December 19, 2011

Why Not

   Recently I have been receiving a few comments about the name I put on my two blogs. Not Much to Talk About and Not Much to Look At are both statements of how I feel about my art. I think it is really easy to look at these two titles as self deprecation and/or negativity. That isn't my intention. I'm writing this to clear it up.
   As many I have a handful of readers at this point. Many of them are close friends or family and know me pretty well. There are a few others that don't know me as well. So I want to give a bit of background.
   I went to college with the high aspirations of becoming a professional writer and possibly a film maker one day. I only wanted to tell stories. In my naivete I chose to major in English. I believed at the time that English was where one went to learn to write and create. I thought, for some strange reason that seems crazy now, that English was an arts degree.
   In two and a half years studying English I was mentally rocked. Simply put I learned that English isn't where one learns to write or create but where one learns to undo the words which others have written. It's not a bastion of creativity but a cesspool of people who believe they are more intelligent than those who create.
   I have to quickly interject that I don't view everyone in an English department as qualifying this. I know many good people who are just passionate about literature and want kids to learn it. I speak generally about what English as a subject is. Also, Alyssa, if you are reading this, I am sorry but I bring it up to make a point.
   So after some serious suffering through lectures that made a serious attempt to make me hate myself, my manhood, my creativity and my opinion I finally decided on a new course of action. I knew I couldn't remain an English Major for fear of losing my already rapidly eroding personality. I decided to attempt to get into film school. I applied to NYU's film school. I thought my application had merit. I thought I had the understanding and talent to get in. In the end I didn't get in.
   At this point I didn't return to school. I haven't returned since. I took my education in my own hands from the day I left school. I studied lighting and camera techniques for years. I bought a very expensive camera and started doing anything I could get paid to do with my camera. I taught myself editing and basic special effects. I spent all my time trying to figure out how to accomplish my lofty goals.
   Eventually I settled on the idea that the only way I would find the success I desired would be to write a movie, move to Los Angeles and then sell it to a studio. You probably are starting to see a pattern of naive ideas. So in time I came up with a story and a plan. My wife and I eventually moved to Anaheim, CA where we live now. This move was probably the greatest decision for my personal career goals ever.
   You see it's in Anaheim  that I learned that what I thought I wanted to do wasn't exactly what I wanted to do. Shortening a lot of the story I will just say that I have been self teaching myself about writing and story telling with and without a camera and actors for quite some time at this point. Some time in the past year or so I realized that the stories I have been creating and making up in my head probably won't work as movies for one simple reason. That reason is that if they are tampered with very much at all the whole point of telling them goes up in smoke.
   I suppose the real lesson I learned is that I am not a collaborative story teller. That isn't to say that I don't have a friend who I am collaborating with to tell a story or two. What I am saying is that a movie writer doesn't have enough allowance to tell the actors what the characters are thinking. That's the directors job at best. So no matter how I write the story as a script I get the same reaction. I got this over and over from readers, "Why isn't this a novel? I want to know what so and so is thinking."
   Even though I came up with this blog before I realized I needed to tell my stories as novels the title really does summarize very well my feelings about my art. But let me spell it out more clearly.
   Art is something with no intrinsic value. Art is valued by the artist and anyone who happens to like their work. My art and my love is in three things. I have always loved stories, music and imagery. I learned a long time ago I have no talent for music or painting/drawing/sculpture. I am very good at telling stories that make people feel. I am also a very visual thinker. I see the world in what I think sometimes are weird ways. I have only every been able to capture those ideas with cameras.
   So I write and take pictures and make videos occasionally. I have only ever made a handful of money from any of it (mostly wedding videos). The "Not Much" statement is that I know what I have to say or show isn't very great or outstanding. It isn't likely to ever make me rich and famous. But that isn't to say it isn't going to make me happy.
   Since I got my new camera and started my new blog I have to admit that I have been really happy with the results. I considered at one point locking the photos on my blog down and maybe asking for compensation like some "professional" photographers do on their websites. I thought about it and said to myself, I think I would rather just see one of those pictures on someone's desktop as a background than have thousands of dollars.
   So the point of it all is that I recognize that I not a professional. I am a hobby writer. I am a hobby photographer. I hope you like what I make. I hope you like my pictures. I hope you like my stories once I finally publish it. I hope you tell your friends about these blogs. I hope my toothbrush reviews both inform and entertain you.
   Thank you for visiting my site. It means a lot to me. Also, I love comments and discussion. Tell me what you like and don't like. Suggest things to me. If you have a favorite toothbrush or TV show or flower tell me about it. If you want me to take your picture let me know. Even though what I do isn't much I appreciate those who participate in it with me in any way.