Jan 23, 2014

Mayor's State of the City Address

On Tuesday afternoon I had the pleasure of attending the Mayor's State of the City Address where he opened his speech with a video that I'd produced. He was kind enough to give me a mention, and also recognized our Thinking Hat exhibition (with Philip Vandermey and Jessie Andjelic) as it was on display at the event as well.   

The video was a lot of fun to put together, and I found myself curating a diverse selection of images to make it happen. The City got approval from Big Sugar to use their song "All Hell For A Basement" which became the driving force behind the look and feel of the project. With the help of some interactive software templates, and hours spent editing unique combinations of my photography, the video took shape. I think we also met the challenge of making Medicine Hat appear warm and sunny in the middle of January.

I'm really happy with the outcome, as was the Mayor. I received numerous messages, tweets, and facebook likes after the video was screened, and even got a mention in the newspaper the next day. All around it was a cool experience, and nice to be in attendance to see one of my projects debut for a change. 

Click here to view the video.

Jan 20, 2014

No-Brainers That Have Helped Me Succeed

Things have been good lately. I've got lots of creative work on the go, some money in the bank, and some nice achievements under my belt. Nothing has happened overnight, and the variety of experiences that I've had on the back of my videos and photography are the result of a steady pursuit. These are a few of the no-brainers that have helped me succeed professionally and that have continued to get me closer to exactly the kind of work that I want to be doing.

1. Create / contribute something. It's not enough to have ideas. Your actions define you, they propel you forward, and they make your efforts tangible. Your strength is in what you do and what you've done before. Actions are the proof of your potential.

2. Put yourself out there and say yes. Most opportunities are rarely packaged exactly how you'd like them, but if you're unwilling to accept challenges then ideal projects will always seem fewer are farther between. Take on work that has the potential to become what you'd like it to and take advantage of the chance to shape it.

3. Commit to realistic goals. Incremental steps you make are like investments. After a couple of years it can be amazing to see how much growth there's been, and it comes from simply aiming towards your next achievable step. Focusing on the top without any real plan for getting there is just dreaming.

4. Learn from your mistakes, and give yourself enough flexibility to make them. You're never going to be perfect and mistakes can help you to establish workable barriers and move forward. Give yourself options and the mistakes become lessons, not anchors.

5. Stop making excuses. If you're not happy in your current situation do something to stir the pot. Create something independently, volunteer, propose ideas to potential clients, take a course, etc. The excuses are almost always to keep you from feeling guilty about not taking a step outside of your comfort zone.

6. Put passion into your pursuit. Money tends to follow those who are ambitious and genuine about what they do. Find the things that interest you in your work and use them to fuel you through challenges. This comes back to #2.  

7. Confront the things that bother you. Don't waste your time feeling mad, upset, etc. Call things out when they don't seem right and give yourself permission to move on.

8. Stay true to your word and loyal to those who help you. Stability is attractive and surprisingly more rare than you might expect.

9. Enthusiasm is contagious. Get excited about what you do and others will follow suit. Trust me on this one. 

10. Relax. Everyone else is just winging it too.