Lotta Lemetti is an emerging photographer from Finland. At this point in her career, she has refined a unique vision which embraces the beauty of the simple and mundane. Her minimal aesthetic carries through the diverse work she loves to make and she’s not afraid to use alternative processes, mixed media and graphic design in her image making. She has been working alongside graphic designers and art directed the latest two issues of FAYN magazine. She prefers shooting with film in any format but is also familiar with the top of the industry digital cameras. Her positive attitude, ambition and work moral led her to be selected as one of the three Finnish undergraduate students to come study in the US as a Fulbright Scholar. Her work has already been exhibited in group shows in New York City, Los Angeles, and Finland.
Lotta Lemetti Interview Transcript
Brian Young [00:00:00] Welcome to the Creative Career Center Podcast series. I’m Brian Young content curator for Artrepreneur’s Creative Career Center. In this episode, we’ll be interviewing Lotta Lemetti, one of the winners of our Creative Career Center Ad Open Call. It’s very nice to meet you and welcome to our podcast.
Lotta Lemetti [00:00:15] Thank you.
Brian Young [00:00:16] We would love for you to take a moment to tell us a little bit about yourself in terms of you being a creator.
Lotta Lemetti [00:00:24] I was born and raised in Finland and I actually only moved to the United States about three years ago. I did my photography studies here and I graduated last September. And yeah that’s pretty much where my path as a photographer/artist started and now I’m on this journey to see what it is to be an artist after school. It’s pretty exciting.
Brian Young [00:00:54] Very cool. Where did you go to school?
Lotta Lemetti [00:00:56] At New York Film Academy both in New York and in Los Angeles.
Brian Young [00:01:01] Very very cool. So I just want to start off by asking you a couple of questions about you as an artist and a creator and your art itself. The first question that I wanted to ask is, What is it about the simple and the mundane that is so inspiring to you?
Lotta Lemetti [00:01:16] I think it just the way I am as a person I just enjoy the more subtle things in life. I like to take time to really look at everyday life and enjoy the small pleasures and small things that we are surrounded by, that easily can get overlooked by some other people.
Brian Young [00:01:39] We have a simple and mundane is absolutely intriguing to me as well. It’s very interesting to see your take on the simple things in life and your art reflects that very very well.
Lotta Lemetti [00:01:50] Thank you. Yes, I am glad to hear that.
Brian Young [00:01:55] And then our next question is what does the utilization of both mixed media and graphic design in your image making allow for?
Lotta Lemetti [00:02:05] It allows for a different kind of exploration of the ideas. Like I said I really like to enjoy the small things that are already there. But on the other hand, I also like to create things that you wouldn’t really find in this world more like dreamlike conversations of things that just pop up in my imagination. But they still keep the same quality of simpleness and sort of quietness. But I feel like the mixed media and graphic design just gives another layer of so many possibilities to go with the work. It’s just more freedom I guess for me as a creator to do different things.
Brian Young [00:02:47] That’s amazing. I definitely believe that freedom as creativity helps with the entire process and the ultimate outcome of the pieces that you’ve created.
Lotta Lemetti [00:02:55] Oh yeah. It’s really important to not feel limited in your media, I feel like.
Brian Young [00:03:01] I’ve definitely seen a lot of creators using different types of media to create something that’s beautiful. I did a very great job with that.
Lotta Lemetti [00:03:08] Thank you.
Brian Young [00:03:09] And let’s move onto some general questions. What does it mean to you to be an artrepreneur?.
Lotta Lemetti [00:03:17] I think it means the ability to take lead in your art making and your business that you have to know how the business side of everything works as well because we all have to pay the rent, we all have to get food on the table and it’s not that easy sometimes with art because of the way the whole art world is. So, I think it’s a learning process for every young artist to actually find their own path and how things work like financially and then how to still keep doing the work you want to make and the work that resonates with you and hopefully the audience. And then to get the whole ball rolling, that’s the difficult part of it.
Brian Young [00:04:03] That is extremely difficult balancing the creative side and the business side and to me, that is exactly what an artrepreneur does is understand the creative side extremely well and execute and also understand the business of art, as well.
Lotta Lemetti [00:04:17] Yes, for sure it’s both of those sides you have to handle to be able to do it through living.
Brian Young [00:04:26] Absolutely. And what is it that you want your art to say or how do you want to speak to the audience or your audience.
Lotta Lemetti [00:04:35] I mean of course every artist wants their works to evoke feelings resonate with the audience. And it’s the same for me. I usually always start with a feeling with my artwork. I want the finalized product to evoke a feeling. And if I can see that that feeling is transferred to the audience they feel something, maybe it’s calmness, maybe it’s curiosity, maybe it’s just pure happiness, and that’s when I know my job is done.
Brian Young [00:05:09] That’s excellent. I think the feeling of happiness after creating something is an amazing feeling to convey to viewers. And then when considering the campaign tagline Artrepreneurs Start Here. Where do you suggest creatives begin their careers and where did you start your own career.
Lotta Lemetti [00:05:27] I think the most important, or the first stepping stone, is to take the time to explore yourself your own art-making practice. Find the things that you really want to make. What makes you, you. What is your unique own thing in the art-making because I feel like once you have your own vision and style develop into a point that it’s shaped enough so you can step into the world and say “Hey this is me and this is the work I make,” I feel like and then the art world will have a space for you because we all create unique individual things and as long as you stay true to that. I think everything else follows. Once you have the basic palette, I guess for your work, then, the rest is just like getting it out there, starting to market contacting clients, but to be able to do that you have to have something to show them.
