Jesse takes photographs of naturally found letters from all the places he travels in Michigan so that you can select from over 1,000 different local letters to create a name, favorite word, or phrase. He finds inspiration from nature and man-made graffiti, car parts, antiques, and much more. Jesse also utilizes his photography to create awesome stickers, mugs, and prints!
Why did you choose to partner with Yellow Door to sell your artwork?
The look and feel of the store seemed to fit with my product perfectly. And I always enjoy doing shows in the area so I thought a retail location like this would be great.
How long have you been creating your artwork?
About 7 years.
Do you have any notable awards or accomplishments?
I was voted the People's Choice at Ann Arbor Art Fair.
What makes your artwork unique or distinctive?
I think what makes my photos different/unique from others is I try and only use found items and not stage anything. This way it gives them a much more organic look. Also, the pictures were mostly taken from towns all around Michigan, really shows off the amazing diversity of this great state.
What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up?
As long as I can remember I’ve been interested in photography. All I can remember is wanting to do something that would impact someone in a positive way or inspire people. I hope I can do that with photography or whatever else I do in the future.
Quotes you love or live by:
We are the first, last, and best version of ourselves that there will ever be.
There are two great days in a person's life; the day that they're born and the day they figure out why.
If you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.
What inspired you to start creating your artwork & how did you turn it into a business?
After a project, I did in a photography class in college where we had to go out and take pictures of circles I got some cool images because of the nature of the project. So I came up with the idea doing this letter photography with only items found in nature (flowers, plants, trees, etc.), wanting to see if I could actually find all the letters from our manmade alphabet, but all created by nature. Well, I did find every letter! some more abstract than others, but that was the fun in it. It has been evolving with different subjects ever since.
I turned it into a business very slowly with small local art fairs not knowing if anyone would even be interested. I had fantastic feedback from people. I met the owner of a local art gallery that loved my work and starting selling there in the spring of 2011.
What do you most love about the creative process?
This probably sounds cliche, but going out and taking the photos is my favorite part, exploring new towns and places is always exciting.
What do you least love about the business side of creating & selling art?
For sure all the paperwork involved with owning a business. Taxes, record keeping all that kind of stuff. Not what you think being an artist is about.
What do you enjoy doing besides making art?
Anything outdoors. I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, Tennis, snowboarding. Whatever can keep me going, and keep me outside is good with me.
You can find more of Jesse's awesome letter photography at Yellow Door and online.