Photographer/Illustrator, Founder of Repel Industries
Generally for commerce these photos are of clothing and jewelry lines for lookbooks or marketing but have found their way into editorials, a lingerie ghost story hardcover art book, Hillary Clinton's first presidential campaign, and in self made publications though my micro-publishing company Repel Industries. I gravitate toward the dark, the odd and the spectacular.
I also have been known to show my photographs and illustrations in predominately Los Angeles based art shows.
What steps did you take to get where you are now?
I have put in a tremendous amount of hard work. I did yesterday, I did today, and I will tomorrow.
I started my education at an alternative performing arts high school in MA pursing visual art, continued this at a photography and business driven technical school and then moved into the life of a hands on working artist education. I have assisted, photo edited, retouched, and done every job I could get my hands on to incrementally get better while presenting my work in constantly changing arenas from galleries to publications.
The ability to make a living off your own work or talent is never guaranteed or guaranteed to earn you respect and validation so constant dedication is essential.
For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?
I think a lot of freelance working artists lack a plan for their futures and how to manage the stress they create.
I personally wrestle with the day to day actions of getting through the workload I have, while pursuing additional work/clients that it's incredibly easy to get lost in the process and not plan for things whether pragmatic as taxes, or a sick day budget or things less directly pragmatic that you need to manage your stress load, like a trip or a day off.
I still struggle with this, and probably will for awhile, but I'm trying to learn how much work is too much work, how little sleep is too little sleep and when to actually stop checking my email and go see a movie with someone important.
What are you working on right now?
I'm wrapping up an exciting art driven lookbook, working on rebranding a Los Angeles bookstore's zine and small press offerings, trying to take Instagram seriously with some strategic sexy summer photo-shoots, chipping away at two large scale photography projects, one on the impermanence of space and another on the transformative quality of drag queens and there are a some editorials in the pipeline.
We are all Slashies with multiple skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
If I could spend every day on my feet directing models, holding heavy gear and sweating under lighting I would die a happy woman.
What is frustrating you right now?
My constant, unyielding, very unoriginal frustration is money.
While I'm proud that so much of my work comes from word of mouth or positive referrals, in the absence of that or in a lull, it is a constant struggle to find the next client, brand, or project while also maintaining the clarity to keep a level head and strong perseverance.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
I think $20 an hour would be too low of a rate but what I would most want to make my life easier is someone to help me attract new clients and new gallery opportunities.
Also someone to handle my social media. I am really horrible at Twitter. Just...horrible....
Do you have any mentors or peers? What do you chat about? How do they help you?
I am involved in a few creative networking groups in addition to my friend base of freelance artists but have never had a real mentor, though I am envious of those who do.
Generally when I talk with my freelance artist friends we speak about ways to stay productive, creative and excited about our skills while not going completely insane, or you know, we will just try to forget about it and grab a beer....
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
I'd love to talk to successful non-traditional artists who exist in the mainstream and how they managed to become successful while being weird.
For example, photographers like Lionel DeLuey, Erwin Olaf and Ellen Von Unwerth whose work, while inarguably odd have made it into mainstream publications or "fine artists" like Joel Peter Witkin or Nan Goldin on how to bypass the commercial arena and succeed in a gallery setting in a time when photography as fine art has been hyperbolicly devalued.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?
I'm looking to shoot more lookbooks and campaigns for clothing lines, especially ones with an alternative lifestyle, punk rock or dark inclinations.
Essentially to continue to collaborate with brands that are provoking and interesting with ideas or styles I would be excited to support.
What is your ideal client?
My most recent ideal experience was with a really fascinating jewelry company who I collaborated with to make an art lookbook. Through clear and genuine communication we built a really beautiful print book that pefectly showcases their pieces and the style/intent of their line while also allowing my ideas and style to shine through resulting in a piece we can all be supremely proud of on every page.
My dream clients are the ones I can share a mutual respect and admiration for while working with in a collaborative format to accomplish all the goals we need to meet.
Do you allow yourself to say No?
I'm learning to. There is value in saying no to projects you aren't right for to allow time and space for the ones you are.
My deal breakers usually boil down to respect. If a client doesn't have the ability to respectfully communicate or offer a fair rate for fair work then I'm probably going to pass. I want to work with people who I am excited to collaborate with to create lasting and meaningful work.
What is your rate?
Every job is evaluated on a case by case basis taking into consideration the expectations and needs of the client, the service requested and time frame they want it accomplished.
My rates vary for services (photography, illustration and retouching services all demand different hourly or project rates) but info I can share is I require a deposit to start work with new clients, I am always happy to accommodate payment plans and I accept credit cards.
How should someone approach you about working together?
You can contact me for pretty much anything through email (Rebecca@RebeccaPeloquin.com) or the contact form on my website. I sleep about 10 inches from my phone so I am never far from an email....
I have no idea what else the intro should include. Something really exciting bc I feel like I'm being tortuously boring. Maybe a dinosaur.
I eat, breathe and sleep Adobe- Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and InDesign as well as Photo Mechanic for editing and exporting contact sheets and proofs and Dropbox or Transmit for getting everyone their images.
For illustration I am obssessed with Kuretake pens, graphite, Pelikan watercolors and higgens black ink.
For photography, I shoot on a D800, a Canon AE-1, an Ikonta, whatever backstock Neopan film I can get my hands on and my battle-tested Alien Bee Ringlash, or...you know...the sun. The sun is pretty cool.
Wave for invoicing on the go, Square for $ on the go, Venmo for uh more $ on the go.
Doomy metal, angry dudes and yelly girls are all I listen to.
This member profile was originally published in August 2015.