Ingrid Kesa is an Australian creative polymath, who has honed her skills as a photographer, stylist and creative director via various projects and roles including contributing to Nasty Gal, Vice, Pedestrian.tv and The Daily Beast, to name a few.
During this time she found herself photographing people in their home quite a lot, and realised that there’s nothing people like perving at more than people and the personalised places they live – it’s like going behind a secret curtain or something.
She’s put all of those talents, and all of that insight into what people want, to good use via her latest project: Homegirl. Homegirl is a magazine filled with photographic explorations into the homes and lives of Melbourne’s creative ladies. We’ll let Ingrid explain the rest.
Image: Alice by Ingrid for Homegirl.
When, where and how did the idea for Homegirl zine come about?
I used to shoot for Nasty Gal and would often find myself photographing the girls in their own homes. It’s a comfortable setting for girls who aren’t models because they’re in their own zone. I loved the whole idea of this — about how we make our spaces our own and how we can truly be ourselves in them.
We wear clothes to present a certain image to the outside world or dress for an occasion, but our homes are different because while they’re still an extension of ourselves and what we’re into, they’re just for us. I think we’re all a bit voyeuristic so it’s interesting to get a look into how other people live.
The idea was to do interior photography in a real way, mixed with portraiture and editorial photography. For example, I love the idea of a girl waking up with an empty McDonald’s burger box on her pillow after a big night out (we’ve all been there).
Image: Amy by Ingrid for Homegirl.
You moved to Melbourne recently right, and if anything’s evidence of the fact that you’re finding it an inspirational place to be full of inspiring people, then this zine is probably it. Can you elaborate? What do you love about Melbourne since moving there?
I moved down from Sydney last March. And you’re right, I love this city! There’s a certain sort of energy here and everyone seems to be working on their own projects, but I haven’t experienced any weird sort of competitiveness yet. The rent here is cheaper, there are a million really good bars and pubs to go to (and no lock-out laws!) and it’s super easy to get around. I love my neighbourhood; I’m around the corner from a farm so if I ever need to see some baby goats to lift my spirits, they’re just a short walk away.
Image: Chrissy by Ingrid for Homegirl.
You’re a writer, a photographer and a stylist – a polymath! What do you love about the creative aspects of each, and how do you think they feed into each other? I kind of do a bunch of stuff too, and sometimes I feel like I’m being all “jack of all trades, master of none”, but then I love them all! Do you feel this vibe sometimes?
Ahhhh, yes! Totally. I was just saying to someone the other day that I instinctively dislike people who do a bit of everything, like, just choose one thing and stick to it! It sometimes feels a bit fraudulent to say that I do these various things, but having worked as an online editor at a fashion magazine (Oyster) it seemed like a natural move to begin actually playing with the clothes that I had been writing about. So I started doing some styling work for Oyster, and then other people. And then I began taking photos. It all happened very organically and I’m still figuring it out.
I make no claim that I’m a master of anything, but it’s just what I love to do, so if other people don’t think it sucks then that’s an added bonus. I’ve always been pretty creative and had a vivid imagination (I spent my childhood making up fake magazines — styling ‘shoots’, writing articles, doing lay outs and covers, even making up marketing plans), so it really feels natural for me to have a hand in a few different disciplines and be quite fluid. It’s fun to learn new stuff.
Image: Chrissy by Ingrid for Homgirl.
You’ve decided to make Homegirl a physical zine rather than a website platform. What do you think is still so special about printed material?
There’s really nothing like the satisfaction of holding a physical product in your hands! Especially when you’ve worked hard on something, it’s nice to have that tangibility and be able to flick through pages rather than click and scroll. There’s also a ritual to reading magazines, it’s sort of like a treat or self-care, it’s not really an everyday thing — you’ll wait for the next issue of your favourite magazine to come out, then read it from front to cover in one sitting over a few hours. With all the noise online, it’s too easy for the good stuff to get lost.
Image: Inside Alice’s house by Ingrid for Homegirl.
You got to go inside some pretty amazing spaces. Did you have some favourites? Did you get interior design ideas and inspiration? Tell us!
Oh, so many! I loved Sunni Hart’s house because she had a massive backyard with chooks. Unsurprisingly Christine Lafian, who does SUKU Home, had a heaven bedroom (and has some great tips in the zine for creating your own sleep oasis). At the time filmmaker Amy Dellar was living back at her parents’ place, and it made me miss having a fully-stocked fridge. Stylist Nat Turnbull’s bedroom looked like a really cool shop and she had a great collection of books like the Jeurgen Teller Go-Sees.
Image: Inside Amy’s house by Ingrid for Homegirl.
We’re having a total grrrl power moment right now. What ladies who are doing epic things – anywhere in the world – are you inspired by right now?
Every girl in the zine! Plus so many others — girls on Instagram who are killing it and doing what they love such as Marie Sophie Lockhart who does this incredible embroidery, and Zio Baritaux who publishes Strange Plants. Also the pack of cool Australian girls living in New York like Stevie Dance, Alex Spencer, and my friend Ana Ifould, who just have the best style and the most fun. Also, my friend from Sydney Renee Warne who does FEELTHEFUTURE with her boyfriend Gibbo, and just launched a clothing label called DAISY. She is an incredibly hard worker and I love that she just does stuff without talking about it for months first.
Image: Inside Chrissy’s home by Ingrid for Homegirl.
What else are you working on at the moment?
I’m starting to work on issue two, which is set for release this December. I have some pretty big ideas for it and I don’t want it to just be me; my dream is to have girls from all over the world contribute to the theme relating to girls in their homes. If you are a writer, photographer, stylist, artist, designer, subeditor or something that is not one of those things please feel free to email me at email@example.com to register your interest for being a contributor. Get it, girl. I also just launched an online store to sell the zines and in the coming weeks I’ll also be stocking some other small treats like cute socks and phone covers.
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