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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interview with Michelle Monique

Welcome fellow readers and I hope you're having a great morning! I'm excited to say that today we have a special guest. She's a wonderful photographer, an unimaginably great graphic designer, and she even sews her own costumes! You may recognize some of her art from Jessica Redmerski's book covers since she actually did them. Here is Michelle Monique!
Raschel: Welcome Michelle! Its great to have you here today, I'm glad w were able to grab some of your time away for this interview. 

MM: My pleasure! Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed in your blog.
Raschel: So, you're a photographer, but that isn't all you are is it? What are all the amazing artistic things you can do with those handy little fingers of yours?
MM: Most people see my pictures and think many of the elements were created digitally. However, this is far from true. Everything in my recent photos has been created in real life by either me or my boyfriend and I just composite everything in photoshop. I think this gives my pictures a sense of reality whereas a lot of photoshopped pictures look like paintings. I also make costumes with my mom if it is too complicated to simply purchase from a store. I would consider myself more of a photographer and craftsman than a true digital artist. You can check out my You-tube videos if you want to see the process!

Raschel: So, you've done some pretty awesome things, and how old are you now? When did you figure out that this was what you wanted to do with your life? Did you take any schooling?

MM: I'm 20. When I started photography it was not a dream of mine to make it a career, I just thought it was fun to dress up with my friends and take pictures. However, my photos kept getting more and more attention and this inspired me to continually improve on my skill. I gradually started getting jobs and realized I might actually be able to make it as a photographer. I took a couple photography classes in high school but honestly everything I learned how to do was from self teaching. I'm in college right now but for marketing, not photography.

Raschel: Did you start this business from scratch without any help or did you have investors help you with purchasing equipment?

MM: At the risk of sounding spoiled my investors would be... my parents! They bought me a camera when I was 16 as a gift for finishing a difficult year of high school. I started by using my dad's old Minolta flashes which worked for a couple years but I needed something better if I wanted to improve. They upgraded my lights and bought me a tablet. I can't thank them enough for supporting me financially as well as with their time. I don't think I would have improved so quickly without their help.
Raschel: Minolta! Oh wow, I actually have one of those..though I got it to go to photography school originally and mine was 35mm. It wasn't exactly in the best of shape when I got it so it usually stays sitting in a bag at home. I've noticed that you have several recognized publishers as clients, want to tell us more on how you got their attention and how that process worked for you?
MM: I'm not actually sure where publishers found me, whether it was on my Deviantart or website. I'm just glad that they did. I was quite nervous at first, because I was talking on the phone with the biggest publisher in the world at age 19. I learned the most from them on what it is like to work professionally as an artist, adhere to strict deadlines, and give a client exactly what they are looking for.
Raschel: How long does it take you to start/finish a project if a client knows exactly what they want in a book cover and pays right away?

MM: It really depends on how complicated the concept is. If it's just a model in a simple costume with a simple background I can do it in 2 days. However, I had one client that needed armor built for a character and it took 2 months.
Raschel: Would that by any chance have been Andrea Creamer's latest book Rift which just hit shelves this month? Do you have any special snacks that you require in order to work on the computer for long periods of time? (most authors swear by coffee)
MM: Actually, no armor was involved for Rift. It was for a different author but he ended up omitting the armor and just went with a girl in leather.

I don't usually eat while editing but I always have "That 70's show" or "The Cosby show" playing in the background. I need background noise to feel comfortable plus those are the only two shows I can watch over and over again! Old TV shows are the best :)

Raschel: Well Michelle it has been great having you come by and tell us a little more about yourself. Its always fun to dig into the minds of artist and their mediums. (Especially if they have more than one!) Here's hoping you continue to thrive in your business!

MM: Thanks again for the opportunity to introduce myself on your blog. Best wishes for you and your business as well!
Readers, if you're wanting to contact Michelle or even ask for her services just visit her website! There you can see all of the wonderful work she has even done, and even a few videos of her doing what she does best! You can also visit her deviantart and scroll through her many designs, and no matter what, don't forget to stop by and like her on Facebook!

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  1. Great interview! Michelle is without doubt a very talented person.

    Jess@ Jessy's Bookends

  2. Schönen Gruss aus Deutschland

  3. Looking forward to seeing more from this talented photographer. Thx for the interview.