Opening night

Yesterday was the big day for us here at Stuckinplastic; we had our second group show in Seattle at the Bryan Ohno Gallery. It went so much better than we had expected! It was packed in the gallery with people looking, talking and interacting with our pictures. Shelly and I were at the opening and had an opportunity to meet friends (old and new), fans and family and to talk about our pictures.

We will share with you a few photos from the great photographer Christopher Nelson who was kind enough to photograph the evening’s opening for us.

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The show continues through December 12th; We hope you will get  a chance to see the work in person. We know we speak for all four of us when we say we are very proud of what we created.

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Continue reading Opening night

Pieces of the Puzzle

I have been taking a trip down memory lane on twitter and posting blog entries from a year ago. I ran across one from last March where we asked if anyone wanted to join us and the silence was defining. But that didn’t stop Me2 and myself.

We have grown our community one blog post and one amazing photographer at a time.

Continue reading Pieces of the Puzzle

The Why of Editions

One thing we have not talked a lot about on the blog is selling our work. Our ultimate goal is to create a self sustaining loop of creators and collectors of amazing toy photography. Since photography is easily reproduced the concept of editions is an important one to address.

All three of us, Boris, Vesa and myself, came to our edition numbers in very different ways. But each of us wanted to create a unique object that both the collector and the creator would know has immediate and sustained value.

Much of Vesa’s work flow is limited by his creative work process and his day job.  Many of his photographs are created for and owned  by his clients. Because of these restraints he decide to edition his seven prints for sale in editions of three. This certainly makes his amazing images all the more appealing.

Boris is also limited by time and his creative process so I was surprised when he decided to sell his works as one of a kind prints. Once that amazing piece “The Dark Knight” (see above) is sold, there will be no other.  In a world that is inundated by photographic images this really creates a special and very dramatic statement. My hat is off to Boris for creating work for the discriminating collector.

I also decided to sell my work as one of a kind pieces. I tend to be rather prolific in my shooting, but only a rare few will ever make it to a gallery wall. Unlike Vesa, who is approaching his work as a cinematographer, I approach my work as a painter. I want my works to be experienced as you would a painting and selling them as unique images seems to get to the heart of that concept.

We have no idea what the future will hold for our little collective; certainly the work and the show has been well received. But will that be enough to inspire us to continue? I have no idea. I am hopefull that a few brave souls will step forward and help us begin to build that amazing collector creator loop that we all dream of.

~ xxSJC

A classic white spaceman strides cross the empt beach at sunset, by xxsjc
If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler

In Lego, we Connect runs through April 11th. If you get a chance I hope you will stop by the gallery to see the work in person. It is a rare opportunity to see this work as it was always intended, large and impeccably printed. 

Opening Night

Opening night is an evening that is both dreaded and anticipated by any artist. I spent much of last week ignoring opening night (denial is not just a river in Egypt), but the appointed time did arrive and we all made our way to the Bryan Ohno Gallery.

I am not going to bore with my ramblings on what was a fast paced evening and a blur of people stopping by to see the show. But I will share with you a few photos from the amazing Jim Bennett who was kind enough to photograph the evening’s festivities for us. You know what they say…a picture is worth a thousand words.

~ xxSJC

The show continues through April 11th; I hope you will get  a chance to see the work in person. I know I speak for all three of us when I say we are very proud of what we created. 

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Photo Walk

One of the events that we organized around the opening of In LEGO, We Connect was the Saturday afternoon photo walk at Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Originally this was going to be an event aimed at meeting up with existing Instagram friends, but we opened it up to anyone who was interested. This ended up being a terrific decision.

The photo walk was a great way to avoid the inevitable let down that occurs after a major event, like a gallery opening. It was good to keep busy engaged in the craft that we all love – photographing toys. Doing it with friends was an added bonus. Eventhough I have engaged in this activity before, most notably the Epic Las Vegas Toy Photo Safari, I believe it was a relatively new activity for Boris and Vesa.  They appeared to jump right in and had a great time

Since this event was publicly advertised we had a few new recruits who embraced the whole concept with gusto. It was so much fun seeing local rock photographers Sunita and Stephanie, as well as 16yo Cameron and 10yo Ava get down and dirty with their toys as if they had been doing it forever. According to Ava’s mom, Ava felt it was the best day ever, getting to photograph along side the “big dogs”.  Even though Sunita and Stephanie didn’t bring any toys along, there was plenty to share. Toys were arranged, photographed and borrowed through out the afternoon.

