Book Review: How to Feed a Starving Artist

September 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Written by David duChemin, a photographer, adventurer, and former comedian, who went from struggling artist to reluctant bankruptee before getting his finances in order, this is a book about simple financial possibilities available to artists and other creatives. Like A Beautiful Anarchy, the book before this one, this is an honest book about freedom. It promises no get-rich-quick solutions, just sound wisdom and actionable ideas to help you change the way you think and act in relationship to your money. It’s a starting place for people who want the freedom, not to be rich, but to live their dreams and fill their days with the art and adventure they long for.

— Craft & Vision

The latest book from David Duchemin is yet another home run for the creative entrepreneur. In How to Feed A Starving Artist, the complement to A Beautiful Anarchy, David writes about the things that are necessary to the creative vision, and this latest book explores how a big part of this is the management of money. Some of the things that he writes about make you squirm, and he asks tough questions, but those conversations and questions have to take place – literally- to feed the starving artist.

David writes from the perspective of an ever evolving student of money – about  spending less, saving, investing, and making money – in just a way to get your own wheels spinning about the possibilities for you to do all of those things creatively. He tells how he does those things and why money has value to him – to allow him to do the things that he loves to do. This open and heartfelt conversation offers great insight into David and his business.

David tells his own story openly and honestly- from his own relationship with money and the lessons he learned in bankruptcy to how he successfully runs Craft & Vision from a business perspective.

Not only does he tell his story, but he interviews others in their respective fields to share their own relationship with money, and to offer tips and great different perspectives. From his own manager to a CPA for creatives to a comedy performer, David covers quite a lot of territory- and makes it enjoyable to read. This book is not a dry financial summary, but an open and honest conversation about what creatives need to look at in order to feed themselves and their families.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is making, or thinking of making, any type of living from a creative life. It is well worth the read.


Photoshop World Posts

September 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Photoshop World was just last week (yikes!). I have compiled all of the posts from that week in case you missed any, want to catch up, or are thinking about attending next year and are wondering what it is all about. Use code PSWCJ14 to save $50 on PSW 2015.

Learn Photography Online with the Pros

And the winner is…

September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Last month, I sent out a survey of images as a special edition of my newsletter, for subscribers only to vote on their favorite image. The winning image will be a special edition print for sale at An Evening of Art & Wine at Two Elephants in Granada Hills, CA.

I was overwhelmed with the response of my subscribers. Thank you to all who voted! By voting, you were entered into the drawing for a signed 8 x 10 print of your favorite image.

The winner of the drawing is: Lee Herbert!

Congratulations Lee! You have been contacted by email – so be sure to let me know which print you’d like!

As for the image – it was close! For a few days, it looked like there might be a tie – but one image held steady and true throughout the voting process. I am pleased to announce that  Inside was the winning image:

This image was created in Mammoth, CA a few summers ago. I loved the way that the hollowed tree trunk framed the tall tree and the vibrant sky. Using the flash (on my camera- yikes) I lit up the inside of the tree so that I could see the detail of the inside of the trunk- which isn’t a view that we are used to seeing.

This print will be available for purchase as a special edition on October 4, 2014. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi. You can grab a glass of wine, and support a great local business.

If you are currently not subscribed to the newsletter and would like to be included in the latest news, I have conveniently added a sign up form below:

Photoshop World 2014 Recap

September 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

Wow, what a week. I anticipated it for so long, and it is hard to believe that the week flew by that quickly! Doesn’t it always?

I had the honor to be able to blog for Kelby One for the event – which was a ton of fun because I got to work with Stephen Bell and Ajna Adams at Kelby Media Group, and had the fortune of blogging with Kevin Stohlmeyer, who had some great insight and photos  throughout the conference.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put this event together. This was a great conference and is a huge amount of work to be able to coordinate attendees, instructors, classes, conference apps, signups and vendors. Running the classes in a timely manner and setting up for the instructors is always a huge task, but everything went smoothly to the attendees’ eyes.

