Jessie Aspiras from Manila, Philippines is a 22 yrs old photographer graduated from the University of Santo Tomas - Fine Arts. Aspiras is currently working as a Graphic Designer in Dual Action Blender, an advertising agency.
Q. Can you explain your interest in visual arts?
A. When I was a kid, I used to have this Pentax camera of my dads and whenever I heard the shutter, it was like music to my ear, I just loved the sound of it. I started to take photographs of random subjects… Later I stopped for a period of time because my dad kept the camera from me. I felt like I was just wasting the film. But that did not mean stopping exploring arts. I remember seeing my grandfather drawing once and I realized how good he was while helping me with all my grade school projects. I was so amazed and felt the same thing when my brother joined drawing contests in our school. I was really curious about their talents and I felt like trying as well because maybe I had that kind of talent too. My brother, my grandpa and even some of my uncles are into arts; this pushed me to start drawing sketches, painting, then made me take fine arts in college, where I did some designs for the fashion industry. Later on I went into graphics and eventually tried photography.
Q. Who are the artists you admire and why?
A. I admire Leonardo da Vinci; he is not just one of the greatest in arts but he’s also good in other things such as music, architecture, science, writing and etc. He just has everything. He has a perfect hand when it comes to drawings and paintings with really great style. You’ll know right away that a piece is Da Vinci’s. He’s incomparable. Another artist that I admire is Michael Kutsche. I’ve been a fan of his works and especially of the characters he created for Alice in Wonderland. I mean where does he get all the ideas? He’s just really amazing, a great talent.
Q. What does photography mean to you?
A, Photography for me is not about manipulation and mostly the way people live their lives. Photoshop helps making those moments even more significant. It’s all about capturing the soul of the subject, its inner beauty whether it is still life, nature, portrait and etc.
Q. What were your subjects on the most important project you had done until today?
A. Different places and people…
Q. What were your inspirations?
A. People and nature; I’m just really inspired by the beauty this planets offers us.
Q. What are the subjects you chose for your latest works?
A. Different amazing places here in Philippines…
Q. Is there a story behind your works?
A. Some of my projects do, the Sunrise album for example. I was depressed when I took those shots and I also didn’t have enough sleep cause I was nor feeling well. I waited for the sunrise that day and it gave me hope… Every time you fail in life, you always have tomorrow to correct your mistakes, improve yourself to be better, a better person, a better artist.
Q. Can you talk about any professional experience?
A. I’ve encountered lots of different people in advertising. Some will praise you and some will pull you down. It is important to believe in yourself and keep your creative ideas flowing no matter what people will say about you.
Q. Do you have a favorite piece among your works?
A. My Camotes Islands project; it’s just unforgettable to me and the place is just amazing.
Q. Can you talk about your design and animation projects?
A. Well I do t-shirt design, web design and graphic design when requested and some for my work. I also did the album artwork of my brother’s SORA series who’s a known DJ here in the Philippines.
Q. How do you explain your interest for advertising?
A. Well, at first I was clueless about the way life goes in the world of advertising but when my professors, way back in college, started telling me stories about their experiences, I got really interested. I wanted be like them. All they do is think of ideas, share their creative juices, go for shootings and having fun but in the same time making money. From that moment on, I told myself that I want that kind of world. It is stressful but really fun.
Q. Can you define Lomography for us?
A. Lomography is a type of photography that uses film cameras created by Lomographic Association like Holga & Diana. Pictures taken from Lomos are defined as vignette with its soft, a bit blurry and faded effect on its edges. Nowadays, it’s also called “art” as it can capture random subjects than can be turned out into a very eye-catching photo well which I think people mostly post on their tumbler accounts.
Q. What equipment & techniques do you use?
A. I use my Nikon DSLR, tripod, external flash and my devotion for photography of course. My dedication is my technique.
Q. What is the motivation behind your choice of material?
A. I am just inspired with all everything that is around me; the essence of one thing come out when once captured, most people do not notice how beautiful that thing can be.
Q. Are you working on new projects currently?
A. None for now because my work is taking almost all my time but I have plans to take shots in Hong Kong, Macau & China this year.
Q. What are your professional ambitions and your projects for 2011?
A. To be a professional photographer of National Geographic and the creative director of a known advertising agency!
Well my project for 2011 is to take more shots of undiscovered places here in the Philippines, and yes the purpose is to promote my home country!
Q. How do you hope Pelime can help with this?
A. Pelime is a very resourceful website for creative people and it can help young artists like me to be more inspired, dedicated, motivated and be discovered.