It was a beautiful sunny day on Puget Sound and there were plenty of smiles to go around as everyone enjoyed the fun that only photographing toys with friends can provide.

A personal highlight for me, beyond mentoring Cameron and Ava, was watching Avanaut walk off with my newest raptor to take a few photos. Not exactly what I would have expected from the king of Star Wars Lego photography, but I am looking forward to seeing the results.

As the past weeks excitment fades into a distant dream, I know that any feelings of depression are going to be mitigated as I begin the process of editing all the photos I took throughout the week. I am also looking forward to taking a few of these new converts out on another toy photo adventure and continue to grow our community well into the future.

~ xxSJC

Feel free to contact me if you want to arrange a photo walk here in Seattle. I’m always up for a toy photo safari. 

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Vesa playing with his new friend.
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Wiiman showing the newbies how its done.
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Cameron and his mom Gwen.
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As Boris captures some excellent bokeh, Vesa encages in a popular photo walk activity – sniping.

Leap of Faith

There are not enough superlative adjectives to describe the week that just transpired: excellent, magnificent, wonderful, marvelous, remarkable, unparalleled and of course…awesome. But before any of that could transpire, a tremendous leap of faith had to be taken by all three principle members of StuckinPlastic.

When I went to pick up Boris and his wife at the airport I told my husband: I don’t know who these people are! Sure we are internet friends, we have shared a blog for over a year, we e-mail regularly, talk occasionally and have even had two video hang outs…these feelings of doubt were not new, but the timing was terrible.

I told my good friend Kitty, who I had hired to help with publicity, that my biggest goal for the week was to connect with Boris and Vesa and cement our friendship. This was more important to me than publicity, a successful opening or even sales. Without their trust, friendship and faith I knew we could never move forward.

I had my first indication that it would be ok when I arrived at the airport well after Boris’s arrival. (Can you believe I was late?)  I ran right into him and his wife as if it was planned.

I am not going to say the week was all smooth sailing, Boris and I both have strong personalities and some inevitable head butting occurred. I took Boris to Lower Snoqualmie Falls, one of my favorite places to shoot for our first photo adventure. I am used to shooting with other toy photographers and we generally leave each other alone and work independently. I was caught off guard when he wanted to know my plan at my first chosen location. I ungraciuosly shooed him on his way and we both got to work.

The next day we loaded all the photographs into the gallery, did some touristy activities around Pioneer Square, had lunch and did a little toy shopping. (We both bought toys that were not LEGO and played with them all week so look for those in our IG feeds.) Soon it was time to pick up Vesa at the airport.

Vesa was an even bigger mystery to me than Boris. Why had he said yes to all this craziness? Why did he eventually agree to come to Seattle in person? (Yes there were some strong arm tactics involved.) Was this a “one off” event or would we have a future together as StuckinPlastic? I had one week to get the answers to my questions.

While Boris and I played on our phones waiting for Vesa’s arrival (this time I was not late!) Wivika, Boris’s wife, was worried we would miss him. Boris and I, on the other hand, were pretty sure we would have no problem spotting Vesa when he appeared on the escalator, and we were right. After hugs were exchanged all around, we headed to the car and our adventure began in ernest.

We had some great days of sightseeing both in and outside the city. Many photos were taken of toys, each other and the scenery. Conversations were had and connections were made. Many great meals were enjoyed, many glasses of wine and beer were drunk, and I shared my home, my city and my friends with Boris and Vesa.

To hear Boris say: “It is a beautiful city” when watching the sunset from Kerry Park or hear Vesa say: “I didn’t think you could have so much fun in a foreign country,”(*) made me realize that my goal for the week had been accomplished.

We each took a leap of faith to make this photography show happen but I am pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say it was well worth the risk. And as Boris is fond of telling me: the adventure is only just beginning.

