Mextures Artist Feature | @mrmenellis

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

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @mrmenellis

Mextures Artist Feature | @terri_calico

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!

 

Sampling of Terri’s Mextures Formulas

More Magical Drops – JLLGQAF

Sea Seagull – VIJIGXV

Love Drops – GDCZQYN

Leaf Magic – JILZUQX

Kristi P2 – MJMFFGM

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @terri_calico

 

Mextures Artist Feature | @marvinsdaughters

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

Mextures Artist Feature | @joannakatd

It’s Monday and that means it’s time for another Mextures artist feature. Sorry this one is coming to you so late – it’s been one hell of a weekend in my world and I’ve only just had a moment to sit down and write it up for you. Today we’re featuring @joannakatd, an amazing Mextures artist and photographer whose gallery focuses around nature and landscape photography. I hope you’ll enjoy our interview and her beautiful art! As always, thank you for visiting the blog and don’t forget to visit Joanna’s Instagram gallery (@joannakatd) and show her your love and support!

 

Getting to know @joannakatd

So, to start off, who are you?

I am Joanna, I just turned 42, I go by joannakatd on Instagram as my middle name is Katherine, and d is the initial of my last name. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and I don’t think I could live anywhere else. I’ve tried, moving to Northern Manitoba in my early 20s but after 2 years I came right back. I’m also a moderator for 3 hubs on Instagram. @mellow_mextures @cloudzdelight and most recently @macro_mextures. It keeps me busy in my spare time!

Canada is such a beautiful place! I hope to visit someday… Modding on IG is a fun thing to do in your spare time. What is your “job?”

I’m a cataloguer for books of public libraries. I’ve always loved books, and I used to write poetry daily. If I come across any photography book, or poetry book at work, my productivity really slows down as I look deeply at the art, or read the poems. In my spare time I edit photos I’ve taken on the weekend, or I look for things around the house to photograph and then to edit. I think I love the editing process as much as I love collecting the photos. Collecting the photos is always an adventure we have as a family. We usually go for drives on the weekends outside the city or to parks inside the city. It always turns out to be a memorable time for all of us as we go about exploring.

Books. I’m a bibliophile, myself… How did you get involved with Instagram?

I’m not sure how I discovered the app, but I remember one day about 4 years ago being out for coffee with my brother and telling him about it. I was so excited that it was an easy way to connect with people through pictures. I’ve never been into Facebook, so this was perfect for me! I especially loved the filters and the way they turned my photos into something much more interesting. I had no idea about hashtags back then!

Facebook never worked well for me for photos, and then I just finally tired of it. It’s so much drama and junk…I find that Instagram is much less silly and much more inspiring. How did you get involved with Mextures?

I think what changed everything for me was one day searching through Instagram and coming across a photo that had what looked like brush strokes on it, as if it had been painted. Someone asked what app was used, and the answer was Stackables App. I immediately downloaded the app, and my photos then became transformed. Soon after I discovered Mextures. It took me awhile to really grasp it and all it had to offer, but as soon as I did, I was hooked. I edit most of my photos with Mextures now.

I LOVE Stackables – I enjoy mixing Stackables and Mextures together, myself! What is it that keeps you interested in Instagram and Mextures/Photography?

I guess what keeps me interested in Instagram and Mextures/Photography is my goal of one daily post. 4 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with a not so nice disease (begins with the letter C) and my way of coping is to focus on one photo a day, to look for the beauty in life and to share it. I’ve always been a very private person, so to share my photography and edits with so many people was at first scary! But now I know that it is such a blessing! And the encouragement and support I get from Instagram is incredible.

Oh no – not another mention of the C word!! In seriousness, it’s wonderful that you found a release and process through your art. I think that’s a very important aspect of coping with any sort of hard part in life, so I’m super glad you chose to share in the way you did! What’s your background in photography – when/how did you start out and get to where you are now?

