Arrogance is underrated. Period. It takes something to make your way out to New York, let alone be an artist out here. I'm in love with New York. I've dreamt of New York since I was a teen, even though Chicago will always be home. I've always had confidence border lining arrogance, or so I've been told. This city kind of pushes you over that line, and for good reason. You are a speck in a sea of voices within a small sliver of an island of the world that is called, Manhattan.
I was lucky enough to apprentice with the late great Chuck Bogana. Chuck being the last of a bygone era having done the final printing and retouching of legends Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and other masterful photographic Artists, was a master printer who taught me not only the finer points and the artistry that is fine art printing, but in his quiet zen like way, opened me up to what a photograph is and can truly be.
Do you get it now? Are we all on the same page? The last few months have made it abundantly clear, you're in the Marketing run of your life. And I mean Run. I hate to say it, but this 24/7 frenzy of online media and social medication is going to slow down soon. Once cities are fully open, Summer rampages on and human contact is deemed OK, we're going to bask in life post digital detention.
I caught up with an old friend this week. It's been a year but it feels like yesterday since we last spoke. Midway through the conversation she says... did you know so and so is now a photographer? I chucked but she wasn't laughing. Ah yes, another five minute photographer. Not an uncommon statement in any craft which got me thinking of the millions of people, during this strange days that have now learned a new skill and confused it for knowing the craft...
If you’ve ever downloaded an app, looked at a billboard, clicked on a website banner, or have interacted at all with an advertisement (chances are you have), then you’ve seen work come out of advertising agencies, digital publishers, publications, tech start-ups, or just about any institution that creates work on behalf of a brand or product. Behind all of those experiences is a producer who enables teams, manages budgets, and ensuring the pipeline of creativity and delivery isn’t disturbed. Sometimes an underrated, or simply misunderstood role, most creatives team will tell you how invaluable their producers are and what they have helped them be able to do.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to do with my life. By the time I was 13, all I wanted was to be in a band for the rest of my life. By the time I was 18, I was starting to worry that music was all I was. People knew me as the guitar guy. I was worried that I didn’t have any other skills, that I didn’t have other interests or ways to spend my time. I needed something more. That’s when I discovered comedy.
If you are not rolling in money, simplicity and refinement is your greatest ally. Competing in the digital age also requires an omni-channel approach that integrates both online and offline touch points. Stick to what you’re good at, but how does it translate both online and offline?
It's programmed into our DNA. The fight or flight mechanism. We hear a loud thunderous bang outdoors, the squeal of tire and break pressure, or a child's cry and we start running. Our minds tell us something is happening, something imminent in the moment is occurring. Drama.
I'm 15 years old and marveling at the broguing on my new wingtips. As instructed, I went outside to scuff up the leather souls as to add traction and not fall on my face later that evening. As a young doubler in my teens, I was headed off to some sort of jazz gig. As I walked back stage with bass clarinet and bari sax in hand, I couldn't help but love the sound of the click of the wooden heel and the stage floor. Click clack, click clack.
My model gives me a blank stare as if it to say, "Is that it?" Mother gives me a glance, and by Mother and I mean Russ, my right hand man. He gingerly pulls me a side to talk technical, but what he really is saying as he whispers into my ear, "Maybe we take a few more, yeah?"