Creative Instant Photography with Kate

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9Hello everyone. Today we have an interesting feature- all about instant photography. Polaroids are definitely making their comeback, and have been trendy for a while now. So it was perfect to talk to Kate who clicks instant photos with a creative expression and also, as a welcomed distraction from her busy student life. However, I think it’s more than a mere distraction- just check out her gorgeous instagram feed! I like the consistency and the varied subjects she takes shots of, and it’s always nice to see a good polaroid photo in your instagram feed, isn’t it? Read on to her what she has to say!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Kate and I’m a 20 year old student from the UK. I’m in my last year at University studying Computer Science and Business – which is a million miles away from my love of instant photography.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Creative Instant Photography with Kate

What sparked your interest in photography in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve always appreciated photography. I remember going to the Wildlife photographer of the year exhibition when I was little and enjoying reading the information about how the pictures were taken. I admired the patience and skill required to capture such a perfect shots. However, my interest in photography was amplified in June when my boyfriend Ben gave me an Instax camera for my birthday. I’d never specifically said I wanted one but he clearly thought I’d enjoy it and he was right. However, I think he is still pretty surprised at how big an obsession it has become for me!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

I love how you capture moments exclusively with your polaroid camera! What interests you about polaroid photos?

I haven’t been practicing photography for very long at all, since I only got the camera in June. My camera – an Instax mini 90 neo classic has a lot more settings than a traditional polaroid camera. For example, you can adjust the light levels and take long and double exposure shots so there is lots of play with. It’s difficult to ‘practice’ instant photography on a student budget because the film is so expensive (75p/shot) so it’s frustrating when things go wrong. However, I do still experiment and I always keep the failed shots (which you wouldn’t if they were digital pictures!), although they don’t often make it to Instagram!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

How do you interpret the presence and significance of photography in your lifestyle?

Until recently, photography wasn’t a very significant part of my life but now I’m also now constantly thinking of new things I can try. I get annoyed if I see something I really want to photograph and I don’t have my instax with me!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What keeps you motivated creatively in life?

Before University I had a pretty continuous creative outlet – I spent at least 10 hours a week practicing and performing music. I’m now a final year student on a science degree, and I no longer have time for music in the same way. Although, I didn’t realize it properly until I unboxed my camera- I think I was craving some creativity after 3 years of technology and business.

I think being given an instax camera reminded me that underneath the academic theory and coding, I’m actually quite a creative person and it’s nice to be reminded of that!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

Well, I’m a student, so the majority of my day is taken up by attending lectures, waiting for buses and procrastinating – that’s where photography and ‘pix_of_polaroids’ comes in.

I got my camera and started my Instagram account during the summer holidays when there was a lot more time and opportunities to take photos, but I’m still managing to take some shots on the way back from lectures and on the weekends.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What’s your outfit staple, favourite food, fave flower and country and why?

I’m notoriously scruffy so probably not the right person to ask about my outfit staple! I do have a vast collection of scarfs though, so maybe that is my outfit staple.

My favourite food has to be ice cream – I recently started making homemade ice cream. It’s really fun and easier than you’d think. I like experimenting and trying to recreate my favourite Ben & Jerry flavours (I have the recipe book!). Some of the flavours I’ve made so far include Oreo, honeycomb, salted caramel and strawberry.

I think daffodils are one of my favourite flowers because I love the springtime and they remind me of Easter egg hunts in the garden when I was little.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What kind of photography themes and subjects are you interested in nowadays?

Initially, when I got the camera I was just enjoying taking pictures of my friends and family. I hadn’t been thinking about it in a particularly creative way – until I took a photo of a pier stretching into the sea on a beautiful sunny day. I started to experiment, seeing if I could line the instant photo up with the rest of the pier. It was fiddly to achieve because of the differences in scale, reflection, focus and of course, all the strange looks you get from passers-by. I was happy with the result though. When I got home, I started looking at shots other people had taken on Instagram and that inspired me to continue.

I like trying to seamlessly blend the retro instant picture into its digital surroundings. I try to identify things that I can line up, for example, the horizon or a building. The most effective shots are a result of perfectly lining the instant photo up with the background but this is difficult to achieve! I also try to make the background as interesting as the instant photo – I want to bring 2 interesting photos together to make an even better one.

I wouldn’t say I’m interested in a specific theme or subject, but I do look at things differently now – I’m constantly spotting potentially interesting shots to try out. I’d like to get into portrait photography – maybe an instant Humans of New York style series. If only I put this much effort into my Uni work!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (Apart from clicking polaroid shots!)

I play the flute and sing although not as much as I’d like to anymore. Lots of my best friends are musicians and some of my happiest memories are music related – singing in the middle of a square in Belgium flash mob style, singing Postman Pat in 4 part harmony and getting my grade 8 flute after years of work. As I’ve already mentioned I also enjoy cooking and recently started making ice cream.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Instant photography vs. well, not instant! Pros and cons? Anything you’d like to elaborate on which one (or both) you would choose?

