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.

theories Summarized

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!

Our Favourite Directors (Cross Talk EP 34)

Chris and I decided long ago that if we were going to do a panel show where we talked about pop culture (focusing primarily on movies) that we would never shy away from a topic, but more importantly, that we wouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable about our feelings when it came to stuff we cared about on a personal level.

When you admit that you care about a person, an object, a place or whatever, you’re offering up an opportunity to another party to challenge you and to consider your point of view. It can be scary when you find out you are the only individual in a room who identifies with a certain board game which basically has no theme or strategy, or that you really like a pop song which is simplistic (primarily due to the musicians ability) or heck, when you like a movie full of even plot holes that it would pair well with some bologna.

But on the other side of the fence, rests those who are so excited about a fandom that they invest far more energy than the average enthusiast, alienating themselves from the vast majority.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure where most of you dear readers will fall when it comes to Darren Aronofsky and Richard Linklater, but these are two of our favourite directors of all time. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which of the two of us identifies with which director. But I will say, that no matter what the case, these are creative professionals who are making interesting films.

Challenging films which just might make you think about the world in a new way. And if timotheories is about digital curating at heart, what better way for me to give you some great insights into quality filmmaking, then to give a strong recommendation for a couple of catalogues to peruse through – no harm, no foul, if you end up walking away. But my gut tells me that you’ll come to appreciate their unique visions. And after you watch this episode, you’ll learn why these are our favourite directors.

This is episode thirty four of Cross Talk.

theories Summarized

Were you surprised to learn why we love Aronofsky and Linklater? Do you identify with one director more then the other? And more importantly, have you seen some of their movies, not knowing much about the men behind the camera?

I really hope that you investigate these guys more closely, and that you drew something from their wells of ideas.

That mentioned, creative cuties, you should totally like the video if you enjoyed it, leave a comment if you have some thoughts, and subscribe if you want to see more from us! Your support lets us know what we are doing right.

And yes, I have an album review from Vance Joy on the block for tomorrow, so y’all come back to learn a theory about Nation of Two is lovely.

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!

Leave Me Alone (Leaving Thomas, Leaving Thomas review)

Not every album review can be a winner unfortunately, and while there’s nothing wrong with the old adage of you never know unless you try, I kind of wish I hadn’t given this week’s album a second thought.

 

 

Leaving Thomas – Leaving Thomas

released January 19, 2018
***** 5/10

Leaving Thomas are a Canadian country pop duo from Calgary (a neighbouring city in my province of Alberta). Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy have finally dropped their much anticipated self-titled EP, Leaving Thomas. It’s eight tracks in length make for a pretty hefty EP, but there is enough variety in the song choices that you can sit through it without too much issue. And I can see why their are gaining momentum throughout Canada and the United States, but unfortunately it’s kind of an uneven listen for me, with a lot of filler tracks and not enough chances taken.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see a Canadian country duo getting lots of attention, but if track no. six is any indication, Best Adventure is far from it, and feels a little bit like your average middle of the summer radio jam. Which is probably why it’s one of the the first three singles released.

That said, Blame it On The Neon is where this EP really shines, it a good time for all involved and really showcases Annika’s vocals. You can easily see this song filling a stadium. And If This Is Love is a solid second runner up for best track, with all kinds of emotion, punctuated by the piano, it’s a incredibly deep ballad and something you’d expect from more seasoned performers.

The last of the singles, Waiting Kind of Girl, falls somewhere in the middle, with it’s interesting melodic structure and tempo. But man that chorus is just brutal to listen to. It’s way too on the nose, with rises and falls all over the place. And that percussion just hurts me.

I just wish the album was a bit longer, which would have made it a full-length album, and maybe there would have been some artist driven choices here, rather then the safety net of convention. You can tell this duo has a voice just waiting to break out, but musically they are playing it safe and boring. Unfortunately for us.

Pros: When they are connected, you can tell very clearly that Odegard and Udy are childhood friends that enjoy playing together and to each others strengths, and there is a sweetness to If This Is Love, which absolutely merits it’s inclusion.

Cons: I wish that Udy had a larger role in the vocal work, and that he played off of Odegard more often, because while she is the big sister to his little brother figure, sometimes youth can surprise you with energy and innovation. And I wish that Shame On Me had hit the cutting room floor. Yuck.

Runtime: 28 minutes

Points of Interest: Odegard is two years older then Udy, and they first meet as children during a biblical stage production. They reconnected at the Calgary Stampede 2012 where they were both competitors in a talent search, but it wasn’t until a rained out BBQ that they decided to play 90’s country together and then things clicked.

There is some serious potential with this pop country duo, but it won’t get them into a position of prominence playing it safe. So for now I’ll be leaving Leaving Thomas on the shelf, with hopes that it isn’t nostalgia but success that demands another listen from them.

theories Summarized

I don’t think  you should buy this album or pick up a digital copy, but I do think you should listen to a handful of the tracks and make up your mind to investigate further. Maybe you’ll be more forgiving of the EP that have been, either way Leaving Thomas won’t be leaving the scene anytime soon, and hopefully they take the feedback with a grain of salt.

That said, I am happy to announce another first for timotheories, and an excellent album for you to consider listening to. Grizzly Bear’s Painted Ruins is well worth a spin, and their democratic brand of music is refreshing. Don’t Believe me? Just watch what Brendon Greene and I have to say about the matter.

I hope you enjoyed our first ever Sound Culture video review, but if you did, can you do us a favour and subscribe, comment and like the video? We appreciate your continued support dear readers.

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!