Share Your Story: How Did You Start Your Creative Journey?

26 05 2009

At present, I’m working full-time as a Media/Music Coordinator for House of Joy in Valdosta, GA. I thought I’d share a bit today how I came to be a “graphic designer.”

When I was a teen we used to make newsletters with hand drawn art, a type-writer, a roll of scotch tape, and a copier.

I actually still have some of those newsletters somewhere.

I’ve been a doodler my whole life. But I never thought I’d do it professionally. I’m on my way to working full-time as a designer before the end of this year.

Later in highschool I began to play with the church’s word processing programs (on a Windows 3.1 machine). Continued to put together newsletters and flyers like that.

Fast forward to college where I got my hands on photoshop compliments of my music departments tech lab. I would go in almost every night and do “web design” and photoshop stuff. All the while not really knowing what I was doing. That’s where I started really in the digital world.

Still not owning a computer.

That was almost 15 years ago. That’s also where I learned that Macs pwn windows for creative applications, though I can design on anything with a current.

Still not owning a computer.

The 2 churches I’ve worked for over the years have always provided work machines for me. I’ve worked with everything from photoshop 5.5, to publisher, to cs2,3 and now the complete CS4 Master Collection (LOVE IT).

Still not owning a computer.

I’m by far not the best designer on the block, but by joining the creative groups like this one, I’ve been challenged and a whole new world of design was opened up to me. My eyes for design have gotten better, and I’ve been able to push myself far beyond what I’d have done alone.

Now I do music/design for the church I’m at full-time. The design part includes everything from print, web, motion graphics/videos, etc. I also work 20 hours on top of that doing design for a regional publisher that has markets in Texas and here in Georgia. We do community oriented magazines, so most of that work is ad and article layout.

I share my story to encourage you to really make that decision to pursue it if you’re going to do it. But also know that the tools (owning a computer, owning the latest photoshop, etc) don’t make you a good designer. Technically, that doesn’t make you a designer…it just makes you rich, haha, or lucky.

To this day I still don’t own a computer.

I will be buying towards the end of the year and it will be a great milestone for me, because it will be the culmination of many years of making do with what I had but pushing the boundaries of what “could” be done with “nothing.”

I’m living proof that you don’t have to go through years of school, spend tons of money, or even own a computer to be a good designer.

What’s Your Story?


It’s Worth It When You Finish

21 05 2009

finish_lineHey Everyone!

This is my first “post” here at OurCreativeCommunity.Com.  You’ll find my name over in the sidebar under a few different categories:  Fitness, Songwriting, and Reading Books.

I’m kicking it pretty good in Fitness and Reading Books right now.  I’ve yet to write a new song.

Speaking of Fitness, those of you who follow me on Twitter have heard that I’m committed to a tough, 2x/week outdoor physical regimen training at 6:00 AM.  This morning’s regimen was unique because it was raining on us as we pressed through the pain, fatigue, and the physical, mental, and emotional stress of the routine.

Though we all push and encourage one another, it’s still a “do the best you can at your own pace” environment.  That being said, our trainer said something today that was really inspirational and applies perfectly to our “creative community” goals.  As we were running, pushing, jumping, and whatever-the-heck-else he told us to do, he proclaims to the group “hey, you can quit if you have to …  but finishing is fun“.

I have to tell you, by the 3rd of 4th sets in our exercises, my mind was telling me that I would have to back off and skip the final set.  But I knew that the feeling of victory was way too sweet.  In our case, “victory” doesn’t mean you finished first.  It simply means …


So we are almost five complete months in our journey of goals for 2009.  Many of you are beginning to say “I think I’ll just slack off and quit on these last reps”.  And you can if you want to.

But it’s WORTH IT when you FINISH.

Keep Pressin’ On,
Fred McKinnon

This is OUR Creative Process

31 03 2009

So, I laid down the gauntlet and YOU came through. What an amazing response. We’ve had such a diverse response to the creative process.

So, although, we’ve already posted our links to our blogs in the comments section, I’d like to go ahead and create THIS post to link back as well.

