happy friday everyone! i have a special treat for you today- our image team put together an awesome calendar for everyone at the home office, and we’re going to offer it to you all as a download each month!
since we’re already halfway through the month, today you get both january and february- just click on the images to go to our flickr page, download the large size, and enjoy :)
how awesome are these photos by kassia meador? they are part of a show opening today in los angeles called “put your finger on the button,” comprised of all female photographers. if you’re not familiar with kassia, in addition to being skilled with a camera, she’s also a professional surfer…and she was cool enough to answer some questions for the blog!
read on to learn more about how she got started with photography, and check out some of the brand new photos she sent me below.
how long have you been interested in photography? “i’ve been traveling the world as a professional surfer since i was 17. my family always wanted to see where i was going and what i was up to so i’d shoot photos along the way. when i was 20 i got a super bad injury that kept me out of the water for almost a full year. during that time i took some online photo classes to just learn a bit more. since then i have been shooting more and more. it wasnt ’till last year when a good friend and mentor thomas campbell saw a few of my photos and was like “yo you should show people some of your work.” he helped me edit some images and i was invited to show some work in japan for their greenroom festival. since then i have had a few shows in california and nyc. i just recently shot my first fashion story for foam magazine and am planning a shoot for their next issue. super jazzed to be shooting as much as possible and excited to see where it all goes…”
is photography more of a hobby for you or do you see it becoming a profession as well?
“it is something i love to do just like surfing. but surfing not only was my first love it also became my profession. photography is a bit like that for me as well…i really love it and am so passionate about making images that make people feel something. i’m working on shooting lil fashion stories now and i’m really into it so we’ll see where it leads.”
what inspires you on a daily basis?
“my friends, family, environment and traveling.”
who are your heroes?
“i got a lot of heroes. but some people who are super inspirational to me on a photography level are thomas campbell, david mushegain, michael halsband, and ellen von unwerth”
(we love david mushegain too! he shot our december catalog – check out our post on him here.)
and now, check out these incredible photos kassia shot on new year’s morning. the project is titled “MARS…A NEW DAY A NEW DAWN,” which she describes it as “just a fresh perspective on a new year and all that lies ahead”
for more info on the show, click here, and to check out more of her awesome work click here.
i really wish i could go to this exhibit! it’s called “a cry for help” and it’s a special benefit exhibit opening friday at the thinkspace gallery in los angeles. part of the proceeds from the exhibit will go to born free usa to help endangered species.
not only is it for a great cause, the artwork looks awesome…plus, they’ll have special animal adoptions during opening weekend! if you’re unable to adopt an animal, they will also be accepting donations of old blankets and beds for shelters so that animals don’t have to sleep on cold concrete floors, as well as any treats, toys, leashes, collars, etc. that you can spare.
welcome to the first thursday poll of the new year! i thought today would be a good time to introduce some of our different swim styles for this year and see which one you like best! it might seem a little early to talk about swim but if you’re planning a vacation somewhere warm, or just dreaming about the warm weather ahead, we’ve got some great styles for you to check out…
one of my friends here at the office told me about the artist kia neill, who makes these amazing installations of environments that are mysterious and magical. using found materials, and lots of glitter, she creates worlds that you thought only existed in your imagination. if you’re in the austin, texas, area, i highly recommend checking out these incredible environments at her show “terrain,” at the women & their work gallery january 16 – february 25. kia was also kind enough to answer some questions for me about her work:
what was the inspiration behind the installations in the “terrain” exhibit?
“‘terrain’ is actually the continuation of a series of previous installations. with each installation the environment grows and is reconfigured. most previous to ‘terrain,’ i created ‘grotto’ at lawndale art center in houston, tx. the installation was a sparkly cavernous environment the viewer entered immediately upon exiting the elevator on the second floor. it was as though the viewer was enclosed in a gigantic geode. A geode is actually a good analogy for my work as with my synthetic versions of nature i want to create the experience one hopes to have. for instance if you’ve ever gotten one of the ‘break your own’ geodes, it’s a boring rock on the outside and you’re told it’s full of sparkly crystals on the inside. you fantasize about what’s inside, then you open it, and it’s never exciting as you imagined it to be. my work is what you imagined.”
“here’s a bit of my artist statement, which explains more:
i am drawn to extraordinary, almost extraterrestrial landscapes, such as caves and coral reefs, as well as the diorama of miniature collectable counterparts that serve in household aquariums, gardens, souvenir cases, etc…with my installations, i attempt to produce an environment that reifies metaphysical association and fantasy that such spectacular and bizarre landscapes can induce. my aim is not a realistic replication of nature, but to place emphasis on gaudy or absurd embellishment so to render an enhanced synthetic ideal.”
what materials do you use to create the installations?
“cost effective and found. mostly paper mache, holiday lights, and i construct the crystals from cds i’ve cut and glued together. and of course, glitter, amongst other misc. craft material. i love hobby lobby, i really should be their spokesperson.”
you also do intricate graphite drawings…what is your favorite medium to work with?
“hmm….that’s hard. i’ve worked with all kinds. drawing, painting, ceramics, digital imaging, animation, etc…i think no matter what medium i work in, i always have conceptually sculptural approach, even if it’s a flat 2dimensional image. though, i do love glitter, i love how it gets all over everything! it’s like residue or evidence! i also like working with flocking, which is a short thin fiber that when applied gives a velvet surface. that’s very fun.”
what artists have inspired you?
“so many different artists have influenced me over the years, but i mostly look to everyday culture for inspiration. for years i have been fascinated by holiday decorations, kitsch, and all kinds of gaudy fake flower arrangements and home décor, especially those covered in glitter. my attraction to the aesthetic continually increases, i wouldn’t be surprised if my skin started to take on a gold plated tinge one of these days!”
if you weren’t an artist, what would you do?
“dance, cook, sing…maybe be a geologist. who knows, art is all i’ve ever done. my family are all artists, so i’ve been surrounded by art since i was a little girl.”
check out more of kia neill’s work on her website!
don’t you love this adorable little coin purse? well we want to give it away! all you have to do is tell us what your favorite blog post was from the past year! leave your favorite post in the comments section by the end of the day tomorrow, and we’ll pick one at random…just make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!
Get to know what’s going on in our world through Features, from Free People news, our guest Astrologer, weekly Blogger Stories, and Travel Posts, Features will contain fixes to make your day a little more stimulating.