When I look back at the week, there are so many highlights, it’s hard to choose one. So here are my top 10 moments:

  • My absolute favorite part of every PSW is being able to share the conference with my dad. As I have mentioned before, he was always supportive of my photography learning as a kid, and once I got into it as an adult, it turned into something we were able to do together. Because of him, I was introduced to the world of Photoshop, Lightroom, Scott Kelby and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP- now Kelby One), through him, and it makes me happy to be able to share this with him. Why we rarely seem to get a picture together at this event, I’ll never know.
  • Before the week even really started, I was walking down the hall of rooms at the Mandalay Bay (the host hotel) and ran into than none other than Bert Monroy  (who I had also admired before I knew about Photoshop all of those years ago because of my dad). He was so very nice and humble- just a great guy. Later that evening at the Photoshop World kickoff party hosted by the Las Vegas Adober User Group , Bert celebrated his birthday with all of us there. It was just cool and really set the tone for the week to come.

  • I felt a sense of pride when my very talented friend Patrick LaMontagne won the Guru Award for Best in Show with his digital painting “One in Every Family”. I became familiar with his work before PSW a few years ago, and befriended him during the conference one year. Since then, I have enjoyed watching his work, and seeing Patrick get recognized with the highest honor was a pretty cool moment.
Patrick LaMontagne next to his award winning work.

Patrick LaMontagne next to his award winning work.

  • Seeing my friends Scott Valentine, Kevin Stohlmeyer, Patrick LaMontagne and Jake Peterson present on the Expo floor. I have talented friends and it is so great to see crowds of people (myself included) learning tips and tricks from them. I even won Scott Valentine’s book (and had it autographed) at the PSW kickoff party. No- it wasn’t fixed! I won it fair and square!
  • Learning from and meeting some of the best in the photography industry was a pretty great experience. Being able to sit in a room with Moose Peterson, Julieanne Kost, Peter Hurley, Matt Kloskowski and Joe McNally (just to name a few) makes this conference well worth it.
  • Making new friends, just by happening to stand or sit next to them is pretty fun. Everyone at Photoshop world has at least one thing in common: passion for creating images. Two friends that I made this week were Guru Award finalists and/or winners: Rocky Montez-Carr and Christine Pentecost It is a huge honor to even be a finalist, so I am proud to call such talented people friends. I was also able to meet social media friends in person – which was so fun! I think I shocked the daylights out of James Gordon Patterson  during Moose Peterson’s class – but it was such a fun experience!
  • Catching up with old friends that I only see each year at Photoshop World. Because of social media, I am able to keep up with them on a regular basis, but being able to chat with them in person is much more fun.
  • It is just impossible to attend PSW and not run into inspiration around every corner. Whether it’s learning from instructors, seeing amazing images during presentations, learning new tips or just meeting other talented people, you leave with creative ideas bouncing around in your head.
  • The Art of Photography panel is a huge highlight every year. Being in the room with such creative and inspirational individuals as they show images  from their career is a pretty great experience. You can read my recap of it here.
  • Looking forward to the next Photoshop World. By the end of PSW, my brain is fried, my feet hurt, and a good rest in my own bed is needed. But I look back on the week and all of these amazing moments, and I look forward to next year!

Thank you all for reading my posts here and on social media throughout the week. I look forward to Photoshop World in August 2015!

Photoshop World Day 3 Recap

September 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

The third day of Photoshop World is always bittersweet. It’s the last day and your body is over being abused by the running around from your room to the conference, running to classes that are at opposite ends, scouring the huge conference Expo, and standing/sitting for hours at a time. Your brain is overloaded with things you have learned, ideas for your personal creative expression, and the names of the new friends you have made and will run into again. Thank goodness there isn’t a test at the end of this thing.

Knowing all of this, day 3 was just packed. I had planned on sleeping in, as I was already tired, and had a long day that ended with a long drive across the desert home to Los Angeles. However, I was invited to a breakfast for the readers of Photofocus  by none other than Robert Vanelli, one of the great personalities of PSW. How could I say no to Vanelli?

Going to this breakfast was great- I was able to chat with other readers, as well as publisher of the site Richard Harrington. Perhaps a highlight of that breakfast was meeting and chatting with photographers Nicole Young and Brian Matiash. I have been following Nicole on her blog and social media for years, and have always missed her at Photoshop Worlds past. Ditto for Brian – I ended up sitting next to them at breakfast and even got a selfie with Nicole, taken by Nicole. Where other than PSW can this happen?

