For the Makers

Dear maker,

Thank you for choosing to create when it's much easier to consume. Respect. Here are three ideas that will help you make cleaner, more effective art.

Exclusion

Everything is an edit. Your job, as an artist, is to show the consumer what to think or to feel or to see. That is all.

"What we call a poem is mostly what is not there on the page. The strength of any poem is the poems that it has managed to exclude."-- Harold Bloom

Any fool can think of what to include, but only a talented few know what to exclude. Beautiful art is not an overgrown forest, but a manicured path into human nature. When beginning any creative endeavour, figure out what you're trying to say and then say it. No less, no more. Let your ideas fight their own battles.

Art is A Window

Windows exist for only one reason: escape. Sure, the view is nice, but we can find prettier things to look at. Sure, it would get stuffy without windows, but that's why we have air conditioning. The only true function of windows is relief. When the walls of society are closing in on us, and when the stifling heat of obligations melt our mind, windows offer a way out. An escape.

Art is a window. The best art, like the most magnificent windows, meets humanity's gaze with unabashed clarity. Windows don't embellish. Windows frame. There is no need, or demand, for you to create a whole new world. Think of Harry Potter or The Joker or Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. These legendary pieces don't re-imagine humanity's woes, they re-frame them. The medium may differ, but the story does not. Every story is a story of us: a window into our inner realities.

Release

So you know your vision and you have your frame, but now what? It's time to realease your creative birdie into the world. This, by the way, is my least favorite part of the creative process.

There will be criticism and there will be embarrasment and there will be regret and there will be mistakes found and love lost. I've been putting videos on YouTube for about four years now, but I still lookaway when I click 'upload'. I still wait days, sometimes weeks, before viewing each video's response.

Hopefully, you have an easier time with releasing your work, but the odds are....ya probably won't. But, hey, we didn't start making sh--, because it's easy. We edit, paint, sing, compose, design, etc... because we want to. As long as you want to make: make; as soon as you don't: don't. But never let someone else's opinion define your reality.


Tools

Tools are the rope with which creators swing from imagination to reality. This rope doesn't have to be expensive, in fact, all tools experience diminishing returns. Each dollar purchases less utility, as you move up the gear heirarchy. That said, here are the main tools I use.

Cameras

Canon G7x MkII: I've shot thousands of hours on this bad boi-- mainly due to its incredible durability and portability. While easy to use, the G7x is not very easy to modify. You're stuck with the built in lens...and the manual options aren't great. But if you're runnin' and gunnin', I would highly recommend this bad boi, regardless of your budget. Heck, I'd even buy it for ya if I could.

GoPro Hero 8: This is by far the best GoPro I've ever owned (and I've had four of em'). This bad boi packs beautiful images, clear audio, and incredible stabilization into GoPro's traditionally rugged body. 10/10 would recommend.

Misc.

Microphone: We all know audio is everything and this mic. delivers quality audio for cheap. The one issue I have with this mic is it's portability. The Yeti is both big and corded, so capturing quality audio is often a hassle and infeasible on the go. If you're doing voiceovers, I recommend. If you're looking for a portable recorder, you'd be better off with something else.

Lighting: If I knew how good this light was when I purchased it a year ago, I would have happily forked over more money. The battery life is top notch and there's different lighting modes, various colors, adjustable brightness, etc... Long story short: if you're looking to up your lighting game, buy this light. This bad boi packs a powerful punch in four inches or so.

Writing: Every hand drawn element on this website and in my videos is created with this tablet. The quality is, well..remarkable...but there is a steep price to pay.

Software

Adobe Creative Cloud. Period.

This site is developed with a combination of Notepad, Adobe's Dreamweaver, and PyCharm.


Keep Making,

Jett Hays