For some, the mistakes in the artistic process can be jarring and even derailing. Perfection is a must, and execution is everything. But for others, it’s finding the beauty in these mistakes and flaws. Life doesn’t always present itself with the perfect opportunity, and sometimes you have to make your own. It’s this philosophy that photographer and mixed media artist Addison Jones lives by to create her art.
Jones’ process to creation is very much a go-with-the- ow style, and some of her creations quite literally scream that as the phrase “fuck it” is occasionally written across her art. Don’t get this rebel yell twisted,
though. What Jones does to create art is a multifaceted process that she does all by hand. It’s a labor of love where pieces will have hours of work poured into them until she feels like it’s finally finished. From the initial photoshoot all the way down to screen printing the paintings, Jones has found a way to work within her own restrictions and even be more efficient with her time. After all, this painting her portraits project started while she had down time waiting for her photos to import to her computer. (614) spent some time with Jones to unlock the secrets of her serendipitous artistry.
614): IS THIS YOUR PRIMARY JOB, SIDE GIG, OR HOBBY? HOW DID IT COME TO BE?
AJ: My boyfriend of six years and I broke up and I wanted a photography studio [in] downtown [Delaware]. I found one that was freaking awesome in an old abandoned building: no running water, third floor, it was an old ballroom so it was 4,000 square feet and SO awesome inside. Seemed amazing for me. Who needs running water anyways? With all that space I was able to have my photography studio and have my paintings out 24/7. I kind of got into a groove where I would edit, and while it was exporting I would paint, and then while that was drying I would edit again […]. I didn’t know that having proper space would bring me to do art more, but it did. I think I grew more as an artist within those two years than I had in the five years prior.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR GO-WITH- THE-FLOW APPROACH TO ART?
I come from a graphic design background. When I have way too many options I tend to get completely overwhelmed, but when I am under restriction, I think that gets my mind moving. I like to think of myself as a problem solver, so having guidelines actually makes me more creative. I do not do photography to get images to paint with. I do photography for my photography expression and if an image sticks out to me, I use it for my art. I feel like that is when it happens naturally […]. I like
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
to think of myself as an experimental artist where I am always trying to play with new techniques, different mediums, and just mess around with it. Due to that nature, I mess around quite a lot and mess up even harder. Most of the time I am like “Well, this is a piece of shit,” and don’t care if I mess up, so then I do something and I like it and then I’m like, “I love this piece.” It’s like that artist meme and it hits home so hard: This sucks, I suck; this is awesome, I am awesome.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW YOU STARTED USING SCREEN PRINTING AS A MEANS TO ENHANCE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ART?
I played with resin art a while ago and what I loved and hated about it was the fact that you couldn’t control it. I have so much control with what I do that I wanted to just let go. That also drove me bonkers but every time would lead to a different result. I one day was like, “Maybe I should screen on this because it would be a sweet background.” I didn’t know how to screen at that point so I made some terrible homemade thing and kind of figured it out. I found some image on the internet—not even thinking about using my own—and made a screen. I had just finished a photoshoot with one of my favorite models and was like, “Wow, that was stupid, Addison, use your own.”
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO TRANSFORM A PHOTO INTO A MIXED MEDIA CREATION?
I edit and do a photoshoot for the photoshoot, not for the art. If there is an image that has the correct lighting that I want with the correct mood, that is when I decide to use it as a screen. If it doesn’t have it, I just don’t use it. I don’t want to control a photoshoot for the sake of my screens, I want it for the photography and I want it to just happen naturally. I feel like when it is forced is when it doesn’t work.
YOUR ARTWORK OFTEN GOES THROUGH MANY TRANSFORMATIONS. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS PROCESS?
Oh does it! I would like to say that I am constantly experimenting. The problem with experimenting on things so much is that there are a TON of ugly/fuck up stages […]. I think the biggest thing is that most people— me included—are scared to do something because they don’t want to mess it up. I have now changed my mindset into “If I mess it up, I will x it.” There are also a lot of times where I am not sure where to go next. So I just put it to the side, start something new and see if it just comes to me. If it doesn’t, I hang it in my living room until I can figure out what else it needs.
To view more of Addison Jones’ work, go to addisonjonesphotography.com.