Our lives our very reliant on digital technology. I’m a Computer Science student so I know this all too well. In a world full of Photoshop software and Google images there is something really refreshing and exciting about taking a unique, one-off picture and watching it develop in front of you.

There is nothing to hide behind- you can’t just delete it and take another without wasting film. Shooting film is a completely different experience to using a digital camera. When I’m taking digital pictures, I’ll take 10 to make sure I get one I like. Whereas, when I’m taking instant pictures, I’ll think really carefully about what I want to achieve first.

My computer is full of thousands of pictures of great memories and moments- but the pictures I cherish the most are my instant shots. I love the instant photos I have of my friends and family – they seem more real because it truly is a second in time rather than one of 15 shots we took to get just the right one…

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Are you planning to pursue photography professionally or is it just a hobby you love?

At the moment, it’s definitely just a new hobby that I’m loving which has grown quicker than I expected. I’m very much at the start and I have a lot to learn about photography.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

That’s a scary question for any final year University student! I will graduate in 2016 and plan on taking a year out before starting my graduate job in Technology. So, in one year I hope to be travelling more and taking lots of pictures but in a few years– who knows…if I’m happy, have the people I love around me and have a job I enjoy, then it’s all good!

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

You have a quite a few landscape nature shots in different places. A bit more on your travel experience so far?

This summer we went travelling around Croatia for several weeks as you can guess from my Instagram series #pixofcroatia. The landscape was beautiful and it was the perfect first big adventure with my new camera. I also went travelling round Europe (9 countries in 4 weeks) the previous summer, but sadly that was before I got my instax so all my pictures are very digital and mainstream! The coolest place I’ve ever been to is probably Moscow. I went to Russia on an orchestra tour a few years ago and it was amazing- I definitely need to go back with my instax – the architecture is incredible.

I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the UK where there is lots of natural beauty to photograph- such as beaches and moorland. It is getting a little more difficult to find things to shoot now that the weather is pretty rubbish all the time- although, I think it is encouraging me to be more creative. Notes: )

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What are some qualities you think makes a great photograph?

I like photography that makes you think about something differently- or see something from a different perspective. I also really like pictures with great symmetry or interesting techniques. For example, after my recent experiment with sparklers and long exposures I’ve found some amazing long exposure photography on Instagram.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Do you think a photographer’s subject he/chooses somehow correlates indirectly to their own attitude and choices in life? Is that true for you too?

I’m not sure what my account says about me! People who know me, but don’t know about my photography, might be surprised by my pictures. To me, my account reflects a choice to start making time for creativity and fun, rather than everything being about my degree. I hope it also reflects a choice to explore and look at things differently.

I’ve always valued memories and experiences far more than things and I take pictures to remember moments. I think this is particularly true of instant photography.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

Any nice memory that brings a smile to your face?

On Christmas Eve, every year my family gathers around the fire and listens to the original snowman audiobook on tape (even more retro than instant photography!). We’ve done it my whole life. I know every word and sound effect but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

Creative Instant Photography with Kate - an interview via Opinion9

What do you think is the future of photography today and in the future?

I think photography is becoming more and more about ideas and concepts because high quality equipment is becoming more affordable. I also think it’s clear that instant photography is making a comeback from all the great new models of camera being released. A physical photo is a real novelty to us now. In an age where CDs are being replaced by iTunes and books are being replaced by Kindles, there is something satisfying about swapping out a digital camera for an analogue one!

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Thanks for sharing, Kate! Find Kate on her instagram here.

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Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Living the VIntage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Hello! Today we have Laurel and Rowan talking about living the vintage life! I’m actually really excited about this feature, because they are the first vintage scouters (can we call them that?) on Opinion9! They have a lovely shop called Sarah & Ludo (the name’s inspired by the cult classic Labyrinth) filled with a varied array of vintage clothing. It’s also great to see them working together on this.

Vintage clothing has always been special for me. I remember going to my grandmother’s house and finding a one piece swimming suit, cat eye glasses, old coats and blouses, sundresses, skirts that all spoke in silence; echoing an aura of a past era, filled with memories. Vintage clothing is something else, more than just what you’d pick up on a clothing rack in a mall. Like their shop tagline says, it’s ‘a hint of magic!’

So, when I saw that Sarah & Ludo was all about finding and selling vintage clothes- I had to know more! They’re a pretty interesting duo, too.

Read on to hear what they have to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

We are Laurel and Rowan, the owners of Sarah & Ludo, a small online vintage clothing boutique that we currently operate through Etsy. We live in Melbourne, Australia but still call New Zealand home.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

There’s something so great about vintage- knowing that it has a history behind it. How long have you been interested in vintage?

I have always loved the thrill of searching for treasure. My dad used to take me to garage sales with him on Saturday mornings when I was young and I think it all started there. My actual passion for vintage though really took hold in my mid-twenties when I travelled to London and Europe. Every city I went to I seemed to end up finding vintage and thrift stores down obscure alley ways and back streets. I spent many happy hours in those stores and realised that I had fallen in love with vintage clothing. It is now a way of life.

