Hit The Ice (timotheories February 2017)

Sometimes when you’re stoking the fire you’ll get sparks. Good or bad, it’s a consequence of taking a risk. And other times, what started out as a small flame turns into something so large you can’t help but feel the heat – hopefully you can handle the inferno.

As we already knew, the theme of timotheories this year is stoking the campfire. What that means for you and I is that I’m going to focus even more so on collaborations, sharing, caring, and all those warm and fuzzies which make intimacy so invaluable as a creative professional. Community brings us together and protects us from the cold.

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Icebergs too.

 

 

When I look at the month of February I get excited, because as I continue to build that campfire with your help, I am slowly realizing that there is SO much left to accomplish this year, and that I’ve really only begin to see what’s in front of me and the timotheories brand. Kinda like an iceberg

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So sit back for a moment or two while I work on my own marketing efforts, share the knowledge with you, and give you a proper education on what it means to be a creative professional in 2017. Do you have a logo for instance? Me neither, but that’ll happen.

Time to deep dive into February you art stars.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

timotheories summarized – February

Stimulating Sundays – (02/05) Cross Talk Ep. 17, (02/12)Cross Talk Ep. 18, (02/19) mystery interview preview, (02/26) mystery interview
Melodic Mondays – (02/06) Train, (02/13) Sampha, (02/20) Elbow, (02/27) Alison Crutchfield
Theatrical Tuesdays – (02/07) Queen of Katwe, (02/14) Loving, (02/21) Arrival (02/28) Manchester By The Sea
Wisdom Wednesdays – (02/01) Environment, (02/08) Facebook How-To, (02/15) Sam Harris, (02/22) Governance
Timely Thursday – (02/02) timotheories February, (02/09) USS concert, (02/16) Valentines Day, (02/23) 89th Annual Academy Awards

This month should be fantastic, because even I don’t know what I’ll be doing for an interview – Maybe I’ll interview myself for once. That could be fun eh? Cross Talk will be continuing the discussions on film and we’ve decided to feature some interesting topics regarding franchise fatigue AND films you enjoyed more than expected. Maybe I’ll have a visual surprise or two in store for you also…

Mondays and Tuesdays are focused on qualities themes of struggle, isolation and communications, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some triumphs and laughter to be had in there. And of course my weekly dose of Wisdom will feature some more posts inspired by the OECD and how to market yourself better. Okay, and I do have a 5 L’s Of Language book by Sam Harris to read. The Timely entries should speak for themselves.

 

That’s all she wrote creative cuties. Stay frosty and wait for the weekend, that’s when you’ll see the first Cross Talk of the month, but I’m not gonna tell which topic I chose to start with it. Keep the theories rolling and I’ll be there to curate them.

Tim!

Empire State of Mind (Environment)

I have probably played way to much Magic: The Gathering and other fantasy based games growing up my friends, because I always want to equate myself with a particular element of nature and just run in the general direction of that thing to better equip myself for the stresses of life. According to astrology and palmistry fire seems like the natural choice, while other personality tests and chinese zodiac results lead to that of the earth. So I guess that means I’m geared for the life of the country AND the city, but not so much high up or near water.

Whatever that means.

To be honest I think that we should make decisions about our physical environment based upon our interests and what inspires us. So if you need to be out in nature in order to be creative, do so, and what that natural environment looks like to you is also relevant, then seek it out.

Today, we go over the importance of your habitat, climate, scenery, terrain or surroundings.

Your Friendly Neighbourhood

That’s right friends, a new month,  a new post inspired by the OECD index which I was initially led to in the first place by the folks at Post Consumers. But this time dear readers, I have decided to focus on the importance of environment for artists and give you some options to consider in your quest towards health, wealth, and happiness. Because while frugality and conservation of resources are important for the planet, your mental space needs to be taken into account too.

Yes, believe it or not, if you look out for yourself and a lot of other things begin to fall into place.

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But what does that look like, you ask?

Well, like anything in life that depends on what you are about. So why don’t I give you the rundown of some things to consider, via a handy list, and you can decide for yourself if you’re on the right track to health, wealth, and happiness.

Welcome To New York, It’s Been Waiting For You

Before we get too far along, I need to clarify something. While I do think that New York city is a great place to live, and while my subject headings in this post so far are really hinting at NYC as a one stop shop, that’s just not true. And no, I’m not leading you towards Los Angeles either.

