Detail: ©Romina Bacci November Light, 2010
The woman who dreamed with her eyes open
BY MAGAZINE ART EDITOR AJA BLANC
Image: ©Romina Bacci Flora, 2010
Aja Upon visiting your website, I was greeted with the phrase “The woman who dreamed with her eyes open.” I love that – is this a metaphor for your artistic process?
Romina Why not? It’s also the title of the story; of the book of my work. I believe we never stop dreaming, even when we live awake, there’s something very intrinsic and intuitive that determines what and how we are capable of seeing; our perspective. I’ve always been fascinated with stories, if we think about it everything belongs to a story, there are no such isolated pieces, everything is related in time with something else, connected.
My dreams were the first stories, then came the photographs and that obsession with documentation. I try not to plan so much my photographic work, even if it’s for a client. There are some guidelines but the secret ingredient is spontaneity, the real atmosphere is what leaves room for emotion to show. And I like to capture that.
Image: ©Romina Bacci Feathers, 2010
Aja Spontaneity really is a secret ingredient for artists isn’t it? And there is tension in trying to both capture that spontaneity and also have aesthetic and compositional concerns – how do you allow yourself to step aside and let what is, just be in your work?
Romina I’ve always been an observer, a witness; and again this is entwined with the documentation aspect of photography, capturing memories of everything in its natural state, appreciating its beauty and value just as it is. I believe when you stop having fun with what you do, you should stop doing it. And too many rules are stressing, right?
When you truly enjoy your work it’s reflected in the results.
That minimal planning only works as a starting point for me, but then it’s all about discovering the possibilities during that specific moment with the camera in my hands. Whether I’m working on still life or portraits, I use the same method. This became a signature for my work and my clients want that kind of sessions, where they know what to expect but at the same time they want to be surprised with the results.
Image: ©Romina Bacci White Fields, 2010
Aja I agree… limitation can be freeing, but rules are totally stressful. What are some of the challenges that come up for you in creating your work? How do you overcome them?
Romina The biggest fear I have is running out of ideas. Usually there are periods in time when I don’t feel creative at all, but they’re always followed by a bigger flow of new ideas. I’ve learned to let it be and don’t force myself to create anything at that moment, it’s like a huge silence, a parentheses, it feels like when you’re moving out and you look at your empty, silent house for the last time and you realize there is nothing left there.
I think it’s a break I take, to renew and start again from a different place, looking for new and different things from a different perspective. I feel I always grow in this part of the process. Some things are left behind to make room for new ones to come. I have to overcome that frustration but it is very rewarding in the end. I know it’s part of my creative process and I’ve learned to accept it.
Another challenge is keeping a good balance between mess and order; everyday life activities and work. My studio can be very messy at times although I try to keep the mess in a certain order (even if the space is small, I need room to move freely, air and empty spaces, I don’t like cramped rooms where you can’t walk). I allow the mess during the creative process but I have the habit of tidying up when I finish, or I can’t go on with my next tasks. Everyday things need to be done in order for me to feel free to focus and put my energy on my work.
Image: ©Romina Bacci The Sound of Water, 2010
Graphic Designer and Photographer with Italian blood. I speak English, Spanish and a bit of Italian so far. Learning to play the guitar. Living and working in the USA. For the past 10 years I’ve been working in design, in the fashion industry and graphic design fields, including branding, editorial and photography. Illustrations, and I’ve made jewelry too. Love nature and natural light, animals, bread, tea, fresh modern, clean lines and natural things. Metal, wood, linen, ferns, open windows, whites grays ambers and creams, the softness of silk, the texture of tulle, cotton, the sun reflection in the water, feathers, sequins, the ocean, bird’s wings.
I believe there’s beauty and magic in the real. In the simple things, every single day in our own personal worlds. At home, around the corner, in the streets we walk, in the routine. I like to think of my work as a journal, and a journey, a diary that documents the history of life, happening, changing, never ending; its own essence, inevitably mixed with my own. Photography to me is a connection between reality and dreams. A way of seeing who and where we are, have been; a way of telling real stories, of identifying the pieces, the trace we leave everywhere we go, our own essence.
Visit Romina’s website at www.rominabacci.com
Image: ©Romina Bacci November Light, 2010
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