Rowan used to run his own street wear clothing range, Tripod, and when initially starting out, he would thrift for well-made items that he could take apart and put back together again (to teach himself construction). He has always been partial to old school Adidas, vintage tees and denim.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & LudoWhat are some specific themes/designs inspiring you nowadays?

I find we are leaning more and more towards simple well-tailored design. Black. White. A splash of colour. Uncluttered.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

How do you balance running a creative business and regular life?

It is hard not to have the two merge together. But for now, Sarah & Ludo is a side project that we are hoping to grow organically. I have a full-time day job at the State Library Victoria and Rowan is studying Graphic Design full-time at RMIT. Sarah & Ludo is our evenings, our weekends. We both love the creative process though and are happiest being busy and bouncing ideas off each other.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What motivates you the most?

Coffee. Books. Music. Films. Melbourne. The dust, palm trees and endless sunshine of LA.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

We would like to be making small limited run items for our own label as well as continuing to sell vintage. I would like to be living by the beach and for life to be a little quieter and serene. Rowan will hopefully be a world class graphic designer by then and freelancing from home. I also want to learn Shibori and incorporate that into both our own label and our vintage collections.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What would be the most ideal vintage find?

A lost collection of perfectly preserved dresses from the 1900s to the 1970s that belonged to the same woman (or possibly a generation of women!) and which documented her life and adventures.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What are some qualities you look for in a vintage piece?

We look for pieces that have something about them that is special; little details, an eye catching print, exquisite tailoring. We also like pieces that can easily be assimilated into a modern wardrobe. And statement pieces. We are all for statement pieces.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What’s one vintage piece that impacted you the most- and one that you are still searching to find?

We are impacted by them all! I am quite taken with a Big E Levi’s denim shirt I found on our first US buying trip (even though it is missing all its buttons!). You just don’t find that level of detail anymore. We are always searching for vintage denim, 1950s/1960s/1970s cotton sundresses, and vintage tees. No one item in particular but a multitude of labels and styles.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Your etsy shop has some lovely finds- I love the baby doll dress, the black ballerina dress and the blush pink sundress – to name a few! What is your general process for selling your vintage finds?

Thank you! I love every single item that we sell. And I make sure that every single item has been washed, cared for and fixed up before it is sold. It is extremely important to us. Rowan luckily is a whizz on the sewing machine so he takes care of busted seams, fallen hems etc. Once an item is cleaned and in excellent sellable condition, it gets put onto a rack to photograph. I try and have a general theme to each shoot – colour/style/season – but it doesn’t always work out that way with vintage! We currently have two beautiful models and are photographing weekly for now. After photographing we take measurements, write descriptions and note flaws. Then we list on Etsy. From there, we answer customer queries, and package and send orders. I must admit the Post Office is not my favourite place but once something has been sold I am always very quick to get it off to its new owner (especially as I have no patience myself!).

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Can you describe a typical work day?

A typical Sarah & Ludo workday would be a weekend day, so it would start with coffee and brunch. Then it would be photo shoot preparation – steaming, pressing and organising clothes; putting up the backdrop; setting up the camera. Our model would arrive for the shoot which generally would be two – three hours. Following this, we would load the photos onto the computer and the editing process would begin! I am always keen to get started right away but often Rowan will make me take a break and we will go for a drink in the sunshine or the like. Then measuring and listing on Etsy (as above). No day is ever the same. It is all dependent on sales etc. Packaging is my one of my favorite parts of the process; I package items first in recycled tissue paper and then I use recycled brown paper which I hand stamp with little crafted stamps I ordered from New York. I then tie it up with string (either hemp or natural twine) and add a little hand written note. Every item we send off is sent with love – we want our customers to love their purchase and be happy with the whole experience!

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What are some values you’d like to convey to your customers?

Sustainability.

Individuality.

Kindness.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

How do you manage to find the vintage clothes?

We go to America! It is a great excuse for us to go on holiday once a year and also a way for us to get vintage in bulk. Also, we find that the older vintage is incredibly hard to find in Australia, and though still tricky in America (as it becomes rarer and starts to wear out) that there is more opportunity to source the items we love. This year we went to LA, Austin, Houston, then back to LA (with a little side trip to Palm Springs). We stayed with friends in Austin, which was awesome, especially as my friend Andrea is a vintage-lover from way back and took us to all sorts of wonderful places. Houston was a mecca for vintage warehouses but was also hard work. It was hot and humid, no air conditioning and the warehouse bins were tough going. We sourced some real gems though so it was definitely worth it in the end. And we stayed in a super cool Airbnb loft studio down the road from the Last Concert Café.

We love to escape Melbourne winter for a week. It gives us a burst of much needed sunshine that helps push us through to spring when we get back. We are still dreaming of Palm Springs, bottomless mimosas and swimming pools…

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Why vintage? 

