Tag Archives: Career

The Power of Networking & Community

quotes-helping-others-paul-rusesabagina-600x411

So, as I sit down to write this blog, all I keep thinking of is to apologize to the reader profusely. This is not going to be a short read but I hope you read it all the way though and feel inspired by it, with that being said this is a blog entry about my three year journey of networking, and being involved in community activities and why it is important not just to you as a creative mind, but as a person.

The three year journey begins where I use to work, the company was the video production company that did all the Invest in Hamilton videos. It was there that I picked up so many skill sets I contributed most of my success from.

I will begin with my love of Social Media, and when I say social media I really mean Twitter. In the beginning I never understood twitter. I thought it was a silly site, writing what you want to say within a 140 characters seemed very ridiculous! But I knew as a company, you must be on the majority of the social media platforms to reach an audience / build relationships with people and other companies.

Perhaps it’s more of the psychologically nature of it, you might not need a service of a company right away but by building key relationships with people, somewhere down the line when they need your services they will instinctively remember you because you might have been the last person they tweeted with.

So I took up doing a majority of their social media relations, making sure their brand and message was heard through a couple of hours a day doing social media. It wasn’t until I started interacting with clients, that I knew there was more that could be done. Clients boasting about the customer service, which is free advertising to the company never hurts and it is highly authentic.

I was also privileged to work on a couple of music videos as a camera operator with two of my co-workers from the video production company as side projects with them.

On top of my regular day to day stuff, social media, editing and cutting online commercials for directory based business. I was also going out to shoot as part of Invest in Hamilton. It was in doing that where a majority of my networking, community, and relationship building came into play.

Interviewing Hamilton’s high profile individuals either in business, community related, and provided me to meet individuals I call my friends to date.

One such individual was Kevin Browne. Kevin, has been a source of inspiration in my eyes for a such a long time. A community leader in the Tech & Startup field in Hamilton, organizer of DemoCamp and Startup Drinks and very much for the grassroots movement to change a city. (Software Hamilton)

First initially met Kevin during a shoot by Invest In Hamilton for DemoCamp, I was completely inthralled by what was happening in the startup space at the time, all these great and awesome minds building something of value for community use. And I often wondered to myself, why isn’t this being covered more?
I mean, mainstream media covers a majority of the big events, Lions Lair, Startup Weekend, but nothing really at the beginning stages, the moment where everyone gets started. Seemed like a shame to not be able to tell their stories too.

Thus, enters the TechTalk year. For about a year and half now, I made it my mission to cover Demo Camps for the soul purpose of capturing individuals and or group of developers at the beginning stages of their ideas. One individual stood out in my mind which is Ethan Do of OverAir, where just last November he was pitching his idea for the very first time to the general public, we captured an interview with him along with his pitch and since then has gone on to win awards and funding in Toronto and taken his company to the next level.

I don’t find success to be inspiring, success, a long side with perseverance is almost the inevitable. What I find inspiring is hearing the individual story and where they came from and how they came to be and not about the company that has a million dollars. When you talk about inspirational stories from highly successful individuals or companies you’re already putting them on a higher stage and above the individuals you’re looking to inspire. As the quote goes, you can’t compare someone’s chapter 20 to your chapter 1, and I would much rather hear about chapter 1 then chapter 20 right now and get lost in their story of success.

I have been using other networking events such as Startup Drinks as a way of getting validation from Startups and Entrepreneurs to find out ways to improve quality and make TechTalk a more of a sustainable Web Series that creates more value for the viewer. So make sure you keep your eye out this fall as we come back from a summer hiatus to bigger and better TechTalk.

It was also through Kevin and DemoCamp where I met my next source of inspiration, Dale Mugford of BraveNewCode. He has another highly motivating story about how life can throw you a curve ball and turn your entire world upside down, and it is ultimately up to you to wallow in self pity or learn how to adjust the sails and start a new journey.

Having already the privilege of knowing his fiance, Roz of Double Barrel from other encounters, they told me about this exciting new event they want to bring into Hamilton. WordCamp Hamilton, another grassroots movement that is in almost every major city fathomable. Dale thought it was ready to have one in Hamilton to.

Again, another interesting project to work on that was more so self-gratifying to me to be involved in such a great community building event. Bringing together individuals that before didn’t know they blogged or had a word press account and learning from such people Like Kevin Browne, Joey Coleman, Kristen Archer & Seema Narula was a delightful way to spend a day.

