We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanna Proffitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joanna, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
MORE… I needed something MORE! I needed more than just a job where I went to earn a paycheck. I needed a creative outlet, something to pour my heart and soul into. Most of the time when I work on my art it doesn’t feel like work at all, that’s the magic of it. There is no place like “the zone”! Most artists would probably say that art chose them and not the other way around. I have always had a strong creative side and before rediscovering photography about 6 years ago, I felt something was missing from my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work is inspired by the rich culture and beautiful, vast landscapes, both natural and urban, of the American Southwest. Using photography as my medium, I explore the region and all that makes it a unique and picturesque corner of the country. I have been exhibiting my work at galleries and museums around the state for more than five years. Recently, my work has evolved into creating abstract images using the technique of intentional camera movement (ICM). This is an interesting development being that I never considered myself a huge fan of abstract art. ICM photographs are created by moving the camera while the exposure is being made, not with post-processing or digital manipulation. The technique results in many of the details being lost, creating a dreamy effect while also moving the focus towards form and color. I believe the lack of details encourages viewers to tap into their imagination and to experience the work on a more emotional level. With regards to getting where I am now and the challenges in getting here? I really like this advice from Michael Wing, “Only a very small number of people apply for a whole lot of things. They’re are the ones who get them.” Don’t give up and keep learning, growing and putting yourself out there… and of course have lots of FUN along the way!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pandemic aside, First Friday would be at the top of the list. Some of my favorite galleries are Found:Re, Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral and New City Studio. I have been lucky enough to exhibit at each of them. Some other “musts” would be chowing down on Brussel Sprout Nachos at Diego Pops and a hike…. probably North Mountain which is paved most of the way up and beautiful at night!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Arizona Artists Guild gave me the first opportunity to exhibit my work in 2015. That experience was very meaningful to me. Having an established arts organization, someone other than your family or friends, tell you that they see value in your work is very encouraging to someone just starting out. I also think credit should go out to all the people that support local art in any capacity.