Color and creativity are two of the constants we’ve found in J’s (@resverie_) creations. Wildly blended pieces decorated with planets and stars and painted with some of the loveliest hues you’ll encounter (such as the image above created using a photo taken by @sage_jonesy). We’ve been excited to catch up with J for some time now to chat about his aspirations and inspirations. Learn more about the person behind the account and find some creative motivation of your own by reading along!
Hello, my name is J - as most people around Instagram know me. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York and it will always be where I call home as it is very dear to me. Due to life complications I currently reside near Myrtle Beach. It's so true - you can take someone out of New York but can't take New York out of them.
I do have a lot of the typical characteristics you would think of a New Yorker - I have a mouth like a trucker and I am usually pretty blunt and wear my heart and thoughts on my sleeve. I'm an old soul (those who know me know this to be true). I can be fervent about my thoughts and opinions, yet I don't disregard someone else's either. I've been told I am a great listener. Living where I have, you come across many people of different cultures and ways of life and learn everyone is different. You learn to respect them and their beliefs and opinions as an individual. It's what makes them special and original and it also helps you grow as an individual.
I am a borderline obsessive hockey fan (Pittsburgh Penguins for life). I highly enjoy exploring abandoned places and imagining what happened in past times - the history aspect greatly intrigues me. I love playing video games and music. My musical taste is quite eclectic ranging from classic rock, to 80's music, to EDM, to 90's hip hop, to some of the heaviest metal. I used to be a vocalist for a few bands back home. It has cultivated some of the best memories and relationships during my lifetime to date. Music connects people.
It's true, I mostly listen to what caters to my mood at the time and is a big part of my creative process. Music moves me. It's an integral part in my life.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN?
Well, as a sentimentalist, photography is important to me. No matter where you are in your life, you can always go back and remember a day or a moment with someone who is no longer with you. I feel design can do the same with your feelings or thought process at the given time. Life can come at us so fast and in the moments we capture we have a way to encase them and remember them for as long as we choose. As young as I can remember, my parents always brought a camera or VHS recorder when we went on trips. Now that I am older I understand the importance of having those moments in a tangible form so they can be relived.
I've always loved nature photography and images of places I've only been able to visit in magazines and on television. I really got heavy into photography a few years back when I stumbled upon a local abandoned mental health hospital by my house and I was completely enthralled and infatuated with everything about it. From the beautiful decay to the history of it all. I couldn't go enough and sharing that with other people through my eyes and how I saw it brought me great joy.
With design I started heavily using apps such as Alien Sky, Union and Tangent. Slowly learning how to put different pieces into my photographs to make them something more was highly appealing to me. Day by day I wanted to outdo myself seeing how far I could take it to try and develop my own style of sorts. I like seeing and creating places that people would love to visit but none of us ever can - perhaps only in dreams.
I think it's easy to take for granted where you're from and not always the easiest to remember not everybody gets to see what you do every day - to capture and share that with other people can be blissful - that alone embodies what Instagram is to me.
WHAT ARE THE APPS YOU USE THE MOST?
All of what I post here is done on my iPhone. I use apps such as Superimpose and Union for blending photos together. I use Art Studio, Deco Sketch, Glitche, Alien Sky, Fragment, and Reflect App for all of the sky works and other elements of images that I feel make pieces unique. And of course use mextures on basically everything I create, it helps bring my photos together in a way no other app can, it's the proverbial ribbon on the present. It brings all of the colors together like I never imagined.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR WORK?
I never really thought about that before. I suppose I don't have much of a message behind anything I create. There are no subliminal meanings in most of them. I suppose once and a while that one or two pieces could try to convey a meaning of how I felt at one time or another or a point in my life. I guess sometimes I try to make people feel sentimental or remember a time in their own lives if they can feel what words I add to specific images.
If all anyone ever takes away from my work is a smile and a bright spot in their day - maybe sharing it with a friend or loved one - that's honestly good enough for me. I think the world needs more of that.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN?
I love having an outlet to express how I see things and being able to create them on my own terms and in my own way. I've always loved and admired the artists of the world - around this community, and of the past. They leave a lingering memory in their wake - people view or remember them because of how they've expressed themselves through their works - whether it's music, art, photography, or something else.
To me, creating different pieces is a release and can help me escape from life for a bit. It relaxes me when life isn't going well or seems as if it's going too fast. I think everyone needs something or someone that helps them achieve that feeling in their lives - not only in the dark times but the good times as well.
The constant strive to get better and being able to share that with others keeps me going. You never know who you will reach or touch with what you put out there. You could brighten someone's day who may be in need or at times you're the one who needs it. Sometimes we aren't aware of the power or talent we possess within ourselves. You will certainly never know until you try.
WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?
My editing process varies. I can take weeks to finish something or it could take me 10 minutes. I like to tinker with colors and shades most of the time. Usually I will start with a background first and then use Mextures to get the coloring I want or something that looks good by trial and error from just messing around.
After that I will add in foreground pieces or some landscapes or whatever else I may choose to use. I then use brightness, contrasts, and exposures to match up with the formula I have chosen for said piece. If the end result has that “pop” or I like the way it looks I will usually share it. However, there are a lot of cases in which I'm not very happy with the outcome. There are a lot of unshared pieces I've made on my phone. I am my own worst critic and if something doesn't come out how I pictured it I am usually not happy with the piece in general.
HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?
Mextures is honestly perfect for being the final step of my creation process. It brings all of the colors together so well when used correctly. It's like the proverbial bow on top of the gift. Sometimes I save the formula as my last step or I may have used one that I had previously saved. On some pieces I will check step by step with the formula I chose to use to make sure each particular added element fits in well with contrasts, brightness, and exposures. I really can't say enough good things about mextures. I recommend it to anyone who uses their iPhone in their editing process.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PIECE TO CREATE SO FAR?
Picking just one is not easy for me to do. I have a few favorite pieces that I have shared with the Instagram community. I guess if I had to pick one I would choose the image I created last year taken by @sage_jonesy and featured in a @mexturescollective round. It was one of the most fun and straight forward pieces I've created and it also helped that it was received so well. It was only a year ago but it feels like a lifetime ago given the past year for me. It was also a favorite of one of my friends, Frank, who has since been taken from us too soon - he always supported me and what I did. That really was one piece that started to make me feel like 'hey, maybe I can really do this'. I suppose it helped me grow in that aspect.
WHY IS CREATING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Creating is important to me because it's become like an escape for me - a sense of therapy for me when everything around me seems to be crumbling. It helps me take my mind somewhere else and just relax in the moment and create and that's important to me. I think everyone should have something healthy like that in their lives that they can turn to, whether in another person or a constructive hobby. I feel such things help us hold onto shreds of sanity in an ever changing world that isn't always kind.
WOULD YOU BE ALRIGHT WITH SHARING A FEW OF YOUR FORMULAS?
PPFGZMB - Moongazing for One - This is a newer formula I've made that I feel like gives off a pretty good effect for a blue night sky and sort of accentuates stars while leaving the bottom still fairly lit - almost in a moon type look.
FKRPQRM - Dreamvening - This one sort of adds some color but still the same idea as the one above. Most of my formulas seem to try and accent similar spots in images. It has more of a purple look to it I suppose but could work for some type of night shots or edits.
UCGHGLC - The Cantus Constellation - This formula is pretty dark for most images but it almost seeps into a really bright image and pulls the color out of the sky while trying to leave the bottom part sort of light a bit - almost like a night feeling to it. This formula worked perfectly for the collaboration image I did with my buddy Travis.
YKZFKJP - Otherworldly Dreamer - This is one of the formulas I submitted for a round of the Mextures Collective. I really like this one because it tends to almost tie the sky together while still leaving some brighter light on the bottom part. It seemed to work really well on this image but unfortunately I haven't gotten it to work with too many others. It can have a darker feel to it but still works out nicely in lighter-skied images.
IZAXRQJ - Aurora Lake - This one I particularly like because it seems to bring out some really good coloring in a sky although on most images it may come out with a bit of a dark feel. For the particular image I made it with it seemed to tie the colors in quite well and smooth them out to make them meld together quite nicely.
COULD YOU SHARE A FEW OF THE MOST INSPIRING ACCOUNTS YOU FOLLOW?
For inspiration in making pieces I more often than not get them from music and vibes given off in everyday life. Sometimes I find inspiration in not only what people post but how they are as people - the auras they give off in everyday life. Who people are, at least to me, can be just as inspirational as their posts. As far as other inspirational accounts, I think I pull inspiration from different qualities of other people and try to use them in my own work.
From day one I've always been a huge fan of Nikki (@521_gemini) and Herri (@nak_bali_). They both always create beautiful work and with such consistency it's almost staggering at times just how consistent they are. They're both like clockwork.
I also get heavily inspired by other’s travels and seeing other parts of the world I normally wouldn't otherwise see. Craig (@cr.a.ig) has some of the most beautiful shots you'll see around the Instagram community. He's always traveling and it’s quite fascinating to follow his journey. I would have to say the same for Krystle (@krystle.blackburn)as well. She seems to always be on the move from the States to seemingly everywhere beautiful in this world. No matter where she goes she makes it look magical.
I really couldn't get by around here without the kindness and support of some great people who have been kind to me since day one. My buddy Travis (@_cantus_) with his gorgeous views of Colorado almost daily and he gets better by the day. I’m still honored to come up around this community with such a kind soul.
Shontelle (@shontellemoiselle) always has the most bright and beautiful colors and is quite creative and keeps me as positive as she can through kind words and tagging me in funny posts. She's a great friend here and always has something witty to say!
And last but not least, Kristi (@orbabgirl) with her beautiful macro photography in Canada. She's always kind and looking out for me and her work is truly beautiful.
I really do follow a few accounts belonging to people I've watched grow in the community over the past few years and just who they are as people is really inspiring to me. Three of my favorites in that regard are Malia (@hapabydefault - who only gets better with her photography work by the post), Suzy (@sayulitaeve - who puts her heart on her sleeve seemingly with every post of her emotionally charged photos from Canada, and Emily (@nofearsnofucks - whose page screams with good vibes almost on the daily. She's just a happy and kind soul, always seemingly pleased with life - something I hope to one day achieve in my own life).
You can see heaps more of J’s work right here!