Farewell from Clémence

Hi everyone! I’m Clémence, and I’ve been the Art Editor here at Vagabond City since 2019. This month’s issue will be my last one, after a total of 25 interviews with 25 brilliant artists who have been kind enough to share their thoughts with me and who have all taught me a lot. For my final contribution to the journal, I have prepared a selection of my favorite things from the last two years, from some of the most vulnerable, eloquent, moving, surprising answers I’ve ever been given, to some of the best art I’ve ever received!

Starting with Caroline Dare, the first artist I ever interviewed, on feelings: 

I’m quite sensitive so, pretty much everything around me inspires me. Feeling in love, feeling deeply happy, feeling high off life, feeling elated, feeling anxious, feeling concerned, feeling soft, feeling delicate, feeling spicy, feeling special, feeling disgusted, feeling ashamed, feeling sad, feeling cozy, feeling creative, feeling quiet, feeling chaotic, feeling free…perhaps every feeling I’ve ever felt and continue to feel inspires me

Monse Muro on how she builds trust with the people she photographs: 

I spend a lot of time with the person, I try to be very mindful with my words, and I make sure that they feel like they’re in control of the photograph as much as I am. I don’t know exactly how it happens. There isn’t a recipe for it, but it’s in the way that I choose my words or move around them with care. It’s beautiful when a certain level of trust is reached and freedom happens on both sides of the lens. My favourite images always happen in these vulnerable moments of play. 

Speaking of Monse, this ghostly portrait she took is one of my favorite pieces we ever published: 

Ninn Salaün on why she chose to represent the sky: 

I’ve always been fascinated by the sky. My grandfather had a telescope and when I was a child we would look at the stars from his garden. I kept looking at the sky as I grew up, but I didn’t look at it the same way anymore. We don’t always have the time to really look at it when we’re busy. A few years ago, my interest resumed and I bought books about clouds and the sky. It’s so important. We always say that we talk about the weather like it’s an easy or trivial subject, but I don’t think we take it seriously enough. It matters so much, maybe too much for us to talk about it easily. It’s really important for me to take a few moments of my day to look at the sky. It helped me get out of bed at times in my life when I didn’t want to do anything. I would tell myself that at least the sky was there, and that it always would be. 

And this stunning sunset she painted: 

Danielle Morgan on what she’s been asking herself lately:

Why is hair beautiful on my head and gross on my shower wall? 

How can understanding tangible changes help me make sense of intangible shifts in the world?

How do people hold their bodies while they wait and what does that tell me about waiting and about people?

Why are we so obsessed with full moons and new moons and rarely talk about waxing or waning moons?

Why is it hard to tell if something is moving/changing if I am also moving/changing? 

Why are figs so weird?

And her appreciation for the little things:

Carissa Potter Carlson on what she has learned from the people she loves: 

Everything. That there is meaning in life. I think there is something so bittersweet about the name. It is simultaneously nostalgic and heartbreaking. 

And the vulnerability of her work: 

Neha Hirve on photography as an act of intimacy: 

I guess the idea of photography as an act of intimacy on the part of the subject isn’t that new. It’s a  vulnerable thing to be photographed, to allow somebody to really look at you. But I think it’s also  intimate for the photographer, because you’re looking at someone and you’re not doing anything  else. It feels like telling somebody that you love them when you don’t know if they love you back.  It’s that moment when you are giving them your full attention and you’re asking them to surrender  to you, but you’re in the unknown, they might not give you what you want, that connection that you seek might never happen. You are putting yourself out there as a photographer, even when you’re  not photographing people. You are saying: “This is what I think is worth paying attention to”. It’s a  way of saying: “This is who I am, because this is what I think is important”. It’s a really intimate experience.  

Ludi Leiva’s colorful, expanding figures: 

Alice Cloutier Lachance on what she has learned so far:

I still have so much to learn, but so far, I would say that things take time. If you have a photograph that you want to make and it doesn’t work out, give it time, and it will happen. It also works for your personal life. If you don’t know what something means now, it’s okay, you will figure it out with time, and with time you will get over grief. I have learned to accept that things take time.

The white eyes of Anna Wanda Gogusey’s illustrations: 

And, finally, Bianca Dunn, the last artist I interviewed, on what she wants people to feel through her work: 

Peaceful thoughtful confused connected fluid joyful colorful ambiguous hungry thirsty invigorated energetic playful vibrational quiet calm bubbly liquid solid grounded light

This is, also, what I hope you felt through all of these amazing people’s art. Thank you again to every single one of them, as well as to the Vagabond City staff and all of our readers, for these wonderful two years, for which I will always be grateful!

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.