Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Dela Resma.
Jen, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve been so fortunate to have grown up with a family that encouraged creativity. I had half-filled journals with incomplete stories, countless comics drawn on printer paper, and all sorts of unfinished projects ranging from homemade clothes for my pets to clay-baked miniature food for my dolls. It was photography where I really found myself comfortable. I used to use the family camera to snap anything from my pets to the oranges growing in our backyard. In high school, my friends gifted me my first DSLR for my birthday: the Canon Rebel XSi. I brought it with me absolutely everywhere because it was before smartphones and I wanted to capture everything. In retrospect, I must have looked pretty silly with a camera constantly hanging around my neck.
It was in college that I started shooting weddings, but photography took the backseat as I focused on just trying to survive to graduation as well as maintain my part-time job. After doing so, I got a “big girl job” and photography became pretty much nonexistent to me as I tried to figure out (and am still trying to figure out) how to be A Real Adult (TM). As you can guess, I began to feel stifled and stuck. Every day was the same mundane cycle and I didn’t know how to break it. I’d still shoot an occasional wedding or do some family portraits, and as time went by I realized that while I loved love, I wanted to be creating in addition to documenting. To say I felt trapped is a vast understatement.
As life so often likes to abruptly change direction, I was able to quit my job after being there for three years. My husband and I moved to Pasadena and I could already feel as if I were coming back to life. I returned to my part-time job because the flexibility allowed me to refocus on photography (also, health benefits). I began reaching out to style bloggers on Instagram to collaborate and finally felt myself coming into my own style.
I’m so blessed to have had the support system that I do. I’m still trying to figure it all out and it’s messy and frustrating, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m a photographer! I’ve fallen in love with shooting editorial work but honestly, I like to shoot a little bit of everything. I love to practice making flat lays for product photography, capture genuine emotions during family or engagement sessions, catch the fleeting rays of afternoon sunlight reflecting in my living room, etc. My hope is to be as honest and open as possible. You never know where your work will take you.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
In terms of photography, I firmly believe it is important to capture anything that speaks to you. It’s like the KonMari method and keeping only things that spark joy! Sometimes I’ll be walking to my car and think the sky looks so beautiful and have to snap a quick shot of it. It can be hard maintaining social media profiles and engagement, navigating what it means to stay “relevant.” At the end of the day, being authentic is most important to me. There is no use in pushing a facade – the truth speaks for itself, and I believe good art comes from being honest with yourself.
You also never know how other forms of art can help you on your journey. I stumbled upon this quote recently which I believe is from The Daily Map and I think sums up my feelings well:
“All creativity intersects. It’s almost as if there is a language that weaves through all art. You may learn things from gardening that make you a better painter; you may learn skills from busking in the street that makes you a better-spoken poet. All creativity grows creativity. It’s okay if you change directions while you figure it all out. Nothing is ever lost.”
- Website: www.jendelaresma.com
- Instagram: jendelaresma
All images by Jen Dela Resma