Natalja Kent

Who printed it?
I had chromogenic prints made at a local lab, my assistant Leah Rom hand sew the belly bands from an Italian imported ribbon, and write notes to each person I was sending the package to and added super fun ChromoDepth glasses for a color 3D effect. So it was really a blend of a few things I love: photos, textures, and op-art!

Who designed it?
I designed it with a love of real photographic paper and a touch of nostalgia for 3D viewing.

Tell me about the images?
These photographs are all new work inspired by the experimental photography I’ve been doing in the analog, color darkroom called Movement Artifact as well as a book I photographed last year of the Blaschka Glass Plants and Flowers. There is a fun little Wired Article about my artwork that tells a bit about the project. The Blashka Glass Plants taught me so much about light and form, I’m excited to be bringing these ideas to commercial product clients. For the package, I added one print from my art series, so people could get a sense of my color palate. With my commercial work, I’ve been teasing out how to play with light, color, and form in ways that reference this fine art project as well as a deep technical dive into glass photography and what I discovered. It’s been fun to beautifully draw out a product for a client with these tools. I adore visual problem solving for clients’ needs and by drawing on my rich knowledge of art, light, form and art history I am building a fun, pop-fantasy, still life world.

How many did you make?
I made 50 of this promo. I keep my physical outreach pretty low volume so as not to make a lot of garbage. By targeting people I really want to work with I’m doing my best to balance outreach and environmental awareness.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
About twice a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
What my promos do for me is put the work I feel is adding something strong to the visual dialog in a physical form and in front of people I think are working on great projects. It’s more of the idea “action begets action” and less “I want this outcome to happen right now”. My business practice includes a kind of self-awareness about what I’m putting into the world and what I’m asking for. Being generous is a part of that ideology. I make great work for very aligned clients. Having a fun promo that’s closer to sending them a little game then a plea for work is what I’m aiming for.

If there’s one thing I learned from surfing, which I’m obsessed with, it’s to get out into the water no matter how you feel or if the conditions are not perfect. There are almost always waves that teach you something about your form and approach — and it’s crazy fun. For example, last night after a long day in the studio I popped out to Malibu for a sunset surf. We had some fun little sets (waves) in the crimson fade, and then suddenly I realized it was totally dark and the moonlight was sparkling on the water. In the blackness, it was hard to read what the size of the waves was coming towards the three of us still surfing. I decided to paddle into one that looked small and uneventful. Then I found myself on a perfectly arching wave, tucked right into the pocket, then gaining speed along the face. Because it was so dark, all I could see was a thin line of silver moonlight on the deep black face of the wave, and we rolled together all the way to the shore. Who knew such a majestic wave was to be experienced in such darkness, more about the feeling of the movement then seeing it and controlling it. By showing up, and sticking with it I felt an incredible belonging to the ocean and the activity I adore. By bringing a sense of curiosity and play to all processes I undertake, I learn from each new experience — and I treat sending out packages to folks the same way. Let’s have a good time with these cool projects we get to make!

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