They (Roz & Dale) brought me into do some social media engagement, again, knowing what they knew about me and my past and how much I love Social Media they thought it would be a great fit and so well & being that I have become so connected to different aspects of the community from creative to startups to individual bloggers in the city helped me source out individuals that I know would find an event like this valuable. Also helped Roz and Lee of Double Barrel with filming and capturing the event which was sold out by the way for WordCamp Tv.

1039587_10151508679903441_1236132376_o

Another such instance was meeting Matthew Green, another truly inspiring person that has helped me a great deal and motivated me to do a lot of what I do. He also introduced me to Leo of Empowerment Squared and brought me on board a life changing moment to produce a 6 minute video for his project to build a Learning Centre in Liberia.

This project was many months of us back and forth about how to create a well rounded story that will encapsulate everything that Empowerment Squared stands for, sharing Leo’s story with the rest of the world. The video was recently launched last week, and the only reason why I brought it up in this blog was again the power of networking and building relationships with individuals has connected me to both Leo & Matthew and thus being able to work with both of them on such a phenomenal cause that will make a HUGE difference to the people in Liberia.

Which brings me back to where I have been, and what inspires me. As most of you know and probably think, and the answer is yes, I totally am YouTube obsessed from time to time. I don’t feel it’s an obsession as much as it is a dedication and a sense of passion for storytelling.

That journey began in 2006 when I launched my first Youtube channel, and Youtube was, well very much what it should be today. But that moment changed when Google then bought Youtube and now it’s less about community and more so about eyeballs on your content. But still some of the bigger names still hope for the best and want to do more for the people that are just launching channels which is also nice to see. But growing an audience does not happen over night. You don’t just post a video on Youtube and expect it to automatically reach your target market or demographic. It’s a lot of hard work, 40 hours a week almost to connect with people with similar interest to make a series or vlog successful. And it is not just a one way street, Youtube, like any form of social media is very much a two way street of commenting on other channels.

I became immersed in the vlogging culture youtube adopted. What is vlogging you ask? well it’s simple, right now you are reading a blog, vlogging is just video blogging. People sharing their thoughts and life online. Seems kind of weird don’t you think? But no doubt you’ve got a Facebook account, and isn’t that what Facebook was created for, so I guess it’s not so weird after all?

If you want to see a really awesome documentary pre-google check out the Anthropological look on Youtube
Link is below.

Anyways, getting back into the story, I soon stopped posting, to do the whole school thing but I knew I wanted to come back to it all in some way. I took Television Broadcasting at Mohawk as most of you know and successfully graduated. After looking at the landscape of the television world there was something that sunk into my mind and that is do I really want to be in the Television world?

After spending three years of my life learning everything, it has come down to, did I just waste 3 years of my life? Thankfully the answer is of course no, but that is when I started working for the video production company and worked there for 2 years.

But I started to notice and discover all these high-quality social web series, mostly through Revision3. A network that accuired certain high profile content creators to be apart of their larger network. That Network was then soon bought by Discovery Channel. And that brought the inspiration to do TechTalk as a Web Series and try and adopt their model of using the power and influence of a host to generate ad revenue dollars, same way old school television and radio ads were back in the day.

It also jump started to see if anyone else in the Hamilton area enjoyed creating Youtube videos as much as I did. And again inspired by Kevin Browne and the Startup Drinks meetups I began hosting my own YoutubeDrinks Meet ups.

This was also around the same time Creative Exchange a networking event hosted by the Hamilton Film and Television office shut down their events for the summer. Feeling frustrated not being able to meet new creatives and engage in new ideas that is how Youtube Drinks came to be.

It wasn’t until May/July of last year when I heard about the WebSeries Community growing in Toronto, hesitant to go venture out to Toronto by myself, I willed myself to go and meet new people. When I first got there I felt kind of out of place not knowing anyone there, until I met Rodney Smith (Out of Time WebSeries), an out-spoken, outgoing, vibrant individual that first said hello to me at the bar.

It was there where I introduced myself and told him where I’m from and thats when he took me around to meet some Toronto Creatives. Soon after it felt like I was home, I met close to 50 creatives and had a conversations with. All of them working on some sort of Web Series project, I remember thinking “This is unbelievable!”

