Stop Stealing

As I look across social media, I see plenty of people who call themselves entrepreneurs/brands/creatives taking content from those who created it. I’m not talking about reposting content. That’s cool. Honestly, I love seeing my stuff shared and reposted, especially by people I’ve never met. And, sure, I like being tagged in those instances but that doesn’t always happen, so I’m cool with that. What should never happen is my watermarks being removed from my work and the same goes for any artist. We’re not out here putting our time into creating branded work for the brand to be erased. We’re creating content for exposure so that we can live sustainable lifestyles putting quality out for the world. But, when I look at some profiles and see work that has obviously been cropped so that the poster can seem that much deeper or more talented than (s)he is, I lose some respect for that person. And, if I like some content that I see has been cropped, I at least work to find the original. That’s the least I can do to show appreciation to the creator. We’re too old to take stuff we didn’t come up with and try taking credit for it.

Grow up.

 

Make giving credit where credit is due.

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Do You Really Need Kanye to Validate Me?

Don’t wait for someone else to validate your friend’s work to support him/her. Ask yourself, “If Kanye said my homie’s art was dope, would I start supporting?” If the answer is yes, don’t wait for ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole or anyone else to say it. Just support your people the same way you support ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole. Go to their shows. Rock their clothes. Hype them up on social media.

And, while money is ALWAYS nice for artists who pour our souls into our art forms, I get it: We don’t all have bread to spend on every little thing (I blame Sally Mae). But you can click a link. You can repost a piece of work or a web address. You can have their new track playing on your Instagram Story while you’re driving up I-95. You can go hard for your homie’s business like it’s yours every now and then. If you wouldn’t buy their stuff regardless of whether ‘Ye liked the work or not, that’s cool. But if (s)he is truly your friend, still repost because art is like food: everyone has different tastes.

In short, stop killing genuine art (and, ultimately, your friends’ livelihoods) with your apathy. It’s not 1984, it’s 2018. Supporting is as easy as tapping a touchscreen once or twice. If you don’t even do the bare minimum to support, don’t expect to get put on when your talented friends make it.

While we’re on the subject of support, check out my Patreon page and subscribe to get an exclusive look at my creative process and weekly pieces that won’t hit the public.

Make supporting your team a priority.

Make Today the Day

You made it through the day. If no one else says it, I’m proud of you. And yes, I know it’s a holiday. Most of you aren’t working. You deserve a day off. But take some time this evening to do something, anything, that will make every tomorrow easier. Read a book. Start the first page of a book. Purchase that domain name.

For me, that something was starting my Patreon account. It is going to help me monetize my content going forward. Click here to see what comes with a monthly subscription. I hope you’ll invest in my words and photographs for less than the cost of a happy hour drink.

 

Make finding a way to live off your craft a priority.

You Are Young Enough to Change

I don’t know what age people become “too old” to change so I’ll say this: You are young enough to change for the better. As I prepare for the next step in my career, I’ve gotten some great advice from a few seasoned professionals who each said, “Whatever the next step is, life is too short to do something you’re good at but that makes you unhappy.” It’s the truth. I’m not saying that I am unhappy but there are days where I ask myself “How can I make the most out of my talents?”

Don’t just jump without thinking about it but don’t not think about it. What really gets your wheels turning? What do you go to bed thinking about and then wake up with on your mind? Answer those questions and figure out how you can make a career out of it. It could be in working for yourself or you could work for an already established entity. While the point isn’t necessarily ownership, it is certainly happiness and it’s not being a slave to any place or person.

No matter what stage you’re at in life, you owe it to yourself to start your days with a smile. Figure out how you can do that and do it. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a fantasty. All we have is now.

By the way, taking that dope photo above? That made me happy.

 

Make following your dreams a priority.

Your Art, Your Vision

As a creative, while my art is inspired by the world around me, my vision is my vision. Everyone won’t love it. Someone will like it but will want to improve upon it. And, if your work is really good, people will (try to) steal it without giving you credit.

The same rules apply to your entrepreneurial visions. And that’s cool. While I strongly suggest protecting your work, artistic or otherwise, if you’re not creating things that others want to steal, are you creating anything worthwhile?

Make creating art people want to steal a priority. It’s an honor.

#TrendingThursday 2.0 – Num. 11

“I Learned How to Write From My Heart” by Cheri Lucas Rowlands
I write. Writing is what I want to do with my forever when I get to that point. So, of course, I think everyone else should see the value in being able to, at the very least, put a sentence or two together in somewhat of a palatable fashion. This piece hones in on it. Check it out.

Meet the photographer traveling the world for free by Francesca Street
After writing (and motivating, which I sometimes do through my writing), photography and traveling are my next two favorite things to do, in alternating order. The story of this young professional who found an alternative way into his passion is pretty dope. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Five Work Habits To Kick Before The End Of The Year by Rich Bellis
I don’t really believe in “Catch All” lists but I do believe in “Catch Most” lists and this is one of those. Some stuff just makes sense to most.

Make professional development a priority.