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!
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