All these individuals, are so forward thinking and ahead of their time right now and they are sitting and having drinks all in one room! My first initial thought was this is the kind of community I would love to see grow in Hamilton.

Hamilton’s creative class would LOVE this, and that was the turning point for Youtube Drinks to then become the Hamilton Web Series Community, a monthly meet up for Hamilton’s creative class that wish to do more web based projects & series ideas.

Also, while in attendance at the Toronto web series meet up was their launch for funding to start the IWCC (Independent Web Creators of Canada) a non for profit organization geared to help promote Canadian Content Creators, which has since launch and is now well on it’s way to host it’s first huge public event which we will get into in a moment.

But first, through speaking and networking with the Toronto Community I met an individual by Robert Mills (Rubber Chicken Players, and coming soon SteamPunk Adventures)
who then invited me to be on the panel the IWCC was hosting during FanExpo.


1080580_10151574374612091_2085301984_n

(photo courtesy of Jess Morton of Jess the Press)

For anyone that doesn’t know what FanExpo is you can check out the link here

It was an honour to be up with the panel with individual creators of such Web Series as Steampunk Adventures, Clutch, Tight & Fights & Pretty in Geek, Kids town, BJ Fletcher Private Eye, and many more to speak about the future of Web Series.

You see, everything is changing now. You have the Canadian Screen Awards which is pretty much the Gemini and Genie awards now open to submission from the Web. Which means your little Web Drama Series can be internationally known.

There is of course WebFest’s springing up in major cities around the world such as LA, Rome, Australia that accept international submissions. And new to 2013 -2014 Vancouver and Toronto will be hosting their own WebFest.

So what exactly does this all mean for a creator? Well, one thing that was talked about on the panel was a screen is just a screen! Doesn’t matter if you’re watching your content through an inferior device such as a Television Screen or you’re watching shows through your smart phone or tablet. Technology has made it easier to watch your favourite content any where at any time.

A network is merely a name that your favourite show is on that you probably don’t even remember the name of in the first place. Services like netflix, allowing you to watch all the episodes of your favourite series to be downloaded or streamed where ever you might be is becoming more of a trend.

So what’s the difference if you find a series on Youtube such as H+ Digital (Produced by Bryan Singer)

Or Video Game Highschool

or if you watch it through something like CTV’s mobile App that is now accruing Web based content to be apart of their library, is there really one any more?

Such as the Web Series GuideStone that went from Youtube to the CTV site as a series.

And CBC, publicly funded by Canadian tax dollars to bring you Canadian content, isn’t that relatively the same as a content creator with a large enough audience to do a crowd sourcing campaign to bring you a second and third season… and they do it because they have a choice to do so.

Another item spoken about at on the panel, does length matter, if you’re trying to gear your web series towards a television audience is it better to make 26 minute long episodes and then break them down with the idea in the back of your head that it can be commercialized at some point down the road.

With all of that being said, being on that panel was terrific experience and I loved every minute of the discussion, now the question is where do we go from here.

From Hamilton’s side of things, I hope this blog post encourages more young vibrant creatives to come out to the Hamilton Web Series Meet ups. I hope it inspires them to get actively engage more so than ever to be apart of this growing movement. I hope that the more established individuals come out so that they can offer assistance with a younger generation wanting to get into the digital production space.

From the Independent Web Creators of Canada stand point, they are well on their way to becoming the flagship to build a strong united frontier. Future programs I would love to see come from the IWCC are more panel discussions and mentorship programs (which I’m sure are already in the works) to take your idea from start to finish learning from already well established Web Series.

And create a bridge between the city of Hamilton and the City of Toronto’s Web Creators, utilizing Hamilton’s unique city landscapes, and tapping into the Hamilton creatives to help build projects,
and of course for Hamilton to do the same within Toronto.

I also would love to see IWCC become the “gatekeeper”, where funding can come direct from the organization that has the creator driven mindset. And understand the challenges every web creator must go through in order to make a project successful.

And for us to continue to grow and learn from one another, build strong relationships with individuals even if you don’t know the reason for meeting each other just yet, the answer will reveal itself over time.