Instead I want you to look over some questions and the corresponding key words, and think on what kind of creative professional you need to be. All of these factors will help lead you towards an answer, and lead you towards creating a sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Is it important to you to attend parties? Think street parties, exhibitions, murals, fairs, and citywide events.
  2. What about a structured living situation? This could include open-concept loft apartments, industrial towns, and attending art museums as well as galleries.
  3. Does the place you live in need to be warm all the time? A daily does of street performers, dancing, food eaten outdoors, curbside coffee shops, and urban graffiti go a long way.
  4. Could you experience a wide variety of activities and room for contemplation? Where does live music, onsite food trucks, post-secondary education, libraries or urban sprawl fit in?
  5. Would economic stability be essential? If you like quirky shops, breweries, cheap rent, and post-grad couture.
  6. How organic is your palette? Farm-to-table, organic groceries, yoga, countryside views… Do those terms grab your attention?
  7. Are you inspired by other mediums? If film, audio recording, performance, and site specific works are your thing, consider your location.
  8. Does interacting with your immediate space matter? For when you need to make guerilla art, partake in festivals, induce public art participation, and convert odd spaces.
  9. When do you choose to collaborate? Artist run centres, art collectives, creative clubs, and meet-ups are all options.
  10. Who do you collaborate with? Whether musicians, hippies, hipsters, scensters, hip-hop lovers, electronic record spinners, cowpokes , entrepreneurs, writers, theatre artists, photographers, and techies all have their homes too…

While not comprehensive, these are all great factors to consider in the much larger picture that is the artistic environment which you call home. I can dedicate a lot of time to any number of these aspects, but you need to start somewhere after all.

theories Summarized

Well creative cuties, have you got your terrain locked down yet? I hope you spend some time with this one because we all need to work in spaces which are inspiring, comfortable and accessible. Like so many of these themes that tie into the OECD, environment has value. It may be my theory, but it should be yours too. That’s it for now, I’ll see you tomorrow with a timely update.

Tim!

 

Better Than Your Parents Had It (Education)

Another post on the OECD index and inspired by postconsumers.com timotheories? Wow, haven’t you farmed this land enough yet?

Well… No, dear readers. Technically I still have to cover off the following – education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. So we’re only a third of the way in! Plus, I could write at length about all of these topics and how they relate to being a good global citizen as well as a participant in your local community (and how it relates to the arts). This is a good thing, the website is called timotheories after all, it’s all about the curating the arts and connecting seemingly disparate theories together while having fun.

And this one is sure to be a good post. Education is one of MY FAVOURITE TOPICS. Ever. Period.

The Parents Broken Dream

One of the things I’ve learned as I transitioned from being a child into an adult, and as I recount experiences I’ve had with parents, my own and others, is that every parent wants to provide their children with a life better than they had growing up.

I’m not sure if this is one of those impulses ingrained in our brains OR if it’s a social conditioning similar to the idea that we need to have a good education and a stable job in order to have a good life, but it’s out there in the ether as a theory for success. I mean, life is hard, one minute you are living the dream and the next you are blindsided at 4pm on some idle Tuesday but an event that never crossed your troubled mind.

You can thank Baz Luhrmann for that tidbit. Back to my point.

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The economic privilege of the baby boomer generation is well behind us, dear readers. Baby boomers grew up with all kinds of benefits (free educations, established unions, more vacation time, company cars and trips) that generation x, millenials, and whatever comes next can only dream about. This is a major consequence of rising house prices. House prices in the 1970s and 1980s were incredibly low and the earnings on selling those houses has been significantly more lucrative for those families than what singles and young families could hope for today. On top of that, many retiring boomers are leaving behind debts and living on reduced pensions without any savings to back their lifestyles up.

If addressing gender and ethnic privilege are key tenements of politics today, we need to add in generational privilege as well. Skiing (spending the kids inheritance) is a thing of the past.

Investing In The Future

I hope you can see where this post is headed, and if you’re a futurist, like me, than you’ll appreciate the witticism, of that heading. For those of you without the blessing and/or curse of a dry sense of humour, investing in the future is never done. It’s an act of commitment to a process, not an effort towards a goal.

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This is incredibly important in the face of a changing world creative cuties. When you make art you are expected to focus on the details, to see the bigger picture, or to pull from both camps. Effectively learning when to use your macro and micro lenses takes time, and an investment in the process, but as you gain skills you will gain confidence and see how your contributions to society are relevant.

