Hashtag Photography Magazine// ‘HARD WORK | An interview with Ameena Rojee’ // January 2016
This is a great opportunity for me to conduct an interview again and its something I really enjoyed previously and I want to develop my skills even further.
-Similar to the article I have done before
-Very good friends with the magazine
-Magazine would like to “build up a buzz” with her exhibition
-Review of her photobook
-Interview of her work
-6 to 10 questions- ask about her trip to china, book advice for anyone considering publishing and what to expect from her in the future
From my previous experience with interviewing an artist, I learned that time management was an issue due to issue of emailing. Therefore I had to organize myself and put in priority of things that needed to be done first. I decided that the first thing I would do would be the interview, it needs the most amount of time; I need to research, write and then email, and then the artist can write and email me back. I expected this to take around two weeks give or take. Then the review of her photobook would be second. It would take a while for the book to be delivered to me, so by the time I received it, the interview would be done and I would have enough time to focus all my energy on this. Finally, the promotion of the exhibition would be the third focus, from my knowledge on the ‘Zealous’ post I have done previously, I’ve noted down how long it would take. Then I would be able to put all of this together, edit and check it before sending it to the magazine.
The interview was slightly different to how my first was. This artist has just graduated university and there is not much particularly about her, unlike the previous artist who was highly established in many fields. This was less about her career and more about this piece of work, her first established piece as an artist. Therefore I ended up using more opinions and reflections on her images and I tried to be very specific.
I ended up created six questions and I tried to make these into a real range of topics in order to get the most amount of information about this work. For this again, I researched there previous interview questions and sorted out what I thought were the best for getting the artist to talk for a lengthy amount of time and also to keep in the interest in the reader. One of the main things I have learned is to check, check, check the names of things. I emailed the artist with the questions and everything was perfect, except the name of the project. I was really embarrassed as I mistook Hard Spaces for Hard Work. But the artist was totally fine with it and made it in to a joke, however I’ve learnt from this and I can guarantee it will never happen again! This is all part of why were doing this work experience and its probably one of best/worst mistakes I have learned from! When creating the questions it would have been helpful for me to have had the photobook in front of me, but it wasn’t so I had to learn how to use other resources to gather questions with. As a writer I need to be prepared to have the confidence not to rely on a key source, because if its there and I haven’t got it I still need to be able to produce a good piece of work.
Another hard point to this work is, again, the communication. The artist took over a month and a half to finally answer the questions. I was expected a slight delay but not by this much. I had to develop new communication skills when I emailed the artist, a couple of times, reminding them how much the magazine need this article whilst also being extremely polite. If I’m interviewing people in my future career this is something that I’ve learned to just accept. I now know that communication between two people is not something that’s instant more times then not. However, the artist finally replied with the answers and I was really pleased with the answers. Again I checked her replies and made sure the grammar, punctuation and spelling was all correct whilst also checking that it flowed correctly and not changing it too much.
Once I received the photobook in the post I was really happy. I could get use to receiving free photobook’s! I used my social media to thank the artist whilst informing people of the future post I was working on with her. I spent some time going through the book and even though this wasn’t my normal interest, I still found an appreciation for the artist and this helped form the start of my post. I also decided to take it to Photobook Club for other peoples opinions and thoughts, and I mentioned it to the magazine and they really appreciated it. It also allowed me to again use social media for promotion.
After emailing my final piece, I was then also asked by the magazine to take some photographs really quickly of the book so it can be posted that night. I had to take them really quick and it tested my time management skills. If it was my choice I would have done it more professionally the next day, but I had to meet the magazines deadline and they were happy with the results.
Overall, it was a great opportunity for me to work one another interview when I liked the first one so much. It developed my communication skills and pushed them to the test, and I learned to work with images I didn’t have in front of me. I also was able to develop the skills I already have confidence with such as organizational skills. The Social media reaction went down really well and this has done nothing but boosted my confidence and made me realise how hard I want to work to become a good writer.
The feedback I received from the magazine:
“It’s outstanding, really fantastic work on both your parts”
Find the post here!