear and how to use it. Besides your camera(s), what couldn’t you do without regarding your art?
Well besides my camera, I couldn’t do this without my Olloclip lens attachment. It’s like my trusty sidekick and it goes with me everywhere. I have a 4 in 1 lens but I only ever use the macro lenses, particularly the 10x zoom. I would be lost without it.
I have been so close to buying the Olloclip so many times. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and I’ve tried other lens kits for iPhone but they don’t really do exactly what I want them to. I should really look into Olloclip again!
This has been a lot of fun, Kristi. One last question – my favorite “fun” ending question: if you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
I wish I had a magical finger snapping power, so I could snap my fingers and make whatever I needed or wanted to happen, happen. I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered the phrase, “wish could just snap my fingers…” Hahaha!
That would be a perfect superpower because you could use it to make other superpowers happen! Hahaha! Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of this series, Kristi. We love your work and wish you all the best going forward!!
Be sure to check out Kristi’s work by heading to @orbabgirl on Instagram. While you’re there don’t forget to show her some love and support!
The last Mextures artist feature article posted a day late, so I’ve decided to up my game and get this one to you a day early. Surprise! (hahaha) Today I’m going to introduce you to Kelly (@mrmenellis) from Instagram and I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know him as much as I did. Kelly’s gallery is filled with all sorts of natural beauty and Mextures wonder, from macro to landscapes to emotive edits, and even the architecture/street shot here or there. I think that’s one of my favorite things about these articles – as Kelly and I talked a bit about in our chat, the Instagram rules tell us that we’re better off to stick to one particular style and subject but I find it extremely interesting that almost none of you guys do that – and, of course, neither do I! We’re clearly all from the same tribe. On to the article, now, and please don’t forget to show Kelly your support on Instagram! Enjoy!
Getting to know @mrmenellis
Hi there! Let’s just get right into it! You’re @mrmenellis on Instagram, but who is @mrmenellis? Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, my real name is Kelly. I am a 43 year old graphic design/web developer, born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I moved to New Zealand thirteen years ago.
Ahhh. Travel. I dream of traveling but I”m terrified of flying. Hahaha! That’s really interesting – was it your work that took you to New Zealand?
Actually, work was not what brought me here. I was hoping to come here and find a new job. In reality I ended up just becoming a contractor for my current employer and just tele-commuted. We had planned on spending a couple of years here and then travel the world, but NZ was so beautiful we fell in love and stop one became the final destination. I also have a fear of flying, so the fourteen hour flights here are a little stressful.
But, you’ve survived your flights! That gives me hope. New Zealand is definitely beautiful. I don’t know if I’d be able to leave either – although I’ve only seen it in images and yours are definitely incredible. So what was it that got you involved on Instagram?
I joined Instagram over five years ago when it was just a fledgling little app that had some talk of being a great concept. I just downloaded it to check it out, and spent a year with it off and on enjoying the sharing aspect of it. But, not having an iPhone at the time, it was just a minor hobby. That all changed when I got my iPhone and I started posting at least once a day. From there I just fell in love with most aspects of it.
Same here – being obsessed with art and photography, I was always downloading every art community app that came around. In fact, that’s the main reason I got an iPhone to begin with – art and photography. Instagram has been the most community-oriented and the one that I’ve stuck with. I love it. That’s how I discovered Mextures. How did you discover Mextures?
I have been on most social art apps as well, most of which have long disappeared. But nothing touches the IG community! As for Mextures, I discovered it through other artists on Instagram, as I was always looking for inspiration and something to push my art in a new direction. This was back when Merek Davis was just letting people use his beautiful textures as light leaks. You had to layer it all up old school in an app like Photoforge. So when he released the app, I bought it the day it was released!
Merek Davis is a hero in my world. I discovered his original textures when I was still using Photoshop on my computer, and when he released the app I was doing a major happy dance. I didn’t know the app had been released until a couple of months after the fact because I was off and on IG, but through a couple of IG artists I saw the tag and then realized it was the same as I’d been using on the computer. Hahaha! I think, in general, art is therapy for me and I suppose that’s why it’s such a constant in my life – and Mextures has seriously played a sort of “therapist” role in my life in the last year or so. People often come and go on IG, I suppose, but now I just can’t stay away from it. What is it that keeps you active and involved on Instagram? Community, art, all of the above? It’s hard NOT to be inspired there, in my opinion.