Simply because they don’t make things like they used to.

Also, vintage clothing has a history, a story, a previous life. There is a certain whimsy in wearing something from another era.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Just for fun: what’s your favourite city, food and book/movie?

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Laurel:

City: Paris. Granada. Dubrovnik. Melbourne. L.A.

Food: Avocadoes. Everyday.

Book: I can’t pick one! Here are a few – What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt (actually, everything by Siri Hustvedt, starting with The Blindfold), Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan (again, everything by Francoise Sagan – I find her books the best size for carrying around in my bag and most of my books by her are slightly battered from over-reading), Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon, anything by Haruki Murikami (I especially love Norwegian Wood). I read my favourites over and over again so they are like old friends. I never tire of them and always pick up something new every time I read them. I often find it difficult to read a book I haven’t read before. It is like starting a new friendship; a little awkward, disconcerting, but also lovely if that connection is there.

Movie – This changes all the time! A few I love for different reasons: Labyrinth, Princess Bride, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ruby Sparks, Begin Again, Across the Universe, Almost Famous, Dirty Dancing, Reality Bites, Fight Club, Midnight in Paris, The Notebook.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Rowan:

City: apart from Melbourne, I really like LA

Food: can’t go wrong with a good pizza but lately I have been really keen on a soft Taco

Book: The Walking Dead Compendiums (graphic novels count right?)

Movie: too hard to narrow down… so for now I will say a director, Wes Anderson, as I could happily watch any of his movies at the drop of a hat.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

I like that you guys are working together. How do you complement each other’s strengths when it comes to running a business?

Rowan is endlessly patient while I tend to run on adrenaline and at times work myself into a panic. Rowan brings me back down to earth. In essence, I am a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak, while Rowan is creative and visionary. I turn my perfectionism towards cleaning garments, editing photos, and packaging orders. Rowan built the website, takes majority of the photos and does most of the sewing repairs. We love that we are building something together. Also, he doesn’t get bored searching for vintage with me! And on our American road trips, he drives (which is no easy feat, especially as it is the opposite side of the road from Australia and New Zealand!).

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What interests you about the 50s-60s period?

They are two such different eras, but both had such great fashion. The 50s silhouette was so alluring and then the 60s was revolutionary. From full skirts to mini dresses. From understated prints to psychedelic. As well as the clothes I am also very partial to the music from the 1960s. Rowan is great at finding records from this era for me.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Any advice for people who are just starting to scour markets for vintage finds?

Start at the beginning of a rack and touch every item (make sure you have clean hands and handle delicately!) – the fabric is important – also, look out for items that catch your eye. Inspect for holes, stains and odour (especially the underarms). Check the label (if there is one). Check the seams/ tailoring. Check the zip if there is one (a metal zip is a good indication of age).

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

What do you guys do in your free time (when not working)?

We like to eat at our favourite cafes and restaurants, binge watch our favourite TV shows, ride our bikes (Rowan more than me, I need to bike more!), read, work on projects. We love coffee. We enjoy beer and chips in the sunshine on a Sunday afternoon. Rowan makes great crepes with lemon and sugar and strawberries and chocolate chips. We listen to records. Rowan makes music and goes to gigs; he has drum n bass tattooed on his arm – his first love.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & Ludo

Are you seriously living in a ex-chocolate factory apartment? Okay, that’s the coolest. What’s your take on life and art in general?

We sadly just recently had to leave our ex-chocolate factory apartment which still stings a little. The owner decided to sell it just before we left for our last US buying trip so we had to move out two weeks before we left and put all our stuff into storage. When we got back though we found our new apartment very quickly (it was the first and only we looked at). It is another warehouse conversion (we seem to gravitate towards those!) and is in Northcote, which we find to be a very creative inspiring community. Also we are seconds from the Westgarth Palace Cinema which is art deco and amazing.

We both strive to live creatively fulfilling lives and not get too caught up in the daily grind. Of course, that’s not always easy or possible (and sometimes seems impossible!) but we will continue to aspire to it and will never give up on our dreams.

Art is all around us in all shapes and forms and defines us for better and for worse.

Living the Vintage Life with Sarah & LudoThanks for sharing, Laurel and Rowan! Wishing you the very best ahead! -Aaria

Find Laurel and Rowan’s vintage finds here at their website SarahnLudo, instagram and maybe pick up something refined and vintage over at their etsy shop.

 

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Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.comHello, friends. Today, on the Inspiration series, we have Isaac Burrier talking about his theatre experience as well as his outlook on life. He has recently started a blog called Eeh-Dah-Bluh (yes, that’s the name! Based on his initials: IDB, get it?) and I really liked the overall concept of it. He blogs about positivity and it’s so great to see someone who does that. Also, he likes photography- so the pictures you see below are all taken by Isaac. His attitude to photography would probably be exploring different topics, perspective and an overall quality of finding the good in what he sees.

Read on to hear what he has to say!

