Jesse Lenz is a self-taught photographer and multidisciplinary artist. As an illustrator he has created images for the most well-respected publications around the world, including TIME, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many others. He is the founder and director of Charcoal Book Club, Charcoal Press,_ _and the Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review. From 2011-2018 he also co-founded and published The Collective Quarterly and The Coyote Journal. He lives on a farm in rural Ohio.
Jesse just released his first photobook, entitled _The Locusts_, published under the imprint that he founded, Charcoal Press. Featuring black and white images that transport the reader to rural Ohio where his children run wild in the fields, build forts in the attic, and fall asleep surrounded by lightsabers and superheroes. The microcosmic worlds of plants, insects, animals, and children create a brooding landscape where dichotomies of nature play out in front of his growing family. The backyard becomes a labyrinth of passages as the children experience the cycles of birth and death in the changing seasons. The Locusts depicts a world in which beautiful and terrible things will happen, but offers grace and healing within the brokenness and imperfection of life.
On episode 141, Jesse discusses, among other things:
* His imprint, _Charcoal Press_
* His new book, _The Locusts_
* Learning how to be present
* Being the singer in a heavy metal band
* His ethos that if you want something you have to build it yourself
* Creating community
* Never having had a real job
* Sustainable subject matter
* If you build it, they will come
* Jonathon Levitt
* Andrew Wyeth
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“The work that you’re making, it really should be the thing that you can’t wait to get out and do. It should be something that never feels like a job… if you do that you’re always gonna have work even if its the same subject matter over and over, because you’re infatuated with it. Infatuation and obsession is the superpower of the human race… and that’s where amazing things happen. Like, the Wright brothers were infatuated with flying and they did something crazy.”