“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?

OH MAN!! I am pumped… like REALLY pumped.

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So, you see that big star-looking thing over there on the right, sticking out of the button that says “CLASSES?”   Well, I’ll betcha you’ve already figured out what’s going on.

I’M TEACHING COURSES!!

There are currently 6 courses being offered at 5 venues in the metro area.  The site is chock-full of all kinds of handy info, like course descriptions, info about all the venues, links to super-talented photographers, and lists of local and digital photo stores!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be adding…. well heck!  All this stuff is over THERE.  Go check it out.

And if you’re interested, join the mailing list and be the first in line for info on all the new developments!

– Jon

Jon’s Teaching Classes!!

Or more specifically he will be after the new year.

I’ll be conducting courses in 2-3 sessions depending on content.  To start things off I’ll be focusing on all you guys that may be getting cameras for the holidays and want to know how to use them to the fullest extent.  As the season warms back up, look forward to a selection of nature, architecture, and event field trips!

The metro-area will be home base for a little while so if you’re part of an art council, community education group, or simply have some interest in learning how to bend light, please let me know and we’ll get something custom-tailored to what you’re looking for!

Check back in a few days for a list of general available classes to see if anything peaks your interest.

Thanks guys!

– Jon