Monthly Archives: December 2015

Jed Wells: Peru


Jed Wells is a freelance filmmaker, photographer, and creative force with an amazing series of photographs from Peru. He graduated from the photography program at BYU and as he says, “I have brown eyes and some top-notch ideas.” Wells lives in Utah.

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You recently went to Peru. Tell us about the experience and the images you came back with. I’ve been to Peru twice now. Both trips based in Cuzco (one of the world’s most beautiful cities) with expeditions into the High Andes to shoot with an indigenous tribe, the Q’eros. Every day I spend in that country with those people claims a bigger piece of my heart. I’ve had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life up there. Their primitive, peaceful existence is teaching me how to be grateful. How to better relate with the earth, with the heavens, and the humans around me. It’s an excruciating experience to get up to the village, but the reward has been utterly fulfilling. Sometimes when I revisit the images I brought back, I can’t believe they came from my camera. Someone said it was amazing work and I told them it wasn’t work: it was happening in front of me and I put the camera to my face and snapped a photo of it. Stole it, really. Any beauty in it, real or perceived, had little to do with me. I was just the one holding the camera.

What’s next? I don’t even know anymore. I shoot on such a variety of subjects, it’s hard to say what path I’m on or what my trajectory really is. I’m currently the Content Director for a not-for-profit initiative based in SLC called The Wonderment. It keeps me really engaged in pretty spectacular work, traveling around the world making documentary short films and photographs. It’s the best gig around. But I continue to direct commercials, music videos, and television when I’m at home. I do commercial and editorial stills work for magazines and other companies. I love that work. And I continue to not shoot weddings and families. I have all the respect in the world for the people who can do that well, because I can’t, and brides and families should always hire those folks, because they’re good at it.

Visit Jed Wells’ website.

Follow Jed Wells on Instagram.


Evelynne Hatchard: Are You My Mother?


Evelynne Hatchard is an Australian illustrator with a captivating new book call Are You My Mother? The book beautifully approaches the subject of our Heavenly Mother. The topic of our ‘Mother in Heaven‘ was recently addressed in a new essay at, “As with many other truths of the gospel, our present knowledge about a Mother in Heaven is limited. Nevertheless, we have been given sufficient knowledge to appreciate the sacredness of this doctrine and to comprehend the divine pattern established for us as children of heavenly parents.” Hatchard lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.

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Tell us where you grew up and how you became an artist. I grew up in Queensland, Australia. Art and English were always my favourite subjects at school and I always knew I would end up doing something creative, but it took me a long time to find out exactly what. A number of years ago I was watching the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional and was, as we all are, mesmerized by the beauty, the detail, the care that was taken to create the decorations. I couldn’t help but think, “That must have cost a fortune! (Was it really worth it?)”. Then the brother offering the opening prayer said something along the lines of “We thank Thee for these beautiful surroundings, for they remind us that Thou dost deign for us to be happy.”

The Spirit carried those words straight through my heart and I knew that yes! It was worth it! That beautiful things are SO important because they are a representation of the love that God has for us. I knew that creating beautiful things was what I needed to spend my life doing, because in doing so I could be an instrument in connecting people with the love of God.

The following year I enrolled in a Diploma of Graphic Design, which I was able to complete from home while I cared for my three small children. It was so exciting for me to discover the marvellous world of design. It was like an entire universe existed that I previously had no knowledge about. I had absolutely found my bliss. Once my children were all at school I was able to continue my studies and upsize my Diploma to a Bachelor of Communication Design which I am almost finished. I sincerely believe that good design has the power to change the world–to connect people to themselves, each other and God. I feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to acquire the skills I have and look forward to learning and creating so much more.


How do you see the Church’s relationship to art these days? What would you like to see moving forward? The Internet really is God’s gift to artists. Literally that is how I see it. We have the opportunity to have our work shouted from the rooftops, giving our voices reach like never before. The Church as an organization does some great things to encourage and support the arts, but the REAL magic is happening from the Church in the sense of its membership. We support, encourage and enable each other to share more, create more and to think more! I think we are headed in a fantastic direction.

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Your new book Are You My Mother? is beautiful. The book came about as consequence of two events. Firstly, I was in the temple one evening and for a few different reasons I came to ponder on my Heavenly Mother before the endowment session started. As the session proceeded a deep, aching grief overcame me as I failed to see any representation of my Heavenly Mother in what was supposed to be the story of human creation. I literally sobbed through the entire session and all the way home.

That night I determined to put my trust in my Heavenly Father and began a search for answers to my questions and comfort for my heart. I was very quickly lead to a number of journal articles and discussions that provided me with many of the answers I was seeking. I came to realise that although generations of degradation had all but removed our Heavenly Mother from cultural consciousness, symbols of my Her can be found everywhere–in the temple, in the scriptures, in the world around us–I just had to learn how to read the language. I decided that night that I would be part of the movement that would help to bring Her out of obscurity and darkness. I determined that I would create artworks that depicted my Heavenly Mother not only to soothe my own soul, but for others who experienced the same yearning that I did and for the sake of future generations.

