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I fear an end to all that is creative!

Centuries ago we were introduced to the beauty of Art. Whether it was music, art, photography, sculpturing, etc. As time flows into new millennia we loose a part of ourselves that was created by the greatest Masters.

I fear for an end of all that is creative. Artists struggling to launch, Others making ends means, Others who were at the top of it all declining as years go by. What is happening to the intellect? What is happening to the Creative industry? Are we dying slowly as time goes by, but why? who are the culprits? is it because Technology, Companies, or even people themselves are not interested in these types of art forms anymore? The few that do enjoy, seem to be withering away and getting sucked in into the masses. Everything has become a habit, contact, ask for price, never to be heard again. What happened to getting to know that person, what happened to looking at their work taking the time to see if they are worthy of your hard earn investment?

This is no rant by any means, No indirect diss by any means but a sense of awareness to what is happening in the creative community. The rise and fall of digital cameras due to a massive influx of production every year like they are almost competing with cellphone manufacturers, thus keeping an unhealthy competition in the market, trying to keep ahead of other technological advances like phone cameras, above all is all seen and noticed as we walk in the streets of any region. You looking at Instagrammers going around with cellphones creating content and making it seem as they are using the latest high quality gear. Ohh the misconception and misconceiving clout. As I engage in discussions with other artist the first topic of discussion are usually what is happening to them in the forms of compensation for their services. This is a cringing discussion since we all are faced with the same dilemma. Our services being undervalue and undercut by clients and even worst from the same camaraderie of upcoming artist who don’t take the time to build a profitable business.

As Jessica Kobeissi explains on a recent video she posted on her YouTube channel, she goes into the details of this cut throat industry as I call it. When new upcoming artist sell themselves short or for free just to get a gig and in addition to clients not willing to pay the actual professional what they deserve you create an unbalanced community and a unhealthy market. When you undervalue a service you are not creating anything positive, whether is for the community, the region, the state, the country, the world. This is why you are not getting Paid! The moment you decide to lower your price, you already not getting paid your value. 

Another artist Whalid Azami goes into a behind the scene and entire explanation of why Photographers are expensive and what do the clients don’t experience and see. He goes in deep into the “We are not just button pushers” .

check a link to his video below. Again this is to bring awareness at what is happening to businesses across the board for creative artists. 

Think of it this way, what would happen if you stop paying the barber for your hair, the clothes maker for the clothes you wear, the farmer for the food you eat, the builder for the house you live in, the painter to paint your home, the artist to provide you with things for your home, the photographer to maintain your memories. If all of this would stop this instant there would be no communities, how much of the above can you do all by yourself. As Humans we are what makes the world function, we create rather than destroy, but lately people are more focused on destroying rather than build.

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This is what is happening when we undercut or undervalue our work, our years of study, investment, on going education, keeping up with technology, servicing clients who demand more than what they want to pay. We kill ourselves slowly during the process. Two artist enter the arena at the same time, one goes through the proper building of his brand and business, the other decides not to go that route. The artist who takes the time to develop the business and study the market and puts a price on his work decides to charge a company $100 for the service provided. The company in turn comes and says “Hey how about you do it for free, and it would be good for exposure, besides you are starting out and $100 is a lot”. The artist declines the offer and moves on. Now the same company goes to the other artist who in turn loves the idea of doing the job for free in exchange for exposure and hopefully getting pay in the future and takes the job. Do you think this company  and this other artist have their best interest in the community for creating Jobs and maintaining a market? You’ll be the judge of that.

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        @artbylopz

We all can start from the bottom, but start the process right. Charge accordingly and never back down on your prices, because the moment you do this you loose your soul in the process. The time and investment you have put into the years of preparation are no longer valid. Now you have decided someone else to control what you do to put food on your table for the sake of undercutting some else who might do the job for cheaper.

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          @artbylopz

Now days the market is over saturated with artist who are fresh, people who see others do it and have a sense of impact that they too can do it. I have nothing against this as I was inspired by someone along the way, but the problem is the preparation and the mentality to come up. Cellphones are a great tool, they in most instances do provide a great camera and features that no professional camera can offer: filters, posting instantly in social media, etc. I have seen people who rather use this medium to record memories than other professional services available out there, why? just for the need of validation of uploading it to social media instantly in hopes of likes, comments, followers first. A form of social competition, not caring what stranger or person whom you haven’t seen in years, yet give them access to your most precious intimate memories. People who rather get impatient because they can’t wait for an artist to develop the photos they work so hard on, the musician to drop an album or create a video, the artists who paints his soul away to give you his best work. Why the rush???

These are a few of the issues many creatives face on a daily basis just to keep up with societies demand. This is why I fear an imminent end to creatives as time passes. The art, photography, music, etc we all came to love as we grew up is completely being changed into a disaster that at some point people will no longer care for, thus killing everything along with it.

The talent is there, the hunger is there, the vision is there, the persistence is there, so why ruin it by undervaluing your potential, your hard work, your time and investment in yourself, create together rather than destroy one another. 

So please, do not undervalue, undercut, cut throat any creative individuals on their craft, because you are not helping society or your community strive. The moment you begin to think you are getting a good deal for bargaining a discount, or for offering an alternative solution to get something free out of someone else you are putting yourself in a disposition to do more harm than good to you and to others.

