Win an signed, limited-edition Jed Smith photograph!

Originally from Sardegna, this shepherd now tends his flock in the Maremma.

Originally from Sardegna, this shepherd now tends his flock in the Maremma.

I’m hosting a contest to solicit creative ideas for future blog posts!

Today officially launches the contest. I’m looking for the two most innovative and creative ideas for future posts. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I love writing, and story-telling….almost as much as I love telling stories through my photography and through my paintings. While I still have a long list of blog post ideas, I’d love to hear from my audience as to what you might deem to be a creative and compelling topic. Topics can be about the practicalities of living here in Italy, or they can be about the musings and philosophies of major life change. Of course I love writing about being an artist, too. The two most unique ideas will win a signed, limited-edition, archival photo* (printed on 17″ x 22″), shipped to your home. If you’re a winner, you’ll be able to choose from any photograph (color or black and white) in the gallery section of my blog.

And, if you want direct notice of future blog posts, and if you’re not already a subscriber, I encourage you to subscribe in the column to the right of this post!

Here are the logistics:

• Submit your idea (one entry per person) in the comments section below this post**.

• Contest ends midnight EST, Monday, August 31, 2015.

• The two winning entries will be chosen Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Winning submissions will be posted, after you have been contacted (only your first name will be identified, or your identity can be kept confidential, if you so desire).

*Framing not included.

**Entries/ideas submitted through email, or other channels will not qualify.

Mysteries abound in this fountain.

Mysteries abound in this fountain.

By |2015-11-10T19:38:06+01:00August 25th, 2015|Art & Photography, News in Italy|15 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. John Monteleone September 4, 2015 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I’m late. As always. But here you go. I want to learn about the history of pasta shapes in the region. How they came to be and photography of their lovely shapes. And maybe photos of them being made too.

  2. trig hardie August 31, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Hello Jed! I love the contest idea as I really enjoy reading your posts. I particularly enjoy the personal musings. You’ve been an extraordinary teacher in my life. I’m so excited to enter. the other submissions are excellent. But I’m going to throw my idea in there. My submission….would you write a letter to yourself that you would open 10 years from now? I thought in this story you could write about how both Italy and America will have changed. I’d be curious to read where you think both of your “homes’ will be 10 in years especially on the environmental, political and creative fronts.

  3. Joe August 31, 2015 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Jed, I’ve always longed for an intimate description of what it means to be Italian. What feelings, emotions and perspectives do they have that might not be evident to an American? How do they see Italy? What makes them who they are? Please consider, in a series perhaps, describing, with a fair amount of detail, with pictures if possible, the lives of three or four Italians? Who are they, where were they born, what have they experienced, what does Italy mean to them, what dreams do they have for the future, and so on. My hope is that a common thread would emerge, shared values, the culture… the essense of what it means to be Italian.

  4. Beckie Leone August 31, 2015 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Your blogs are so well written. I feel like I am right there with you. The blog about your saving the kittens made me cry and cheer! I would love to know what you see in scenes and faces that capture your interest and how they inspire you to paint or photograph them. Is it actions or colors or something else that you see that captures your interest.

  5. Maria August 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Ciao Jed, oh how I miss you and lovely Italy, that is why I love reading your blog. Your stories let me step back into Italy and be a part of it for a moment. To read about you and your life there, transports me through time and space bringing me back to my 20’s living in Tuscany. I would love to escape to Italy, through your blog, by having you take photos and write about all the beautiful current things, like street fashion, so I can see what the ladies of Italy are wearing, like what are the current songs being played on the radio, pictures and recipes of yummy desserts, popular words or expressions, Anything that I can try here at home, to bring a piece of Italy here to the states.grazie.

  6. Nicole August 29, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I have always felt that this blog is your stepping stone to something bigger with your writing and art (a book). You are such a great writer and storyteller. What about expanding on the stories behind your artwork….who is or what is (real or imagined) story on a selected photos or paintings. Incorporate the stories into Jed ‘moments’ in Italy.

  7. Nurse Brown August 29, 2015 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Bello! I would truly love to read and learn about the perspective of being a gay man in a machismo culture. Not only are you negotiating a new culture, you are having to navigate deeply traditional “values” from the Italian perspective. I find American culture FULL of prejudice and homophobia and it makes me ill on a very personal level. On the flip side, perhaps Italians are more open than I am giving them credit for? I realize this is a heavy subject and a deeply personal one. This is why I am interested in hearing from YOU, my friend. How were the neighbors? Where did you feel completely comfortable vs where were you more aware of keeping a low profile? Or on the contrary, has it not been a big deal – which would be SO refreshing! What do your Italian gay friends share of their experiences? I remember living in Siena and hearing that an American wife to local Sienese man was not very welcomed by le mama – she felt very excluded from the family and sought out other American friends…….do you feel welcomed and accepted…..or is a caution around completely being yourself……specifically related to Italian culture? I studied Social Psychology in college, because I was drawn to understanding more about human behavior, cultural influences, social norms and definitely racism and prejudices. Like many, I deal with this in my own family and cringe and avoid the small minded people of the world. Sorry, not so light and fluffy. I love the perspective from the pets idea!!!!! Such a great one! Love ya, baby.

  8. Susie August 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    The little I know about Treviso is that it should be covered by foot through the maze like streets to discover its two secret gems…Prosecco and Tiramisu. I know that there is a story to be told as you test and sample them both…

  9. Anita August 28, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Hi mr Jed! I have an idea! I know growing up as a daughter of an artist my life was much different than the average person. Looking through their eyes was so interesting and beautiful. A for instance I was leaning over my dads shoulder in the car 7 years old.
    my father commented about an older woman crossing the street. He said look at her face ,her face is a roadmap the lines and wrinkles she had a hard life! He saw what most people never cared to see!! Az.

  10. Cathy August 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    How about how to visit Italy Jed Smith style rather than Rick Steves? Inspired by your pictures and the the blog on how to drink coffee in Italy.

  11. Michelle August 26, 2015 at 4:07 am - Reply

    Laurie, love your idea!!

  12. ann nelson August 26, 2015 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Well, of course I want one of your prints! So, cannot resist entering this contest.
    You’re writing so well already, and I find all your posts very interesting and informative….but how about a little more discourse on the moment you put pencil(pen, mouse,etc) down, looked up and thought to yourself: ” I’m out of here!”. That moment when change was born? I’m going to keep thinking about this. Maybe I’ll come up with something better, but am nevertheless very happy to a have a ticket to Florence for November 5th!
    Looking forward to seeing you and Simone.

  13. Laurie August 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    How about something from the perspective of your pets? Are they watchful out the window and what do they see? Do they have an italian diet? Do they meow in Italian? Do they like prosecco? How does caring for a pet there differ than u.s.? What do you have to know to get a pet from the u.s. into Italy?

  14. Michelle August 25, 2015 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    More a selfish idea than a creative idea 🙂 but I’d love to learn more about your creative process and the techniques / tools you use for your photography!

  15. Nancy August 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    How about if you tell us about how it feels, as an artist, to live and work among some of the most famous art in the world and among the ghosts of the artists who haunt this beautiful and ancient land. I am constantly trying to project myself back in time to imagine them living and working here.

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