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  • TulipwithaTwist_web
    “Tulip, with a Twist”  

Jessica Vetter

  • Jessica Vetter, Arts and Sciences Administrative Assistant, Lincoln CampusJessicaVetter_web

    Jessica is a familiar face on the Lincoln campus, as she serves as a much revered Arts & Sciences Administrative Assistant. However, she has her creative side, and she shared that with us in this interview.

    Illuminations: Hi, Jessica! Tell me about your artistic/photographic background. What kind of work do you enjoy?

    Jessica: My background is mostly made up of high school classes and real world experience. I enjoy working in many different mediums, including acrylic/oil painting, collage, both paper and multimedia, sketching, and photography, although this area is probably the least explored.

    I: I see. What qualities do you feel matter most in an artistic person? What helps you reveal a story that others can’t?

    J: I’m not sure I can identify specific qualities that lend themselves to artistic thought, but I do believe everyone has creative ability within them. I think that ability is stifled, for various reasons and in various ways, as we turn into adults, and many of us doubt we have any talent. If it’s true I am able to tell a story others can’t, it’s only because of my desire and willingness to try. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and that has been a preventative force for me on many occasions. This perfectionism may be a factor in “non-creatives” and their fear of failure precluding them from ever trying.

    I: Wise words! What’s the story behind your beautiful photo published in Vol. 17, “Tulip, with a Twist”?

    J: Thank you for the compliment! I was enjoying my backyard in late April and noticed this budding tulip with an interesting, twisting piece of foliage shooting up from the bud. It captured my attention because it’s the kind of small detail a person may not take the time to seek out, and I was fortunate enough to spot it. I took the photo with my Droid and kept an eye on the tulip as it bloomed. There was nothing remarkable about the flower once it opened, except that twist.

    I: Is there work of other artists or photographers that you particularly admire?

    J: I can’t name any artists/photographers, but I certainly admire all types of art and talent. I appreciate a painter who can put light on canvas, and seeing a well-executed example of this really pleases me. I also enjoy low-brow art for many reasons, including the “taboo” subject matter and the humor. It is possible I most respect the art of handwriting/script/calligraphy – I try to incorporate it in many of my works, and I think it’s an art worth saving in a technologically advanced society.

    I: Agreed! What advice would you give others who hope to hone their photography skills?

    J: If you want to hone your photography skills, I think a person needs to take a class. Or two or three. “Photography” these days consists mostly of a smartphone, as evidenced by my tulip photo, but there is so much more to it. When I was in high school, I learned how to develop film in a darkroom – and I’m not sure such a thing even exists anymore! (Yes, I am getting old!)  I think if a person is truly interested in this area, they should explore and learn how to use different types of equipment, to discover the various effects that equipment has on your product. Learn about the idea of a good composition, learn how the light contributes to or detracts from your desired outcome, and most of all: practice, practice, practice.

    I: How do you see photography and artwork playing a part of your life in ten years?

    J: I hope in ten years that I will continue to use my art as a way of giving back to the community. I have had many excellent opportunities to donate work for fundraisers for worthy causes. I hope that what I do continues to be relevant. Another hope of mine is that my art will someday be a “job”….but as far as I can tell, that position doesn’t offer any benefits, so I’ll just have to see how it goes!

    I: We hear you. You serve as Arts & Sciences Administrative Assistant. Do you pull any inspiration for your artwork from your daily interaction with faculty, staff, and students?

    J: I can’t say that I pull inspiration from my position at SCC, but SCC has been a valuable networking tool in providing me with opportunities to create for people and purposes.

    I: Good enough! Finally, the silly question of the day: What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

    J: The strangest food I’ve ever eaten...I guess I’ll go with beef heart. I am not a fan of organ meat, but had a chance at a friend’s home to try it. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! I also like to peruse the unusual fruit in HyVee’s produce section. You find things like Buddha Hands. I don’t know if it tastes good—it’s mostly rind -, but it smells beautiful!