I will leave you with this Quote from the late Steve Jobs.

steve-jobs-quote-21

Here is how I determine this quote it to be in reflection of my own experiences, you can either work for someone else and see their dreams come true, or you can really focus on what you’re passionate about. And sometimes it means to work while you’re working. Taking on one or two jobs just so you can self fund projects with out having to worry about the headaches so be it, but never lose sight or feeling you have in your heart. Never stop building relationships with people, never stop networking and meeting individuals that some day down the line might be able to assist you in accomplishing your goals and dreams. Always be community driven with the best intentions to help others discover what makes them come alive inside.

P.s I also had an opportunity to have my picture taken with Hannah of Verses Valerie.

Which again I thought was pretty cool!

1080184_10151618393688441_471548854_n

And as always, Be Legendary.

2 Comments

Filed under General Life, Hamilton, Passion & Purpose

5 Things I wish I knew in college as a creative

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I learned in my college years at Mohawk College as a Television Broadcasting student the past few weeks. And had many conversations with highly engaged community driven creative individuals and I can’t imagine what the future for creatives in the city will be like in 5 to 10 years down the line.

The industry is changing very drastically even from a month-to-month basis that it’s hard to know how everything in the digital space will pan out. I’m not going to write something like Television is completely dead. It really isn’t, but how we consume our media has drastically change.

Our society has slowly changed, we no longer have valuable family time on a Friday night, watching Family Matters, Full House, and Whose The Boss. We no longer sit down at 6pm & or 11pm to watch the evening news… why would we? We’ve checked out our facebook, twitter feed and got the news updates as it is happening in real time. It use to be normal just have one single television set in the family room where we could all congregate, and then, it became normal to have a television set in every room of the house… okay, I’m exaggerating, perhaps one in each bedroom, plus a family room.

But as the digital age progresses, fewer people are watching “television” the way we use to think television should be watched. A majority of television consumption is now through our Smart phones, Tablets, laptop and desktop computers. We are also consuming media in shorter lengths of time because our attention span as dwindled down right to the core. If it doesn’t capture our attention within the first 30 seconds you’ve lost the audience. If you’re not a die hard fan of the concept why do I care to watch it in the first place.

So with all that being said, I wonder what kind of education is being programmed into young idealistic minds today to shape the future of tomorrow. Are they learning about the importance of content being produced and know why we create with an idea of cross platform purposes. Are they merely being taught the basics of video production or other technical aspects that would go into storytelling or finally are they being taught to think in new innovative ways, and think beyond the box we tend to put ourselves in.

So with that being said, I comprised a short top 5 list of things I wish I knew when I first got started in College.

1.) Networking, biggest favour to yourself is getting out in the community and network with other creatives, bring your friends, along with you too, force them into it if you have to!

Networking at events such as Creative Exchange, anything by Factory Media Arts, Cobalt Connects, get out there now, even if you’re just starting out and have nothing to show, it doesn’t matter. The skills you develop by actually interacting with people that are doing something in real time will go a long way with your professional career.

And you never know, you might just end up with a job with a simple handshake and a smile. Find the grassroots networking events, Startup Drinks comes to mind, which is a great networking event that happens once a month that will allow you to easily break the ice, but be consistent when attending. Once you do that, bring a friend, then they feel comfortable and may know another individual that might consider it of value to make connections. That is how we grow together as a community and build long lasting relationships with our peers.

And if at all possible, if you see something missing and you think the creative community could benefit from, build your own networking event. Reach out to the people you wish you could see more of at networking events, never get bogged down being and be an island only to yourself and a select few. The more individuals you know the more opportunities are then created for you to grow not only as a professional but as a person as well.

That’s what I ended up doing over the last year, after I attended my first Web Series meet up in Toronto, I fell in love with the energy that flowed through the space. It was something I was already passionate about so it only made sense to me that I wanted to bring that energy to the Hamilton Creatives.

And don’t be afraid to take the lead, and be a leader if you have to, even if it’s not widely accepted in the beginning. The more you work on building your connections the more people get to know what you’re up to and trying to accomplish.

entrepreneurship-networking-advice-1

2.) If you’re not on social media, start now! And I don’t mean just the usual suspects (Facebook and Google) I mean twitter, Linkedin, even instagram. Use them to build your digital presence, another fellow Mohawk Grad actually brought this up. And after thinking about it, it was so true. You don’t have to have a company twitter account, it is more about getting into the process of interacting with again your community, building trust online, and creating engaging conversation.

