#SMITTENWITHITALY is an interview series where we meet friends from around that world that adore Italy, just like us. They will share how their passion for Italy began, and how they incorporate a taste of Italy into their daily life in between visits.
We are kicking off this new series by featuring Kristina Kasparian, the artist and photographer behind Veni Etiam Photography, where she celebrates her love of travel, photography and color.
We are thrilled to announce a new collaboration with Veni Etiam Photography over on our Italy Lovers Shop (Smitten Italy +Co.) It's live right now, so hop over and take a look after you read more about Kristina!
About Veni Etiam Photography
With "Veni Etiam Photography", Kristina transforms her local and international travel photography into wall art and home decor accessories. Her mission is to inspire you and help you find a piece of art for your space that represents who you are, where you have been and where you dream of going.
The full collection contains wall art on paper, metal, acrylic, canvas and wood, as well as home decor objects like coffee tables, coasters, pouches, notebooks and magnets.
There is something for every taste and style of decor. Veni Etiam is a celebration of the places, colors, moods, nostalgia and dreams that make us the unique individuals we are.
I was born and raised in Montreal (Canada), but have always had an inexplicable connection with Italy. When I was little, I loved Pinocchio and any story that seemed to be set in an Italian village. I would lose myself in the imagery of narrow cobblestone lanes, windows with shutters and church bells.
Italy has always been part of the equation, no matter where life leads. I lived in Florence to advance my Italian, lived in Milan where I obtained my Master’s degree and lived in Rovereto to conduct scientific research during my PhD degree.
Italy is home – the kind of home I feel at my core and right down to my fingertips.
I haven't always been a photographer. From very early on in life, I dreamt of being a writer. Academically, I was trained to be a researcher in neurolinguistics. My research focuses on multilingualism and changes in the human brain when we learn, use and “forget” languages.
Fun fact: I founded my travel and fine-art photography business during the full-time pursuit of my PhD degree (procrastination much?!)
My first camera was a graduation gift from my parents when I finished my Bachelor and had decided to move to Europe to do my Master’s in 3 countries (Italy, Germany and the Netherlands).
Through my studies, my work and my passion for world cultures, I traveled a lot. Those travels enabled me to write my heart out in countless journals, and to fall in love with a new form of storytelling and collecting -- photography.
In 2012, I began to get more serious about photography, becoming more experimental and artistic in my approach. I felt compelled to create postcards out of my photographs so I could mail them home when I travelled.
Then a new dream formed: I wanted my photos to be "those free photos that come with the frames you buy”, and I wanted mine to be so pretty that no one would want to replace them.
Veni Etiam honestly took me by surprise. One day, I decided to create a website / shop housing all my favorite photographs, to see whether they might inspire someone other than me. I hoped to connect with people who loved what I loved – places (especially Italy), color, maritime life, details and the magic of everyday life.
I never expected to launch a business, and everything I have learned in entrepreneurship along the way has been such an enriching and gratifying journey!
I am passionate about places, the stories they have to tell, and the way they can pull us into nostalgia, reverie and even melancholy – urging us to return.
That’s why I named my biz “Veni Etiam” – it’s a Latin phrase meaning “return again”. When we return, we discover so much more about a place and about ourselves. No place is ever the same, and neither are we, and this is at once beautiful and tragic.
I hope that you find a piece of yourself in my shop - something that resonates with how you see the world and represents your own journey. My mission is to uplift your decor but also to inspire you, daily.
5 Things about ME...
1 | My biggest dream is to be a published writer (in book form – not just blog form!). I have been working on a book of travel stories and I am truly happiest when writing. It’s often an out of body process – I go into a trance, into myself, without fully knowing where the sentences will lead until the period comes, and suddenly they are written.
2 | I have an insatiable love for color. I wonder how much of it is due to a neurological trait I have called “synesthesia”, where every letter, word, number has its own unique color projected in my mind whenever I encounter language. I see everything projected visually – and colorfully - in my mind when people speak or when I read. I have very few purely white items in my home, and you’ll notice my Instagram feed is usually deeply saturated!
3 | During my first trip to Italy, I fell in love with a red Swatch and bought it with the few precious “lire” I had in my pocket. I put it on Italian time. As that trip was when I decided that I must be Italian at heart, I never wanted to change the time back to my timezone. Almost 20 years later, the same red Swatch (which I have since repaired and replaced countless times) is on Italian time.
4 | I am extremely picky about what pasta shapes to cook. It has to go with the sauce, in how the sauce interacts with the pasta shape and texture. However, I am embarrassed to confess that, unless I make fresh pasta, I often cannot help but steal a raw (like, out of the box) pasta shape to munch on while waiting for the water to boil…I’m the worst with spaghetti and conchiglie. [crunch crunch]
5 | I love wine. When I lived in the Trentino region, the house I rented happened to be on a vineyard. There, I discovered one of the local varieties called Marzemino. I loved its light, plummy taste so much, that when I noticed I had a mild allergy to the wine (I’d get a mild and temporary rash on my arms and chest), I’d take an antihistamine but drink it anyway!
THINGS I LOVE
Venice, notebooks to fill, the sea, wine and vineyards, fits of laughter, languages, gelato, long summer evenings, trying new recipes, boats and port towns, planting flowers, the sound of church bells and rain, unexpected connections, fresh markets, the magic of reflections, marzipan, coffee, the color pink, bubble baths, new pencils.
Visit Kristina at her shop, blog & on Social Media!
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