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creativity

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Why Side Projects Are So Important

There are so many articles and stories out there about successful artists. Such an enigmatic thing, ‘creative success.’ Success, of course, should be qualified not in how many paintings you sell or who is collecting your photography, but in how fulfilled your work is making you. There is one major theme, though, that seems to unite all ‘successful artist’ stories. And that is: hard work and constant production. Even if you are having a slow week at the studio, or you’re waiting for a client to send you a payment, or you feel overwhelmed by the amount of new inquiries you’ve just received- always make time for side projects. Side projects allow you to think outside the box, to stretch your creativity in new ways, and to make sure your work is always fresh and informed by a healthy curiosity and drive.

Whenever you get an idea for a side project, just write it down. Keep a list, and then map out when in your calendar you want to execute them, where you want them to happen, with what tools and which people, etc. You probably won’t keep to this schedule, because sometimes the urge to experiment hits when you’re least expecting it. But if you get into the habit of planning at least two creative side projects a year, you’ll see that your work will get infused with new ideas, more experience, and a desire to grow.

You know what was a side project? Doggie Gaga.  Have trust in your creativity and unique style, and always push yourself. You never know- a simple idea could just catch someone's eye.

(photo credit: Zona Foto)

 

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BIRTHDAY EXCURSION//BAY AREA'S BEST DOG PHOTOGRAPHER JESSE FREIDIN

This past week I packed up only the essentials (5 cameras, 8 kinds of film, a box of various camera accesories and attachments, 3 camera bags, 1 tripod, 1 light meter, Pancake's life jacket, dog food, and a change of clothes) and headed North for some much-needed R+R. Doubling as a 30th Birthday Celebration, this trip combined basically my favorite things in life: my friends, my dog, my cameras, and nature. polaroid photographer

I love all things Outer-Space, so my friends made me the best box-cupcakes ever! And yes we ate them all.

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I told Pancake to bring a few books at least, but he ignored me and just slept as much as possible. He alternated between sleeping on this apparantly amazing cement porch floor, and sitting in the exact same spot watching all the farm animals across the way.

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The barn on the property was one of the main reasons I wanted to stay at this (secret) location. The old wood and open sides made for amazingly beautiful diffused light. I made all my friends sit for me inside the barn basically every day. I was overjoyed. They were patient and accomodating (and beautiful) subjects, as per usual.

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Pancake, being the little social butterfly that he is, made friends immediately with the neighboring farm dogs. The big one we called "Dinner Dog" because he silently just appeared at the back screen door every evening at dinner time. The tiny guy was called "Oscar", and he and Pancake wrastled for hours on end.

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I'm a very lucky guy, and have the best group of friends a nerdy artsy dog-loving professional photographer could ever ask for. I told my friends I wanted to make robot costumes and take robot portraits while on vacation. After years of obliging my crazy photo concepts, they happily picked up scissors, tin foil, boxes, rusty wire and constructed some incredible hand-made costumes. I even made one for Pancake. Of course, amidst this robot photo project the lonely mailman decided to pull up deliver a package. I think he wanted to stop and make a costume too. Or at least a tin foil letter.

 

Happy birthday to me. Vacation was great. Now on to a busy busy Summer!!

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