Just make sure when you do sign up for twitter, you make your user name as simple as your first and last name. Try not to make it too crazy. The friend I spoke of which most of you reading this probably have seen his tweets, has gone through a few name changes and the only reason for this is as he continues to grow his following on twitter he has changed his work place at least once or twice and with each time he does, he merely changes the end of his twitter handle to reflect the company that he might be working for.

Linkedin, another great way to build relationships and potential leads for future job opportunities. Again, regardless of work experience, start building your professional connections now! It will make the transition process of being a student to a professional a whole lot smoother.

bigstock-Social-Media-Computer-Key-Show-32625932

3.) Take a business course: I would have loved to have more of an intensive class within the 3 year program that talks about the aspect of being a creative entrepreneur. For those individuals that have a passion and drive to build their own business. To be able to learn more about team building, managerial, sales, marketing side of production services. And the knowing what a reasonable rate is for the line of work that you’re doing. Obviously it will vary depending on the situation, a team of one won’t charge the same price as a team of 5 or 6 individuals as a company so that is a must to take into the consideration.

bmcanvas-basic-model3

4.) Development of boundaries: In other words, don’t ever let anyone walk all over you and take advantage of your skill sets as a creative. There is a statue of limitations on proving yourself in the industry and get away from the “It will be a great demo reel piece.” Knowing how much your time is worth, how much your equipment costs and your educational background. You are not a ‘starving artist’ there is no such thing, you just have to develop the right mindset as a creative well in advance before you dive in.

I can tell you through my experience, I spent almost a grand total of 14,000 dollars on getting all of my equipment. I saw it as an investment opportunity, and I haven’t regretted that decision yet. I also spend money every time I go out and buy a new external hard drive so I can properly archive and maintain raw footage just in case if I have to go back to something.

starving-artist1

Now going back to education, if your in Television Broadcasting, you’re using industry leading, cutting edge equipment that probably costs more than anyone is willing to admit. You’re trained in the art of storytelling, knowing what drives a great emotional piece that psychologically compels the viewer to share. You’re using equipment has to be properly taken care of and update and software that costs a pretty penny, unless of course you do it the old pirate way.

So knowing where, when and why you’re setting the boundaries is key. This isn’t a hobby class you’re taking this is your professional career and people have to understand that but most of all you have to understand that. And you might have to say no to projects you really want to take on, but, if you say yes all the time and especially with little to no pay being rewarded it will be that much harder to break later on in life.

5.) Follow your passion: This one is probably the most important of them all. Follow your passion, passion & enthusiasm will set you apart from everyone else. Never let the industry drain your passion to the point that you become jaded. The minute that you come across like that, get out of the way.

And there is a big difference between being realistic and jaded, even when your realistic you still have enthusiasm but if you’re jaded you just rip apart anything that someone new wants to try. And it becomes more pessimistic view on the world. Never let someone else’s path derail you from yours.

Even if they have 30 years worth of experience behind them, the fact is, times are changing. What might not have worked 10 years ago when they first tried to implement the very same idea, could have a completely different impact on how it could work now. Be mindful of these individuals, and stay true to your passionate side, keep the imagination alive and be open to endless possibilities, hang on to that as tightly as possible!

steve-jobs-dont-settle-quote1

And my final thought for all of the above is always stay true to yourself, never try and pretend to be like someone else! Be as real as possible. You don’t need to impress anyone, you just need to be you! Let your passion shine through your work like the golden sun breaking through the clouds of a stormy day.

Love and cherish every minute that you spend filling your head up with knowledge and truly empower yourself to be the best creative individual you can be.

– Cheers Michael

Leave a comment

Filed under General Life, Hamilton, Passion & Purpose

Creative Entrepreneur

So, you want to earn a living doing something you’re truly passionate about, chances are maybe it is something in the creative spectrum.

creativity-picture-quote

While watching television, I thought about something Bob Proctor had said in a seminar I was watching the day earlier. Which was ‘Think’ and he goes on with during this seminar how we don’t use our brain power enough basically.

Which I think is true, we only use as much brain power it takes to take on what ever task we might be under taking at that time. It was at that time I really turned off my television, television really doesn’t help you think. It’s really a form of escapism from our day to day lives.

