Birth of an App, Part 7

Birth Of An App

Pictures chosen and edited – check.
Stories written and edited – check.
Categories (finally) decided and named – check.
Music composed and optimized for the iPad – check.
App optimizing and troubleshooting completed – check. (Although there were some pesky crashes on the iPad 1 that needed some serious analysis and work. All stable now, thankfully.) (more…)

Is your “Evil Plan” ready?

I’ve been grappling with the seemingly odd mix of my professional life: strategy consulting, photography and creative workshops. How they fit together – or not. I find myself answering the question “So what are you doing these days?” with “A mix of marketing strategy and photography – two separate parts of my life.” But I’m learning that they’re not separate – they’re part of a whole and absolutely interrelated.

I credit a number of folks helping me sort through this recently: my good friends DK of Mediasnackers and Jay Liebenguth, designer Zoli Reczey, and, most recently, the book “Evil Plans” by Hugh MacLeod.
Each of these sources of inspiration has shown me that there is an umbrella to what I do: offer a new perspective to all of my projects. Stand on my desk (or your desk) and see things in a different light. Whether it’s marketing strategy, a creative thinking workshop or my photography the common link is that of my perspective. How I approach strategy for a business or conducting a workshop or composing an image is one and the same: to bring a unique and meaningful alternative perspective to the subject.

This sorting out is an evolutionary process with many “Ah-ha!” moments tossed in to keep the momentum going. It’s a journey and it’s not just about the destination but taking in the scenery (and lessons) along the way as well. My plan is coming together – it has been over the past few years – and within the span of the past couple of weeks the vision has become significantly clearer.

What is an Evil Plan? As MacLeod writes, it’s the determination to “make a good living doing what [you] love, doing something that matters [and] becoming the person [you] were born to be despite the odds.” (By the way, this is one of the few books in recent years that I could not put down until it was finished.)

We all have the capacity to develop an Evil Plan – it just takes determination, listening, learning and a lot of hard work.


Every. Single. Day.

I have a goal to feed this internal creative hunger; to expand my mind and eye and grow my craft; to make my photography the best it can be.

To that end, I devote time to photography every single day. Certainly, some days have a greater emphasis or get more time than others, but it is a conscious decision to do something photo-related at some time during the day – every day.

Maybe it’s shooting. Or developing. Or printing, transferring, scanning. Reading, studying another’s work, learning a new technique, listening to others, talking with someone. Or writing. In every case, something meaningful related to photography.

I have a desire to be the best I can be at what I do. To be that, I need to constantly learn and grow and move my art forward.

Richard Avedon once said, “If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.”

Every. Single. Day.


Move your art forward every day

Patricia Moran once said, “Discipline is admired in opera
singers, engineers, dancers, pianists or brain surgeons but, for some peculiar
reason, when a painter is undisciplined, it is considered creative, new and
innovative, or even genius. Usually, it is just bad painting.”

The same applies to any visual art, including photography. I
try to move my art forward every single day. I don’t always make it, but five
out of seven days in the week I do something
to improve my art –
shoot, print, retouch, study, visit a gallery/exhibit, work on a portfolio,
write, take a class, read, visit with others, plan, organize – something
related to photography with the eternal goal of advancing my art. It sounds disciplined and it is, although it is pleasurable versus painful. Instead of being an obligation, it’s an aspiration – and inspiration.

I do not want to remain where I am with my photography. I
like what I’ve done in the past and I like what I’m doing presently, but I
continually want to learn something new – a new technique (maybe an old one,
but new to me), test a new perspective, learn something unique from another
artist from any visual or performing art – whatever is possible to push my
limits, push me out of my comfort zone, make me try something different in order to move me ahead in developing who I am
as an artist.

Ms Moran said discipline is admired
for many artistic areas and discipline must be a key part of a photographer’s
life. Constant study and focus (pun intended) are necessary
in order for a photographer to refine and grow his or her craft.

Gotta go. It’s late in the day and I still need to move my
art forward today…

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