Honestly, I don’t really have a background in photography. I know I’ve always been drawn to it, I’ve always loved looking at it. While at college, in front of a computer at a lecture, I only wanted to look at wonderful photographs so I’d Google whatever I could think of (usually some sort of animal) – long before Instagram existed. Instagram was a real game changer for me 12 years later. I started with suggestions of photo-a-day themes, but I soon found that to be much too forced. Once I found these editing apps, everything changed. I found that nature photography was for me. Mextures enhanced the beauty. Images I saw on Instagram were so inspiring and I’ve learned so much through them.

How has your practice with art/photography changed over time?

I think my photography can only get better as I keep learning every day from such wonderful artists on Instagram. Living in Alberta I have such amazing landscapes to photograph. There’s the mountains to the West, the prairies to the East, and the foothills to the South.

What do you enjoy the most about your art/photography?

What I enjoy most about my photography is going for our weekend country drives to get photographs as a family. Because of Instagram, it motivates us to get out and search for beautiful things and in the process it’s giving us all wonderful memories. As an example, we were driving down a country road and I saw some wonderful old barns. I had my husband turn around and we drove right into the old property. My kids complained and moaned, ‘do you HAVE to take pictures of this??’ Yes, I do. We all got out to explore and it turned out to be one of my kids favorite times ever. Searching abandoned chicken coops and running to the silos to find grain, then running all over to ‘plant’ that grain. Eating it, my son trying to spit it out the car window only to have the wind splatter it all over his face…. We laughed so hard! (If only I’d got a picture of that!) One of my photos from that day was featured on @rsa_rural.

I love that! My son loves taking photos (probably because he grew up around people who were constantly taking photos) and we often do the same. Can’t say that I can get anyone else in my house into it but my son and I have a blast sharing the hobby. It’s interesting to see the difference in themes from his photos compared to mine. What themes do you pursue?

I love landscapes – mountains especially because I’m always in awe of them, but what I would love to get more into is macro. I always love galleries with macro shots. They’re always so elegant looking.

What inspires you the most (anything – from music to food to people to places to anything that you find inspiration from)?

What inspires me most is all the amazing artists on Instagram. I’ve learned so much from them through this app and the artists who use mextures to transform their photos into works of art. I’m always so impressed with the creativity and it always pushes me to try harder, to go further with a formula, or an edit.

Agreed – it’s hard NOT to be inspired by that amazing artists and art in the Instagram community! In fact, you are one of those inspiring artists for so many! What is your dream project?

Since I have a lot of poems collecting dust in their books in a box in my closet, my dream would be to one day pair those poems with images and create some sort of photo book.

That sounds like a brilliant project. I did a similar project years ago, just for myself and not to sell, and it was very healing for me during that time. Do you have any professional goals with your art?

No, this is all for pleasure, something I just love doing.

Same here! I used to try to grow it into this “professional” thing, mostly because people would always tell me how well I would do, but I never did well with it. I finally realized that the reason was that my heart was in the art itself, not the business of it, and so I just continued on as my heart wished – to enjoy myself and the art. What couldn’t you do without regarding your art?

I couldn’t do without the constant support I get from all the wonderful friends I’ve met on Instagram. They feed me, they give me confidence, and motivation and inspiration. The community here is incredible.

I couldn’t either, come to think of it! And finally, for a fun ending to our chat, if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would love to have super human strength.  That way if my car was ever stuck in slush in the winter, I could just pick it up and move it. Or it would be super easy to vacuum under couches, or beds, or dressers, etc. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Hahaha!! Yes!!! As a homemaker and stay at home mom, I would LOVE to share that cleaning super power with you. Thank you so much for being a part of this adventure with us, Joanna. I’ve enjoyed this chat, loved your answers and getting to know you better, and I know everyone who reads this will, as well. You’re a fabulous artist and Instagrammer and we all wish you all the best as you continue to grow and share your amazing visions and art with us! And thank you for all you do in the community as a mod and cheerleader for so many artists!!

