“Artist” is So Last Decade.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work with up and comers in various creative industries; specifically, people who are looking to turn their passions and hobbies into a career.  There have been events like lectures, presentations, and portfolio reviews; and I’ve taught a number of visual media classes.  Throughout these experiences, I’ve caught myself using a term repeatedly.

Professional Creatives.

Now, you might say to yourself – isn’t that the same thing as a creative professional? It’s a common phrase and it sounds very similar. And I’ll give it to you that each title shares similar traits. But there’s one big fundamental difference.  You can consider it grammar or sentence structure, but it all comes down to which trait is most valuable.

So, what’s the difference between a creative professional and a professional creative?

In each title, there’s a noun and there’s an adjective.  One of these individuals identifies them self as a professional while the other labels them self as a creative. They both share similar qualities, but depending on the title, there’s a different emphasis.  It’s the noun that deserves priority as it defines what the person is, and not a characteristic they possess.

EXAMPLE: Gray elephant.  By looking at the elephant, you know it’s gray, but that’s not what jumps out at you.  The first thing you see is “Elephant.”

So, that begs the question: which is more important, being professional or being creative?

Dick Weisgrau – he’s the former Executive Director of ASMP.  (for those of you who don’t know, the ASMP is the American Society of Media Photographers.  It’s basically THE association of professional photographers.) Dick once said “It’s almost more important to be a good business person than it is to be a good photographer”

There are 2 things to walk away from that with: to maintain a career in the industry, you need to be both creative and professional.  They’re the 2 most important aspects.  However, to sacrifice any aspect of your creativity for the sake of appearing more professional is the first step in removing yourself from your passion.

If you’re a baker, or a sculptor, or an illustrator, or a photographer, or a graphic designer and you have your own company – when you meet someone and they ask what you do, do you say “I’m a business owner?”

No – You introduce yourself by your passion.

Hi.  I’m Jon , I’m a photographer, and I’m a professional creative.

Who are you?

Kansas or Bust.

For those who are unaware – I am currently a student at the Art Institute of Michigan in Novi.  We have a heck of a team of upper level photo students.

This term, 3 of our fellow students participated in the SkillsUSA regional competition for photography.  Brian Doig won silver and Ryan Schafer pulled in a gold.  (That’s 1st in the state, people!)  Now – the national competition in Kansas is looming, and we need to get Ryan to the competition.

A FundRazr account has been established for the cause and needs some support.  Please swing over to the donations page and drop in a couple bucks, if you can.

Also – be sure to check out GO RYAN GO – a Facebook page helping him get to Kansas.  To keep up to date on some stuff our group has been keeping up with recently – swing by our page and quench your curiosity. – (PHOTOCLUB)

Minty Fresh Work

For the next few months I’ll be involved in a set of group assignments.  It’s basically a practical rundown of job delegation (art director, photography, designer, wardrobe, props, location…)  In the end it will provide useful insights into working with a professional team in an environment where everyone has a different opinion and a different eye for art.

These past 2 weeks we’ve been focusing on an ad series for  a household product.  In terms of the specifics, that was about it.  Household product.  3 spreads.

2 other individuals on the team, Ryan Schafer and Nancy Garcia, along with myself decided Listerine, when presented in the right light, could hold some comedic value.

We went with juxtapositions as an a attention-grabber.  Enjoy!

– Jon

And a special thanks to Marcus Samland for releasing his inner nerd in all its glory.

And now for something slightly different.

Boy howdy!  Do I love me some minimalist posters.

We have a photography club at my school.  I’m the president.  As such, I spend some time promoting it and designing attention-grabbing visual aids.

I’ve been wanting to do some stuff like this for a while and figured it would be a good excuse.

– Jon

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