After I turned off the television set I went for a drive and started thinking about my life and current state it’s been. I thought about all the things I want to do with my life and my future plans. And at that moment I started thinking about the past, as I was heading down a road I use to take all the time that is filled with memories.

It was at that particular moment I realized just how much has changed around me, I instinctively thought but I myself haven’t changed very much. Which is obviously not true and took action to correct that thought.

Physical form, a lot hasn’t changed, environmentally hasn’t really changed a whole lot but both mentally and emotionally I’ve been growing drastically. And then I thought, I wonder why that is? In dealing with all theses shifts and changes that have occurred with my surroundings, I learned how to mentally prepare myself in dealing with change.

Change, regardless of you want it or not in your life is inevitable. Things change all the time, sometimes slow, some times rapidly, so rapidly as such that you don’t even know it has happen.

So getting back to the title ‘creative entrepreneur’ – It’s true, my environment hasn’t changed much sometimes I get a tad bit edge of the seat about this because I want to create movement with my life, so much so, I can actually see the difference.

But what I am coming to understand is through my experiences I am able to call upon these new skill sets in order to really jump start a new life in as a Creative Entrepreneur. I wouldn’t exactly call it a ‘New Life’ really however, after looking at my past once more I have and always had a creative Entrepreneur sensibility to me.

One example came to mind, one of my passions has always been photography and I loved going out and taking shot after shot after shot. I developed a fairly keen eye for what looks good on camera. Any rate, I had taken all these pictures and I had never really done anything with them until one day I decided I was going to create greeting cards out of them. Where I was working at the time agreed to let me use a little corner space to have them on display and I decided to sell them for 2 dollars a piece.

I remember the within the first week of having them up people flocked to the display and they were bought and sold within a matter of a couple weeks.

This kind of creative and entrepreneurial thinking must be revisited in my mind, sure it won’t make me a ‘living’ but it is just one of many income streams that could prove to be lucrative. It’s also more than just selling, it’s about developing these creative ideas, and really brining these ideas to life with precision and direct results.

Now it’s your turn, have you ever been in a similar mind frame? How did you over come it?

Leave a comment

Filed under General Life, Hamilton, Passion & Purpose, Projects

Declaration of Self

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve taken time out of being on the computer to go for really long walks. I would go to this one spot, on a bayfront area and I would just stare off into nature’s wondrous miracle.

1017092_10151498373883441_1665588020_n

I captured this photo last night while watching the sun go down behind the tree line of the mountain landscape. And was mesmerized by the relaxation of watching two younger individuals sitting there fishing. I’m not 100 percent sure if they caught anything but I’m sure they didn’t care.

I realized a few things while sitting there, one we are sometimes too connected to our technology. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email. I would know, because I was in fact using all three of those while I was there when the point was not to.

A friend of mine then came out along and we walked and talked and walked some more and I really enjoyed that moment. The face to face, person to person connectivity we had. She has been a really good friend to me over the last year and tentatively listened to what I was going through. And I in return do the same.

945915_10151498409033441_2125970985_n

I began thinking about, happiness, and what does it mean to be happy. Is happiness what we get when we go after what we want and obtain it. Or is Happiness in the journey of the pursuit.

Should we not just be content, but joyful of the abundance we have in our lives, the very simple things that doesn’t cost us any money and is effortless to achieve. Building strong friendships with people, building character within ourselves that actually stand for something. The ability to be free to create and cultivate from our passions.

I declare my vision for my life is that, I am in control of my destiny, my Future and no one else. Using my artistic passions such as Writing, Painting, FilmMaking and my ability to inspire and motivate others will be my ultimate path.

My core values will keep me in line making sure that no matter what I do they are in line with my ultimate vision. People will pay to hear my vision and my story because I feel there are more people out there like me. That really want to live with a sense of passion and purpose.

In return, I declare I will return 25 Percent of profits in the beginning, back into helping those who wish to start building and creating a life as I am doing. After some time that return will increase to 50 percent, until finally we’ve reach 75 percent return in gratitude.

I know how hard it is to be struggling, I know how much passion individuals have for their idea. And there is not a soul to take a chance on them to really help build a future for them. And I want to be that person that provides them that assistance.