 

 

Sampling of Joanna’s Mextures Formulas

It’s Like This – HQMEGRX

Cold – JXCJBRG

Waiting for the Sun – VSCBUNH

One – YSRCKDP

Hideaway – BJPHKTT

 

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @joannakatd

Mextures Artist Feature | @hptuk

Good afternoon and welcome to the latest Mextures artist feature. Today’s article features Instagram user and artist @hptuk, and is a bit different than the last feature. @hptuk and I had ourselves a sort of “interview session.” I thought, “I’d really rather let the artists tell us about themselves versus talking about what my own opinions are. I’d like to just talk with them, and let these features become whatever they become from artist to artist.” That is, after all, the whole point of these articles: to allow the artist to share their own story and expressions about their art, Instagram, and selves as an artist. I hope I’ve given Heather an opportunity to do that, and I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Heather (@hptuk) and fall in love with her art as much as all of those who follow her work have. As always, thank you for visiting and supporting these features, artists, and blogs!

 

Getting to know @hptuk

Hello, @hptuk! To start, could you tell us who you are and what  you do?

I am Heather, I’m  British and have been living in Florida for 19 years.

For many years I homeschooled my daughter, who is now a sophomore at University of Florida. Once my daughter was dual-enrolled at college a few years ago, I started working part-time as a computer skills teacher for preschoolers. I also own an online vintage store (coming to IG soon!).

That’s so exciting! You’ll have to link us to that when you create your IG account. How and why did you get involved with photography/art/Instagram?

Photography has always been part of my life. My father was a newspaper photographer in Yorkshire, England as a young man. He always had, and still has, a camera with him. At a young age I started taking pictures and loved getting my processed film back.  When I started working for the travel industry, based in London, I became even more passionate about photography, capturing shots from all the different destinations I was lucky enough to go to.

In my late twenties, I decided to leave London to pursue a job as a scuba instructor, a hobby I had fallen in love with over the years, having dived in many different countries. I worked on a liveaboard dive boat in the Turks & Caicos Islands for 2 years and became the underwater photo pro, using a Nikonos V camera and developing the film for myself and our passengers, in the boat’s darkroom.

Life then brought me to Florida and I continued with photography, as a hobby. I had my own darkroom and developed black and white prints on fiber-based paper, then hand tinted them with Marshall’s oils, the same way photos were colored a century ago. I did the art show circuit around Florida and had my work exhibited in several galleries and establishments. I was adamant that I would never stop using film…and here I am with a Nikon DSLR posting photos on Instagram every day, while my film camera gathers dust 🙂

I have taught kids’ photography classes over the years and sometimes do family portraits and headshots locally. I created a website a few years ago, and being involved in Instagram has provided me with the impetus to get it active again.

I started my Instagram account in May 2015, thinking it would be another way to keep in touch with people, and post photos of my daily life. I had no idea that there were so many creative and wonderful hubs showcasing people’s work. Instagram has been an uplifting and enriching experience for me, I have formed incredible friendships and always feel validated and encouraged by followers who engage regularly and comment on my work. They, in turn, really inspire me. There are some incredibly talented people on Instagram and I love seeing all the different styles of photography and editing. I have an android, but typically post photos from my DSLR, and sometimes my iPad, which I purchased last summer in order to download all the amazing editing apps! I use Mextures, VSCO, Unionapp regularly. I fell in love with Mextures because I almost feel like I am hand-coloring again, adding layers of color and / or texture to the piece. I tend to be drawn to warm, soft tones and feel that they complement my subject matter, which is primarily Florida scenery and nature. I am most inspired by the ocean, I love capturing images there and listening to the sounds of the sea. I find it both soothing and rejuvenating.

After a few months on Instagram, I was asked to be a moderator for @Mellow_ Mextures, a hub featuring artists who edit their shots with Mextures. On January 1st, I took on a similar role for @Flowerzdelight, featuring..flower shots. It’s been a wonderful experience, curating beautiful work to share with others. The level of talent is astounding and inspiring. It motivates you to step up your game!

Wow! What an interesting journey it has been… What has been a seminal moment for you since you began your journey on Instagram? What memorable responses have you had to your work?

