Lessons from a baby

I’ve always been a person who tries to learn lessons from life around me. It’s probably years of Sunday school classes and trying to find the lesson in the Bible stories.

I just started feeding my daughter, Portland solid foods. It’s been fun seeing her facial reactions to different vegetables and fruit. Her first reaction is usually unsure if she likes the new taste, by the second bite she is smiling big and wants more fast. She often tries to grab the spoon and put more in her mouth by herself. She once was so excited, she grabbed the small cup I was feeding her from and tried to eat it. I laughed and said, “You can’t eat the whole thing at once!” When I said it, I stopped and laughed to myself, so that’s what I’m trying to do! When it comes to all the new dreams and ideas I’m having, I’m trying to do everything at once. For the past month, I’ve been enjoying being a mom full time and being creative on the side whenever I get the chance. I started writing more here and making YouTube videos weekly. As I’m pouring my extra time into these areas I’m waiting like… ok when is this going to pay off? In other words, I’m trying to eat the cup just like my little girl. It doesn’t work that way, it’s one small bite at a time.

From the moment I learned how to do graphic design all the way to graduating as an editor, I’ve intern and got hired to help other people build their vision. I didn’t mind, since at 22 I didn’t really have one myself. It’s easier to help others build theirs. When it comes to my dreams, I’m often changing my mind on how to go about it, or ask the question; is it worth the risk? Rediscovering my creativity and refining new dreams has become a process in which I am learning new things about myself.

I guess if anything, my daughter is teaching me to enjoy the experience of life.

Thank you to those who enjoy my post and liking them, I hope you are also learning with me new things about life and are encouraged.

My Top favorite books on Creativity

I want to introduce to you my top 3 books on creativity.  Reading about creativity will inspire you to use your talent on a daily basis, and teach you how to develop original ideas.  Here are my top 3 favorite books.
blog_imagine.jpgImagine by Jonah Lehrer talks about how creativity works. Every creative, even the creative geniuses, admit there is a process they go through to bringing their idea to life. “Once we learn how to creativity works we can make it work for us.”
He also has a chapter where he talks about outsider thinking. Sometimes when you’re younger, it’s easier to create because you don’t know enough to be an insider or an expert, due to ignorance there is a creative advantage. As we get more experience, we start to repeat ourself over and over again, “You must constantly try to forget what you already know.” Finding new challenges can help you approach things in a new way. This book was pulled from the shelves when parts of it were found to be fabricated, wish I knew what parts! 
blog_creativemark.jpgMaking your Creative Mark by Eric Maisel is second on the list. I found this book in San Francisco and read it throughout the trip . One thing I was struggling with at the time was how to be creative for myself and not just for someone who pays me.  After reading this book I was inspired to finally do YouTube, and leave a creative mark on the world.
This book acts like a manual for the creative journey, asking questions and giving practical steps. It was also comforting to hear stories from clients the author helped build their confidence when entering the market place. “You want to step out of the shadows and standing up for your work and your future”, “ your best life in the arts is dependent on your confidence level.”
blog_creativeincNext on the list is a book written by Pixar and Disney animation President Ed Catmull Creative inc. It was fun reading about how one of the most creative company’s function in creating animation films. He shares the genius of the company, the struggles of solving story problems and the hard process of making successful films. He gives you an inside look on what it’s like to work for a creative company, how they work hard to make life enjoyable for its employees. Steve Jobs was part of creating their office building, “everything about the place was assigned to encourage people to mingle and communicate to support our filmmaking..” One thing that stood out, Pixar was never afraid to admit what wasn’t working in their films and even in the office, they had open communication to call things out and to talk about it. We are invited to see how Pixar‘s creative culture with Pixar‘s braintrust- it’s a system for straight talk. They gather in a room and have them identify problems and encouraging them to be candid with one another. “As a creative we thrive when we work alone but an important skill to learn is how to work with other creative’s and other people in general how to make your idea come to life.” I read this at a time when I became leader of a department and it really help me create an environment for the team to create.

Preparation is Part of the Process

Sometimes it feels like the efforts we put into our personal work is useless and isn’t worth the time. If we were to calculate the hours we put into each project and see how much it’s costing us, it might cause us to give up. The only thing we know is that we love it and no one has to pay us to do it.

The pace of life can move so fast that we don’t have the time to prepare ourself. We hit record, or show up and rely on our past experience that we will know what to do next. But when is there time to study, read, and build? Be prepared for the opportunity to come is advice I’ve always taken to heart, but never really put it to action because I just didn’t have the time to. When do we have time to ask questions like, “What do you really want to do?” “What do you really want to make?””What impact on others do you want to have?”- let alone get them answered.

Now that I am at home with my daughter I am gifted with these open hours to do whatever I wish with my time while she sleeps. Because these moments can be 30 minutes to an hour, I have to use it wisely. For the first time in my creative life, I am able to work on work for myself. As I am taking the time to relearn a few things, research, read books that interest me, I am discovering new ideas and desires I never knew I had. When my daughter and I hang out at my local book store, I am noticing a pattern of what type of books I am picking up. Or when I work on youtube videos its allowing me for the first time to create for me. When I step back and see what all these things have in common. I can see clearly what it is I am passionate about. There is no job description for what it is I want to do, because it doesn’t exist.

