On The Shoulders Of Giants (89th Annual Academy Awards)

Last year the two words whitewashing and oscars seemed to be synonymous with each other. I wrote a rather exhaustive post about it, point of fact. To be fair, I am an artist though, so it’s quite difficult not to be a lens for the big issues I find wrapped around my heart. Sigh.

Now, I have written about this theory before, but let me remind you that there is an idea out there which states that creative professional experience the highs and lows of life even more deeply than an average person. I want to posit something different from that.

We all feel things very deeply, and humans are capable of amazing things when we work together. In fact, I think it’s because we should work together that we achieve greatness.

Children start out with the same basic abilities and aptitudes, as we age, personalities come through and environments shape us into complex individuals.

 

The Full List of Nominees

I’ve always been a fan of film. Cinema. The movies. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve celebrated motion pictures in my life.

Sitting here at my desk, I’m watching the trailers for the nine films which have been nominated for Best Picture 2017. La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water, Lion, Fences. I’ve seen more than half of these movies already and I cannot wait to watch the remaining ones I’ve missed. Films make my heart ache with joy, fear, sadness, compassion, anger, excitement, achievement and a number of other emotions.

It’s because so many creative people come together to engage our sense that films mean something. And I think that this year in particular, the academy has done an excellent job listening to the public. 4 of the 9 choices are headed by minority actors, and that’s a big deal.

La La Land has the most votes by far, and while it is an excellent film, it is something of a self-congratulatory piece about Hollywood. So I really hope that this movie doesn’t take it, because we’ve been there, and done that. And Arrival is my new favourite first contact film. On the other side of the coin, Hell or High Water is a classic film on all accounts – I reviewed it late last year and I loved it. It perfectly serves as to what film making is all about. It would be an excellent dark horse entry.

But looking more closely at the nominees, I have to notice something. I’ve only seen the 5 films with white actors headlining them, and that’s an important point.

Award Winning

When you give an award you are truly GIVING something as payment, compensation or as prize. Consider that statement for a second. How many billions of people are there in the world? 30? And how many different ethnicities make up that total?

The challenge we face is that for decades the Academy Awards (like many other institutions) have focused on certain types of people, non necessarily because those people were the most deserving, but because they were singled out for compensation. As the global community expands, it makes sense that we continue to honour those who do the best job, but in instances where many are deserving, it’s those who go over and above should be awarded. By default these means minority groups which need more representation. I haven’t seen Moonlight or Fences, but could easily see them taking it.

I hope they do. Hidden Figures and Lion would be fantastic as well, but based on what I’ve read, Moonlight and Fences are better films. Guess we’ll find out in three days though.

theories Summarized

#OscarsSoWhite was a necessary rebellion against disrespectful authority. I think with it came even more artists working together this year to create films that represent life as it is, and even better, the voters now have an opportunity to choose recipients that better depict humanity. We may be standing on the shoulders of giants, but while every statue has a head of gold, the feet are always made of clay, and liable to crumble towards the end. It’s time to choose a different champion, and that’s my theory.

Tim!

The Second Coming… Of The Blockbuster (Cross Talk Ep. 10)

The term globalization has been around forever, but for one reason or another we didn’t really pay attention to it, at least in my humble opinion, until telecommunications began flattening the world with the popularity of the Internet. And this flattening of course was physically helped by companies all over the world investing in laying fiber optic cables seemingly everywhere.

World historians have been writing and lecturing about globalization for much longer than that time period, if we’re going to be really honest. When countries began sending explorers around the world, like Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, that was probably the first major event that helped flatten the world.

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So as countries are able to share content and ideas more cheaply, the trajectory of creative endeavours continues to be shaped, but in a somewhat unknown and rather sublime way. Let me use a metaphor to explain what I’m eluding to more clearly. If in the past local markets were like rain falling upon a field, then we no longer rely on local markets only, and instead global markets move like tornadoes through a county.

It’s a global phenomenon which dictates how our world changes going forward.

But what the heck does that have to do with films timotheories?

Good point dear readers, I would have to admit that I don’t know exactly what it has to do with the future of films, but Chris and I, as well as a few critics we trust on these matters, are starting to see trends emerge with films, and we believe that the global film market is having a major impact on the types of films which are released based on box office earnings. Effectively, the global film market has a greater hold on the film calendar then ever before.

Episode 10 of Cross Talk is all about considering that maybe the reason why we continue to see bad movies being made is that in fact North American markets are not the only piece of the pie any more… And quality may be taking a backseat to blockbuster entertainment.

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an album review that makes me sad, Every Time I Die. It’s a fun album, well, actually it might not be a fun album, depending on your perspective. Please comment, subscribe, and share this with friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

Who Am I? (Finding Your Personal Identity)

One of the biggest questions of life is, who am I?

Questions of “why am I here”, “where am I going?” and “what am I supposed to do?” are functions of that larger question, but important in identifying YOU as both an individual and a global citizen of the world.

