We had the good fortune of connecting with Janet Milhomme and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janet, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
For me, success is an imprecise term that changes with each goal achieved. I prefer to think that I have accomplished some goals and continue to work toward others. I believe the contributing factors behind what I have achieved are: a willingness to take risks, diligence, persistence and perhaps most of all the ability to set a goal and to envision the path forward. That path doesn’t always take me to the place I thought it would, but the journey is always interesting.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is influenced by my earlier career as a writer and editor and by my abiding interest in storytelling. While I have several distinct portfolios—spanning portraiture, pop, documentary and conceptual images—my common focus is on thematic expression. I want my work to tell a story, to speak to the viewer. I take great joy in creating my images, many of which are composites created through the layering of several images. Some works are painted over or even physically constructed. I love the creative process and coming up with new ideas. It’s exhilarating really. I’ve received many awards and my work has been exhibited worldwide and has been featured in numerous publications. I got to where I am through diligence and persistence, but I would never be at this point without the help and generosity of so many people in the Southern California art scene, from other photographers and artists, to curators and gallery owners, and art critics and writers. No one achieves their goals alone and I am so grateful to the people who have helped me along the way. The most important thing I have learned is to work hard and never give up, and don’t try to go it alone. Be open to others, be willing to help others and they will help you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I assume there’s no worldwide pandemic when this friend arrives! Being an artist, I would have to introduce my friend to our amazing art museums, but since we can’t do them all in a week, I choose MOCA and the Getty. For even more fun, though, we’ll hit the galleries in the L.A. Arts District and hopefully catch a weekend when the Brewery is having its twice-yearly open studios. We’ll indulge our sweet tooth at The Pie Hole on Traction Avenue and our thirst for knowledge at The Last Bookstore on Spring Street. We’ll satisfy our love of nature at the L.A. Arboretum. Of course, no one should go without seeing the sideshow that is Venice Beach or riding the carousel on the Santa Monica Pier. Hollywood may have lost its luster for us locals but it’s still a must for movie buffs, and no one can go there without buying a record at Amoeba Music or having a martini at Musso & Frank Grill. Are we there yet?
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people who have inspired me and helped me along the way that it would take a considerable number of pages to enumerate them all. I’ve had several careers in my life and so many experiences. But I’ll just address my current role as a fine art photographer and mixed media artist. The first gallery to offer me representation was 608 North in Redondo Beach, owned by Armina Kulenovic and Kevin Holladay. I had a very light resume in those days, but they liked my work and believed in me. They gave me my first solo show and featured my work in numerous group shows over two years. They were kind, considerate and dedicated to their artists, and they mounted beautifully curated shows. They retired and sold the building and gallery, but they were the catalyst for my future achievements and I will never forget what they did for me.
Facebook: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetmilhomme
Photos by Janet Milhomme