I want to shout to the world all the things I am dreaming, but I know I have to invest time into my work before I can share anything. Every week I am showing up, putting in whatever hours I am able to. We hear these stories of how others are being successful, and I can’t help but wonder what the secret is. As I am pouring hours into my work, I am realizing it’s work. Preparing is part of the process, its what will make the difference between failure and success.

Yes I haven’t made any deposit into my back account, but I am pouring into my daughter, raising her, and when I get the chance pouring my creativity into myself. Building my dreams, hour by hour.

So I encourage you, whatever phase you are in, take sometime to prepare for what it is you really want to do. I’ve learned it doesn’t take hours like we use to do in school, but small breaks. Take the time to build something for yourself, your future self will thank you, and might even pay you.

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The Anthropology Life 

an·thro·pol·o·gy\ˌan(t)-thrə-ˈpä-lə-jē\ : noun

: the study of human races, origins, societies, and cultures

The past few weeks I’ve been obsessed with the store, Anthropology. I’m finding my self visiting the store once a week and during the week thinking about when I can go again for a visit. The store is always stocks with new items. I don’t always buy something, but it’s the atmosphere I enjoy most. It’s like walking into a real life Instagram house who’s main goal is to inspire with every glance. I haven’t traveled overseas for some time now, and items collected have an international feel I miss seeing.

I use to visit antique shops but found the life I want to create is one that discovers new and interesting things. When I bought things, they never felt like they were mine. They had a life before me, memories that I did not own.

As I’ve been collecting items from sales, I am working to carry the culture of the store with me. I desire to have my future house have the same welcoming creative vibe. I want to live a life that welcomes in strangers and inspire sleeping artist to wake up. Rifle Paper Co. inspires me to paint and create handmade cards and notes. Their cards and journals are full of beautiful water color art. Anthropology is where I discovered Darling Magazine, which if you haven’t heard of, you’re missing out. Its a beautiful magazine full of articles that pour beauty and purpose in to life’s boring or challenging moments in life. The Darling team is also developing a magazine for men called, WildernessToday while doing my weekly visit, I saw my reflection. I thought to myself, “I look like I belong here.” I’ve bought into the Anthropology life style, travel and drinking coffee.  

Which might sounds stupid or with very little purpose, but these things are part of the external life experience. Living a life of meaning is part of my pursuit of the Father. The ultimate fashion expression is of hopeless, so even they know style, clothes and stuff doesn’t make one happy. God has heard countless prayers of mine about what being a women looks like today. I don’t wanna be stressed out, busy doing nothing or kindness taken advantage of. Anthropology is unforgiving about treating oneself, no guilt allowed for taking a break and enjoying the cultures of life. It excites me when I come across a real life example of the type of women I want to be. My favorite account to follow is Annstreetstudio She is a photographer who works with her husband in New York. I know very little about her but she seems graceful, lady like and calm. Her style is elegant and she makes her age whatever it is, look like an exciting season to live. She even once responded to me! I have been in the season of needing an example when it comes to the art of being a woman. This doesn’t come easy to me, as I was the girl who refused to be girly. If I were a character in a movie they’d make me butch. All my life my close friends were boys. My interest weren’t normal, I’m technical and creative, I’m friendly and shy, I’m awkward and comfortable. I like fashion but hate high heels and fake eyelashes. I love music but get annoyed with shallow lyrics with any reference to the human anatomy. I’m weird but completely normal. I want to be unquie but don’t want to be noticed in the crowd.

I will end with a poem from Darling, written by Micheal Albanses and Wynn Everett. Sometimes men can see the beauty we hold that us women can’t see.

In her bedroom closet

hangs a mirror

reflecting quiet perseverance.

She chooses her own path

as she does a dress.

Slipping it over her head

she recalls the voice advising

her on the topic of significance.

Considering their words, she breathes.

At peace with the knowledge of who she already is.

Growing up can be fun.

Go get Inspired

There are seasons in life where work feels like that is all we do. When that takes place for me, I usually am in need of a day out. I know when I return home, I have some fresh inspiration. Getting out spending time with people in the real world can bring so much healing to the soul.

Last weekend, I took a day off from work. It was hard to turn off my work brain. I found myself thinking about what was taking place in the office but I had to tell myself my team is doing a great job without me, to enjoy my day out with friends.

When looking for something to eat, we found some food trucks. Next to it, there was this big wall of art. When we moved in closer we realized it was parts of the Berlin Wall. It was hard to believe this is the wall that kept so many people away from their loved ones in Germany.

We made our way to the LACMA to check out some art.  On our drive over we were listening to 90’s music, it was only fitting that we pose for our own 90’s album.

To my luck, the exhibit featured Germany artist and groundbreaking film makers.

It was funny to see everyone on their phones Immediately after. A coffee break was needed, we made our way to Beverly Hills to Urth Coffee.

For dinner we went to one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. Toi. The atmosphere is great and the food and service is amazing.