It truly is difficult not to be inspired by it all. The community and inspiration of others is probably what keeps me coming back most of all. I don’t know how many times I have seen an image and just been truly inspired to go and create something and share it. I have made so many great friends; friends whose encouragement and support are beyond words. To be honest, without that support I would have difficulty posting some of what I do.
Absolutely. There have been a couple of really big life changing events happen for me since I’ve been really active on Instagram. One of those things was the death of my father. Without the inspiration and the support of the community on Instagram, I don’t know what I would have done during those times. It’s funny because a lot of people in “real life” put down how open and personal I often am on Instagram and my personal blog, but it’s because – unlike the judgmental, stressful “support” of “real life” people – the community on Instagram tends to be more open and inspiring. They embrace me – through my art and as a human being, and they teach me so much. Maybe it’s because of the art, the mutual understanding of being a “deep, artistic person…” Many of us are that in this community. It’s not always about the art, though. There are many other aspects, as you have said. But, back to the art, what is your background in photography?
I am just an amateur enthusiast, really. I have always had a love for taking pictures and creating, going back to my early teens. I have played with all sorts of analog equipment from 35mm to medium format to expired Polaroids. But I ALWAYS had a fear of clicking the shutter. I just lacked the confidence in what I was doing. But digital changed all that. I shoot whatever, when and however I want at zero added expense. This just set me artistically free.
I remember those film days. My first camera was a Polaroid and my first “real” camera – where you had the ability to adjust settings and so on – was a 35mm Canon SLR. I was the same way as you – TERRIFIED to actually shoot. Film wasn’t cheap (and at the time, I wasn’t buying – my parents were), and then after you used up the film you had to develop the film. It was interesting for me because my mom knew how to do all of that sort of thing and so sometimes she’d get together with me and we’d work film…but mostly, it was sent off. Either way, it wasn’t cheap. So, I completely understand the being “set free” point of view of digital photography.
And that kind of answers the next question I was going to ask – what’s changed about your photography/practice over time… Instead, I’ll ask…what do you enjoy most about your art and photography? What themes do you pursue?
I just enjoy capturing moments of time and light. I am always of two minds: one is to hunt and find the perfect light to capture just the way it is and do not manipulate it; the other is just shoot whatever and create what I want. Couple that with the fact that I hate pigeon holing myself, I end up with images of everything and anything.
For themes, I seem to focus a lot on macro and florals. Mainly because flowers don’t complain that I am taking yet ANOTHER photo of them, I think. Hahaha. Macro photography has always amazed me, so I build my own lenses and use those. I also love portraiture, though there is not much in my feed for various reasons. But it’s something I wish I could do more of.
Yes – I love photographing nature, and macro is my absolute favorite. It’s my “thing.” The fact that you build your own lenses is fascinating! That’s a whole other conversation, but I’d love to hear more about that in the future!
Yeah, I shoot through pretty much anything. I put things in front of my phone just because I can.
Hahaha! That is just awesome. No rules! I find that I’m always breaking one rule, though, more than any others – the one that you read in so many blogs and “courses” about how your Instagram feed should, for all intents and purposes, stick to a particular theme. I can’t do it. I tend to stick to nature as a general theme, but there’s too much nature to pick from and I love it all! I can’t pigeon hole myself – I’ve tried. There’s just too much inspiration and too much I want to try. What is it that inspires you the most? I find it’s hard to pick one thing, personally, but I always love asking this question.
I have too many tastes to stick to one theme. I agree. Inspiration comes in so many forms for me but music is a huge factor – that is almost always an instigator. Books or quotes are also quite high on the list. But one of my greatest inspirations is my little girl. Just seeing her love for life and the way she sees things inspires me in so many ways.
It’s so interesting to me how much I find that I have in common with everyone that I interview. I am a HUGE music fan, and I find myself blending images with words and quotes so often. Sometimes, I will look for a quote based on whatever an image has brought to mind and end up writing a whole, long blog instead. Haha! But my biggest inspiration, like yours, is definitely my child.
So, you’ve said that you’re mostly a hobbyist when it comes to photography, but do you have any dream or goals with your art professionally? Do you have any sort of dream project?
A dream project. Hmmm… I have been lucky and had some images published and used commercially so I can check that off the list. A dream project would probably be to have some of my works printed, mounted and displayed in a gallery showing. I think that would be my ultimate dream goal.
Wow – published! Although, I’m not surprised! What it takes to get your work into a gallery or showing is networking. I learned that last year.
The publishing was just lucky, really. Right place, right time, much like a gallery. All in people you know.
Isn’t it funny how so much of life works that way? Ok, last arty question – what couldn’t you do without regarding your art and photography, besides your camera(s)?