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find that everyone has tried to answer the question, from religious and spiritual leaders like the Pope and the Dalai Lama, to business leaders like Oprah, Forbes, and Tony Robbins. And while I agree that when it comes to the larger picture, each leader has something to contribute to the conversation, I’m going to ask you to ignore all of that for a moment.

Think about yourself and your goals.

What kind of creative type are you? A dancer? A photographer? A fashion designer? A sculptor?

The reason why I want you to think to focus on your creative interests first and foremost, is that no matter what your cultural identity has been labelled as and what your life experience has led up to this point, you came to this website because of your creative passions. That is what is unique to you – your driving motivation. And timotheories is all about digital curating at heart. The arts drive the engine of timotheories, so that is what connects us together.

A wise person once told me that you have to separate the chicken shit from the chicken salad, you can only accomplish that by looking inward and paring down the outside world to what you want at personal level.

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We at timotheories understand that it is difficult to reconcile all the various personal and political considerations of life, but if making art is what drives you and what you always come back to, you need to build your identity outward starting with that which gives you motivation. Now let’s consideration motivation.

Think about yourself and your motivations.

I’ve heard numerous theories about motivation but my favourite one is about the levels of motivation. I’m paraphrasing quite heavily from the original source (which I cannot for the life of me find) but I’ll break it down for you anyway, as the concept is very accessible.

You will need to satisfy all of these conditions in order to stay on purpose.

  1. When you don’t want to at all. You need to have a reason to create from a very selfish standpoint when you are in your lowest moments. The instant gratification of being better. Whether it’s to be more attractive to potential partners, to look cool around your peers, or to get recognition from people you want to be. That day-to-day motivation is key.
  2. When you do want to. This is the time when everything lines up perfectly in your week and you have energy to be creative. You know that paying the bills and being a functioning member of society are important – You want to contribute because it feels good to make the work. Use that motivation to be disciplined in your approach. Fit in as much as you can with your routine.
  3. When you feel inspired. The average person would call this true motivation, but it is fleeting. This is when you pour every spare moment into your craft. The natural high comes in and your spirit, moral compass, heart or whatever you want to call it, are driving you. You need to encourage this and align your creativity with your belief system. Focus on how you feel about your ideals and fuse your creative energy (different from regular energy) with it.

Once you begin this process for yourself and commit to the foundational steps of defining your creative motivations, you can also separate the chicken shit from the chicken salad.

And that my friends is the tip of the identity iceberg, which we will dig into over the coming months. Otherwise, I am out of theories for the day! I hope you’ve had an excellent weekend and I’m looking forward to this weeks Melodic Monday, Theatrical Tuesday, Wisdom Wednesday, and Timely Thursday posts. You won’t want to miss’em! I promise.

Tim!

Promote Your Heart Out (Importance of Marketing)

May the 1st be with you, dear readers.

And also with you timotheories. Go forceful and multiply.

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Thank you my friends! It’s that time of day, day of the week, and day of the month when I share with you this month’s plan, and of course, give you some theories to whittle away at. Are you ready to see the schedule?

Of course you are!

It might seem like this is turning into old hat – I give you the schedule, and because you know how each day’s theme plays out, you should expect to get your share of film, music, visual art and theories about the arts. Maybe some wisdom too, if you’re up for it.

But hold up a second, because you know what? Well, actually I don’t need to go into hypotheticals.

You already know that I am doing much more then simply giving you content each week. timotheories is also about sharing with you the important components to be successful as a creative type in today’s mix of social intelligence, online media, and globalization. You know in your heart, because you can’t have heart without art, that consistency of character is integral to a successful blog/portfolio/gallery/channel. And as it relates to the bigger picture, that who you are defines what you do.

When we look at this concept through the lenses to business, an incredibly important facet of artistry, we call this character a brand.

So if you’ve been playing real close attention these past few months of 2016 you’ll know that I haven’t been releasing “monthly schedule” posts on Sundays nor on the first of the month. Sundays are the day I share theory with you, when I release interviews, Cross Talk episodes, and also important updates to the timotheories brand.

Today isn’t going to be about the schedule. No, today is about marketing.

Because marketing is how you develop your brand. If brand houses the vehicle, than marketing is the set of vehicles that you CAN use to get from A to B. You might not need every vehicle, but they all can help.

Which is why I want to share with you some basics of marketing and how to ensure that you develop your professional relationships and connect your art to the people who should be seeing it. Which will help with your brand. And interestingly enough, I’m going to be taking this ride right along with you.

You see dear readers, I haven’t fully realized my brand yet either, but I know how to get there, because I’ve got a map. Courtesy of articles like this one.

The truth about marketing your particular brand is that you spend a large part on prep. You have to know your audience which means exposing yourself to the experts and learning from them as best you can. And fortunately enough, there are countless gurus out there that can provide you with information about syndication, professionalism, image, and your plan. And maybe other pieces.