This article from Forbes goes over it quite well, but I’m going to summarize it quick for you –

  1.  You need an authentic and personalized network of contacts. Yes social media connections factor into this bucket, but I’m referring to mentors and professionals you rely on for key advice. Who is your career expert? Who do you go to for construction and mechanical advice? And who is your health guru? Do you have someone you can go to for general advice? Spending time each day reaching out to these people is important – it gives you a support system. Plus it feels good to help others and will teach you invaluable things about people.
  2. Live outside your comfort zone, always. Whether it’s learning to wake up early, going out to a social event once a week, or finally starting that book of songs you’ve been dreaming about for years, tapping into your vast potential yields some fantastic dividends.
  3. Get your secondary business going. Maybe you weren’t expecting to have two jobs, maybe you hate the idea of doing more than your 40+ hour work week. But let’s be honest, you are more than your job and you definitely have skills that are being underutilized. You need to make practical use of your cooking skills, your computer programming skills, your animal husbandry (awesome word choice timotheories!), I could go on. You’re not out to get rich and famous, its to continue to develop your skills and to challenge yourself.
  4. Active and critical thinking. This one comes naturally to me, I can’t help it. I think a lot about a lot of different things. If we could visually showcasing what thinking, reading, and using our minds does for our mental capacity, I’d get compliments on my brain all the time. This is not arrogance, because we all think. But we need to think actively about the future, goals, how to improve relationships and solve problems. Don’t settle for your situation, think about how to change it – then go for it.

theories Summarized

In brief, education is important. And while I suspect your instinct was that I was headed towards a post about academic learning and certification, I should be clear and state that that kind of education has absolute value, but it’s not the only way to invest in the future and given how economic dynamics are changing, we need a new game plan. That’s my theory anyway.

Tim!

Building Bridges, Forging Families (Community)

A new year, a new theme.

And while I’m not going to unleash that theme on you just yet, mostly because I’m saving it for the timotheories January post that’ll be released tomorrow, let’s just agree that this first Wisdom Wednesday post of the year is significant. Heck, I’ve even layered this post into an existing series on health and wellness, and influenced by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Let’s consider that statement one more time “new year, new theme.” We could pretty easily replace the words “year” and “theme” with almost anything really.

It’s one of those catch-all-modify-it-as-you-like phrases that I often like to say, and which many of us are guilty of sharing too. It’s such a North American thing to embrace newness. Except that you can’t hear me saying it, so looking at it through the lens of my writing will have to do, dear readers. And if you really want to see me speak you can always head over to the YouTube channel. Lots of theories over there.

You know what else? It’s been an excellent Christmas break. For me especially.

Break In The New Year

An opportunity for both reflection and decompression with a strong mix of socialization thrown in for good measure. As is the tradition, but odd for me to written as a staunch non-traditionalist, we had our typical Christmas eve Secret Santa gift exchange, then a full day of Christmas activities, Boxing Day shopping and movie watching, my annual Fast and Furious marathon, a roommate holiday party, New Years Eve, and New Years Day dinner. It was a full docket to be sure.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I insist on taking the last week of the year off because Christmas and New Years are big holidays in my family. We always seem to have at least three or four days dedicated to the holiday season and so the preceding weeks and afterglow take both a physical and emotional toll on me. It ain’t easy being green, as the once Kermit the Frog once said.

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Communication Breakdown

The feedback I often get from more vocal friends who only want a cursory view of my break is “why do you even take holidays if you aren’t going anywhere?” Well my friends, I think it’s important to spend time with family and friends and I want to be in the best state possible to partake in these festivities. But honestly it’s just not simple drop in and drop out situation. I have to absorb it all and then filter the experiences. That, and I often catch some sort of seasonal illness around this time of year.

Now granted, I have been told on more than one occasion that I push myself to the limit at this time of year, but recognizing  the deadline oriented nature of the holiday and my own needs working retail (which doesn’t matter if at a store or head office), have led me towards this solution.

This is important to realize. Community is vital for a creative person, so we each need to find a way to inject it into our set of priorities.

You see creative cuties, community and communication often go hand in hand. The people who attend these events with me all bring their own unique perspective to each party, but the desire to be there and connect is important to each of us. Whether it’s bonding over a film series. the act of handmade gifts or sharing in a homemade meal that celebrates culture, there requirements for participating in these events are clear.

Advanced Community Studies

But is this really the life we should be living?