Ha! As simple as it is, my lens cloth. Having had a small child with sticky fingers grabbing at whatever I seem to have in my hand, it seemed to be an essential item. I usually have two with me at all times.
I LOVE that answer! It’s funny to me and makes me laugh because since becoming a parent, that is one of the things I am VERY aware of. He always wants to play with my camera and my phone, and I always want to encourage him in that way when he wants to take pictures, so like you I ALWAYS have a cloth and I also always keep a little small pen-sized tube of lens cleaner spray in my bag for tough jobs. Hahaha!!!
It’s just the truth! Hahaha! I wish it was a classier answer but tis the life of a parent.
It sure is. I wouldn’t have it any other way, personally. I have really enjoyed chatting with you, Kelly. One last question – my favorite one: if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Oh, just one!? Well, that is tough. Probably the ability to heal myself and others, or the ability to time travel. I love the concept of both.
I think, if one had the ability to heal themselves/others, then they would automatically have the ability to time travel because they’d need to be able to reach people at any moment in time. Yay! Hahaha!
HA! I like how you worked that. Perfect!
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and for being involved in this adventure on the blog. I wish you all the best in the future – both with your art and in life.
Thank you for the interview. It’s been a huge pleasure and honor, and I’ve been enjoying reading your blog and IG pages. It’s been wonderful to “meet” you!
Thanks so much for your kindness and support! It’s been a pleasure getting to “meet”/know you! Have a very nice day, Kelly!
Same! Have a lovely evening!
Sampling of Kelly’s Mextures Formulas
Wet Valleys – YGVJLNI
Moist Petals – EXBNIHX
All of My Tears – LSJGDIT
Wildlings – LDNGYAE
Ewe and Me – PPXRETQ
The Glorious Dead – IIYBJXG
This installment of our Mextures artist feature series is a day late, and I do apologize. Here we are now and I know you’re going to love this one! Today we are getting to know Terri (@terri_calico on Instagram). Terri’s art is art after my own heart, as her primary focus is macro/nature work and she is fabulous at it! Her beautiful shots are complimented by her editing skills with Mextures and other amazing texture/art apps. Terri’s gallery, like many of our galleries, spans the board of photography styles and subjects – while her macro/nature work is my favorite, her urban/city shots are as amazing and her portraiture is inspiring and full of emotion. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Terri today, and please don’t forget to show her your love and support on Instagram if you love her art and personality as much as I do. Enjoy!
Getting to know @terri_calico
Hi, Terri! I’m so excited to get to know you a bit more! To start off, who are you?
Hi! My name is Terri, aka @terri_calico on Instagram, and I’m from Sydney, Australia. I’m 40, married, and have a 4 year old son called Ethan – you might know him as my main little model on IG.
Yes, I know Ethan! Cute little guy – hi Ethan! What do you do, Terri?
First and foremost I’m a full time mum, and my four year old keeps me on my toes. I’m also a freelance photographer, happy to accept any photography related job from family portraits to commercial work and also events. Hubby and I have a business, Calico Visual Creations. I also driver uber part-time, which I admit I absolutely love. All the stories I hear – it’s awesome.
Wow! I bet that can get very interesting very quickly! Why do you do what you do?
Photography is my passion. I see beauty in everything. I love capturing nature – especially up close. I find it fascinating! Nature is my happy place. I’m a photo addict, obsessed, completely mad! (laughs out loud) I just can’t help myself – it’s part of who I am. If I don’t capture it, I can’t stop thinking about it.
Oh, how well I, and likely many others, understand that! Sometimes I’ve joked that having a photographer living inside me is like being haunted by an annoying relative that you love very much – it’ll drive you crazy at times but you just can’t stop! That’s part of the reason I got involved with Instagram – I was shooting everything I saw with whatever camera I had in my hand and I had all these photos that I desperately wanted to share but I didn’t know what to do with them. How did you get involved with Instagram?
I downloaded the app pretty soon after it’s release. My main purpose for it at the time was to just use their filters. Slowly I started exploring and came across some talented people – which I’m proud to say, some of them have become great friends.
That’s my favorite thing about Instagram – the community and the people. These guys and gals have helped me to keep my head up and keep my sanity, especially this last year. Love them so much! How did you get involved with Mextures? Was that linked to Instagram or did you come across it elsewhere?
I was fascinated with some of the art I was seeing on IG – the way they edited their images was mind blowing to me. I was so inspired and wanted my images to look like that. The moment I downloaded Mextures, I have never stopped using it. It is my favorite app.
