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Ride a Wave of Positivity

It seems like everyone is in different steps in their creative practice. Some people are taking a victory lap sharing their new series of images that just published. Some people are passive aggressively mumbling that the sky is falling and citing different shortcomings of their industry. With these extreme attitudes that others feel (and possibly how you feel), it's hard to emote positivity under the constant stress of what we do as freelance creatives. In this post I reflect on some things to be aware of, how to be the best possible self you can be, and draw connections to point out how everything will be ok.

Using Photo Projects to Stay Sharp

Photographers can sometimes go long periods of time without tackling projects for which they’re getting paid. When that assignment work has slowed to a trickle at different points in the year, it’s important to still stay at the top of your game. After all, you don’t want to be a photographer who’s rusty when you finally land more high-paying assignment work!

The answer to this dilemma is photo projects. Here’s a quick walkthrough of various photo projects you can use to make sure your skills stay sharp in between assignment work.

The Wonderful World of Zines

For the last couples of years, using zines as alternative forms of promotion has been a hot topic of discussion by professionals and professors in art schools.. Should artists commit a certain number of hours outside of paid work to create booklets as opposed to tried and true methods of creating a new single image for a postcard or email?  To me, zines are a fun alternative to your typical single image promotion. It shows that you can produce a series of images which work together that a potential client probably wouldn't expect from you off the bat (if you usually just produce single images).

It's Time to Shine!

I'm excited and flattered to be participating in the 2014 Dream Bigger Conference, an online audio conference bringing together a dozen of the world's most creative and inspirational entrepreneurs.

The conference will take place February 3-5, and was organized by Angela Pointon of Steel Toe Images.  Angela and I were both mentored by the amazing Elyse Weissberg. Although our paths never crossed then, Angela recently reached out to me and once you have Elyse in your blood we are connected.  I'm really looking forward to being able to reach creative people of all levels, from photographers to designers and art directors through this seminar.

Three Ways To Conquer Your Creative Block

Many people have heard about writer’s block, a dreaded condition that causes an author’s creative juices to dry up—sometimes even for years. It’s not unique to writers. In fact, “creative block” is just as likely to strike photographers and many other creative professionals.

On Top of the Plateau

An introduction to the "Generation Hustle" blog series, which intends to be an all-encompassing look at what many young, talented photographers of this generation are struggling with in this economic climate and age of technology.

I’m in my pajamas with a takeout coffee cup next to me and Crouton, my cat, is perched on a pillow right next to me intently licking his toes. I’ve sent out hundreds of personalized emails to potential clients and subjected myself to a many a cold call on this fine morning. The nibbles come, and jobs do happen, but great success still evades me. Perhaps I will not change out of my pajamas today.

I’ve fought the good fight for more than a few years now. I’ve had some quality advertising gigs in the entertainment, beauty, and fashion industries, met hundreds of top-level creatives, and done some fabulous editorials for local and national magazines. I am a former magazine photo editor for both Movieline and The Hollywood Reporter and have great connections. Yet here I sit, on this plateau. Oh, and you’re here with me? What’s up?

Marketing Trends: Be Smart, Be Creative, Be a Leader

Question: How do I keep up with the trends and still retain my current marketing path?

I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says, “Change is good as long as I don’t have to do anything different!But the only thing that is consistent in this life is change. So how does that apply to this question about trends, and whether or not to change your current marketing plan?

Paying For Your Personal Work (and Making it Pay, Too)

Question: What’s the best way to fund personal/inspiration work?

The short answer: any way you can. The path to artistic growth is often through personal work. With no rules or deadlines, you have more freedom to explore and evolve. When your work evolves, you open new markets, you stay relevant and you keep working. Personal work is not optional.

Whatever you choose to do to buy time, your challenge is to find a rhythm that leaves you enough energy to make that personal work. This is the key to your evolution, so serve your personal work first. Put it on a pedestal and schedule your other work to fit.

Dialogues Podcast: Inspiration is All Around You

Question: What are some recommendations for sources of inspiration?

Some experts believe the only way for artists to stay inspired is interacting with other artists. Some say artists must look to other industries for innovative ideas. Wherever individual artists find their motivation, it’s crucial to creativity: Staying inspired is the only way a commercial artist can thrive.

For Illustrators, Inspiration is Where You Find It

Question: Can you give me some examples of top illustration pros and what they use to keep fresh and inspired?

Look Around

My biggest inspiration comes from looking at other illustrators’ work. Whether it’s contemporary or classic illustration, when I see a piece that really excites me, it inspires me to push myself creatively. While I used to pore over the Communication Arts Illustration Annual and the Society of Illustrators annual each year, I find myself more recently looking at individual illustrators’ work. A lot of artists share their work on blogs and I enjoy seeing the sketches and ideas behind each illustration. Allow yourself the time to look around at other work; if you’re constantly looking at your own work, it’s hard to put things in perspective.

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