For the past year Art Producer Jenny Barnes has been cataloging her favorite photographers on her posterous site (blog) http://jenren.com. A reader sent it to me recently and I immediately wanted to post it, because I knew other AB’s, PE’s, AD’s etc. would not only find it useful, but possibly they would be inspired to start their own. I’m surprised more of these don’t exist, blogs make it easy to categorize and find things. I decided to ask Jenny a couple questions about it.
APE: Tell me a little bit about yourself?
Jennifer: I hold a BFA in media arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and have also studied graphic design. I worked for many years in the commercial photography industry and later moved agency side. I currently work full-time at an advertising agency as an art producer. I live outside Minneapolis with my husband, three kids and two dogs.
Tell me why you started the project?
Research is my favorite part of working as an art producer. There are so many talented artists and when the right job comes up, I want to be able to find them. Over the years I focused on bookmarks, printed promos, picture archives and then a database that held pictures. The database was too big and kept crashing, so I had to delete the images. This is the best system I can pull together at this time to keep track of the artists. The categories and the quick view into the artist portfolio work pretty well. Now, I just need to keep adding artist’s work to the site.
Talk to me about categorizing photographers, how important is it that
you can find a category for someone so you can recall them later?
Categories are extremely important. They are a quick way to organize a large body of work and a large number of artists. It’s subjective and not an exact science. Having the artist defined in a category helps to find them when a looking to hire an artist for assignment. Without categories, I’d never be able to sort through the thousands of artists in my database.
I’m also curious about the format. A lot of effort goes into logos,
color palette and design for photographers websites, but you’ve
completely stripped them down to just pictures. Is there a reason for
That’s a fantastic question. I’ve never thought about it from that perspective. You’re right, the choices made regarding a company logo; the look and function of the artist’s site are major considerations. The decisions made ultimately reflect upon the work which can have a positive, neutral or a negative impact on the imagery.
When looking for talent, a buyer can review hundreds of websites. All the differences can be exhausting. Not only are you processing the images, you are also trying to extract them from the context in order to evaluate the work. In the end the images need to be the focus.
What I have learned while working on the site is how nice it is to see the subtleties when the images stand alone. Having a similar format for each post is comfortable. I hope visitors to the site feel the same.
What’s the ultimate goal with the site?
To create a space dedicated to inspiring work. Over time, I hope to build a useful research tool where buyers and artists can find inspiration.