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Isaac Burrier. I am 19 years old. I am currently going to Belmont University and majoring in Production Design in Theatre. A few of my hobbies include the following: technical theatre, photography, designing, blogging, drinking hot tea, and listening to vinyl records. I started my blog because of several reasons. One reason is just because I wanted to encourage people. I know that life is tough and that it can be hard on someone. So, I wanted to share encouragement to those who are either going through a difficult time in their life or just want some encouragement in their day to day life. Another reason is that I wanted to have a platform for me to launch my company. I do not know how long it will take to launch my company, but once I do, I would like to launch it through the blog.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

What got you started in theatre? How did you decide your major?

Growing up, I always had access to technical equipment, such as soundboards and lighting equipment. I was so intrigued by all of the equipment from a young age, which made me want to use it. Soon, my interest in the equipment led me to being able to run it for different events. When I got into high school, I realized that I was able to do what I loved, which was and still is technical theatre, by joining my high school’s theatre program.

I decided on my major all because of my mother asking me a simple question. This is how I remember her asking the question, “Why don’t you do something in the technical theatre for college?” I had never thought of my passion being something that I could actually pursue as a career until then. From there on out, I had always wanted to pursue technical theatre and production design in theatre.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

In a typical day of Isaac, I start my day off with a couple classes in the morning and occasionally one in the afternoon. I then start to do homework, which can include anywhere from reading to making a schematic for my stage makeup class, with the occasional break to take a breath and relax a little. If I have a deadline coming up for a show, I also spend time working on whatever it may be for that show. The work for the shows will normally be intertwined with my regular schedule, whether I spend an hour or so in the morning working or spending several hours in the evening putting work in the theatre. Finally, I get some rest after a usually long day. And if you were wondering, I do make sure to eat amongst all of the seemingly busyness of my life.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

What are some theatrical themes that are currently inspiring you at the moment?

Currently, I am working on a show that is a drama, and I am really enjoying doing the lighting for it because I am getting to use different saturated colors to represent different emotions. Overall, I really enjoy working on any kind of theatrical piece as long as I am doing what I love to do, which is technical theatre.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

In a few years, I expect myself to have graduated from college with a degree in BFA Production Design and start working with either a professional company/theatre or a touring show.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

What would an ideal theatre day be like for you?

Ideally, I would love to be able to go into the theatre for a show and be able to work on a lighting design for the show, whether that be working on a lighting plot for the show or leading the light crew to hang and focus the lights for my design. I would also love to be able to go into the theatre and work alongside the light crew for each show that I get hired for.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

What are some emotions that you love to portray in your work?

For my theatre work, it honestly depends on the show. Every show is different, and every director has a different visual concept for a show. If the show is a comedy, then I want my lighting design to be bright overall. If the show is a drama, then I want to make my lighting design have more dramatic lighting, whether that is darker colors or more downlighting (that is when the light is focused downward). For the most part, I wait until I read the play and get a feel for the show, then talk with the director and other designers to see how everyone wants the show to feel overall.

For my blog, I want to bring people hope through the encouragement that I write in my blog. If the blog can help at least one person through a tough time, I believe that the blog has succeeded. If the blog helps more than one person, that’s even better. I just want people to be encouraged by what is written. I want the readers to be able to find the hope, peace, and joy in life that I believe everyone deserves in life, and that is what I try to bring people through the blog.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Can you share any tips for aspiring bloggers/producers?

To anyone aspiring to be a blogger, I want to tell you that you should be passionate about whatever you write on your blog. Do not follow the trends of famous blogs if that is not you and you’re not passionate about it. If you cannot be yourself through what is written in your blog, the blog will not be as intriguing as it would be if you wrote about things you are passionate about. If you like to write about silly stories from your life, that’s awesome! If you like to write about things that are happening in the world, that’s awesome too! Just be you in your writing. If you write about things that you are passionate about, then your blog will be just as awesome as who you are and the things you love.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Your dream world location, all-time favourite record and fave food?

Right now, I would love to live in Sydney, Australia in the future.

My favorite record: California Nights by Best Coast

My favorite food: That’s hard because I like a lot of different kinds of food, but if I had to give you just one, I’d say that Nashville-style Hot Chicken is one of my favorite foods.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Who inspires you in your field of study? Or any other inspiration in general?

Currently, I do not have any inspirations in the field of Production Design or blogging. I do have a few inspirations that simply inspire me to be the best that I can. One of my former teacher high school teachers, named John-Michael Ritchey, invested so much into my life and inspired me to see the best in everything, even the hard times. While he was alive, he continually impacted the people around him, whether he started being silly to bring a ray of joy to someone’s bad day or sat down with someone to talk about the Bible. Seeing what he did to positively impact others, even in his personally rough days, showed me that no matter what I am going through, I can use that moment to positively impact the people around me. He inspires me to be the best me that exists and to desire to positively impact those around me. Two others that inspire me are two of my close friends, Maddie Mobley and Laura Miranda, because they are both wonderful examples of how to be a true friend to others. They have always shown me how to be strong in every part of life through their own lives. I am constantly reminded that I can get through the hard days, and even will give me advice and help me through those hard days by being there for me always. Their friendships mean the world to me because they never cease to amaze me through their impact on and care for the people around them. Their love, care, and kindness towards others are truly inspirational to me. These three people are only a few of the several people who have had a giant impact on me and inspired me in different aspects of life.

