I used to think that the two most frightening words in the English language were singer-songwriter . They warned of long hours of despair and depression, generally emanating from Toronto or Seattle. We lived pretty near half-way between these two sinks and so we got our left-wing political rants and tortured love songs in stereo. I used to welcome the blizzards out on the prairies because they cut off communication.

Times have changed. We no longer have to fear singer-songwriters – we have to fear creatives. Video creatives, textile creatives, image creatives, and I can accurately report…history creatives. Yes. Create history. Stalin did, so can you. Pull up a keyboard and sit down.

For the purposes of this blog – selling lens cloths and tripods and macro lenses – we generally consider the video and image creatives. Some are professional creatives – they make images for pay and keep some of the money.The more successful ones keep more of the money and the real stars keep all of it, and they get it before they make the images. Sometimes in the dark I reflect that Jesse James was quite creative too, but I keep it to myself.

The amateur creatives create images with no pay. No, I’m wrong…THEY pay. The return for the money they spend and the time they use is a sense of enjoyment. And a sense of competiton. And blind unreasoning anger and jealousy…I’ve judged at camera clubs before and I’ve heard the sotto voce chorus from out there in the audience…

The artist creatives don’t get paid. They don’t get praised. They don’t get listened to. They don’t get published. They just create and stack their images in the electronic corner and carry right on doing it again. You can get 5 terabyte electronic corners these days for surprisingly small prices.

I cannot say which box is best. If you are locked into any of them and know it you will naturally become depressed…and start to write songs and sing them on the CBC. Please let me urge you to avoid this, if only for all our sakes…if you are locked into business try to do something for just you – not the client. If you are just a hobbyist, find a customer who will pay for something you do – even if it is just for getting you to go away. If you are purely an artist, try to get one of your pictures into a gallery, and not by sneaking it in under your coat and Blu-tak-ing it in the loo.

You will benefit and your skills will grow. And we can all get back to the blizzard.

Uncle Dick

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