Tag Archives: Passionate

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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5 Amazing Motivational Quotes

Some people really hate motivational quotes, I personally love them, especially when things get really tough. You need that muse to uplift you to a higher self and realize that no matter what you go through, there was always someone, somewhere that went through tougher times than you.

And who better to inspire you, then someone who has live through a lot and made it through the other side alive, maybe death has taken them via naturally but still what ever personal struggle they went through in order to be quoted, they still survived it with a touch of positivity!

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“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

“The empires of the future are empires of the mind.”

— Winston Churchill

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; noting on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

— W. W. Ziege

“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.”

— Robert E. Quinn

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!'”

— Lao-tsu

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Embracing all facets of emotions within

Sometimes in life it’s good to reflect on the past, not so much to dwell on life’s pain but realize what those emotional experiences and brought us to learn in life and ultimately how it created us.

With today being Sunday I essentially wanted a nice relaxing day before I go ahead and create the busyness that surrounds my life through the week. Decided to take a little trip out to one of my favourite spots to just sit and think about everything.

While a lot of us would never admit to talking to ourselves, I’m pretty sure everyone has at one point or another. That’s what I like to do when I head on up to this spot is talk to myself. And really listen to the words I would love someone else to say to me. But sometimes we don’t get those opportunities, sometimes we have to do it ourselves. And be our own best friend to convey a message that being alone or not having someone to confide in is okay.

That our existences is not dependent on others but upon ourselves, people can listen, but a majority of the time they’re only waiting for their chance to speak or be heard. As much as we like to think people have our best interest, people only serve themselves.

Which is fine, we must accept people and humans as they are not what we would like them to be. But we have that choice, that choice to be the person we wish to be. So we can potentially be the person that serves us great advice if only we listen to our heart. And we can be that person that listens to ourselves. Listen very closely to our every word and how we use those words to express emotion.

I think a lot, I think a lot about what does it mean to be human. What does it mean to truly exist and matter in this world. Why we avoid pain and suffering as if it were a plague to living life. If you ask me feeling & expressing emotion is the most human part of existence. No one likes to be sad or angry all the time but at the same time these emotions should be taught in a manner of how are we able to express them in a constructively and not in a de-constructively.

Happiness is a feeling we get when everything is completely in line, doesn’t mean its perfect but it’s perfect for that moment. Those moments should be cherished with all our heart. Happiness is not an emotion that stays around forever.

But realizing what brings us joy and happiness is needed, wanting less and feeling more joy in our lives and less dependent on things to bring us joy and excitement but being able to express our passion and inspirations that comes from doing what we love and not hating what we are doing so we can love what we can get from it.

Sadness is a feeling that is an array of emotions we feel. When we lose a loved one to just one of life’s series of events we go through this grieving process of realizing we won’t spend another moment with this person & they will be missed greatly. Instead of appreciating those moments we had with them and thanking the universe for bringing them into our lives at the right time and place when we needed them the most.

Sadness is something that we also feel when things just aren’t right in the world, such as don’t have a house or life turned out the way that it did. When we should be celebrating the simple things in life and not feel sad about what we don’t have but learn to appreciated and show gratitude to what we do have.

Angry is a fiery emotion it has the ability to be a powerful tool to use to get us to the next level in life. With anger we can use the revenge side of anger to creating something new from the ashes that anger brings into our lives.

Anger and being upset only shows how passionate and caring you might be over something as well. But again we have to use that anger constructively. We can’t let anger get the better of us and consume our lives.

All of these emotions equal up to one thing, building upon the human experience, to negotiate one with out the other is a travesty. Those who come from a background where everything is given to them will not know the power of struggle.

Those where love comes easy will not know the power of being alone or the power of fighting for something/someone they love!

Those that have the gift of money handed to them to do what ever they wish will never know what it’s like to earn and live from what they have in life and utilize that resourcefulness to create something that is valuable beyond measure.

People who are gifted at public speaking will never ever know the triumph of over coming their fear to create push and motivate someone with their words when they themselves have struggled in the past with it.

Emotion and personal struggles is what shapes the human experience, to live a life with out emotions is like feeling thirsty without having a liquid to drink in front of us.

We must follow our hearts where ever it might lead us even if it’s down a dark and scary place because of the fear of the unknown. We must then embrace the mysteries of living life to it’s fullest without hesitation. We must be sure of ourselves and what we are capable of by continuing to put us in harms way and not be afraid of pain or sadness or feeling angry and upset about something but to meet the challenges of how we handle our emotions and use it to full potential to sling shot our way to the place where we fear nothing.

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