A huge IG moment for me was when Walgreens chose one of my photos to be used as part of an advertising campaign, last summer. The photo was used on social media in August, and will be shared again on Instagram in April 2016. Also, I was very happy and honored that @Mextures featured one of my formulas (Foggy) last week.

That’s fabulous! “Foggy” is one of the formulas featured at the bottom of this post, as well – a beautiful one, indeed! What’s your next goal for your art and photography?

Going forward, my next goal is to master the GoPro that I got for Christmas. I plan on posting underwater shots etc once the weather warms up. That will probably be under a separate IG account. I would also like to expand my editing skills and spend time learning how to use some of the other apps.

I love it! Those are both goals for me here on the blog this year, as well! So, what’s the most important or best advice you’ve been given to reach your goals?

The most important advice people have given me is to enjoy each moment, I do tend to be impatient and rush through things, so I am working on that.

Excellent advice. What is your favorite form or style of art?

My favorite form of art is definitely photography, especially black and white. I also love hand-colored landscapes by artists like Wallace Nutting.

And what would be your dream project?

My dream project would be to capture some different, dramatic landscapes. I love Florida but some mountains once in a while would be awesome.

This has been quite an interesting adventure, interviewing you. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat! Let’s end with something super fun. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

If I could have a superpower, it would be flying. That would be cool. And I could get rid of my car.

Sounds good to me! Thank you so much, Heather (@hptuk) for being a part of this feature series. We all wish you great success and joy as you continue your art and Instagram journey!

 

Sampling of Heather’s Mextures Formulas

(find more at her Instagram, @hptuk)

Foggy – KDKYBJX

Alive – PFSWPFC

Reach – BIBBGFM

Glow – VTVRREP

Palms – PUVLPSR

Purple Sky – SMMHAPP

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @hptuk

 

If you love Heather’s work, be sure to follow her on Instagram @hptuk so you’ll never miss her fabulous posts!

Thank you again, Heather, for being a part of this series!

Mextures Artist Feature | @boco_blondie

Welcome to the very first Mextures Artist Feature! Partly because she agreed to be a guinnea pig for this project, and mostly because her art is just awesome, this first  Mextures artist feature brings you an artist who has been a huge inspiration and encouragement to me, both in art and in life: Sarah (@boco_blondie).

Based in Boulder, CO, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the US, Sarah (like many of us on Instagram) started out sharing random blips of life and her surroundings that she’d shot and edited with her phone. It was a sort of a therapeutic, relaxing thing to do that helped her to express her creative spirit. Over time, she has grown artistically and, like me, as a person, thanks to all the friends and connections that have been made through Instagram.

Her Mextures edits of both her own images and collaboration pieces are always received with high acclaim and excitement, and her signature style of deep colors with faded highlights and almost dreamy tones always inspire me to embrace both the light and the darkness of my own images and my own existence. Sarah’s work is all about balance and self-expression, even when she shares no words or explanations in the captions, and she has expanded her (and our) Instagram and Mextures experience with the founding of her own hubs and mini-communities.

Sarah is the founder of @shotzdelight, @cloudzdelight, @flowerzdelight, and @mexturezdelight – a grouping of feature accounts for the subjects respective to their names. @Shotzdelight features “delightful artists daily,” all manner of subjects, styles and locations around the world. As a nature lover and a lover of all things “nature photography,” Sarah has expanded the @shotzdelight hub to include  @cloudzdelight and @flowerzdelight – hubs that focus on the beauty and wonder of nature and feature some brilliant work showcasing the beauty you can see in the world if you just slow down and pay attention. And, of course, there is the @mexturezdelight hub – my personal favorite of her family of hubs – which is geared specifically toward featuring the amazing and beautiful creations that you guys share from the Mextures app.

Below is a listing of hubs/tags, some of the Mextures formulas Sarah has shared, and a sample of her amazing and inspiring gallery. Be sure to check out Sarah’s Instagram gallery, and visit her feature accounts to explore and find some amazing art and artists that will no doubt encourage and inspire you in your own photography journey, and in your life. If you share images that fall into those categories, be sure to tag them so that Sarah and her crew can explore and be inspired by you and your work, as well! I know they will all be excited to see and share in what you’re doing on Instgram.

