Jelena Aleksich

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Her Gift:  The Confetti Project

I'm a freelance graphic designer from New York that created The Confetti Project almost two years ago. It's a photography series that profiles amazing humans while dousing them with confetti and exploring the question: what do you celebrate? It began as a labor of love that has transitioned into a creative brand filled with non-profit campaigns, curated series, event activations, and developing my own personal brand. My father was diagnosed with cancer a few months after this project began so for an entire year anytime someone would ask me how I was doing, I would reply, "My life is cancer and confetti right now." When he passed away, I was able to find gratitude amidst grief and it gave this entire series a full-circle depth to it. Now, I feel like I strive to find beauty and meaning in everything.


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Q: Describe your work in three words.

  Inspirational, Sparkly, Creative

Q: What gets you excited to wake up each day?

I love this question. It's actually one of the main ones that I ask every one of my subjects. For me, I get excited about the possibility of anything. On my best days, my purpose feels very obvious and I can't NOT greet the day to see what I can manifest and how that will unfold. The spontaneity of it all is enthralling.

Q: How do you stay inspired?

In many, many ways. I feel the most grounded in nature so traveling or doing any activity outdoors recalibrates everything for me. I am a big fan of creative escapism; film, literature and music are the biggest portals to jumping into someone else's story. Writing has also become a very therapeutic practice for me to develop as well. Really, I love photographs and anything design-related. I “tumblr'd” for years before I began my design career and still have extensive archival folders of various topics. Honestly, if you're always trying to find the beauty and meaning in everything, inspiration can come from anything. I have a running notepad where I write down things that resonate with me - from what someone said in a conversation to a thought that comes to my mind inspired by the landscape I'm in.

Q:  What has been the most challenging aspect of your work and how do approach it?

The never-ending nature of the work. When you're creating something out of the nothing, I truly believe it's a miracle. It's like you’re giving birth to this idea; finding boundaries within it has always been a challenge for me. Perhaps, because there is no blueprint or guarantee? I go hard. The number of all-nighter's I've pulled is something that I'm not proud of and it's become an eternal lesson in treating myself with kindness and realizing that when I treat myself with kindness only then can this brand flourish too.

Q: What is the highest potential of your work and how do you see it contributing to the world?

By doing this for almost two years, I've had the luxury of seeing firsthand how my work has contributed and impacted anyone that has come across it or experienced it. First off, the work is essentially a therapy - one where you can be present, playful, introspective and uninhibited. In a general sense, it is a frozen moment in time where each person in a photo is completely engulfed in that moment. It's impossible for it to not be beautiful. People have died that have been part of the project and while they were ill - they were able to see these empowering photos and read these words of what they celebrate. Their families were able to look back at the same photos in grief and witness their loved one in a moment of pure joy. I'm completely aware that I'm creating a time capsule collection and I don't take that lightly. In a general sense, I think my work makes people stop, think, feel good, create awareness on the fragility of our existence and not to take that for granted.

Q: How does consciousness play a role in your business?

Huge--Both within the field and within the general brand. I ask subjects a lot of deep, introspective questions that usually stop them in their tracks. This whole project takes something that can be very trivial and superficial (throwing confetti) and turns it into something that is full of beauty and meaning so consciousness plays a huge role in everything I do with it moving forward.

Q:  If you could offer advice to yourself one year ago regarding your entrepreneurial journey, what would it be?

Don’t give up or take it too seriously. This work is so close to who I am so when I lost my father last year I was really questioning if I should continue it. On top of that, as an artist, I have a tendency to be very critical and doubtful of myself and my techniques/skills. I still have nerves going into each and every photo shoot even though I've done over two hundred so far. But, really? I get to have an intimate two hours with awesome humans where I throw confetti on them and ask them really deep questions. How seriously can you take that?

Q: Are you seeking collaboration right now?

Always. That's an integral part of this work. I essentially collaborate with every subject I have a photo shoot with. Expanding into a brand six months ago gave me the luxury to work with charities and non-profits in social awareness campaigns. That has been one of the most meaningful things I've done with the work and supremely inspiring. I've begun to work with brands on activations too. Currently the only open series is for pregnant women in their third trimester. I'm always looking to collaborate with amazing communities and humans as that continually sheds more dimensions to the project.

Q: What’s coming up for you?

Right now, I'm working with the After School All Stars at the Camden Elementary School in Newark where I'll be profiling their 4th grade photography class. There are a few non-profit collaborations in the works right now along with a new confetti cork innovation I'm helping bring to market. All of this on top of writing a Confetti&Cancer book: a year in my life of dousing people with confetti and losing my father to cancer. I'm realizing that now is the time to finally brand the project along with myself in sharing the story behind it and how I can impact others by speaking about finding the silver lining in your existence, even amidst grief.

 


I can impact others by speaking about finding the silver lining in your existence, even amidst grief.
— Jelena Aleksich

Instagram: @the_confetti_project

Website: theconfettiproject.com

For collaboration, contact: Submission link on the website!

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