 

Thank you all for reading and taking your time to support striving artists all over, DJs, painters, sculptors, photographers, videographers, musicians etc.  

Photographer's get your images published.

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Ever wondered what happens when you send publications to magazines in hopes of getting published? Are you connecting the right work to the right magazine? Do you pay the magazine to showcase your work on a 1/4 spread of a magazine page? Or do you pay the magazine so your image can be on their next front cover publication?

So many questions come to mind on what should be done and how to go through the proper channels for submission.

I will relate a short story that happened to me not so long ago about submissions to online magazines.

Since I am currently in the Re-branding stages of my business I decided to start everything from scratch. My IG feed wiped clean, my website, and so on. During my course of uploading my portfolio images onto my IG page, many new followers and likes started to rise with each image.

Comments were coming in hot as I kept uploading content, all fun and promising. It was when I got a DM from an Online magazine (not disclosing their name) in good faith of not causing bad reputation to their brand. 

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It was for an open invitation to submit my work for their next online issue and future blog publication. I was thrilled and of course cautious as you never know what you might find or stumble up with online these days. "It feels like the entire online world is a scheme now" inner thoughts.

Their submission form was quite lengthy and time consuming. Though it was educative and sort of a self assessment on how you want to be portraited in the submission. It was a series of questions pertaining to your work, background, collaboration, etc which I gladly answered with no hesitation.

After the series of question was the Uploading of your work (the fun part) they called it. A series of 10 Images for your uploading pleasures. WOW! 

It was all flowing beautifully until I clicked that SUBMIT button. Wooosh! Then BAM !

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I was taken to a new page for me to choose options of payments depending on how I wanted to showcase my images on their publication.

Options as: $28 for IG blog submission for a week, $56 for 1 Page Spread advertising, $98 for 2 Year run on their publication. All this guarantee your work and page to be view by their active 500K followers. In addition recommendations to private clients, investors, modeling contracts for possible jobs.

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To my dismay, I was in an alleyway of either keep walking forward or retreating back. As any photographer would know that Paying money for magazine submissions with ends of getting published is a big NO-NO in our industry. If a magazine likes your work, they will in turn run your images and you will be paid a fee or better yet become a photographer for that magazine. Get paid assignments and the works.

So, can we qualify this as an investment to get published faster? Does this become part of paid advertising in hopes of getting mentioned in an online publication with little or no hopes in the real world print advertising? 

I will love to hear from you about my story and if you had gone through something similar.

Thoughts in my MIA Moments

Life seems fair to those who have not experience any massive pain, or any hard falls.

We all have our difficult moments where life seems to be kicking our asses day after day with no remorse.

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Been there, and back! Been there to the point where I almost sold my equipment and call it quits and move on to the next chapter in my life.

One question did stick around in my head: Why did you buy the camera to begin with? Why did you buy all this equipment for? Why you didn't turn down such client when they asked about you taking their photos? and so on.

It was nauseating and I felt horrible after asking myself questions after questions over and over. I had literally given up on myself, my dream, my entire nature of why I jumped into Photography in the first place. I was at the brink of failing myself, my family and those who believe in me even if it was for a moment. 

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My website dropped out of existence, my social content was crap. My advertising had stop completely, I began more critical of my photos to the point where all I was seeing was shitty work. I had created a solid believe that I was not fit for this journey as a photographer. 

I was creating excuses after excuses of why I was not making great things happen, I started chasing birds and ran out the field like "Jim Rohn" said. My camera is old, my camera is to heavy to carry around, my lenses didn't give me what i was looking for in terms of quality, my gear was crapping out, and so on. Gosh! When you hit rock bottom surely things tend to become worse in your thinking, and in your actions.  

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Mental toughness is a really serious thing to have. What the heck just happened to me I wondered one day as I was walking to work and decided to snap one photo using my phone of this nice metalwork i saw at the train platform. It was a milliflour design with black, yellow on a concrete background. I had let my eyes become lazy of my surroundings, I had let my vision go behind my head instead of ahead. After I took this photo I played around with it and developed it further to enhance it. More thoughts came to mind and draw me back to my humble beginnings. "I couldn't do that before, look at how far you have developed your self and your style to be giving up so bluntly" I said to myself. Ohhh man! it was not over that moment. It seems as my brain was in for a good 'ol ass whipping, I felt like my heart was beating the shit out of my brain to get back up, look up, get my ass of the dirt and shape up. Reality kicked in! It was on, When no one was around to give you the sort of speech you need to hear, I guess my heart did it for me. 

 

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As the days went, I decided to use my phone as a therapy to create images on the go for social content, to re-train my eyes and brain to look for interesting images to capture. Little by little images started to get a hold of me and my new self. Content was being created, Clients started reaching out, re-branding ideas started to happen, it was a feeling like no other. New techniques were being develop, a new website was being built, new vision of where I want to land and what type of work I want to be called for. It was euphoric! 

My thinking and self destruction was completely change, and all was rushing at a pace like never before seen. It was like a reset button was triggered from my heart to my brain. I know is hard to think it can be done but it certainly is, I challenge you to go forth and have a self talk and assessment of your current self and see where you are. Im sure along the way something will hopefully trigger you to get back up, get dusted and move on forward

Until Next time!

Be great, Be invincible, Be strong.