Brian Young [00:06:27] It sounds like finding your passion is the cornerstone to be a successful artrepreneur. Yes?
Lotta Lemetti [00:06:33] Yes, I very much think so.
Brian Young [00:06:38]And as an entrepreneur yourself what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the career. And then the most rewarding.
Lotta Lemetti [00:06:43] Well, starting out, which I still am very much just starting out it’s the contact to get the right people to see your work, I think, is the most challenging part. Being an artrepreneur or a freelancer is always a little bit scary because there is no guaranteed steady income ever. So you basically are just bidding for jobs or marketing yourself all the time in the hope of getting some attention so you can get work or sell your work. So I think the most challenging part is the beginning, where to start, how to get the right people who want to hire you or buy your art, to actually see the work and trust in you and your abilities as an artist enough to take you to the next level. So that’s definitely the most challenging part, as a beginner. But also the most rewarding is when you actually see that someone has seen your work and it resonates with them and they take action, they reach out whether it is just to say, I saw your work it’s amazing, I felt all these things when I saw it. That’s for me as good as like” Hey I want to buy a piece from you because I think it’s great.” I guess it’s just getting the response after you reach out and show your work. And if you get something back to yourself, that’s the most rewarding thing.
Brian Young [00:08:13] I certainly believe the recognition and the response fuels you to create is that right or what does inspire you to create?
Lotta Lemetti [00:08:24] Well yes, that definitely sparks up the enthusiasm to make me work but for me, it’s probably still always in there. They want to make work and what inspires me is documenting the things I see but then making it my own. So living and being open to seeing new things and taking my time to look around my everyday life, that’s where my inspiration often comes from.
Brian Young [00:08:54] I love that. And it sounds like creativity is important to you in your life. And it’s almost integrated into your life. Is that a proper kind of assumption?
Lotta Lemetti [00:09:06] Oh yes definitely. I live in an apartment with two other artists so we’re like three young artists doing our thing and it’s so inspiring to be around that vibe of creating and whether it’s drawing or writing or photographing or my roommates both are actors sometimes, like I’m also integrated to the film industry a lot, sometimes say to production design, I love interior decoration, all of it. I’m just happy to create something new. That’s what makes me feel alive. I guess.
Brian Young [00:09:41] Amazing, and what got you into the field of the arts or being an artrepreneur or creator?
Lotta Lemetti [00:09:49] That’s a great question, actually. My childhood is more in sports rather than the arts. I always love to create things with my hands. You know like arts and crafts were probably my favorite subject in school elementary and so on. But. I was actually a figure skater for my life since I was five until I was 20 years old. So that’s what took most of my life back then but the passion for art and creating has always been there. It was just underneath. And then once I decided not to continue my figure skating career anymore, I was sort of trying to decide then what? What is my next step? I don’t know what to do if I’m not figure skating and then really went into myself and started thinking about what are the things that I like. What are the things I’m good at? Somehow photography has always been there but it’s always been just a hobby, a thing I enjoyed whenever I had free time or I was traveling, I was always taking pictures. So I don’t know, it just naturally came to me that I really enjoy that maybe I should see where it leads me if I really put my effort into it. So yeah, I think, that’s how it all started for me.
Brian Young [00:11:13] Figure skating is an art form as well and I could definitely see how the world of figure skating in the growth of being an art creator kind of merged together a little bit. It’s an amazing story.
Lotta Lemetti [00:11:23] Oh yeah for sure it’s an art form.
Brian Young [00:11:27] One other two other questions actually. You know the first being what is the greatest lesson that you’ve learned as an artrepreneur.
Lotta Lemetti [00:11:35] The first thing that comes to my mind is doing taxes. This was the first year I’m doing taxes here in the United States and it’s a pretty complicated process as a freelancer so that’s definitely something I got to know a lot more in these past few months but I know that’s not too exciting. Other than that being open to everyone, and everyone you meet can know someone that you want to know you know. Be open to talking with anyone about your work, about what you do, especially in this town, in L.A, you never know if the friend of the person you’re talking is exactly the person who should see your work and get you to somewhere else. So I think that’s a lesson I’ve learned to never be afraid to open my mouth and talk about the things I care about.
Brian Young [00:12:31] That’s the key right there. It is being able to just speak about it and being confident in your work and speaking to anybody about it because you never know when the person you’re speaking to knows somebody or is that person who can get your art seen and jumpstart your career. And then, in the beginning, you mentioned about taxes, it is super important to really understand the business of art and how to be a freelancer and bill as a freelancer. It’s great. And, final question for you is, do you believe there are enough resources for assisting creatives in their career?
Lotta Lemetti [00:13:08] I think there can always be more especially if you’re outside of any artist community, it can feel very intimidating. And a lot of times I feel like the art world is very secretive. Everyone has all these untold rules so you that you might not be aware of or it feels scary because there is no written down a list of things how they work as an artist or selling work of art. So more openness to how the actual business of artworks would be great especially for a new young artist that is not connected to the art world yet would want to know and need to know to be able to get there. I think someone straight out telling you the things, how they work, that would be important.
Brian Young [00:14:00] Absolutely. Could not agree more. And that’s exactly what we strive to do with the Creative Career Center, is give emerging artists all the tools and the resources that they need to lead a successful life in the business of art. That was so great. Thank you so much for your time. It was very good speaking with you and thank you so much for joining the Creative Career Center podcast and for sharing your art with us. We look forward to seeing a ton more art from you in the future.
Lotta Lemetti [00:14:29] Thank you very much for having me, Brian.