I know that this isn’t a part of this question, but I was realizing how these people affected me in a sense of the blog. They have all inspired me to positively impact those around me. Thinking about the blog, I can definitely see how their effect on and inspiration for has caused me to want to impact others in my own way, which is encouraging others through the use of the blog.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

How would you define creativity when it comes to theatre and also just generally in life?

Expressing yourself and your passions through creating beautiful things, whether it be a lighting design for a theatrical show or painting a piece of art or even creating a new product that can help people out.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Can you remember any old memory that brings a smile to your face?

Wow! There are definitely a lot of memories that bring a smile to my face, whether it was spending the holidays with my extended family or oddly dancing at a party. There are also a lot of memories from my work in theatre that make me happy and smile. One memory that I just remembered is a memory from one of the shows that I was working on in high school. The show was The Sound of Music. During one of the performances of the show, my stage manager and close friend, Allison Humphrey, who was besides me in the tech booth, and I decided to dance along to one of the songs as the actors were doing the same thing. It was funny and silly as we danced along, but it is definitely a great memory that brings a smile to my face.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

I see you like photography and exploring different subjects and ideas. Can you elaborate on that? Also, what editing programs and photography equipment do you use on a regular basis?

My photography definitely does go to a lot of different ideas and subject matters. As you can tell while looking at my photography, a majority of it involves a regular portrait or a building. Those two things (photographing people and buildings) are definitely two of my favorite things to take photography of. The reason why I love taking portraits is because I love getting to know people better as we are doing the photo shoot. I also like seeing if I can tell a story of someone through either a single photo or a series of photos, which is what I like to do when I take photography of buildings as well. I love giving different perspectives of buildings through my photography. I think that is cool to try to present the story of a building, or even “write” a new story for the building, through the use of my photography. With the love  of taking photos of people and buildings, I sometimes explore different ideas of how I can make a simple photograph of a person or building more beautiful through photo editing, which can be seen in a few of my photographs. This exploration of different ideas and subject matters is really just an elaboration of my idea of creativity, which I stated was, “expressing yourself and your passions through creating beautiful things.” Taking photography of people and buildings, which is something I love to do, I can create something that is beautiful in my eyes and hopefully beautiful in others’ eyes because it is something I am passionate about, whether it be a simple picture of an abandon building or a photograph of a person repeated several times to create a pattern through the use of photo editing.

The camera that I use is the Canon EOS Rebel T5 with a Canon EFS 18-55mm lens and a Langly Paracord Strap. I usee Adobe Photoshop CS3 as my editing software. Occasionally, I will use a tripod or a camera stabilizer, which I primarily use if I am shooting videos.

Ideas + Theatre with Isaac Burrier - an interview via Opinion9.com

Thanks for sharing, Isaac! Find Isaac on his blog, instagram and facebook.

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Onstage with Brittney Bertier

ONSTAGE

Hello everyone. Today, we have Brittney Bertier talking about her journey so far as an actress, dancing, playing the ukelele (and singing along) and more. She’s involved with theatre and she has acted in movies too.

It’s really cool that she’s been pursuing her dream relentlessly from acting in plays as a kid to getting a degree in the fine arts- exploring ballet, the Stanislavski method of acting, Shakespeare and all- with a modern flair. I contacted Brittney because she’s professionally doing what she loves to do- and I wanted to hear her thoughts on it.

Let’s hear what she has to say!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Brittney Bertier and I am an actress and singer/songwriter gal!

Onstage with Britteny Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in acting in general? How long have you been practicing?

I was very into the school plays as a kid – that’s where I got my first taste of being on stage. In fourth grade I played a funny version of Betsy Ross who sang about sewing the flag to the tune of Diana Ross’ Stop In The Name of Love. The adults got a real kick out of it, and I was hooked!

There was a brief stint in high school where I focused more on sports and boys than anything else, but when I turned 17 I really started to zero in on acting and have been focused ever since.

Onstage with Britteny Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

So exciting that you’ve acted in movies! You’ve acted in different genres- how has your work experience been so far?

My favorite genre to work in is comedy! I think that is where I feel the most like myself and I really enjoy playing with improv on set. But drama has its own appeal for sure, and I enjoy it all. I’m dying to play the bad seed though – one of these days!

Onstage with Britteny Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

 

Dancing / singing/ playing the ukulele / acting. More about that?