~ xxSJC

(*) I should give some context to this comment made by Vesa.  It was made after an exceptionally wonderful day of shooting toys, followed by dinner with toy photo friends, then meeting up with my rocktographer friends for drinks at our local hang out. When you travel to a country that is not your home, it is always an unexpected pleasure to be welcomed into the group like family. Besides we had a hella’ good time that day and the comment was warranted. 

All three of us here at StuckinPlastic have much to say about the past week but it is going to take time to share everything that transpired as we each deal with the consequences of taking a week or more out of our normal lives. Please stay tuned!

If you have any specific questions regarding the show, our impressions of the experience or how we made this happen…please let us know and we will try to answer them. 

The photo above is my favorite picture of my new friends, it is the one I will always remember this trip by. 

#stuckinplastic: The Exhibition

One of our goals here at Stuck In Plastic (#stuckinplastic) is to create opportunities to show toy photography away from a computer or hand held device and place it squarely on the walls of fellow fans, board rooms, coffee shops and galleries alike.

To that end I am pleased to announce the very first Stuck In Plastic exhibition which we just branded for now #stuckinplastic: The Exhibition.

My friends +Me2Avanaut and I will be showing our collective works – large, and we mean large- at the Bryan Ohno Gallery in Seattle, USA, Planet Earth for five weeks starting March 5th, 2015.

And yes we want YOU to come and celebrate our very first art exhibition in my hometown with us.

In fact if you are able to make the opening we will all three be in attendance (yes, these two Nordic dudes are coming over to this side of the pond).

Showing my work with these two gentleman is a sincere honor, and the additional opportunity to meet them…well lets just say 2015 is looking very bright indeed.

We will be talking about this exhibition periodically between now and March 5th as our plans take shape and offcourse we are interested in your views, so stay tuned !

I hope you will take time out of your busy schedule and meet up with us for the opening reception on the 5th (or at least help us spread the word). It would be wonderful to turn this into a mini meet up and show the world and beyond (or at least Seattle for now) that we are a force to be reckoned with.

My sincere hope is that this is a grand success so that we can travel #stuckinplastic: The Exhibition to a town near you, add a few more members, and continue to grow this movement.

~ xxsjc

Our very first picture we posted here on Stuck In Plastic.

If you would like more information about this, or future exhibitions, please let us know. 
Have you signed up for the Best of 2014 Photographic Challenge? If not, sign up here!

The Big Blue Marble

My favorite chapter in Steal Like An Artist is “Geography is no longer our master”. Truer words could not have been published. Only in a world where we can connect socially on so many different platforms that your head starts spinning if you try to name them all, can you make friends all over the globe. Only in this crazy internet focused photography community would I be lucky enough to find a like minded friend on the other side of the world. (Hi +Me2!)

The internet has introduced me to so many great toy photographers who have influenced me over the last several years like Avanaut, Me2 (Again with that guy!), +Alessio Billi and Legojacker. Each, in their own way, they have shown me what the photographic possibilities could be. I have the world wide web to thank for connecting me to these amazing people who have all helped me to be a better photographer.

When I met with the writer Lyn Miller-Lachman (another IG friend) this past February she told me something I have really taken to heart. That we need to make connections beyond ourselves with other platforms and other people if we want to be heard in all the noise created by the internet. By creating a web of connections we are all made stronger for these bonds. Think of it like this: we are all in our own boat, but if we lash them together we will be bigger, stronger and hopefully more visible. Ok, maybe she didn’t say all of that – but that is what I heard. (please forgive me Lynn if I twisted your words!)

So yesterday Me2 asked if there were any like minded photographers out there who are interested in joining this arts collective we call Stuckinplastic and lashing their boat to ours. The silence was deafening. Maybe we asked too soon? Maybe we haven’t been clear about our aims? Maybe there are only two people on all of the IG toy community who are interested in taking their photography off the internet and into the real world? I don’t know, but we will occasionally keep asking until someone bangs on our open door.

In the mean time I will continue to nurture and be inspired by my curent friends as well as find new people to connect with on twitter, flicker, Instagram, Google+…

– xxsjc