Beachbum…… with a camera.

I’ve been contemplating the term “artist” for quite some time now.  I decided a couple years ago to just go for it and become an artist.  Not that I wasn’t one already, I just wanted to become one full time.  Everything I did had to be creative and conceptual.  Of course my sense of humor and total lack of conformity usually comes through in all of my projects.  I have one now that I am currently working on, and have been for almost 3 years now.  It’s called “Modern 4×5” .  It’s where I take my “modern” 4×5 camera everywhere I go and document my surroundings.  This may not sound too creative, and since I have started this many people have done very similar projects, the main difference is the illusion I create, this is not a photographic art project, it is a conceptual art project.  I’m hoping to have it finished very soon with a gallery showing at our studio sometime next year.  I think I’m really getting into having gallery showings, it’s a great way to see someone’s reaction to your work first hand, it’s great when they don’t like it but don’t want to offend you, the awkwardness is priceless!  This is why I love conceptual art!  Of course Helmut Newton had a great quote,

There are two words, that shouldn't be used around
photography: "art" and "good taste".

Okay, so it’s three words, but I think you get the point.  To me this states something very bold.  Don’t worry about making art just to say you’re an artist.  If you create a piece or body  of work it will be considered art because you are the creator or the artist.  You don’t have to label it because you are an artist therefore it becomes art.  You cannot make art, it just happens.  And as far as good taste, if you’re only doing what you do to please other people and to not offend anyone, it really shows a lack of character in your work.  I’m guilty of this.  I’ve held back on projects when I should have just pushed forward and gone for it only to look back and think to myself, why did I hold back?  

So I’m not sure about being an artist, I take pictures, I come up with concepts and attempt to execute them and then show a body of work.  If this makes me an artist then cool, but if it just makes me a beach bum with a camera then I can live with that too.

Here are some shots from my “Modern 4×5” project.

 

Just had to add a few…

So Chelsey and  I had to reschedule our photo session for today, but this gave me a chance to finally finish edited some of her favorites, so I thought I’d share a few of them here with everyone!  And as usual, life is good here in Ventura! 🙂

Inspiration

I’m a morning person.  I just love getting up early, the feel of the cool morning air a fresh glazed donut from the little mom & pop donut shop, such a great feeling.  Rocco (our dog) and I took a little drive this morning, he was wanting to play with every dog he saw along the way, whimpering as if to say to me, “just 5 minutes, really, that’s all we’ll play for”.   It’s such a great concept, “to play”, why are we so excited to play and not to work?  Because work means we have to do something, it’s not always by choice.  I know I go on tangents about work all the time but it’s really because I just don’t understand why, in this country, we must put in 40+ hours a week?  Our friends went to Italy, they said don’t go in August, everything is shut down, it’s too hot to work.  I am all for getting up early, opening our business, close at lunch, take a nap, open at 4pm close at 5:30pm.  Better yet, open at 11am, break for an hour lunch and close by 2pm!  I need to plan a trip to Italy, August sounds like a good month to me.    I also heard that they take 2 months vacation time instead of the whole 2 weeks we take here in the states.  This concept is heading in the right direction!

Part of this is finding something you love to do and find a way to make money at it.  I think there needs to be more emphasis on finding your passion rather than finding a career, or better yet, making your passion your career.  If you love to cook and cannot afford to open a restaurant then start by baking cookies and try to sell them (following the local health laws of course!)  There are ways to do what you love to do, just do not let yourself fall into the myth of “I can’t do it”, it can be done and it is being done everyday by people all around the world.  If you love doing it then it shouldn’t feel like work.  When it feels like work, change the way you are doing it, there are no rules, you are allowed to make them up as you go, that’s why it’s your passion.  Want to be inspired and not feel so crazy, go watch Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come.  If you don’t build it, they’ll go to someone who has.  Build your dreams, why else would you dream if you didn’t want them to come true?  

I’m going to steal something a photographer I know uses to inspire people at the end of his presentations, if you want to be inspired, just click this link.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZtU676jA_k

and for you guys out there who expect me to post pictures of models….. here’s Sarah 🙂

couldn’t wait!

Okay, so I have nothing really enlightening to say right now but I couldn’t wait to post a couple photos from my session today with Casey!  Plus I have a job scheduled in the morning so I may not be able to post until later tomorrow.  So here’s a sample of Casey, shot in our studio in Ventura.

Monday’s aren’t so bad after all

It’s a beautiful day out already this morning!  The sky is blue, not a cloud in the sky, another typical day here in Ventura (this is why I love it here!)  I have to apologize, photos of the “Man Cave” are going to be delayed, apparently I have way more than one day’s worth of cleaning to do!!! 🙂

I am about to head out to the studio for my photography session with Casey.  Nothing like a fun photo session to start your week!  And I should have some photos and maybe even a video to post a little later on from this session!

