You Are Not a Misery Sponge

Forget the dollar, forget the accounting, forget the mortgage. Forget the call asking how many images you deliver, whether you give out the rights, and whether you’ll retouch every single picture you take. Forget it all, and look into yourself.

You are not a door mat. You are not hired to be stomped on, stepped on, or smashed down. You are there for your vision. For what you see that no one else can. You’re there – not because you can buy a camera with a vertical grip or a lens that could take the place of a baseball bat, and not because you’ve memorized every shot on 100 Layer Cake, Wedding Chicks, or Style me Pretty – you’re there, … Read more...

If You’re Stuck, Try a Mashup

It’s a common line of thinking that everything has been done before. If you were to break ideas down into their core DNA, no doubt, it has. There are only so many themes in the world. But much like DNA, what really counts isn’t the individual components. It’s how they’re pieced together. And when it comes to mashups, and, let’s face it, by now it’s all mashups, the permutations never end. In fact, the more permutations there are, the more permutations there can be. You just keep mixing and matching.

What matters is knowing your permutation. It may not be easy to decode, but it’s always there. And it’s your anchor. It’s the thing your brain latches onto when it … Read more...

Define Your Own Good

I hate it when people look at art and say “I could have done that.” “No,” I think to myself, “You probably could not have.” They couldn’t, because they wouldn’t. They couldn’t, because it’s not a question of skill and ability, it is a question of perception, recognition, and influence. It’s knowing just what the world needed at just the right moment. Foresight comes cheap, once we’ve met the future. But knowing what will work when? That’s something special.

The problem is the truest definition of success won’t come from some argument, from some critic, from you, or from I. Only history will provide the context we need. Sometimes, I think art is just the act of constant effort in … Read more...