The Shotz Delight Family:

@shotzdelight | tag #shotzdelight

@cloudzdelight | tag #cloudzdelight

@flowerzdelight | tag #flowerzdelight

@mexturezdelight | tag #mexturezdelight

Sampling of @boco_blondie’s Mextures Formulas

@boco_blondie™ #1 – VGMGQLK

@boco_blondie™ #2 – RDYLXZU

@boco_blondie™ #3 – WIQFSZN

East Rock @boco_blondie™ – KZZVDEV

Whiteout @boco_blondie™ – FUICVKR

MexturezDelight @boco_blondie™ – NTTMQJH

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @boco_blondie

 

**For this first, very special feature, I want to close with a special note:

My dear Sarah, thank you so much for agreeing to help me jumpstart this Mextures blogging adventure with your amazing art. Thank you for supporting my random fancies and the twists and turns of my journey, and for inspiring and encouraging myself and others – not only through your words and art but also by your actions in your own life – to never give up and to never stop trying. Thank you for all that you give of yourself to the communities that we all love on Instagram, and to us personally. You do, and you give, more than you could possibly know. Your presence makes our worlds brighter and our Instagram feeds more beautiful. In short, you rock, and I am so very excited to share your work and your awesomeness with readers here. Wishing you so much success, happiness, and everything you have offered to us all, always…

~C

Mextures Artist Features Introduction

Mextures. It’s a fabulous tool and it’s a fabulous toy – a very verstaile image editing app for iPhone and iPad. If you search the hashtags related to Mextures on Instagram, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of images – all manner of styles and all sorts of subjects that have been edited (or even created) from Mextures alone or by combining Mextures with any number of other awesome editing apps.

Behind the apps and behind the art, there are people – really cool, really talented, really amazing people. I’ve gotten to know some of them through Instagram and different hubs there, and each day it spiderwebs out and I am either shown or I find more amazing art and artists. So often, they blow my mind. From them I learn different styles and techniques to play with. Formulas are shared and tweaked between us. My creativity is pushed and grows, and my sanity is kept in line.

I talk about this (Mextures and how it and the community surrounding it inspire and encourage me) a lot in different posts, and it’s why I started sharing Mextures formulas and blogs here in the first place. The Mextures community on Instagram grows and grows, but it’s hard to lay it out and format it in single posts there because of limits on posts lengths, so I brought it here so that I could share how-to’s and more expressive posts about it. That, however, has been limited to my own forumlas and self-expressions, and I am dissatisfied with that. I want to make it more. I want to make it bigger. I want to make it about the people in that community who rock my world so much and so often.

And that’s what Mextures Artist Features will be all about. I am going to be sharing posts all about these artists and their work, sometimes interviewing them and sometimes just throwing some stuff that I think is just amazingly awesome at you. I have written and scheduled a few of these posts already and am just waiting for the artists to OK them. The first post is scheculed to go live tomorrow morning, and it’ll be a sort of “practice” and “example” type post featuring some of my favorite pieces and formulas from my own gallery (a sort of random take on the “top 10” I was doing before, this time focussing on the formulas themselves and not just the images).

I hope you’ll enjoy these very different posts as much as I enjoy these artsits and their art, and as much as I enjoy creating the posts. This is all just part of my hobby, and I’m not sure that it’ll always be a defined, cut and dry type layout or post.  I’m not sure how regular it will be, or how often I will post, based on how insane my life is at random times. It’ll be what it is, but what I hope it will always be is fun.

If you are interested in being a part of this, guest posting or suggesting art/artists, or even seeing your own work and formulas featured here if you work with Mextures, please feel free to contact me here or via Instagram @catacosmic. The bigger the community the better, I say. The more people, the more art, the more styles, the more subjects, then the more creativity and inspiration.

Wishing you a very happy Sunday and a very good week…

~C