I have my BFA in Music Theatre from The Hartt School, so dancing and singing are a big part of my identity as an artist. After college I wanted to learn the guitar, but I booked a National Tour and couldn’t take one with me, so I purchased a ukulele on a whim before leaving Manhattan. I found it so user friendly, and the sound soothed me through homesickness and frustrations on the road. I fell in love, and before long I found myself writing songs on it. I was fortunate to perform original tunes at a few venues in New York City including Birdland and 54 Below, and now I am working with a producer on an EP!


Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com
Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What motivates you and inspires you the most?

I find motivation everywhere, but there is always one constant: strong storytelling. It doesn’t matter if it is a film, play, song, dance – if the story is being told with abandon and sincerity and it moves me, it motivates me. Feeling that spark reminds me why I pursue the life of an artist. Art enhances life – it has the power to change, and I want to be a part of that.

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What’s your favourite movie and actor/actress you look up to?

I adore Tom Hanks, I feel like he is a true chameleon and master of all genres. He is so believable every time I see him on screen. He has an instant likability and charm that I appreciate, but it is backed by incredible talent. He also seems to be well adjusted and maintain a relatively normal lifestyle in light of his success, which I find admirable!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Hm. This is a hard one! I never know what life is going to throw at me, but if I had to predict the future I guess I see myself back in New York City in a few years, working on stage or perhaps lucky enough to have a recurring role on a show!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Theatre/ the silver screen. Which one (or both) would you choose and why?

If I was forced to choose between the two, it would be theatre, though in actuality I pursue both equally. Theatre is at the heart of my training and experience. There is no medium for story telling as pure and and challenging. It is the ultimate in my opinion. : )

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What are some qualities you think are needed to be act naturally and seamlessly blend in with the character?

Listening is crucial for any character you play. Listening puts the focus on the other person in the scene, allowing you to respond truthfully. Nothing kills an acting moment like being stuck in your head – believe me, I would know!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Favourite vacation spot and outfit staple?

Cape Cod! My family and I go every summer and I never tire of that beautiful bit of New England. My outfit staple is my black boots. I pair ’em with dresses, skinny jeans, cut off shorts – they are definitely my go to.

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

My favourite genre would definitely have to be comedy. What’s your favourite?

Comedy for sure!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Too much makeup/ too less? What’s your style like on an everyday basis?

Personally I would rather too little makeup than too much. I don’t know what’s going on with this trend of contouring the cheekbones and putting lip liner outside of the lips to make them appear larger. Why is everyone trying to look like a martian? Find your best asset, accentuate that, and smile. : )

On the daily I do a light blush on the cheeks, mascara, and fill in my brows. I am obsessed with the Fresh Sugar Lip Tint in berry – it goes on smooth and light and has SPF!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

How did you decide to just go for it and start acting? 

In high school I told my guidance counselor I wanted to be an actor and he said “What else do you want to do?” I couldn’t think of anything. When it came down to it, acting was the only thing I truly wanted to pursue. If there had been any other contender, I would have chosen it knowing that the life of a performing artist is very trying. But for me it was clear, and there was no other choice. : )

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

Every day begins with eggs, toast, and tea. (I’m very into breakfast) Then I attend to emails and submissions, and journal for three pages just to empty my brain and make creative space for the day. The afternoon usually consists of running to various auditions or photo shoots – online catalogue modeling is my side job. If I have time between studying for the next audition or writing music or updating my social media, I try to find a way to incorporate exercise – usually laps in the pool or some yoga at home – but to be honest alot of times I am wiped by then and I just call my Grandma and eat some meatballs. It’s hard to do everything! I try to make a point of carving out a couple of days a week to visit my family or spend time with friends. I am finding as I am getting older that I can’t keep emptying my energy by working all the time, I need to recharge myself with love and new experiences.

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com
Any advice for aspiring actors out there?

My advice for aspiring actors: read The Artist’s Way. Get out of your head. Buy yourself froyo if you nail the audition…buy yourself froyo if you don’t. Keep your expectations in sight – high enough to reach, but not so high that you are overwhelmed. Over time, you’ll grow taller, and the bar will rise step by step as well. It takes time. Be in it for the long haul. Appreciate that some of the most fulfilling work you do may be in a small play or a charity concert or even a web series and that’s ok. It isn’t about gaining credits other people find impressive – it’s about growing and creating, and there is a place for us all.

..

Thanks for sharing Brittney! -Aaria

Find Brittney on her website | twitter | instagram | imdb

 

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Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers

september wildflowers

Hello everyone.

Today, we have Ruth Speer who creates the most wonderful art under the moniker of September Wildflowers.

Her work is just so beautiful and it’s impossible not to say, “Whoa! You painted that?!”

She also strikes me as a person who really loves what she does- and works hard at it. Also, she works with different media: pencils, oils, acrylics and watercolours-so there’s variety and exploration in both her work and journey as an artist.

There’s something striking and just kinda awesome about it all- read on to hear what Ruth has to say!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Ruth, and I’m an artist, learner and all-around creative dabbler who loves flowers, tea, being outside, books and listing off things I like.