Here’s what you had to say about YOUR creative process:

“I get it at the weirdest times. I’ve actually found I have some of my wildest ideas in that stage right before I fall asleep. With some of the craziest stuff I’ve gotten up and wrote down my ideas. Sometimes they’re so strong I remember them when I wake up the next day.” —Shawn

“…the thought that something I help to create might be the element that finally makes it click for a non-believer is all the spark I need to get me all fired up! I say almost weekly to someone nearby – I still can’t believe I get to do this every week!” —Lori

I struggle to create when the everyday tasks I need to complete seem insurmountable and tiresome.  Yet when I turn my thoughts to see those same tasks differently my creativity resurfaces and a spark returns.  I find new inspiration from chatting with friends, communing with God, particular inspirational blogs and simple everyday life.” —Cee

Quite apart from the fact I feel like being creative nearly all the time, I get inspired by others’ creativity.  A play, a song, a sculpture, a book, a solution…a tweet, a blog post.  Etc. I think it’s at the root of my being, which makes sense since God is there, and He’s the Master Creator.” —David

“Usually things come in a rush. So I’ve learned one thing. Let it come. Wherever I am, I need to be ready to be in for the long haul. There are times when I’ve been up to three in the morning writing a sermon, because the inpiration came at midnight. Once I wrote almost an entire Christmas cantata script in the middle of the night. I wrote a song once during a lunch break at a weekend encounter. It just happens.” —Mike

“This is creativity — using known ingredients in a new and different way. I think this is true with all artists. There is no new chord on a guitar that hasn’t been played or no new color painted on a canvas. All the ingredients are there; we just have to use our energy and ourselves to create something new and flavorful.”—Sarah

When I feel uncreative, I just don’t even try…I’d rather focus on something else that I need to do or enjoy doing instead of getting frustrated trying to shoot when I really don’t feel like it. There are few things less enjoyable than carrying a camera around everywhere when you really don’t feel like shooting anything.” —Nate

“When I get an idea, I get this huge burst of energy, and it’s when I share it and talk about it with other people that I’ll get even more excited. I literally bounce. No seriously. I really do!” —Sophie

“There’s always been something in me that drives me to be creative. As a kid I was always in the art classes, and bands. I honestly think it’s something that God has put in me.” —Janki

Mandy has a video explaining her process and Love has a photography page to share! Here’s my (Russ) post.

Creative Community Spring Challenge

21 03 2009

This week I’d like to challenge as many of you as possible to write a post on your own blog specifically dedicated to THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

What ignites that flame inside you to create?

What sparks that passion inside you?

How do you channel your creativity into a finished product?

What do you do when you struggle to create?

How do you celebrate your wins?

Do you enjoy your creative process?

How do you share your creative elements with others?

Feel free to answer these questions in any way you like. Video blog, text blog, photo blog, etc. Be creative.

Let’s get linked to as many posts about creativity as we can! I’d love to see a diverse and multitudinous response to this challenge.

This week, link back to your post in the comments section OF THIS POST!

Ready! Set! Create!

inspirational quotes

6 03 2009

statistically, when setting new years resolutions, march is the time when the goal setter begins to slip a little.

our creative community isnt about a group of people rallying behind a bunch of new years resolutions. its so much more than that. its a community, a family, in total support of one another. each with a desire to accomplish big things and to see their family here do the same.

we all need a little encouragement too. so here a few quotes that, hopefully, will inspire you and make you smile.

If you’re bored with life — you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things — you don’t have enough goals.
Lou Holtz

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”
Harry F. Banks

Do what you can,
with what you have,
where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

“Don’t worry about genius. Don’t worry about being clever. Trust to hard work, perseverance and determination. And the best motto for a long march is: ‘Don’t grumble. Plug on!'”
Sir Thomas Treves

Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.
H. Jackson Browne

Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
General George S. Patton

“He who has achieved success has worked
well, laughed often and loved much.”
Elbert Hubbard

“If there was ever a time to dare, to make a difference,
to embark on something worth doing, IT IS NOW.”
Author Unknown