Steve-Jobs-Entrepreneur-Picture-Quote

It is my goal to build the foundation & mindset of the ultimate creative entrepreneur and philanthropist. Using my skill sets to lay down brink by brink the building blocks necessary to then help others in my own Devine way.

Now it’s your turn,
What will you do?

Leave a comment

Filed under General Life, Hamilton, Passion & Purpose

The 30 Something kind of life

It is April 7th just a few days after my 30th birthday, 5am as I am writing this blog post trying to make sense of my no-none sense lifestyle how thought provoking!

On my birthday I decided to try and not make a big deal out of it, I don’t throw myself
parties to make myself feel happy that people want to spend time with me. And because it is a mile stone it’s something I feel I wanted to ease into and not throw a huge bash over.

I did however spend my day with a few people I have come to know and trust now and absolutely adore and that was as much celebrating I could ask for. I held off until Thursday from going out for a birthday drink, I had still lots to do and for the most part drinking sucks the energy right out of me. But none the less I did have a good experience with a couple people on Thursday to help me celebrate it in the fashion of a drink.

So, what is the point of all of this, truth of the matter is… I don’t have a clue anymore. I don’t want to say that the minute I turned 30 and all of a sudden nothing made sense to me because truthfully I’ve felt like this a majority of my life. Being 30 only makes you realize that chances are, half of your life is done, depending on if you live to be 60 or 80.

I want to say I have a really good job I enjoy and I’m happy with everything that I do, but again truthfully I am not. Then begs the question, what is the point of all of this? Again, I have not a clue. I think about risk all the time, what are the risk of doing this or that. Risk and fear a lot now, even though I know it’s not something I should focus on.

But I remember when I first tried to learn how to drive a car, my mother and I were heading to church and she asked me If I wanted to drive the car in. After failing my written test 4 or 5 times but finally nailed it, I figured it might be beneficial that I tried. The experience was awful, I wasn’t use to navigating the wheel at all. So much so, somehow I managed to just drive myself into a completely different lane.

Needless to say having the over protective mom in the car she started screaming at me making me even MORE nervous. I pulled the car over, and she drove the rest of the way. I did not touch the car after that for close to 2 or 3 years.

I look back now, and, I was thinking about this earlier as I am driving in and out of traffic and drove for the last like 5 years probably that fear is the enemy of life. We fear so many things as a society. The entire idea of not being normal and not being accepted we fear.

My greatest fear right now is that I am not able to be what I was born to be, that I would give into this ‘Normal’ Society to work at a job that doesn’t bring me any passion to my life but only pays the bills. I want a life that when I look back on that people will feel inspired by the things I’ve accomplished in such a short a matter of time.

I want the next few months to really take fear and throw it out the window, just like driving and get right back into the swing of things, I may never be perfect at life. But I don’t have to be I just want to get on that road, my road.

1 Comment

Filed under General Life

Being an artist as a business

531486_510642528970858_198974890_n

Few weeks ago, I found this image posted on a friends Facebook, I really enjoyed the message and decided to share this on my Facebook, which then another friend
ended up sharing it on hers. Interestingly enough we had a great conversation about this message.

First off, I am first and foremost an artist in my own right, but just because I am an artist does not mean I have to fall into the circle of being a “Starving Artist”
scenario. I love and passionate about what I do, and I am fulfilled by the sense of my own understanding of what success means to me as an artist. But just because
I would love to earn money from what I do, and I do it well, doesn’t make me a sell out or any less than creative.

Enters in the entrepreneurial spirit, image being paid, and being paid well might I add doing something you love to do! Now there is a concept! But we choose to do mediocre
jobs to pay rent, to pay bills so we can have that brief moment to do and have the time to sit and create.

I think as an artist we have to get away from this idealistic concept of the bohemian lifestyle, lets get real, things cost money, If you’re a painter, Brushes, Canvas, Paints and your time put into creating a master piece all has a value. We as an artist decide what that value is. If you want to gift it away for someone to enjoy that is your choice, if you would love to see a dollar amount on your work to create that sense of prestige on what you’ve created that is your choice too.

But to sit there and judge one artist from another how they perceive in creating value in their work is absolutely atrocious! Further more, again like I said before, does not make me less creative, or less than an artist. This is where creative people fall short and being weak, I’m not saying that those that don’t charge for their work are weak, I’m merely saying spend a little time in thinking of what kind of value you put in yourself.

