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1/30/12

The Internet and Me

How I am arriving at being a Creator of My Content...

On publicly forming my own individual form of creative art.

The internet brought me back to being able to be a creative person as an evolutionary process and it's still a work in progress. I do not consider myself an artist as much as a creator of content since the internet provides a platform for me to share my integrated creative works. The web provides the platform, the canvas and gallery if you will, for me to express myself and share it with an audience. My concept is combining my writing, photography and videography onto a mezzanine of creative expression that crosses genres. It's taken me a number of years, over a decade and a half, to develop the message and skills I want to transmit into something more specific. The technology of the web opened the expressive creative process for me and all art is evolutionary process. It's only recently that I understand the particular type of content I want to create therefore promoting it has not been foremost but the priority has been more fully forming it.



When I started college I majored in Art (ending up with a minor in Art History) to learn better drawing and photography with the realistic understanding that meant either teaching or working in graphic design as a practical matter for income. The experience was constraining and confining to me since it seemed to involve mimicking a lot of standard styles and techniques that were tried and true from famous artists and works, in the guise of learning to create your own style. It was very imitative, not innovative and to me did not logically follow a path to my goal of creating individual unique work. In that era the art world of all genres was a confining closed society and restrictive including the very thing we are struggling with today: copyrights. I lost interest in trying to break through those barriers, changed majors and for decades the only creative activity I did was photography and small collages for my own walls.

Although I had been online a long time the internet opened up a whole new world for me around 1995 with the advent of the World Wide Web. It wasn't until 2005 with YouTube and video sharing of individually created videos along with Blogger and blogging that I started to use learn how to use those tools. The learning curve was occurring and my inspiration was slow in developing. The real advance in my creative endeavors began in 2009 when my friend Caylyn taught me video editing. At the same time I decided to also create blog entries every day as a discipline and to learn even more skills and tools of websites. I rarely read the manuals and still barely nor do I follow "the rules." I use what equipment is available to me and I learn from different people and whoever is willing to teach me as well as trial and error. There is a lot to be said for pure observation also of what not to do and what to do.

It is due to the internet I've been able to learn a lot in multiple ways and quite unintentionally built a small audience. Everything I've learned from social and creative websites is only now beginning to fall into place and Google+ has come along at a good time for me. I was an early invite and it has been good as a sort of public square to share my thoughts, things that interest me, learn from others and stimulate my website blog traffic. I am a small fish in a big pond with an astonishing following of around 3300 that somewhat overwhelms me since I've never had more than 400-500 subscribers/followers on any website. I'm not in the league of those photographers, bloggers, artists who have 33,000 followers and nowhere near a Thomas Hawk or Chris Brogan and not sure I want to be.

What I believe is the internet is wonderful for those of us who will never get and do not necessarily want a mass market following to have a venue to share our work with people who appreciate it regardless of their number. I am just now beginning to understand what it is I want to achieve creatively in an individual way and what direction I'm taking all the while still developing and growing.


It's a constantly evolving process that is being formed openly for the entire world to see on the internet. My personal creative satisfaction though is what is paramount and I share on the web for those who might be interested, go for the ride and give me feedback to achieve improvement. It is not for ego or financial gain. As my audience increases I consider that a byproduct of my creative growth but not something to be sought after as the primary goal. I view that as defeating the purpose and probably why I'll never be "big time." The internet has been a communications tool that allows me and millions of other people to express themselves creatively and reach as many or as few people as they are able to without a producer, editor, manager, agent, lawyer or any other middleman.

3 comments:

  1. rock and confusion2/2/12, 8:46 PM

    First of all (though I haven't been around much lately to say this): thank god for the internet. I'm not religious and tend not to thank god for much, but sometimes you have to bend your personal beliefs to fit the evidence...and the evidence says that 25 years ago, everything else being the same, I am not sitting here looking at the photos and writing in this, nor am I marveling at them (way past caring how you made them; just digging that you did). Back then, I also wouldn't be trying (just for fun, because it doesn't matter at all) to imagine a category for your pics (right now I'm going with "post-psychedelic naturalist Southwestern" because it makes me smile, and because that's really what it seems like your photos are). So yes: thank god for the internet.

    Having said all that, it'd mean nothing without wonder and effort. I might be wrong but I think life is wonder and effort. Might be some other parts tossed in but I think those have to be there. I can't picture living without them.

    You're an awesome artist, JR.

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  2. rock and confusion2/2/12, 8:52 PM

    ...and I consider the phone poles, buses, and everything else I see in your pics to be nature; Thoreau considered the railroad beds to be as natural as the flowers.

    I agree with him. Call me crazy. :D

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  3. Thanks Mike for the fantastic statement "...it'd mean nothing without wonder and effort. I might be wrong but I think life is wonder and effort. Might be some other parts tossed in but I think those have to be there. I can't picture living without them." I want you to know how very powerful that was to read.

    That said I've missed you being around but I understand believe me. My photographs are developing their own style which I'm rather pleased about and any help in creating a category name is appreciate. Especially one that also made me smile as yours did. You pretty much hit the points of what I'm trying to get at. So glad someone else also appreciates the poles, buses and stuff as part of nature as much as I do and now I have Thoreau to fall back on as my explanation in my defense!

    I love the internet for all the reasons I outlined here. It also allows me to have friends like you for years. Thanks for commenting and being around when you are.

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