Very soon after this experience I was given an subversive art assignment for a class called “Audience, Viewpoint and Commentary”. We were to create a series of artworks which commented one of a number of topics, one of which was “Tradition–The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” I didn’t even have to think about it. I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to make good on the promise I had made to myself. I knew that it was going to be a very different approach to the assessments than my class mates were going to take, and I knew that there was a risk that it would not be understood or well received by my non-religious teacher, but in my mind the task had already been completed. I just had to get my hands to do the work.

As it happens, my work was extremely well received, supported and appreciated by both my peers and my lecturer. The Spirit was undoubtedly present as I presented my work. As part of the assessment I had to get some feedback from others about my project so I put a call out amongst my friends on Facebook to see if anyone would mind having a look at the eBook. I received over 100 requests for a copy within two days, from both members of the church and non-members. The feedback I received was incredibly positive and supportive and there were many requests for a printed copy and even an offer for publishing.

All of this happened a year ago and over these past two weeks I finally had a block of time where I had the opportunity to finish what I had started. I decided for a number of reason to self-publish and got to work designing and creating a printed version of my eBook. The book and prints were made available recently. This has been an extremely soul-satisfying experience, from the inspiration I received to embark on this project in the first place, to the joy of the creative process, to the incredibly supportive, kind and uplifting responses I received from people all over the world as they have viewed my work. I am so grateful for the ache that I felt in my heart that night in the temple which ultimately lead me here.

Visit Evelynne Hatchard on Facebook.

Follow Evelynne Hatchard on Instagram.

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Hildebrando de Melo: Angola Painting


Hildebrando de Melo is a creative and talented painter from Angola. It has been said that he “has the unique ability to render a painting that is complex in its simplicity. Restraint dictates his style. It is this moderation, both in terms of color and line, however, that prolongs the viewer’s attention. Even though there are many lines converging within a single work, the plain, oftentimes white, backgrounds provide plenty of open space in Hildebrando de Melo’s paintings. This paradox means that the paintings have an overall feeling of energetic minimalism.” He lives in Luanda, Angola.

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Regarding his technique it has been written that, “Hildebrando hasn’t used brushes to paint for more than 10 years, instead using spatulas and knives, tools that ‘sharpen’ the acrylic on the canvas and lend it that characteristic aspect of a ‘puzzle’ of acrylic knives assembled in such a way that they result in just the composition the artist was seeking.”

Tell us where you grew up and how did you become an artist. I was born in Bailundo, the municipality from the City of Huambo and I grew up to age five in Lobito City. Then I went to Portugal for the care of my maternal grandmother, Laura. Which, by the way, it was because of her that the whole family has become Mormon. I remember that at the time,  I was in the room in her company and was very fond of the cartoon Lady and the Tramp, with personification of dogs. I speak sometimes of a record of having painted my very new uncle, but here I find it earlier because I think it rode in first class and drew the animation that speaks very realistically. This is where my odyssey begins in the arts. And it is the time my grandmother becomes Mormon. By the influence of my grandmother everyone in the family became Mormons. I was baptized in the city of Porto, Portugal when I was 14 years old.

What messages do you try to share with your artwork? The idea of ​​God, from which everything is born. The likeness of God hunger nature Chaos existence. Those are my research, within a transmutation or Supra-Trans-African dialogue.

Like Hildebrando de Melo on Facebook.


Dilleen Marsh: Clearly, Boldly, and Joyfully

Dilleen Marsh is an illustrator and painter who worked for many years as a designer for the LDS Church. She has illustrated 10 children’s books and exhibited her work in various shows and galleries. Illustrations from her book The Bamboo Cutter and The Moon Maiden were selected to appear in the Communication Arts Magazine Illustration Annual.  Her Instagram is an intriguing series of daily sketches (see below). Marsh lives in Utah.


Tell us about your career as an artist. When I was 8 years old I drew a baby chick with pencil on lined notebook paper. It was a wrinkled mess, but I distinctly remember thinking, ‘That was FUN!’ From that earliest art memory, I engaged in every art opportunity that came my way through elementary and middle school. In high school I was privileged to have an art teacher that really knew how to draw and taught us an academic approach to art. With that realistic approach to portrait and figure drawing I chose to be an illustrator, attending Utah State University for three years. Learned strong design and began painting the figure. Spent four years illustrating and designing in Studio City, California. I then returned to Utah in 1979 to be a designer for the LDS Church magazine, The New Era. I spent the day creating page spreads and art directing photographers and illustrators. At night I took drawing and painting classes, workshops, and did illustrations on my weekends and holidays. After 14 years I went home to my own studio to continue illustrating for Church magazines and others on a free-lance basis. All together, I have had more than a 30-year career in illustration. For 11 years while our children were young, I volunteered at their elementary school creating art committees, projects, and curriculum. For a season I taught some beginning illustration classes at BYU and illustrated 10 children’s books for Deseret Book, Thomas Nelson, and Leatherwood Press. Having moved to the southern part of Utah in 2006, I continue to oil paint figures and landscapes.