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I can remember! Really, I always knew I wanted to be something creative when I grew up.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

I truly believe art can be found anywhere and everywhere, if one is only interested in discovering it. In a person’s freckles, or the way they take their coffee, or the combination of colors and textures in a building, or ivy creeping around a window, or even pretty words like “effusive” and “scintillating”. Finding beauty in the little things is a favorite lifestyle choice of mine.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

(photo by Ashley Rose Productions)

What is your general process while creating an art piece? 

I usually begin with an idea or several elements I want to put together. For example, I might think of bird wings and gold paint and brown paper and wistfulness and come up with the piece below. As I didn’t have any large pieces of brown paper, I found a paper bag and trimmed it. It’s now hanging in my friend’s living room!

The last example was a spontaneous project that I completed in a few hours, but typically, especially when working with oil paint on canvas (which is what I use for most portraits), I’m a very slow painter. It can take months to finish a piece as I add layers and ideas. It’s like embarking down a path you’ve marked out and going off-route every two steps to enjoy the scenery. Time-consuming and worthwhile!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How do you balance running a creative business along with maintaining your natural creativity?

Remember why you started! I wanted to bring more beautiful, colorful, thoughtful things into the world, and every once in a while I have to remind myself of that fact. The logistics and business and marketing sides are fun, but it can become a distraction when all I need to do is sit down without a plan or strategy and just play with colors. Artists (myself included, obviously) can take themselves way too seriously – art can be serious and contemplative, but it’s also play.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

It actually depends on the medium and purpose!

Commissions, which I usually do with watercolors, take longer because I like to make sure the client loves the piece; and this requires a lot of back-and-forth emailing for different stages. It usually takes several weeks, or up to 2-3 months if I’m busy.

My own pieces, when I use watercolor, ink or pencil, take only a few hours. As I mentioned above, however, when I’m working with canvas it’s a different story! On average, oil portraits emerge over three to six months.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

I have several favorites! One of them is this orange-haired lady. Last September, I was in Europe for two weeks, and in a little London art shop I bought a 6B graphite pencil. The day after I got back home, I sat down and drew this piece with my new pencil. I mostly remember the sunshine through the window and Edith Piaf playing in the background.

I’ve since lost the pencil, but the portrait is still hanging in my studio.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

What do you do in your free time (when not drawing)?

I love music, reading, exploring and picnicking in the woods near my house, spending time with my wonderful friends and Jesus, and finding new coffee shops and book stores. I’m also a freshman Studio Arts major at George Fox University in Oregon!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

How did you create a more or less consistent style with which you draw?

Personally, I don’t think I’ve developed a totally consistent style yet – it’s still in flux a bit. But I do think having a consistent style all comes down to creating and drawing and making consistently. If you make one or two pieces of art a year, you won’t get very far with recognizing what you love to draw or make, which I think is the key element to developing your personal style.

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

On most weekdays I have several classes at my university, which, including homework, take up a lot of my time and energy (as they should – I love learning!) I try to get my assignments for coming weeks done fairly early, so that I can take time to paint and draw and not feel like I ought to be working on something else! It’s a bit ironic, as I’m going to school for art.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

What’s your outfit staple and flower and colour?

I love so many colors! I love pale periwinkle blue, deep orange and shades of green and rose. I love peonies and daphne. I like wearing dresses!

 

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

People and their stories, always. I’ve been wanting to paint wings – bird wings and dragonfly wings and butterfly wings. I like the color violet. And I’ve been wanting to use metallic gold oil paint.

 

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media  you use?

Vivid oil colors are always my favorite! I use Gamblin and Blick for the most part. I also use Schminke watercolors and have recently discovered the magical properties of gouache through my art classes.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

I love your colourful canvases and the precision with which you draw! Could you share any tips for aspiring artists who want to make original and distinctive drawings?

Why, thank you! I would still describe myself as an aspiring artist, so this advice is for myself as well: look at a lot of art and see what inspires you the most. What catches your eye about it? What makes you think “Dang, I want to run home and make something now!” Don’t try to replicate it in your personal style (though you can practice by recreating a particular style, and it’s really fun, and it helps add stylistic tools to your mental tool-box). Try to recognize what you love about other art (bright colors! Human subjects! Peaceful landscapes!) and see if that’s something you want to work with.

Most importantly; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more: make things. All the time. As much as possible. Make things you despise, make things that you come back and change, make color palettes and experiment with the same compositions, make a billion and one paintings and drawings and your style will reveal itself.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Feeling happy about the end result is really a personal thing, and I think it depends on what the artist was originally setting out to do and whether they think they achieved that end goal, or even reached a different, better one. As an art student, I’ve been gaining wonderful insight into the technical part of what makes art look like a good art; but in the end, I always come back to this quote from Amanda Palmer: “You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

A little insight about your name ‘September Wildflowers’?

I was born in September, and I love wildflowers! It’s pretty simple – I chose that username a lot time ago for something inconsequential, and it’s stuck with me ever since!

Thanks Ruth for sharing! You can find Ruth over at her instagram and on etsy.

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