Jillian Ann and I have been making art together for about 13 years now. I’d have to say we both grew as artists during that time. It’s been a lovely collaboration.
She’s always been a fearless and inspiring muse. She also taught me to maneuver the delicate balance of making sure the lure of mainstream commerce in the art and music industry didn’t completely suffocate the mission of making art. The projects we’re all so passionate about that can often get pushed aside when a nice paycheck is dangled.
It’s been wonderful to see both of our artistic projects evolve over the years. Sometimes intersecting in beautiful ways, but always moving forward regardless of the time between when we got get to create something in the same room together.
I made this photo of Jillian at the end of a long by happy shooting day. Another one of those, racing against the setting sun photos. My studio building was still undergoing a massive tuck pointing project and all along my west wall, large scaffolding would cast beautiful shadows as the sun set. My neighbors probably couldn’t wait for that wall of pipes to come down, but I really enjoyed what they created with light and shadows.
Jillian was in a dancing mood that day and we found a beautiful composition of her playing in the shadowy shapes. Barely enough light to make an exposure, as the digital camera technology was still leaving a lot to be desired. In fact, I only owned the Nikon D100 for about a year before it’s image limitations caused me to migrate over to Canon, which at the time were making much better digital photographs. After only a weeks of use of the D100, I realized that unlike my beautiful film cameras that were decades old and still producing beautiful images, my first pro digital camera was going to turn out to be one of the disposable nature.
But we work with the tools we have. They are, just that. Tools. With Jillian, it never mattered what camera I was using. The power of her sense of who she is, is always the thing that matters. Inspiring, compelling, provocative. And always growing.
You can check out her current project, Ritual, an inspiring fusion of fashion, music, film and artistic expression. With her partner and co-founder Cassidy Haley, Jillian continues to make her own world, as only she can.
The growing inspiration of creative expression continues…