Category

Thoughts

Thoughts
June 17, 2018

Are you putting yourself out there??

It's no secret that most creatives (including me) are introverts. We really just want to stay in our cave and make stuff-- the last thing we want to do is go out there and "sell" ourselves, right? But here's the thing: you could be doing the best work in the world, but if nobody sees it, how are you going to get hired?? As most of us have learned from experience, if you just make stuff and put it up on your portfolio, it's like a tree falling in the woods... nobody hears it! So if you want to get paid to do what you love, you've gotta be consistently putting yourself out there. You have to let people know who you are and what you do, AND asking them to hire you-- whether that's in person, by email, DM, whatever it takes... you've gotta let them know you exist.…
Read More
ThoughtsVideos
May 29, 2018

The sad truth about getting hired

If you want to give your career a big shot of steroids, I want you to listen closely: what you need is a big, flashy name on your resume (or client list). What I mean by that is, find a way to have some big, super recognizable company on your resume - because for better or worse, that will make people take you seriously and pay attention to you more than anything else - for better or worse, if you've got Facebook or Adidas or Amazon or whatever, fill in the blank big name company on your resume, people will instantly think you know what you're doing. It's kinda dumb, but it's the truth. I think a lot of people find themselves in the same situation I was in when I was first starting out, which is that you're reasonably good at what you do, but you can't get anybody…
Read More
Thoughts
May 24, 2018

You are not “damaged goods”!

If you've ever wrestled with insecurity, especially feeling insecure because you were the kid who grew up in a fucked up family and you feel like you're damaged goods or somehow less than the people who grew up in "normal" families, then this one is for you! If you grew up in for lack of a better word, a fucked up situation - whether that means that you grew up poor, had some dysfunctional shit like a family member dealing with addiction or getting in trouble the law, I bet you've ever been pissed off about it and felt like it was gonna hold you back. Because when the normie kids were being driven to soccer practice after school or whatever, you were taking the bus home and dreading coming home to your fuckhead dad or alcoholic mom, working 6 days a week to help support your family or whatever…
Read More
ThoughtsVideos
May 13, 2018

How to decide where to focus

Today I wanted to answer a question I got by email from Michael that I know a ton of you are also struggling with: "From the latest articles I’m struggling to understand what exactly role and skills are. The problem is not knowing how to choose. Is it the most lucrative potential thing or is it what you enjoy most. I understand the need to choose but still don’t get how you make that decision." In essence the question is, do you go for the thing where you're maybe not quite as passionate but the money is probably gonna be better, or do you say fuck it and pursue the thing you're the most passionate about? So for example let's say you have two things you're passionate about, like maybe graphic design and, say, writing about movies. You like both of them, but maybe you like writing about movies a little…
Read More
ThoughtsVideos
May 8, 2018

Do ONE THING and ONLY one thing!

Guys, I'm just gonna give it to you straight: when it comes to your work, you need to do ONE thing. Not two, not three, ONE THING. I know you a lot of you have a ton of interests and passions and that's great, but the reality is that you need to focus on doing ONE and only one thing, and then becoming incredibly good at that thing. So if you're one of these people who says you're a graphic designer and you want to write a novel and you also do music videos, I'm just gonna tell you straight up, BAD IDEA. You need to pick one. Trying to be all those things is just not gonna happen, and if you're feeling frustrated because you aren't getting as much traction as you want for you work, it's almost certainly because you're trying to do too many thing. I know…
Read More
Thoughts
May 3, 2018

The cold, hard truth about productivity

If you struggle with productivity and getting shit done, then listen up - I'm gonna give you some real talk that might sting a little bit to hear, but if you take it to heart - it might be the missing piece of the puzzle that you've been looking for and help you level up your productivity. Spoiler warning: the answer is NOT in reading more books, downloading the latest app or some ""productivity hack"" you heard from some guru... the answer is DISCIPLINE. Here's the deal: I hear so many of you guys say "I don't have time" to do this or that... and honestly, that is just straight up BULLSHIT. Unless you can honestly say that you’re making the most out of every single minute in the day, your problem isn’t a lack of time, it’s a lack of time MANAGEMENT. https://youtu.be/ZrRBuZoEQ84 Honestly, you aren’t that busy. I’ve…
Read More
Thoughts
April 28, 2018

Just say NO to lame projects!

There is almost NOTHING more important for creative professionals than your portfolio: basically, you ARE your portfolio. Think about it... what's the very first thing you do when you read or hear someone's name come up and want to see what they're all about? You look at their work, right? And you make a judgement of that person - whether they're cool, whether they're good, and whether you respect and would want to work with them - based on what you see in the first few seconds of skimming their portfolio. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, it just is what it is... your portfolio is EVERYTHING - you will be judged by it. And therefore, you should be putting a massive amount of time, energy and thought into building the absolute best body of work that you possibly can. https://youtu.be/lGPJDhfFOyo I'm telling you all of this to…
Read More
Thoughts
March 7, 2018

Don’t hate, congratulate

Let's be honest: putting yourself out there and sharing your work with the world is scary! No matter who you are or how long you've been doing it, you're vulnerable when you put yourself out there - but if you want to get any kind of traction or attention for your work, you've gotta do it. Because if nobody ever sees your work, it's like a tree falling in the woods. But the unfortunate reality is that so many people are scared to share their work because so many people out there are straight up assholes just waiting to tear other people apart on social media, in the comments, or with snide gossipy comments IRL. This SUCKS!!! So if you're that guy or know someone who is, this is for you... https://youtu.be/4lWcwkarjt0 And just to be clear, we are by NO means getting up on our high horse here: we've been…
Read More
Thoughts
November 12, 2017

“Success” is an empty goal

If you want to slam your head in a door when you see the Gary Vee fanboys’ HUSTLE!! GRIND!! #ENTREPRENEUR posts on Instagram — this one’s for you ;) There are currently 10.6 million Instagram posts under #hustle: the “hyper-achiever” trend is out of control. And aside from being a generally annoying internet sub-culture, the truth is that chasing “success” — where “success” is defined as being a larger-than-life, work-23.5-hours-a-day charismatic #entrepreneuer — is dangerous, and it’s just plain dumb to ignore that truth. What nobody seems to want to acknowledge is that achieving “great” things — the kind of things people write Fast Company articles and Medium thinkpieces about — almost always requires some extremely difficult sacrifices. And I don’t mean trivial stuff like waking up a little earlier than you’d like to or foregoing a camping trip with your friends — I mean the truly painful shit like your physical and mental health, family, and relationships. Permanent, irreversible stuff that keeps you up at night and haunts…
Read More
Thoughts
June 4, 2017

Create your own scene, and other lessons from Green Day, 924 Gilman and MRR

Back in 1992 or so, my friend Kevin showed up to school with a tape by some random pop-punk band in his Walkman. They were called Green Day, and I'd heard their name a lot from their shows with other Lookout bands like Operation Ivy and Crimpshrine as well as some of the Bay Area crust/hardcore bands I was into like Neurosis and Stikky. They were an integral part of the 924 Gilman St/MRR scene, and for all its many faults, that scene was truly something special and unique. Although I only went to Gilman a couple times, the culture of that era was incredibly influential and in many ways still the template for how I think and approach projects. It was DIY to the core, smart and focused not on the dumb, self-destructive stuff that kneecapped a lot of earlier punk but on CREATING things. It was fundamentally a maker…
Read More