What do you think about this? Lets start a dialog, I would love to hear what artist think about this.

Leave a comment

Filed under General Life, Passion & Purpose

The Unconventional Way

“Pollock was well known, certainly, but for all the wrong reasons. He was known as much for being wild and unconventional in his working methods as for being a great artist.”
Kenneth Noland

The year is 1999, first year of High School, such a great time to be a teenager but also a horrific at the same time.
It was at this point in time where I really realized how different my mind work, thus the title “The UnConventional Way”
While my marks in the beginning of High School were good, they were not great either, I struggled all throughout High School.
I really, really needed to focus in order to have an acceptable grade. But, I often found myself in a trance, not really there
but still there enough to pay attention.

You see, it was around this time, I had bought my brand new shinny Pentium 100 MHZ computer, loaded with also the internet,
which I purchased with my own money I earned from delivering the local newspaper. You could only imagine my joy and happiness
of how I spent months even years saving up to buy my very own computer, that was mine all mine! And have myself connected to
the world wide web was just amazing and doing this all on my own.

I slowly became immersed into the online world, spending hours and hours and HOURS connected, being connected, and learning
what ever I could on the Internet. Yet, when it came to going into high school, that kind of focus just wasn’t there. I was
uninterested, even though I enjoyed the subjects like Science, Religion, Art, and so on and so forth, I lacked the ability
to focus and retain information for testing purposes.

Do you remember in science class how you had to make a model of a plant cell, showing how plants collect and store energy?
Well, this is how I knew that my life would go down an unconventional path.

At the time, my brother inspired me with all the awesome tasks a computer can do, you see my brother really loved designing on
Auto cad. In fact that is what he does for a living right now with his own business, designing homes. With that he was also
learning a new program for Dos called 3D Studio, a powerful 3d program, in the hands of a minor is dangerous!

I became consumed with this power that I was able to create these (at the time) amazing 3D Animations, which at the time since
I couldn’t afford a camera, I could create Animated stories with it. I just loved using this program and learning the in and outs
of piecing together an animation from scratch.

When it came down to creating that model, everyone in the class was just doing what they were suppose to do, build it using materials
they can get at the local art store and craft it that way. For some reason, this did not interest me at all, even though it was still
an art form, it didn’t excite me, I wasn’t passionate about it and I didn’t love it.

Instead I came in with a VHS tape to show my teacher the model that I made, thats right, you guessed it! I decided to create a 3D animation
of a plant cell instead of what ultimately would have been easier and less time consuming, of the traditional thrown together hand crafted model.
The animation consisted of a 360 degree rotation of the Cell and then cut in half to see the inner workings.

While it remains an unconventional way, the teacher agreed to mark it on its own merit, and sure enough I’m pretty sure I got an 80 or 90 percent on that
assignment. It was a mark that I took home to share with my parents and be proud of! Not only did I complete an assignment with an awesome grade
but I did this on my own terms to make those terms more exciting for me!

At this point, as the title says, I learned my life will succeed in many ways, and many of those ways will be unconventional.
While I struggle now, every day explaining myself to people and what I’d love to do with my life, they find it hard to understand and comprehend.

Being an artist is not a hobby for me, it is a life long journey, that I am extremely passionate about and cringe when people talk about it as though it is not an “Acceptable” career path. So it becomes discouraging at times to have to tell people and they look down upon my path, that chose me, I didn’t choose it. It’s also at times disheartening to hear people close to me say things like “Well, you still need to make money, why can’t you just get A job and do this on side”

It’s not as simple as it sounds, being creative is not a hobby for some, for some it is a way of life! For me my creativity comes out the most in the middle of the night, which it would be pretty hard to hold down a day job just to make money and work on what you’re truly passionate about at night. It’s not a matter of sacrifice, because as a creative I’m not willing to sacrifice this which I need more than I need oxygen, which is to be creative and channel my passions into what ever project I undertake such as writing a novel, children’s book or working on poetry, photography is another craft that I excel in that could potentially create a revenue stream for myself.

And while everyone else may see my approach as unconventional, I will bring home that report card at the end of my life, and it will say 100% Great job!
Sometimes life isn’t about a structured lifestyle, sometimes for some people it’s about defying the status quo of what life should look like and creating your own
path.

Leave a comment

Filed under General Life