We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Mar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursue an artistic career because it is therapeutic to me. Through appreciating different kinds of artwork and creating unique visual impacts, I feel the healing power of art. That I’m able to express my feeling, imagination, reflections towards my life and the world. I believe art is not only a way of self-exploration but also a way to connect myself to the world through a distinct perspective. This distinct perspective for me is photography. Photography creates a space for me to design freely, to direct and play with the subjects in unordinary ways, and to dream and present my imaginations to the world. Furthermore, it opens a door for me to connect with fascinating people, artists, and clients who are passionate about their lifestyles, ideologies, and work. The pursuit of an artistic career is soothing yet full of energy that enriches my life with surprises.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My images capture the ethereal, aesthetic, and authentic moments of fashion and still life. I love inviting the viewers to my world to escape reality for a moment, particularly through the sensibility of moody lighting, emotions, and colors. Influenced by Claude Monet’s paintings, I enjoyed the soft pastel colors and the playful contrast tonality from Impressionism. The changing of color value is like the momentary footprint of light effects. Besides working with professional models, I find my subject matter by street casting – cafes, exhibitions, events, and shops. Observing their unique styles and looks attracts my curiosity and interest to capture them in an otherwise unknown way. This habit keeps me open to the diversity of new cultures and people. In the creative field, there is always rejection, confusion, and criticism. I had doubts about my creative perspective and ways of thinking because of comparison and persistence of perfection. However, each imagery reminds me of exclusive experience, feelings, and the team I’ve worked with. The achievement and memory of that made me embrace my fear of the comparative challenge and became confident with my vision and passion. I’m always passionate about evolving from my art to another level, connecting with more creative people, and doing new or experimental projects.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would first bring her to my favorite restaurant with a delicate interior design called Republique, where we will enjoy its delicious brunch. After our meal, we would visit the Fahey Klein Gallery nearby, which collects abundant famous photographs and holds different themes of the exhibition every couple months. It is truly an impressive and stunning venue. I believe the most romantic moment in LA is sunset, with the colors of the sky turns from the gradation of pink/orange to purple/blue. Therefore, Malibu beach is the best choice for the last stop of the day, because of its clean, transparent sea view that the sunset’s light can reflect upon. On the next day, we would spend a day having a picnic at Huntington Library to enjoy the California sunshine. If time allows, there is always the option to bowl at the old fashion bowling place at Highland Park or to enjoy the beautiful art installations at the LACMA museum and Hauser & Wirth gallery. If she should prefer a more natural sightseeing course, we can also take a road trip to Joshua Tree to hike, then waiting for the Milky Way at night. Either way, I would like to make her trip to California, as romantic as possible.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give the deepest appreciation to my parents, April and Joseph. Their support and encouragement have given me faith to bravely pursue art and to be myself. I would also like to shoutout to my mentors, Thomas Gugler and Ken Merfeld, who have widened my knowledge and horizon in the field of photography. Additionally, I am very thankful to my close friend, Anda Sung, a generous listener and a great concept artist, who has given me valuable advice and positive energy whenever I am lost in the creative journey.
All Photos by Jessie Mar Special Thanks to Melody Cho