Of course, I have this theory that it all comes back to values. In fact, I call it the campfire theory. Which I’ll likely elaborate upon int’s own post sometime this year…

We all need to be in alignment with the people we spend time with, and a great shared valued is much like a campfire, we gather around it for warmth, share stories around it hours, and struggle to leave it in the wee hours of morning, even when we know we could be sleeping. This is passionate living, and one of the most important things we can do in life is find community with like-minded individuals. The world challenges us to do it on our own, but this is a fallacy, because studies have proven time and time again that giving back to others is good for us and after a certain point of success we want to give away what we have.

We need to make the time for community. Life lessons and experiences are often reverberated through the friends and family in our lives.

Once each of us realizes that we must actively work with a community, then we can begin to determine how often we engage with our communities (daily, weekly, monthly) and the best way to structure said community. It could be a Facebook group, a What’sApp groupchat, a dinner party or a campfire. But knowing what you want to offer the group(s) and receive back is essential.

I’m ecstatic to see what 2017 brings for you creative cuties, so hit me up with your own learnings and let me know what you thought of this wisdom. I’m out of theories for now, but I’ll share some more tomorrow.

Tim!

We Dare Not Speak It’s Name (Jobs)

Let’s talk about jobs, ba-by, let’s talk about your, iden-tity.

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A Bang Up Job

When I think about Jobs as a product, comfort immediately comes to mind. Next, would probably be security and consistency of everyday use. If I can have less anxiety, more fun, and don’t have to worry about over-performing or under-performing, the convenience factor is high, and I’m on board. I get to live my day-today with relative ease and simplicity. Yes, when it comes to Jobs I feel like my opinion is part of a landscape and repercussions are minimal. In an era when people struggle with technology uncertainty, Jobs give you a path to take and a way to get there. Fortune, gratitude, luck, these are all synonymous terms for that ideal.

Now, I bet you thought I was talking about the person for a minute there, dear readers.

No not really. I wasn’t aiming for a post on Steve Jobs, though I could make a Wisdom Wednesday post or two about him. Just like everyone else has at one point or another.

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And to be clear, this is most certainly NOT a politically motivated post, I just wanted to get an association down for you. Who do you think achieved more? Steve Jobs or Dennis Ritchie? A question to ponder for sure…

As we continue to develop the series of posts about OECD, on the importance of health and well-being, the ranking factor of your job was bound to come up.

Inside Job

Let’s be honest.

You probably want to quit your day job, because your boss is a jerk, you’re sick of what your department does to address employee morale and wages, you don’t believe in the company visions, at all, and you’ve been doing this for well more than five years without much opportunity for growth and skill set expansion.

If that’s true, then you’re in luck. Because I have a few theories on your job that I’d like you to mull over.

Many people get this crazy idea in their heads that if a job is unfulfilled, that if you hate your job, it means you should quit and find another. Or maybe go back to school. Or finally start that personal business you’ve dreamt of for the past decade. And that’s quite a problematic view to hold.

A job is primarily an aspect of your career.

Maybe that’s confusing – let’s consider the definition of the word career. A career is a multi-faceted identity vehicle for an individual’s journey through life, especially as it relates to work and learning. Or in other words, a career is a person’s lifework that consists of occupations, educations and as a focus within a certain area of industry.

Surely it can be invaluable to start a business when you get fed up, but that purpose shouldn’t only be about your personal gratifications. You need to have drive, a real passion, and then build out a model to accomplish the purposes of that career you’ve laid out for yourself – getting another job could move you forward as well. An idea of success is not enough, you have to put in the blood, sweat, and tears. Never quit your day job only because you have a new idea or are sick of your work environment.

There is this really dumb idiom out there that says the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. We often rely on friends and family to supply is with support or advice on a number of different topics but bitching about work is a popular one.

Consider idea this for a moment, that friend giving you advice might not respect your industry or they be shelling out advice based on their limited understanding of your situation, but how could they possibly predict all the details of your life – you CAN keep your job and find fulfillment in other avenues or to pay for future benefits.

Career VS Job

To summarize this idea let’s quickly look at a chart which I found online. It’ll be a quick read, I promise.

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If you begin to look at your creative work as a career, you can begin to see how a series of different jobs might help you achieve your goals and stay on purpose dear readers, so as the old adage goes, don’t quit your day job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change the day job every now and again, and even invest in passive income(s). Though that could just be another theory.

Tim!