This is a new weekly series where we feature our incredibly talented Adolescent members and their work! Sign up here to join the Adolescent Membership and be part of the @ family!
This week’s Adolescent Member Crush is Caroline Japal, a creative director and photographer in Birmingham, Alabama. She shot a killer series for Adolescent last year, is the founding editor-in-chief of Art Concept Magazine, and recently earned a BFA in Photography and Painting. Caroline’s work is stunningly colorful and profoundly professional, truly making her someone to watch. Read below to learn more about what being a creative director means to Caroline and why she loves shooting in Alabama.
Adolescent Content: You got your BFA in Photography and Painting at the University of Alabama. How did the style of your work change during your time there?
Caroline Japal: It changed a lot. When I started college most of my work was very commercial and [portraiture]. While I was in college I met a lot of artists that had different styles and came from so many different backgrounds. I at one point was working for this creative collective called Style Bone Fuze. I worked with them on more editorial work, and that’s definitely when the biggest shift happened in my work. I went from following every rule I had learned up until this point to breaking them all in one shoot. It honestly was so liberating to be able to have such creative freedom on a shoot that I just didn’t stop. I kept working with this group of creatives for a couple of months, and we made so much work. That’s how I knew I wanted to get into editorial work and production.
Adolescent: You created Art Concept Magazine—so cool! What drove you to start the publication?
Caroline: Working with Ashleigh Hill and Katie Reese of Style Bone Fuze is really what gave me the confidence to start Art Concept Magazine. When they wanted to do something, they did it. Also, I really wanted a creative outlet outside of school that I could pour all my ideas into.
Adolescent: What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created?
Caroline: [It’s] actually a photo series that I directed and didn’t even shoot. It was for Issue 004 of Art Concept Magazine, titled Revisit. I worked with local models, stylists, and a photographer, and we shot everything in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I love finding unique places [near] where I live that look like they wouldn’t exist here. This shoot is so nostalgic and captures girls’ youth so well. I love it.
Adolescent: Your website lists you as a creative director. What does that mean to you?
Caroline: To me, a creative director is someone who has a vision of a story they want to tell and finds the right set of creatives to execute that vision, start to finish. They oversee all aspects of the process to make sure the vision of the project is being executed.
Adolescent: How do your passions for design and photography play into each other?
Caroline: They influence each other so much. I love to use images in my designs, and knowing about design helps me make [more thoughtful] images. Because I have studied design, I now see patterns, colors, and lines as part of my composition; before, I was just focused on my subject. Now I pay more attention to silhouettes, natural patterns, and textures. It seems like a lot, but at some point I think it just becomes instinctual.