The Other Half of #SundayBluesEdit
The Other Half of #SundayBluesEdit: An Interview w/ Monica Izquieta by Rebecca C
I must first admit that I am biased towards @Izzylune. I know her in the “real world” beyond the invisible Instagram walls, but it was her photos that first drew me in and made me want to know her, the woman, the person. This is a powerful pull not to be underestimated. With the glut of visual imagery we see all day, every day, to make someone want to know you with your images is pretty powerful stuff.
Most of you know Monica as Izzy or just the incredible @izzylune. Her charm, wit and enthusiasm comes through in her every post and comment. If you haven had a chance to interact with her, you’re missing a level of intelligence and insight rarely found in the world of IG. Initially, I “met” Izzy through the images she started tagged in my #sundaybluesedit tag. Her raw emotion was impossible to ignore. Something in her beautiful huge blue eyes made me fall in love with her in a way that connected souls do. That sounds cheesy but, in her, I recognized myself. A younger me.
Izzy is alive with a spirit that draws people to her, so when I felt like the @sundaybluesedit needed a co-pilot I knew exactly who to ask. After just a few days I felt as if I had known her all my life. She has an undeniable passion for art, photography and all the emotions that come with the blues. She’s also and amazing photographer in her own right who weaves fairy tale magic out of the most ordinary of daily scenes. I’ve always wanted to know how she makes her magic…so I decided to ask.
Who are you and what you do in your real life?
In my real life I’m a mother to the two lovely children often showcased in my gallery, an avid gardener, a glorified proof reader for local accountants and at one time, a fine arts major who loved getting her hands dirty.
Tell me about your love affair with mobile photography
My love affair with mobile photography happened really quite by accident. I had been shooting with big girl cameras for roughly 7 years, before that I tinkered with old school manual cameras, and by tinker I mean broke. During that time, I shot mainly my children and landscapes, scratch that, I still only shoot that!
I’m admittedly a first generation iPhone user but I didn’t discover that my phone could create such amazing photography until probably my 3rd iPhone. My ex-husband is extremely tech savvy. He was the one told me about instagram. We were on a car ride to Mystic, Connecticut, from that moment on I was hooked. I started exploring IG into the wee hours of the night. For years I felt bogged down by motherhood, unable to paint and really just uninspired. I believe at one point, I was so desperate for creativity I took up wreath making. Instagram and iphoneography, opened up a new world for me. I’m glad I don’t make wreaths anymore.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things, nature being a huge one, humans, obviously, another. I’m one of those people who stares too much and for too long. In the event I witness a crime, I’m gonna give the cops everything shy of the person’s blood type. I’m truly fascinated by people; their mannerisms, speed patterns, gaits and style. I could people watch all day and have been known to do so. On more than one occasion I have sat inside of Grand Central station so long, even the bums were changing shifts. Other inspiration comes from well-known artists, mainly painters, and then those I follow religiously on IG (who, in my mind, revolutionizing the way people view Photography as a whole). I think the reason mobile art appeals to me so much, is the challenge of creating superior images without the polish of professional cameras which seemingly, do a lot of the work for you- digitally speaking anyway.
Your images are overflowing with emotion. Palpable. Where does the need for sharing this honesty in such a pure way come from?
Oh, my talking about my images is a bit surreal for me. I’m always my own worst critic. In terms of the pictures though and whatever emotion is conveyed, I have to really say I’m a very animated, expressive, sometimes intense person in real life. I tell stories and people just come closer. I have my hands waving wildly and I’ve been known to do impersonations. I am very colorful. So when I’m happy its clear as day and when I’m sad there’s no hiding it. My mother says everything I’m ever feeling is easily read on my face and especially my eyes. I’m not one for deception I think. I’m honest to a fault really. I put it all out there. The emotion I desire with my pictures is rawness. I have a few people I follow on IG that do raw and deeply personal emotion so provocatively and gracefully. I thirst for that. I think in terms of portraits it’s so much greater to see and feel simultaneously. When I was in high school I participated in a coveted poetry competition and poetry became my entire life for years on end. It was during this time that I explored emotion even deeper. I had always been obsessed with art, so much so that it disturbed my academics, but in the end the poetry was what actually prepped me for photography.
I’ve observed an almost surreal like magical fairy tale like quality in your images. Can you talk about where that comes from and why that imagery appeals to you?
This perception makes me smile impishly. The fairytale quality you speak of is not intentional. Actually, Im elated to hear my images all have something in common I feel like I’m often falling all over the map.
However, when I take a picture, thankfully, I know immediately what corner possesses something unique.
I know I’m a beauty seeker. Maybe that’s where the dreamlike quality comes from? I don’t have an appetite for grim, grungy, gory or dark. Actually, I’m easily disturbed. I guess this is why I don’t watch the news or tv at all. I do know I get excited by the most minute details in everything from an inflection in a persons voice, to the way they place their hands, to shadows, lines etc. I obsess about these things in my daily life. It’s like music for me when I discover a song that I like…I play it a thousand times in a row. When I love…I love deeply whatever that thing is and I want everyone to see it.
Photography is the only thing that allows me to feel comfortable exposing the tender aspect of myself. It’s with the pictures I want to be boundless.
Landscape: like all my photos this was shot with hipstamatic…with a relatively uncommon combination of Mabel and Alfred infrared. I wanted that deep red currant color
Against matted blue skies.
Lily in the orange chair. I shot this with tinto and float I admittedly have an affinity for floats delicious tones although it’s speckled vignette makes me crazy so I’m always retouching it out or hiding it the best I know how. I’m not one for over-editing. Her pensive glare and Alice in wonderland charm drew me into his moment.
The hands: this moment happened so extremely quickly I shoot with watts a lot so it defaulted to that…i love how crisp and dramatic it is. Tender moments between my children are slim sadly they bicker a lot but in this second of passing raspberries the world melted away when I saw her arm naturally fold behind her and those tiny hands extend.
Black and white selfie. Oh the light in my family room is amazing…I have at least 50 plants in there, it is my refuge from the world. I sit in this big 1960s golden-yellow chair constantly and watch the clouds roll by. This afternoon I adjusted the sheers on the doors and saw something I wanted to capture so I set up my gorilla pod set it to tinto and black keys super grain and measured myself into the frame just so then asked my daughter to press the button three times. So actually….this is a collab. I wanted to overcome my discomfort of profile portraits I never liked my very Italian looking profile but alas it’s very much me and if you can’t love your face by 30 then you never will.
I want to thank Monica for her time, her boundless sense of humor and endless support. You can join Izzy and me at @sundaybluesedit all the time but especially on Sundays and you can view Monica’s incredible work on IG at @Izzylune and on Tumblr: Izzylune