Happy 2019! There is so much to cover in this blog post. So much, that I’m going to need a couple of posts to get it all out. This one, however, talks about the start of something new.
A New Design
I have given myself the task to completely redesign this website. Every time I do this, I have the same goal in mind: to create a place online that shows all of my creative endeavors and provide meaningful information about myself. The last iteration focused on the back end and infrastructure by converting everything to WordPress.
WordPress gives me the freedom to update anything without focusing on changing the overall design. It manages the layout and storage of information while I focus on the important part – the content.
Now that I have this in place, it’s time to do a little spring cleaning (in winter) while altering the focus of the entire site itself.
A New Focus
From the beginning, my sights have been set on creating. With my degree in Musical Theatre, I studied how to create and portray stories and characters. In my spare time, I learned how to create apps for the iPhone, understand the massive beast that is Adobe Photoshop, and begin to dive into 3D. I’ve never settled into one category, but my desires have remained true from the beginning. I want to utilize all of my skills to do things that nobody else has done. I feel like I have a unique perspective on what is possible with the toolset I have surrounded myself with. The focus of this year is content creation.
An Unrelenting Opportunity
I am in a very fortunate situation. I live on a massive ship that travels around the world on a daily basis. For a photographers this is a dream come true. I don’t need to pay for flight tickets, hotels, or meals. Instead, the world is coming to me. How could I not take this opportunity to explore every crevice of the places that I get to travel to every single day.
On top of that, when I’m not doing a show I have all day to focus on content creation. Sea days are filled with the endless view of a mostly flat ocean adjacent to an ever-stretching, infinite horizon. Basically, a cabin day.
Step one: Instagram
The first outlet of content I’d like to tackle is Instagram. I’m no stranger to posting there, but until now I’ve only thought of it as a hobby. Now, I can think of it as a career building social media outlet. Instagram does an extremely good job at combining multiple forms of media with communication tools. In addition to photos on the grid, ”stories” use vertical video to convey short bits of information for the day.
I’d like to think of Instagram Stories as a way to test some of the concepts I’ll be doing on my YouTube channel. Because I get the chance to make one every day, I’ll be forced to try something new and get creative.
As for the meat of instagram – the photos, I’ll be spending a lot more time on each one. Gone are the days of snapping a quick shot on my phone and applying a simple filter. Most of my photos from now on will probably be from my Sony a6500 and either hit Lightroom, Photoshop, or Affinity Photo.
Over the past year, I’ve been studying a full Photoshop retouching course. I’m not only understanding the tools involved, but also developing a trained eye for what to look for in a photo. In other words, what to enhance and what not to touch. I think retouching gets a bad rep because everyone thinks of the impossibly smooth skin and glowing, saturated eyes. Good retouching brings out the things that are already there and clears away distractions from the subject of the photo. I plan to incorporate a form of retouching in all of my photos if they need it.
One of the primary factors for the redesign of this website is being able to utilize my blog. I’ve been blogging on and off for the past 15 years. I really like putting my thoughts into words this way. I can gather experiences and information from my life aboard the ship, and share it in a format where readers can skim to get quick facts, or dive deep in.
The plan is to make the blog the centerpiece of my website experience. At first glance, I’d like any viewer to be able to see my latest post in many categories be it 3D, travel, news, or even opinions. I’d like it to be a landing pad for people with similar interests.
Okay. YouTube. This is where all of this has started. Over the past few years, I have watched a bunch of creative people make videos on their YouTube channel and develop communities where they can share and interact with like-minded people on subjects they are passionate about. Not only that, but they can create video experiences that tell stories and move people through their emotions.
I want to do that. I’ve had three and a half cruise contracts to think about what kind of channel I’d like to build. I think I finally know. Here’s what I’d like to reveal at this time:
– I want every video I create to be the culmination of many of my skill sets.
– Each video tells a story of some kind with a beginning, middle and end (this includes tutorials).
– I’m not afraid of long form content (more on this to follow).
– Music is an integral part of each video and I want it to be mine.
I’m on an incredible journey sailing the sea, performing, and going to places I’ve never been. I want to bring people along on that journey so that they can learn what I’m learning, and go on that journey with me.
The year of doing
The last few years have been the years of planning. This year is the year of putting those plans and dreams into action. It’s the year of doing. This is my largest hurdle to overcome. I like to plan. I watch tons of tutorials on video editing, 3D, app development…you name it. It’s not until recently that I rediscovered something I naturally knew a while ago: you can’t really learn something until you try it. Sounds simple right? Wrong.
It’s one thing to know in your brain how to accomplish a task in Photoshop. It’s another to actually do it. The reason retouching costs so much to do is because it requires the artist to problem solve. No photo is the same. There isn’t a single button to press to make a photo look natural. This applies to everything that I’ve been learning. I’ve told myself that this is the year to break the walls of planning and actually do it.
Let’s get started
2019 is looking to be a very promising year. It’s going to have ups and downs. It’s going to pack tons of surprises. Either way, I want to look back at it with the knowledge that I spent every day working towards my goals in some way. I’m not necessarily talking about the popular “hustle” business that everyone is talking about. But I want to see fruits of my labors. I want to be able to see a physicalization of my work and build a foundation that I can grow upon towards a career that benefits my happiness. Here we go!