Nicole S. Young and I, taken by Nicole.

Nicole S. Young and I, taken by Nicole.

And then of course after a nice leisurely breakfast, it was time to squeeze everything I hadn’t done or still needed to do. Between sessions I wanted to see, visiting the Expo floor, demos on the Expo floor, and everything else, there was plenty to keep me busy until the closing ceremony that capped off the event in the afternoon.

My first order of business was to collect my camera that had gone in for a free cleaning by Canon Professional Services. I was also able to get an image printed on a Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer free of cost. These are just two more opportunities provided by PSW to attendees.

Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer printer printing my image ‘Golden Flower”

Out on the Expo floor, free demos were taking place at several booths. One such demo at the Wacom booth was Kevin Stohlmeyer’s PSW composite found here .

Kevin Stohlmeyer demos his PSW composite at the Wacom booth.

Kevin Stohlmeyer demos his PSW composite at the Wacom booth.

Adobe booth at the Expo floor.

Adobe booth at the Expo floor.

After squeezing in all of that, it was time for the final event- the Wrap Up Rally. This is always bittersweet- you know that it’s ending, but you are having such a great time and still learning.At this final event, videos of the previous days are shown, instructors take the stage one more time, and prizes are given away.

There were a few new instructors who spoke at the final event this year after Larry Becker  opened up the event. Tim Wallace, Roberto Valenzuela (who brought the house down)  and Lindsay Adler all spoke about different lessons they have learned in their career. PSW world regular Moose Peterson wow’ed with some of his photography of war birds and the men who flew them, which will be a Kelby One special on September 12 – you can find out more about it here.

Scott Kelby is always last to take the stage to thank everyone for another great Photoshop World. And it was!

Until Photoshop World August 2015!




Midnight Madness

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Day 2 of Photoshop World ends with Midnight Madness, which actually starts at 10. this is a fun event where you learn, well, nothing about Photoshop. Except for how to play tricks with people in the Photoshop menus.

A large crowd waits to get in the doors of Midnight Madness

A large crowd waits to get in the doors of Midnight Madness

Participants play games like Rock, Paper, Scissors for great prizes

Participants play games like Rock, Paper, Scissors for great prizes

Guru award winner Rocky Montez-Carr and Don Jacob enjoy the traditional Midnight Madness Krispy Kreme donuts

Guru award winner Rocky Montez-Carr and Don Jacob enjoy the traditional Midnight Madness Krispy Kreme donuts

On to the last day of Photoshop World!

The Art of Photography Panel

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

One of the big highlights of Photoshop World day 2 is the Art of Photography panel. Hosted by the talented Jim DiVitale, the evening is full of the images and stories of some of the photo industry’s best photographers. Jim started out the evening by showing his wonderful images and celebrating 40 (!) years in the photo industry!

Julieanne Kost showed us her first composites (you know that is embarrassing for anyone, let alone showing it to a packed room) to demonstrate that everyone has to start somewhere.

Julieanne ended her presentation with the following words of wisdom:

  • If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all
  • Praise in public and air any criticism in private
  • Never cast disparaging remarks on another person’s art- don’t let other people change what you have to say
  • Your capacity for greatness is immeasurable

Dave Black showed us some of his amazing sports images and told us the background stories behind them. Dave always pulls at the heart strings, and this year he showed us his images of figure skater Michelle Kwan. His relationship with her beginning from her age of 12 was a beautiful thing to see through his images.

Joe Glyda is a huge proponent of the self assignment, and showed us his panel self assignment of the Hoover Dam. He showed us a lot of dam great images!

Bill Fortney started his presentation off with his own personal wake up call that changed his life. Talk about pulling at the heart strings! he followed his story with his beautiful imagery and left all attendees with something to think about.

Joe McNally showed us his imagery over 40 years as a photographer (apparently 40 was the lucky number this evening). His images showed the retrospective of his work- and answered a question that he had post: is the life of a photographer worth it? Joe’s images that evoke so many emotions are the definite answer of “Hell yes!”.

Always the last presentation is that of Moose Peterson. His stunning images that show the grandeur of nature need no words – it is completely inspiring to sit back, listen to the beautiful music he pairs with his presentation and be amazed.


The Art of Photography panel

The Art of Photography panel

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