In 2015 Jessica set up Mentis Studios in order to fuse her two passions: architecture and food. Since then she has travelled the world producing her custom-designed edible jelly sculptures.
Her formal schooling in spatial awareness and architecture has meant she’s been able to blur the boundaries of art, structure and edible flavours.
As her world is so visual, she relished the chance to put the Nikon D5300 to the test, discovering how an enthusiasts D-SLR camera could directly affect her business.
What is a jellyologist and how did you become one?
‘Jellyology’ is a phrase I’ve coined that merges the principles of architecture and design with gastronomy – I mould jelly into crazy architectural glass-like sculptures that are edible. I studied spatial design and then did my masters in architecture at Auckland University in New Zealand. And I’ve always been a foodie.
When I was four or five years old I’d play potions in the backyard! I found jelly was a medium I could mould in the same way I was used to – I used to work in plaster and concrete – and I was interested in the idea of taking something that’s really nostalgic and reinterpreting it to bring it to life in another way.
Is photography essential to your business?
Totally. That’s why we chose Instagram as our business social media platform, because it’s so visual. I need a visual platform to communicate what I’m doing and Instagram has been massive in reaching a huge number of people in a short amount of time.
I can test out new pieces, ideas and places with this creative community and get instant feedback. Imagery has always been important to my work.
What do you think makes a good photo?
People tend to respond to photos that are visceral – if they can really feel something for it or relate to it.
On Instagram you’re just scrolling through and through and then I think what resonates with people in my work is that it’s really bold and fun amongst the rest.
A good picture is emotional – it provokes a response. Either a nostalgic feeling or an ‘Oh – wow!’
What have you learned about photography since using the new Nikon?
The D-SLR means you can be flexible. The live view feature means you can set up a scene, take a photo, edit it and then download it onto your phone. So it’s exactly like taking a picture on your phone but with a much better camera!
You can create good imagery without faffing about behind the lens. I’ve started shooting my own campaign imagery rather than getting someone else in to do it. It’s given me much more control. It’s been awesome.