Zoetica Ebb is an Internet Superstar, and it has been a wild pleasure getting to know her. Model, writer, photographer, she’s a triple threat.
No, really, she’s threatened me before. Very intimidating, this one.
It was a no-brainer when I first started thinking about interviews to do one with Zoetica, the lady’s the real deal.
So here we go:
How’d you get interested in photography?
I’ve always taken too many pictures, but serious obsession didn’t really set in until the last two years of high school. I filled four enormous albums, their inside covers collaged with cutouts from event flyers and newspapers, with hundreds of pictures from every kind of cheap film camera I got my hands on at the time. But I can’t honestly say I was interested in photography beyond collecting vintage portraits. I have never even developed film, and made the switch to digital as soon as I could afford to. It’s always been more about documentation and capturing moments to the best of my ability than photography as a craft.
What is it about photography you like, as opposed to other artistic expressions (painting, or drawing, or writing)?
It’s real. In my paintings I use highly stylized human form and images taken from fantasy. With photos, I attempt to crystallize the real world. It’s actually a challenge for me - a person chiefly driven by fantasy, fiction and daydreams.
What is it you’re trying to accomplish with your photography?
I’m not sure I’m trying to accomplish anything at this stage. I’m incredibly busy with Coilhouse magazine and thus struggling to find time to work on my paintings. Photography has given me a more immediate outlet, which has been great and I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do it for a living. For now, I am exploring this medium and just having fun with it. Sometimes wonderful things happen and I get excited, and if someone else gets excited with me - that’s enough.
You’re a photographer for Suicide Girls. would you consider that work separate from personal work, or all in the same thread?
All in the same thread, most definitely. Of course, like with anything professional, there are some SG photo sets that feel less personal than others. Overall however, when I shoot women I search for the same type of nuance as in my other work.
What is it you’re going after with each SG shoot?
This might sound sentimental, but I do try to catch a glimpse of the girls in their entirety, beyond the skin. My favorite SG sets are very intimate and include lots of detail close ups, though I don’t spend as much time on those shots as I wish I could. When I started out in this field, my first few sets took me over 3 hours to shoot, because I would obsess over every angle and curve. I’ve had to learn to be much faster, for the sake of the models!
Has it always been a goal of yours to make your living through your art?
I don’t want to make art for a living, actually. Rather, I don’t want to make my living as an illustrator. When I tried it a few years ago it eliminated all desire to create my own work - until I quit. I do take on commissions and sell paintings, but to have this be my livelihood would kill the magic. Other creative endeavors, including photography, are different. I would gladly continue shooting professionally.
You’ve got several tattoos, including an incredible design on your back. What led you to get them?
I love the idea of transforming on my own terms. The tattoos are there to embellish my body, and are far from finished.
What is it about transformation that appeals to you?
Hope and fluidity - the idea that nothing is final.
I first found you through the wonders of the internet. How do you think the internet’s helped you as an artist?
Aside from exposure and all the wonderfully depraved humans I’ve met over the years, the internet has opened my eyes to a plethora of art I would have never found otherwise. It inspires me every time I remember to look.
Who are some photographers you admire?
Those who inspire me often make work that’s nothing like mine - the more fantastical the better! I love photographers who create new universes and weave fairy tales with their work, people like Eugenio Recuenco and Erwin Olaf, for instance. I’m also a big admirer of Ellen Von Unwerth and Steven Meisel. And, closer to my own interests and style, I’m digging Edward Burtynsky at the moment - he’s a genius.
Would you consider photography cathartic?
No, not for me anyhow. The creative process, while absolutely vital to my existence, is much more of a compulsion than a release. With painting I’m always struggling to perfect and evolve. I’m never happy when I’m finished with a piece and I never feel like I fully explained what I saw in my mind. Photography is relaxing because the lens is an extension of my eyes, not my brain. It’s not about conveying what’s inside but about falling in love with the outside world. And love is never, ever cathartic. Except in bed.
Thanks to Zoetica for the interview and the continual good times.
You can find her practically everywhere on the internet, including these sites:
She’s one of the founders of Coilhouse,
She’s got a personal website, Biorequiem
And naturally, she’s got a Flickr page.
3 Comments »
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.