Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An interview with New Boston Handmade Member Jon Barrows

by Jon Barrows of Jon Barrows Art & Photography

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 A: I am one of the newest members of Boston Handmade. I first learned about BH at last year's Jamaica Plain Open Studio and have been stalking the website ever since, waiting for a chance to apply. I live in JP, pretty close to the Arboretum, which is one of my favorite local places to shoot--the shot above is from there.

Q: What's your background?

A: I grew up in Midcoast Maine, where most of my family still lives. I work in education as a data analyst now, but have taught and worked for a number of environmental non-profit organizations as well. I only recently moved back to New England after living in Washington, D.C. for nearly seven years. I was happy to leave the hot and humid summers behind, but I brought plenty of pictures from the area along with me:

Q: What made you first want to become an artist?

A: I guess I've always been creative. I'm a poet as well as a photographer. I was always the kind of person that forgot to bring his camera places though...until my Mom gave me my first digital camera (Fujifilm Finepix S3000) for Christmas in 2004. I took it with me on a week long field study course I was helping lead for high school students to the Caribbean and came back with hundreds of photos. Originally my intent was just to capture the experience for myself, but friends and family really encouraged me to consider that I might have an eye for this photography thing. A few years ago, when I decided to get more serious about photography, I invested in a Canon 60D with a couple of lenses, which is what I shoot with now.

Q: Describe you Etsy experience.

A: For me, having a presence on Etsy is about more than just sales, it has also been a platform for being discovered. I've been contacted numerous times about participating in showcases, art/craft fairs, and other opportunities because someone found my Etsy shop and was impressed with my work. That said, I've been working on adding more variety to my listings.

Q: Please describe your creative process. 

A: I take my camera whenever I travel. Increasingly, I go places specifically to shoot. I especially love macro shots, close-ups of flowers, insects, tree back, whatever I can find. In addition to making greeting cards, prints, mugs and calendars from my photos, I've begun to do mixed media creations combining my photos with stencils or paper cut-outs. I'm really excited about how these are turning out; I started out with a book of bird and butterfly stencils for kids, and have begun to design my own stencils. It is a fun design challenge to match a stencil design with just the right photograph.  Here's my newest photo art card:

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