New Arrivals!

You wanted ’em, we’ve got ’em . . . our latest photos are here for you to enjoy/purchase!

Like with everyone else, our holiday season was busy, what with traveling to see family and whatnot.  But we know you’ve been looking for new images on our site.  And we’re here to deliver.

It’s been a long-standing tradition of mine to travel somewhere I’ve never been before on my birthday, and last year’s trip was an Alaskan cruise!  We started and ended the cruise in Seattle, so I’ve got a couple of shots of the iconic Space Needle available:

Seattle-SpaceNeedleFramed

Seattle-SpaceNeedleandCloud

Not only do I love to travel, but I also collect hearts (my wedding ring is in the shape of a heart).  So, I naturally had to capture this shot of a heart-shaped water fountain.  I took a few photos with the water blurred, too, but this one turned out the best, in my opinion.

Seattle-HeartFountain

The next few images are from Craig’s camera, and were taken in our various ports in Alaska.

Craig sees the beauty in run-down things, so he captured a great shot of an old train engine while we were in Skagway, Alaska.  The sepia tone of the image really helps show the age.

Rusted-Train-Engine_Skagway

He also likes to take panoramic shots, as you’ve probably seen in his Fallen Leaf Lake photo.  Well, he found a beauty while our ship was cruising near the Sawyer Glacier.

Sawyer-Glacier-Fjords_Pano

We’ve got plenty more coming from the Alaska trip (including some breathtaking waterfalls), so stay tuned for the next installment!

Slave to Creativity

Fair Warning: I won’t be the best at what I do!

wolverine_im-the-best

For decades now, the business and industrial worlds have been busy telling us that you must be working full bore all the time for as much time as you can manage… and then some. The key to promotions and bonuses, they say, is to work overtime, nights and weekends, researching and learning on your own time without pay to get ahead. Just doing your job well enough and gaining experience isn’t enough to better your position, only to stay where you are, and in a lot of cases even lose ground.

As we journey into the age of enlightenment, this situation is getting exposed as asinine and damaging to the psyche, physical well being, and is actually counterproductive. Even though the business world is still espousing this belief as a virtue. There’s a war on.

I just read an article that triggered something in me, and ticked me right off. It’s an article on creativity, and creative personalities and how saying ‘no’ is an important tool to help the creative person succeed. Here is the article if you’d like to read it.

Even though I agree with the article about saying ‘No’ and the ramifications of that, what upset me about this article is that it is using the same kind of language to inadvertently shame and control creatives. And they are portraying it as a virtue. The article says things like “Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations.” and “No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation”.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of “I’ve never met a ‘Great Person’ who has not had a troubled or challenging past”. What a backhanded way of saying “If you haven’t had a challenging or troubled past, you’ll never be ‘great’. To that I say ‘that’s absolutely NOT true’.

Regardless of what all these ‘helpful’, ‘inspirational’ sayings advocate, there is now pressure on creative people to work full time, all the time on their creative processes and projects, and damn the consequences. Well, having gone back to school for animation as an adult, I was ‘competing’ with post-high-school-aged kids. Most of whom still lived at home, and had no other real responsibilities and were free to work on their stuff day, night, and weekend. I, on the other hand, I had rent to make, as well as all the other bills, and I had a young daughter. Because of a divorce, I only got to see her every other weekend, and I’ll be damned if I was going to spend any less time with her and neglect her because I was trying to be the absolute best animator in the world and work for Disney. That sentiment is no less strong now, after leaving school.

Over the years, I have also found and married the love of my life, and we have built a wonderful magical world together. Should I shove that aside to spend all my waking hours at the drawing board? If I want to be “Great”, I’m told that I should (or automatically would).

busy-at-drawingboard

If that is what it takes to be great, then forget it! I’m not buying in. I love spending time with my family. I love my wife and daughter and won’t give them an ounce less love and attention and TIME than they deserve and that feeds all our souls. I want weekends and vacations. I want to be healthy and unstressed. I want to travel and see the world. And I want to ENJOY all that!

I refuse to accept that stress they are trying to make me feel with that unattainable carrot of being the “Best at what I do”. Therefore, I’m giving up the idea of being great. I will still draw and create. I will still strive toward goals I would like to obtain. But I will only be as good as that will make me. And If I never get into Pixar because I don’t have willingness to abandon my life to make the time to get as good as they want me to be. Tough. Their loss. I’ll be happy traveling to Australia, the British Isles, and Africa with my family and living a wondrous life.

I hope you all enjoy my ‘only so good’ work.

Craig Smith.

www.masartwork.com/art