I am pretty sure that’s how your art effects all of our brains! What is it that keeps you interested in IG and Mextures/Photography?
I adore seeing all the amazing photos and edits. I love seeing other people’s perspectives and other parts of the world, and mostly I love the interaction with all my amazing and talented friends.
What’s your background in photography? When/how did you start out and get to where you are now?
I’ve always had an interest in photography, from a very young age. I did photography in year 11 and throughout my late teens and 20s I was always the one with the camera at friend’s birthday parties and outings. After my son was born, that’s when I took it a little more seriously. I did a beginners course and started up my photography business. That was five years ago.
It doesn’t seem like it, does it – after kids, it seems like everything is on fast forward! That’s how I often feel, anyway! (laughs) How has your practice with art/photography changed over time?
As they say, practice makes perfect. I have learnt so much through Instagram. So many people I follow have inspired me with their amazing work. I’m not even sure how it’s changed, I just know that my love for it is so strong and I love learning new things regarding photography.
That’s one of the most inspiring things about your gallery, I think. You’re not afraid to try new styles and things and you are always learning. I find myself often stuck in ruts in my photography – comfortable with a particular subject or style and afraid to venture away from it because I know that particular thing is probably going to turn out good. Your art and your example help keep me (and others, I’m sure) from being so afraid to try new things. What do you enjoy most about your art/photography?
Taking photos and editing is my stress reliever and happy place. I love the calm and inner peace that it brings me.
Absolutely – I love that! What themes do you pursue?
I absolutely love macro nature, I think that’s my favorite.
What inspires you the most, in general?
I think beauty and kindness inspires me. Is that weird? I see beauty in most things.
Not weird at all – I think, for me, kindness is the most inspiring thing in the world…especially lately. Do you have a “dream project?”
To one day exhibit my art in a gallery!
(Smile) What couldn’t you do without, regarding your art?
Mextures, of course!
And finally, my favorite question: if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Hahaha! I would have to say flying – so I could capture the world from a bird’s eye view. Wow!
That is perfect. I could never do it, as I’m afraid of heights and flying (no shame here!), but I do love the idea of being able to fly anywhere and see things from that amazing perspective.
Thank you so much, Terri, for being a part of this series with me and all of us!! This has been so much fun and it’s wonderful to get to know you better. We appreciate you so much, and wish you all the best and most wonderful things in your photography/art adventures and in life! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Happy Friday, y’all, and welcome to another Mextures artist feature! Today we are getting to know Lori, best known as @MarvinsDaughters on Instagram. Lori’s gallery is a stunning palette of nature’s many gifts, beautifully edited with our favorite Mextures app. From animals to plants and trees to calming country landscapes, with a dash of the city here and there, Lori’s gallery is like a peaceful retreat. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her and her art! Please visit her gallery or comment here to show her your love and support! Don’t forget to follow her if you’re on Instagram and love nature photography and Mextures edits.
Getting to know @marvinsdaughters
Hi Lori! First things first – who are you?
Hello! My name is Lori. I’m 55 years old, happily married, and the mother of two grown sons.
Time flies, doesn’t it? (Cliche…) It’s nice to meet you, Lori. How did you first get involved with photography?
I got my first camera for my 10th birthday, in 1970. It as a Polaroid Land Camera. Fast forward through the decades of 35 millimeter film, then the thrill of digital cameras, to the present where I use the camera on my iPhone more often than my DSLR. I have always felt there is something magical about capturing a moment in time.
Isn’t it funny how our phones have replaced even our fanciest SLR’s? And, I often marvel at how the images from the phones compare to images from our SLR counterparts – because of apps like Pro Camera 8 and ProCam 3, we have just about as much control of our shots. While I can’t speak for other phones, the iPhone’s lens is not that bad, either, at this point! And that leads us to Instagram. How did you get involved with Instagram?
Originally I joined Instagram to promote my crafting blog. I soon found myself spending all my spare time looking at the different styles of photography. I wanted to join the fun! I have “met” many nice people on Instagram – it’s great to share a creative interest with the Instagram community.
It absolutely is! That’s my favorite motto on Instagram – community over competition. There is so much to learn and to enjoy from each other, and my experience with Instagram has been a kind and beautiful one, as well. Was it through Instagram that you found yourself working with Mextures? How did Mextures come into the picture with your art (see what I did there)?
