The Meaning of Art (Vinson Lim, photographer, videographer, designer, entrepreneur interview)

Human beings have a knack for finding meaning in just about anything. It’s supposedly in our collective nature to assign those meanings so that we can make the world around us just a little more clearer and lovely.

We don’t do this to grow into some ultimate truth, but because there is just far too much information to take in at any given moment. And consequently understanding each other isn’t any easier as we age. Loving people, reducing a need for gratification, overcoming fears (and a host of other insecurities), and accepting ourselves are all important lifestyle choices in the quest for meaning.

But what if you are a creative person?

Vinson Lim generally takes the position that being an artist shouldn’t elevate you above other humans beings, it really should only work as an expression of self… and at the core of his answers is the theme of acceptance in life. By letting go of hate, and truly being present at all times, that’s when we are able to create interesting work.

Whether it’s through a practice of meditation, as addressed in the interview preview, or by simply spending time with our families, Vinse accepts that his art will always be evolving based on how he is living his life.

And he is especially aware of this having just entered into fatherhood for the first time. But unlike so many other creative people, his art doesn’t inform his life choices, but rather his life choices determine how he demonstrates his creativity.

Vinse might be acting as a photographer today, but he is willing to switch hats on the fly to access his videography skills, graphic design education or even to play some music for friends and family.

I’m not going to give away his viewpoints on the meaning of life, art, and everything in-between. But I can say with utmost confidence, that this interview will make you think, and we’re both hoping that just might make you feel too.

I think you’ll learn something from Mr. Lim

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I always find it cathartic to have a heavier discussion on the meaning of it all, dear readers. I hope that this interview resonated the same way for you.

But even if it didn’t, please let us know what you thought of the interview! What was your favourite question? Do you agree with what Vinson Lim said? Do you disagree? He is a very talented photographer, so if  you’re interested, feel free to check out his Facebook page, Instagram, and website for yourself! The meaning of life might still be one of the greatest questions of all time, but dammit if Vinse isn’t fascinating to listen to.

And special thanks to Vinse for being vibrant, vulnerable and virtuous. Without his thoughts on the meaning of it all, I might not have come to the realization that being positive and standing in my truth isn’t enough, it’s important to reach out to the lost and the lonely too. A pretty good theory.

Tim!

Meditate On This (Vinson Lim interview preview)

There is a lot to be said about the importance of discipline, meditation and reflecting on your creative projects upon completion… Whether you shoot video, take photos, design logos or any of the other convention commercial arts, timelines and making the work count is a necessary evil of the job. People pay for expertise, and so you have to look at your art as a business in order to satisfy client needs, but what about the importance of inspiration?

Vinson Lim has come to accept that you need a healthy dose of both in order to achieve greatness as an artist. Truly talented individuals can live in the moment all they way, and produce high volumes of work too, but it’s even more important to take care of your health, and develop intelligent practices to maintain the workflow for years to come.

And so I asked Vinse the question – how often do you find yourself in a state of meditation when you work?

I wanted to see if he actively reflects on life or if there is simply rituals in place that fuel the fire and keep things going even when the spark of youth has left us. This is just a taste of our broader discussion on spiritual alignment, but I promise you’ll get a lot out of hearing what Vinse has done over more then a decade of shooting fashion photography, commercial product photos, living the weekend warrior life of wedding photography, and make artistic work too.

It’s an amazing introduction to the topic of spiritual alignment, and while this might be considered a heavy topic, Vinse has a great ability to present his thoughts in a meaningful way. But enough from me, it’s time for you to watch the video and see for yourself.

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Fun fact, I’ve known Vinse for quite a few years now, but it has been a while since we’ve been in touch. I’m truly impressed with how much he has matured in half a decade, taking on husband duties and now a father as well. But I’d rather not go into those details just yet, better to save them for the official interview, which I will be releasing next week!

That said, if you’ve enjoyed this introductory question and answer on the importance of meditation, please like and share the video, and of course leave some comments if anything really stood out or if you’ve got a good example of balancing inspiration and ritual in your own artistic practice.

More theories on the way, especially with this Our Lady Peace review coming out tomorrow! Check back soon!

Tim!

The Rise Of Great Design (Alex Racine, game designer, inventor, 3D printer, entrepreneur interview)

Some people in your life just seem to click. You dig their vibe, and they dig yours. It’s very satisfying when you run into someone who thinks similarly and has a drive to match your own.

An achiever, with a command of their emotions (much like Bruce Lee), and with a great level of strategic intent behind every action.

That’s how I felt when I met Alex Racine for the first time, over a year ago. At a Halloween party, no less. Alex puts himself into everything he does. His halloween parties feature layers and layers of props, not to mention thematic food and games. He and his girlfriend are excellent hosts, and they have surrounded themselves with a dynamic and fun-loving group of friends. But that’s not all that matters to him. His deep appreciation of building things goes back into his college years. If you read the preview interview, and watched the associated video, you’ll know I’ve already mentioned his love of sport games, his carnival game events, and how he has evolved into constructing tabletop games, but it wasn’t until this past summer that Alex got serious about formally developing a game, playtesting it thoroughly, and reaching out to the internet for crowdfunding.

He even cut back his day job, so he could focus most of his time on launching this passion project with proper attention. You could say he’s a 3D printing enthusiast, but I would call him more of an inventor and a game designer.