Before we made out way home I talked everyone in to one more stop…

Amoeba. Here I found some of my favorite albums. Albums I wanted when I was in 7th grade but couldn’t afford. Now they were 3 dollars. haha..

I know I had a good day when I come home full of creative ideas. Now I’m inspired. 🙂

What type of places inspire you?

How to Make a Music Video —

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I received an email asking how to make a music video. I may not be super qualified to answer this question because I make all kinds of other videos but that doesn’t mean you or I can not make a music video. It just means we gotta learn how to complete the task with what we have.

Here is the first part of the question:
“so as you know im trying to be a video editor but since i dont have video footage to edit 😦 i am trying to learn cinematography..do you have any advice or path as to where i could learn to be a good cinematographer/ photographer..do you have any crash course on cinematography or pointers on making a music video”

I know how you feel! I often say I will write and direct my own film just so I can edit it. I saw that I too needed to get better at my video cinematography back in 2009. I figured the best way to do this was to learn photography. I called photography the braces for camera operators. When we shoot video we are so use to moving, but with photography you have to stay still and make your shot interesting. You are now focusing on lighting, composition, exposer, the background, and the message of your photo. I challenged myself by buying a film camera. Now I only had 24 frames to use, and each one was costing me $1.50. My first major journey with film was when I traveled to Puerto Rico. Here are some of my shots.

When you get in to photography you will also learn a lot about focal length and how the lens you use is part of the story telling.

Using a fisheye lens makes thing appear distorted and from another world, it also brings focus to the center of the frame. I see this lens use a lot in music videos.
The type of lighting that is use sets up the mood. Hip hop videos love using lights, it makes things look flashy and adds contrast. Using the natural sunset light can make the video look romantic and hopeful.
The fun thing about making a music video is that anything goes. You can create a story to the song, or you can make it random. The task is to make it entertaining for the eyes and to follow the music. Some famous music videos cut every three seconds and some are of one continues shot. I’ve seen some where its just a girl singing, and others where its a party dancing. Watch videos from the 80’s and the ones of now – take notes on what you enjoyed and what you liked. Then gather all those ideas and let them inspire your own creative thoughts.

Keep in mind that when creating a music video – the more footage the better. Have fun and share what you create!

Here are some interesting examples:

multi- screens

using real elements

visual multiplication

One shot

What are your favorite music videos and why? Which ones stick out in your memory? Share them with us.

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When You’re Out of Times and Ideas

When creating in After Effects its easy to get frustrated. For one, there is the blank canvas. The beginning stage of, “not knowing what you want to do”, can in itself waste time. Deadlines can be your worst enemy or best friend. They help you make up your mind and get on with your life.

You might begin with a few ideas and find that trying those ideas are costing you hours. What you need is a solid idea.

Search around and find some art work of colors you like and see if it fits the project. Next look through your files and see if there is anything you’ve created before that you can re-use in your new project. Then close your eyes and image movement taking place. Now animate your design and bring it to life. Don’t feel bad for trying something out and deleting it after. The earlier you admit to yourself its not working, the less time you will waste. Chances are the next attempt will be, “the one”..if not, go back and get a new idea.

Creativity begins with an idea.. if you are at a wall and have no ideas, then don’t feel bad if you have to copy another person’s ideas but the key is to make it our own. When I was interning at Warner Brothers, they did this all the time. They research other designs and copied ideas. After seeing this I no longer felt guilty for getting inspiration from other places. Notice I didn’t say “copy” someone’s video.” The internet is a small world.

For this countdown, I was low on time. I opened up a past conferences title opener,  adjusted the colors, and camera view. It took me sometime to animate it but it was the design that took the longest to come up with.

Creative juice where art thou?

Creative juice where art thou?
My soul has been sucked dry
My inspiration has vanished.

Its been to many days
since i last flew the blue skies
I can no longer give out
what i have not taken in

He is the source of my heart
I desire is to find Him
I have not seen Him for days
which feels like years.
He is above universal time and
yet I can’t seem to read His hands.

I look at the kite,
admiring its freedom,
but yet can’t help notice the string that holds it in place.
Even birds have a nest.

Information Overload and Looking for Inspiration

Easter Promo Project
Easter Promo Project

It’s my job to communicate a lot of information into an entertaining video under 1 minute in length.  Can it be done?  Yes.  For the Easter Project, I cut out the long fluff and added short fluff.  I visualize the information with images and video.  Making all the information available elsewhere such as website, brochures, etc.  Since this is an invitation, I chose a person who is friendly.  Then I used graphics to break up each event.

For all of my videos I do a bit of research, look for inspiration and then mix all the ideas together to form a video.  The Easter project’s inspiration came from a Nike ad.

I added some vintage Jesus Christ paintings that can’t be seen clearly but are there to give add some texture.

The graphic department came up with the overall look in the form of a logo.  I kept the logo the same and just added a bit of color.

You can use  the artwork others have created to pull inspiration from and then make it your own.  Try to stay away from creating a carbon copy of others work, try to develop your own look and style. Discovering my style in videos is something I am still working on.

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