I first heard about Mextures through the iPhone Photography School. Let me just say, my name is Lori and I am addicted to the Mextures app. I want to “Mexturize” every picture I take. I love the versatility and range of the app. I think it’s great that so many people share their Mextures formulas on Instagram. From the #formula_sharing_is_caring hashtag, I have imported quite a few formulas. I use these formulas to edit my photographs. One of my goals this year is to create and share my own formulas.
That’s a great group – I think I still get their newsletter!! What is it that keeps you interested in Instagram and Mextures/Photography?
Learning. In 2014 I decided to finally learn how to use the settings on my camera. I had always been an auto only shooter. Making the break from shooting auto only to manual or semi-manual (AV mode) has opened the door for me to different genres of photography. I love all genres of photography, but I am drawn to macro and minimalist photography. Depth of field fascinates me. Learning how to set the aperture on my camera was a huge breakthrough for me!
That sort of leads us into discussing how your practice with art/photography changed over time, doesn’t it?
Yes, is does! My camera is a Canon Rebel XT. There are probably some people in the camera world that consider my Rebel XT to be a dinosaur and they are probably right, but she gets the job done and hey! I finally know how to work her! But that’s been the biggest change in my practice over time – in 2015 I discovered the iPhone Photography School on Facebook and signed up for their online courses They have a great little academy and (as I mentioned) that’s where I first heard of Mextures. Through both of these I have learned many new things and practices.
What do you enjoy the most about your art/photography?
Community. That’s my favorite thing about Instagram and art, and the same is true for my “real life.”
Is it safe to say that community is what inspires you the most in your art, then?
Yes, it definitely inspires my art. Even in “real life,” for example, my sister and I are always on the hunt for a great macro shot, or a landscape or a sunset. Some people would describe us as competitive and others would describe us a super competitive. Really, we’re just normal sisters. But the truth is competition has little to do with it – it’s the inspiration and drive from each other (and the same from the art community) to grow as an artist. My husband enjoys street and architecture photography. It’s fun to share a hobby with the people I love. I am also luck to have friends willing to pose for me as I work on my portrait ideas. And, I find so much inspiration scrolling through my feed on Instagram. I have to make lists of all my ideas.
What themes do you pursue most often?
So many. So, so many. I actually have three Instagram accounts. That’s almost embarrassing. Probably more embarrassing for my kids than me! @marvinsdaughters is my nature/landscape/macro account. @gig_drive is my street photography/architecture account, and @wednesday_redo is my back and white account. I love the way an all black and white gallery looks – timeless. So inspiration isn’t a problem for me, really. Lack of time is!
That’s not embarrassing! I have three accounts – my art account, my personal account (random life stuff to share with family and friends since I left Facebook), and the feature hub I founded last year. I think it’s a great idea to separate the styles and have different accounts – that’s one of the “rules” of Instagram I tend to break regularly: having a very mixed up gallery as far as subject and styles. Hahaha! Do you have any professional goals with your art?
One goal I plan to work on this year is to do some portrait work with period costumes. I want to add some fantasy and whimsy to my photography.
What couldn’t you do without regarding your art?
In macro photography I am alway working on getting a crisp and focused shot, so my tripod is essential. I have an attachment for my iPhone called Shoulder Pod, that I use to easily attach my iPhone to my tripod. When it comes to editing, it’s all bout the iPad. I can’t imagine editing without my iPad. NO, I don’t even want to think about that!
I’m right there with you on that one – and I’ll have to check out that iPhone attachment for tripod. I have a tiny iPhone dedicated tripod and I HATE IT. I’ve always wanted to be able to use it with my actual tripod. Thanks for sharing that! And finally, last question: if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I thought about choosing flying as a superpower, but that probably wouldn’t be doing my skin or hair any favors at my age. Then I considered the power cut calories but I realized that was really willpower, which seems like a superpower sometimes. So I have decided on teleportation. If I could have any superpower it would be to teleport. My oldest son and his fiancé live 2,777 miles away from us. Basically, all the way across the country. I have spend a considerable amount of time wishing that I could teleport to be with them. And yes, there are probably several other places I would visit if I had the ability to teleport.
That’s fabulous! I’m sure we all hope you get to see them very soon!! This was so much fun, Lori. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat and be a part of this adventure with us. I am excited to see your formulas for Mextures as you work on them and share them, and I know we all encourage you on that front – we’re all Mextures addicts, too, you know!! Wishing you the best in your art, and in life, and so much gratitude for your contribution via your amazing art and your wonderful personality to this blog and to our Instagram feeds. Thanks, again, Lori.
Art from the Instagram Gallery of @marvinsdaughters