An explorer for a digital age.

Last week, as I mentioned, the preview interview was launched to address a question about the difficulty with designing your own board games, and it was assembled by the founder of Games By AR; the one and only, Alex Racine.

You see dear readers, Alex believes that you should see a creative project all the way through on your own terms, from start to finish. Which is why I had so much fun constructing the questions for him. He’s a thinker, and a dreamer, but most importantly, he delivers. And he does it all on his own terms. We talked about his launch game Uprise! and a little bit about his follow-up game, Anchor What? But this interview is mostly about the importance of doing it yourself.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did recording with Mr. Racine.

I still can’t believe how quickly that one went up.

When all was said and done, I had over 2 hours of footage to work with this time dear readers, but I needed to keep this interview at a reasonable length… And it turned out fantastically! So if you want more of the man behind Games By AR, please, please, please check out his Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and website yourself! He’s building upon better and better ideas every day – don’t believe me? Just ask his Bibo 3D printer.

And special thanks to Alex for being awesome, amiable and adaptive. His desire to make games that people care about, have fun playing, and want to share is incredible. The fact he has the talent to back it up, even better. I foresee Uprise! as the start of something beautiful. Thus we land on the final pun.

Tim!

Do It Yourself Board Games (Alex Racine interview preview)

Alex Racine (gamesbyar.com) makes board games.

What started as a passion many years ago, has slowly evolved into a full-blown career. Inventing his own version of hackie sack was the tipping point, and successive ventures into game design via collaborations with his roommate, and hosting outdoor carnival games helped him refine his craft. This year is different though, he now works part-time and designs board games every day.

But don’t be fooled into believing that all he does is 3D print his game components, come up with some box art, write the rules and then go.

No, there is a lot more to DIY board game making then you might think. There is production to be resolved, funding to acquire, marketing to solicit and a great many more aspects that the average hobby gamer hasn’t even considered when they boast of how easy it would be to perfect Monopoly or Risk. Like so many things in life, we all think, I could make a better game then that guy, but what the heck what about securing a distribution deal hobbyist guys and gals?

And we haven’t even considered all of the play testing that goes into the design of a game before it can even be considered worthy of a trial outing. Fortunately, Alex laughs at all of those challenges, because this isn’t the first game he has tried to complete, and it definitely won’t be the last. Uprise! is the first game that he wants to use crowdfunding to support his passion, and with another game called AnchorWhat? in the works, I can tell that this is the start of something beautiful.

Which is why I think you should stop pondering the details and let Mr. Racine provide the education on how you too can become an expert at doing it yourself – making board games, that is.

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It was a lot of fun to record this preview with Alex, and luckily for you, dear readers, this is only a sample of what we have in store.

I just know you’re going to enjoy the full-length interview, all of the questions I threw Alex’s way were easily defended with the swift roll of a die. Board games, 3D printing, invention and more are on the list for next week, so please subscribe to ensure you are the first to know when I release the interview. And if you liked it, like it, share the content and leave some comments for me. timotheories may be a passion project, but I can take criticism, direction, and all of your love. And especially the theories.

Tim!

Buzz Feeding Time (Matthew Ankerstein, entrepreneur, influencer, podcaster interview)

Once upon a time bees where everywhere, but over the past few generations, we’ve been losing our honeybees to pollution, urban sprawl and host of other manmade factors that effect their environments. It’s a sad thing, considering that bees pollinate a vast majority of the plant life in this world. Where would we be without bees, after all dear readers?

Now this absolutely is not meant to be a depressing post, but I do want to wake you up!

You see creative cuties, there’s wisdoms in studying bees. By zeroing in on an analogy of the bee, my hope is that you’ll acknowledge that hard work and fostering community are invaluable, especially in an era of communication. And to someone like Matthew Ankerstein, bees can bring a lot more to this world as a metaphor. Matthew thinks it’s important to connect with lots of different business leaders, and he’s always been fascinated by business (Bill Gates was one of his idols growing up); on top of that, Matthew was also surrounded by the hardworking farm lifestyle from a young age.

He took this passion for business success, mixed in some neve-rending hard work ethic, and decided to marry the two concepts together during his time at post-secondary. That’s when he came up with the idea for Bee Influenced. His goal with Bee Influenced is to provide business leaders, students, and startups with resources to become better online marketers. By focusing on SEO, influencer marketing, podcasting, and email marketing Matt brings a solid set of topics to the table with his weekly show. And to make it even more memorable, he invites business leaders all over the world to share their stories in an easy to digest format – the podcast.

I even got to join in on the fun for an interview with him this summer!

But when I asked Matthew to get behind the hot seat himself and talk about dealing with the challenges that creative professionals face, he was over the moon. This is his interview, and his topic is working through adversity.

I still cannot believe how much insight Matthew has, and I’ve listened to our interview over and over in the editing booth! He has a great love for technology, an eye for strategy, and a willingness to serve others with humility.

We really do hope you enjoyed watching the back and forth between Matt and I, and highly recommend you share this post, leave a comment, and make a like? And if Bee Influenced seems like something you’d be interesting in visiting some more, check out his Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and website yourself! Lots of ideas to pollinate there.

And special thanks to Matthew for being merry, motivating and merciless. His strategies, ideologies, and abilities are a breath of fresh air. Something to buzz about, for sure.

Tim!