Mextures Artist Feature | @orbabgirl

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!

 

Sampling of Kristi’s Mextures Formulas

Lace – JLWNTRZ

MC MYA – XDTLEEG

Forest Rays – SBKJTBW

Childhood – QEQFYWC

Daisy – EYEACWR

Path – JILYEFK

Broken Fence – SFFWBZE

Foggy Days – FMVMLDM

 

Art from the Instagram Gallery of @orbabgirl

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

 

Melancholia

Welcome to my haunting…it follows me wherever I go.

I’ve grown quite fond of it now, and I’m content.

There’s something beautiful about it’s shadows and fog; something comforting about the blanket of mystery it wraps around me, daring me to look beyond my own costumes and masks and see myself in its reflection.

We’ve become rather friendly now, and have accepted each other’s flaws and darkness.

I suppose that’s why I seem to shine so brightly to others, and appear to have no darkness whatsoever.

Light is brighter in the dark, right?

~C

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!

My IG Top Five: Macro

Welcome to another installment of Instagram top picks from my gallery. Those of you who have followed my photography for a while know that my strong suit and the genre I love is macro photography. I love getting in close, I love seeing things in a different way, and I love the little details (of both nature and life). I pay attention to EVERYTHING, and I find so much inspiration in the details. This post is a list of my top five favorite macro shots currently in my Instagram gallery (not including droplets, which will be a post in itself). I hope you enjoy it!

05. Little Green Curls

There is infinite beauty in nature, and many lessons in its detail.

**Lumix GF3, Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8, manual focus on full, handheld.

04. Bokeh

My favorite bokeh shot I’ve ever done, because the bokeh in this wasn’t done on purpose. It’s just sort of what happened, and this shot introduced me to working with bokeh on purpose.

The plant in this shot was laying on a glass patio table and it made unexpected prettiness with macro filters.

**Pentax K110d, 18-55mm kit lens, +4 macro filter attached, manual focus and handheld.

03. Colors 

“Life begins with a beautiful mind.”

**Pentax K110d, 18-55mm kit lens, +2/+4/+10 macro filters attached (stacked), manual focus and handheld.

02. Skeleton 

I have developed an affinity for death and decay over the last couple of years – I find it strangely beautiful and comforting. Very fitting I suppose, since the summer of this year. I love the detail of the skeleton of this leaf. It tells as beautiful a story to me as the green leaf would have on the tree, or as the fiery leaf would have in it’s fall splendor.

**Sony Alpha 37, 35mm prime f1.8, +1/+2/+4/+10 macro filters attached (stacked), manual focus and handheld.

01. Zen Honeysuckle

My top favorite macro shot is my favorite for a lot of reasons. I love the simplicity, the minimalistic feel, the color, the framing, honeysuckle is special to me (so special that’s what I have tattooed on my left foot/leg, in memory of my Mama Kay), but mostly I love this shot because I did this after mowing my dad’s grass one day this past summer not long before he fell ill, and he was with me when I shot it, watching me work my camera magic and asking me questions about it.

Daddy loved my photography and always encouraged and supported me doing it by being actively involved in it, asking things and being fascinated by it and always telling me encouraging things… He was just an awesome dad.

**Lumix GF3, Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8, manual focus on full, handheld.