  1. Starting with your business plan (summary of your business, your strengths, your weaknesses, goals, competition, and what makes your business unique) and memorizing it is probably the most important.
  2. Following it up with a regular schedule of promotion or syndication (sharing on social media, participating in events and communities, and collaborating with other experts.
  3. Setting up your image online and in person so you look and sound the same everywhere. That means logos, mailing lists, introductory videos and landing pages. You name it, it needs to match your image.
  4. Professionalism is similar to image, but what it really means the is that the authentic voice everywhere is consistent with who you are and puts your best business foot forward.
  5. … well let’s not get ahead of ourselves

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I’m sure you have questions about this process, but one thing is for sure, the future is not set, and I’ll be there with you as we fight the good fight. I know you have good art to share, and I want to help you share it. Marketing is key, so promote your heart out.

And those are all of the theories I’ve got today friends. I’ll see you tomorrow with something melodic. But you already knew that.

Tim!

timotheories presents Tim Kuefler (Allegory of the Collage series)

Well, I have finally done it. My real “identity” is out there.

I had to do this because I promised you a peek into my art practice going forward, and today I deliver, dear readers.

Now is the time of great reckoning for I’m putting up personal elements of myself for display and inspection, and potentially for sale as well. It wasn’t an easy decision, but if I am going to further refine and evolve this project of curating, creating, and collaborating, I need to inject myself into the mix.

Let’s go over my back story a bit more so before I open up the floor to some of my art.

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Design from the University of Alberta in the spring of 2007. My major focuses during that time were painting, drawing, and sculpture. Pretty classic examples of fine art education. I didn’t always believe this, but I am very fortunate to have a university education and to have studied with professors that had invested their own art practices in both the modernist and post-modernist eras of art making. I believe this because it informed my own decisions about art.

You see dear readers, by dealing with two specific schools of thought constantly it either fueled or resulted in a great split in my mind and own practice about the very nature of art making. I began to produce work that was either conceptual or technical, and sometimes both. It felt rather like a struggle with divorcing parents, and as a child (student), I couldn’t possibly know which parent was the right one to pick (school of thought), so I did what I’ve always done in my life, I chose to do something different.

I made art for myself and specifically to both impress and disrupt my professors. This was almost ten years ago. And so I share with you an ongoing series of work I’ve been creating since my senior year of university, which has inspired paintings and drawings, some of which I will share later on in coming months.

At one point I called the series below, the Allegory of The Cave, because I was self-prescribing philosophy when I first started to deal with my issues of doubt and frustration at institution and with routine. Something which comes naturally for a lot of artists. #realtalk

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Almost ten years later, I have a blog that is gaining real traction thanks to readers like you, and I am working on community with artists of all walks of life. This blog serves as a platform for my vision of more accessible community across the arts, a soapbox for my theories and other artist theories on the arts, a theatre for collaboration, now a gallery for my own art, and eventually a lounge and studio for both art enthusiasts and artists. More on that last bit in future posts. Please hold me to it.

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So, I recently decided to change the title of the series to the Allegory of the Collage, because This series represents the complex narrative I am weaving for myself and my local community, by using material from local publications, with local characters and events that don’t have a distinct meaning in the image just yet, but an abstract and big-picture feeling. And frankly, because it is succinct in it’s purpose and as a metaphor for timotheories itself – to create art by combining different materials together with a solid backing.

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More importantly, creating art for the purpose of joining people and ideas together has always been important to me, and because I want art that looks good in my own home, I have an obligation to produce that which is interesting and entertaining. The discipline of writing 5 days a week, and producing a minimum of 2 videos a month is all related to the passion of creating to be at peace and to fulfil what often feels like a compulsion to share.

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It is very important to me that the work a produce be authentic and related to myself and what I experience in this life, so I always make work which ties back to that creed. I learned that lesson from a professor in my second year of university, and whether he truly believes it or was just lecturing, it’s solid advice.

This series is made up of text and pictures that are taken from local events, people, and ideas, and is naturally authentic for those reasons.

In sharing my work on my blog, I want to challenge others to make their own work better, to become full-fledged entrepreneurs in a time when we are entering back into cottage industry practices because of the access the internet provides to us on a global scale; an era of modern craft. And so I developed this post, to begin the process of adding my gallery of artwork into the blog in some capacity, eventually with piece titles, prices and everything, but I felt a visual introduction and artist statement was a good start for now.

If you are interested in commissions, prices of the work I’ve included in today’s post, or if you want more information about the series, please leave some comments below or email me at timotheories@outlook.com.

And of course, please follow me to get even more awesome content in the future. I interview visual artists, designers, musicians, actors, and other creative types every month. I also write reviews on film and music as they relate to my theory of film as the great narrative of our culture, and I always have some wisdom, events, and theories to share. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on Sunday with a new Cross Talk episode!

Tim!