You once wrote, “I am the possibility of clearly, boldly, and joyfully communicating an idea through art.” Explain. “The emerging picture from…studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert—in anything,” writes the neurologist Daniel Levitin, from the book, Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. I have put in the hours and like a musician, writer, scientist, sports figure, or whomever, who has become competent at their craft, I can actually do the work. That means that if you want something produced in my sphere of expertise, I can do that. I am that possibility. The three descriptive words that follow are: clearly, boldly, joyfully. These are to keep me on track. Am I CLEARLY communicating an idea through my art rather than being so obscure that only a small group of art critics or elites will ever “’get it’? I’d like my art to communicate to the vast majority of humanity, at many levels. BOLDLY is with a bit of an edge, pushing creative and imaginative boundaries, but not abrasive. Primarily, BOLD is in a strong design. I do not want to dwell in shocking dark topics or misery to engage the viewer. Therefore, I chose to be JOYFUL in my art. This sometimes comes off as humorous, a celebration of beauty, or a poignant moment.

You are very active on social media. Does the Internet motivate you, support you, unnerve you, or something else? I am trying to find my way in an always shifting landscape of connecting with other people. I am grateful I live in a technological age. I WANT my art ideas to be seen by and inspire many people. Social media is a perfect platform for artists because it is so visual. Yes, it unnerves me a little to tap ‘update’ on a program because there may be annoying changes to adjust to. But I am amazed at the reach of the Internet. I am sharing art ideas with people in France, the Netherlands, Australia, Africa, Brooklyn, China… I am a better painter and designer because I have the privilege of viewing so much great stuff. It helps me sort out the mediocre. Over a year ago I started doing and posting on Instagram an ink drawing a day. I added a written commentary with each sketch. Had to economize my words. Began to look for “concepts”, not just any scene or subject. The original intent was to improve and maintain my drawing skills. Now I’m improving as a writer as well. As my ‘following’ grows, so does the structure of providing something of worth every day. It has required me to think and helps keep my eye/hand coordination tuned up. When I hashtag a topic or thought, my image joins a global community of similar intentioned individuals: fun, thoughtful, eye-opening. What a great education, but I haven’t figured out how to manage it all consistently across all the different media.

What’s next for you? Since this art thing is a self-generated endeavor, that question is always on my mind! I toy with self publishing children’s books that I write and illustrate, entering art shows to build a brand and finding galleries that love to sell my paintings online or off, ‘paying it forward’ by mentoring, blogging, and teaching, inviting the neighborhood kids over to mess up my studio with an art project, still doing an occasional illustration job, maybe turning my daily Instagram posts into little coffee table books, writing a novel…it is “a miracle to be anywhere in this vortex of art” (thank you, Robert Genn) and something will evolve if I continue to do the work and consider the possibilities as they come.

Visit Dilleen Marsh’s website.

Follow Dilleen Marsh on Instagram.


Cameron Moll: Letterpress Typography


Cameron Moll is a consummate designer and entrepreneur. I first came across his work on a typography blog highlighting his first letterpress project of the Salt Lake Temple. His newest piece is a representation of the new Provo City Center Temple in Provo, Utah. He graduated from BYU with a business degree and worked for a few years in the Church design department. Moll lives with his wife and sons in Florida.

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You spent three years working in design for the LDS Church. How would you describe the Church’s evolution with regards to art and design? Tough question to answer as I don’t consider myself an expert in Church art history nor am I an authorized spokesperson, but I think we’ve definitely seen a significant increase in the quality of Church-produced and member-produced material in comparison to their non-Church counterparts. Digital design, print material, film, music… in all of these areas members and even the Church itself are capable of competing with the best of the best, and some of these efforts have gained worldwide recognition. Perhaps the most significant evolution by the Church has been the embrace of technology and social media, and a major push to provide high-quality material for these mediums. I was working for the Church when this was really taking off, and it was fascinating to see the Church shift from its very conservative stance on technology to fully embracing it.
You once said, “You can create with any medium and on any canvas.” Where did the idea for your letterpress projects come from? What has been the response? Coincidentally the idea began during my time working for the Church as an interaction designer. We were planning our inaugural annual design review, and I thought it’d be fun to have a poster competition to help advertise the event internally and to stretch our design muscles beyond digital. My entry was the Salt Lake Temple rendered entirely with numbers and letters, inspired by a series of postcards of the same style designed by Justin LaFontaine. After the event I posted the artwork on my website, and there was considerable interest from my readers in purchasing a copy of it. I contacted Bryce Knudson of Bjorn Press in Provo, Utah to letterpress print the artwork, and the first batch sold out within a few days. Surprisingly, most of the initial buyers were not members of the Church. Since then I’ve sold more than a 1,000 copies of Salt Lake Temple poster to buyers in 30+ countries, and I’ve also completed renderings of the Roman Coliseum, Brooklyn Bridge, and my latest piece, the Provo City Center Temple.


Purchase Cameron Moll’s Letterpress prints.

Follow Cameron Moll on Instagram.