I woke up this morning thinking about how I made the decision a couple years ago to become an artist.  I left the last “real” job I had, which honestly wasn’t that real, and I decided to focus on my music, photography, writing and art projects.  Next to marrying a wife who can tolerate my artistic behavior, this was probably the best decision I have ever made!  I was going through my old blog and saw this photo I took on Christmas day last year.  I spoke about how it’s fun to be driftwood for a day and just watch the world as it reveals itself to you.  I still do this, just sit, people watch and think to myself, “life’s not so bad”.

This was in my fortune cookie the other day “One of the first things you should look for in a problem is it’s positive side.”  I love fortune cookies.  Its funny how a little piece of mass produced paper can make you take a step back and look at your world.  

Well, time to head out to the studio, we start hair and make up in one hour so I’d better go get to “work”. 

Become driftwood for a day! Here is another shot from Death Valley.

Cleaning out the “Man Cave”

So today is the day for cleaning out the garage AKA “The Man Cave”.  You can tell a lot about a guy from his “Mantuary”.  Sure, we are guys and we’re going to have pictures of half naked women hanging up because after all, we are visual creatures and it’s just something we do.  We love pin ups!  I remember going into the workshop of a family friend while growing up.  He had pin up pictures hanging around his shop, over the welder, inside of cabinet doors and of course over the inside of the front door.  I was young and he would tell me not to look, but I did, as my friend James used to say “don’t tell me not to do something!”

Inside of my “Man Cave” you will find these same types of images hanging on the walls, I have license plates over the door, photos ripped out of surfing magazines and various men’s magazines.  But this is just a diversion into finding out who we really are.  For those people who don’t bother looking a little deeper into what we have in our little corner of our world.  In my tool cabinet I have my favorite photo of my dog Shadow who passed away just over a year ago, I also have a strip of photos from a photo booth of me and my wife (Kelly) in the window of the cabinet and I also have some of my grandpa’s old hand tools, not to mention the tool cabinet is actually my grandma’s old china cabinet.  It was beat up and goodwill didn’t want it, but I just couldn’t throw it out.  My grandma and I were really close and this way she is always in my memories.  If you look closely you will see a lot more about us than what you think is there.  We all need a place we can go just to be ourselves, without the worries of what anyone will think of us.  This isn’t just men, I think we all need this little space, we just usually pick the garage, there is a strange testosterone gravitational pull to a garage.  So find your place and create you own sanctuary, it’s a great way to search your own soul.

So I’ll post a photo of the man cave once it’s clean, for now…… just imagine the possibilities  🙂

On the agenda…

So I’m planning out my week and I realize what a great week I have in store for me!  Today I am meeting with a potential client, they need some finish work (carpentry) done to their front door.  I guess they are going to be adding a stained glass window to it and I need to make an opening for it.  Sweet!  Did I mention how I love working with wood?  So today should be a very good day, I think I’ll take a trip to the beach as well, I mean it’s right up the street.

Tomorrow, it’s “Man Cave” cleaning day.  I have way too many boxes in my garage and I need to put some sort of organization to them all.  If you could actually see the “Mantuary” you would be impressed, or maybe a little scared.  It’s my little place to get away for a few minutes.  Either working on a project, or just flipping through some magazines, my little corner of the garage is just what I need to re-center myself sometimes.  I’ll post some pics of it (after it’s clean) so you can see it.

Monday I have a photo session with Casey!  I have never worked with her before so I’m pretty excited to see what we come up with!  And yes, I’ll be posting some images after the shoot.

Tuesday I’m installing some carpet for someone who found me off of craigslist.  I’ll probably do some editing and maybe another trip to the beach.

Wednesday, I’m shooting with Chelsey again! She’s the first photo in my header of this blog, and the one I added to this posting.  She’s fun to shoot with so I know we’re going to come up with something great in the studio!

Thursday…… well, I don’t really plan that far ahead!

Moral of this story; do what you love, love what you do.  Every job I take, everything I do is something I truly enjoy.  Don’t take the days for granted.  Everyday you can do something you love to do.  Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, enjoy the moments, forget the world and it’s troubles.  Just stop, take a look around you and realize life can be pretty good.  Just take the time to notice yourself in the moment, and relish in your own existence, just to feel good.  It’s okay to take time for yourself, sometimes it’s the only way to make time for others.

Peace and Mahalo,

Jim

This is Chelsey, you will get to see more pics of her after my next session with her! 🙂

 

A day at the beach!

Yesterday was going to be an in studio photo session with Jaydn, but we all decided that it was too nice of a day to spend it inside a studio! We headed out to Rincon and brought our cameras, she brought her bikini’s and well….. spent a little time at the beach! Here’s a sample of what we did, I will post more once I get a chance.