I’m excited to be bringing back the MEET series! I have a wonderful list of amazing individuals that I’ll be introducing you to within the next few months. Today I’d like you to meet Blaine Hogan. Blaine is an artist, actor, writer, producer, and Creative Director at Willow Creek Community Church. His blog has been one of my staple reads for the past year and he recently released his book, UNTITLED. Enjoy the interview below:
1. While you were writing UNTITLED, what did you find most challenging about the creative process? The entirety of the book is about the hard work of making things and so as I wrote, I kept realizing how much of my own advice I was needing to take. The very fact that the book exists means that I had to try and apply all the principles I was talking about. It was humbling to say the least.
2. What art/artists (outside of writing) inspire you? I’m extremely moved by film and love Danny Boyle. Music is also a huge inspiration and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Barcelona, Future of Forestry, Lia Ices, and Jon Hopkins.
3. What typically overlooked or mundane things/places inspire you? Cleaning my workspace I’ve found is a great centering technique. Now you can get carried away and use it to procrastinate (which I sometimes do), but when done well, cleaning my workspace simultaneously cleans my mind along with the area I’m about to do my work. Brewing coffee is another thing that inspires me. There is a richness and romanticism to knowing how long and how many steps there were to making this hot, steaming drink that somehow makes me have better ideas.
4. How long did the process of writing this book take? I’d been working on the content for the last 12 years as actor and artist through journals and notebooks. The writing of the actual book took about 6 months.
5. What kind of tools and software did you use? I used a few different tools. I started analog with all journals and notebooks. After wading through those mining for the best material and ideas I moved to Evernote. This is where I kept a running log of chapters and new ideas as they came to me. When I needed to free-write in a clean and clear space I’d open up Ommwriter. I then did the final layouts in Pages.
6. How has the self-promotional aspect been? Not bad, other than the stark realization that no one is going to promote your stuff for you. As an actor I learned pretty early on that if I didn’t look at promoting myself as a business I would never work. I think most artists struggle with this aspect of the work, but I know very few artists who make a living at being an artist without doing some form of self-promotion.
7. You’ve accomplished a lot (creatively). You’ve been an actor, auditioned for theater, you write, you’ve produced. How has this influenced your book and what’s inside? Thank you, Allie. Such a kind thing to say! Because I’ve been so fortunate to work in so many different mediums, I’m able to apply to principles from so many different aspects. My hope is that because of those many facets, anyone who makes anything can find UNTITLED meaningful.
8. How has your identity and core affected your process? I’m so glad you asked this! In fact, in all my interviews, no one has asked it. And in fact, I believe it’s the most important thing. Far too often we focus only on the product – the thing we make – without really taking much time to work on the producer. I’m of the opinion that our insides directly affect what we produce and that the best art comes from the inside, out. Knowing thyself is the THE KEY to making good art.
Hello, Week 2! You make me feel comfy & cozy. 20 photos total, all fabulous. I struggled with this one a bit. Perhaps it was my crazy freelance schedule, the lack of daylight, or wishing I had a cute kid to photograph. Obviously I love my little dog but I really love the shots this week with human subjects. My favorites are: Dabito’s, Sam’s and Kate’s. What about yours?
Next week’s theme is ELEGANT and is due Sunday by 8pm EST. Even if you haven’t submitted for weeks 1 and 2, you can still submit for week 3 here! Just another reminder, be sure to include the camera/lens info, your location, and your website EACH week you submit. It takes awhile to compile the post so all the information in one place shaves off a bit of time.
Last month a few Twitter friends suggested that I try Birchbox! With Birchbox, four to five hand-picked deluxe beauty samples are delivered to your door for $10 per month. Mine arrived last Saturday and I’m excited to share what was inside!
My thoughts on the products:
- Jouer | Lip Enhancer – Very moisturizing. I can see myself using this before I go to bed since I use tinted chapstick during the day. A .33 fl oz tube costs $14 so I’m going to need to fall in love with it if I’m going to pay that much!
- Kate Spade New York | Twirl – I really love this scent! Even Adam loved it and so I believe I’ll be buying a bottle! Or adding it to my Christmas wishlist. I haven’t been wearing perfume for awhile.
- Thymes | Eucalyptus Body Lotion - A very clean scent. I will probably stick this in my purse and use it until it’s gone! Not sure if I would buy a bottle since I use Burt’s Bees Honey + Milk body lotion.
- Zoya | Nail Polis in Noel – What a fun shade for the winter months! Can’t wait to use it after my current polish starts to chip.
- Alex and Isabelle | Classic Hair Tie – Seems like a fun piece to use instead of my boring, CVS brand hair ties.
Like my new wallpaper? Yeah, me too. You can get your own here thanks to Arno. Happy Friday. Next week I promise I’ll have lots of lovely things on the blog including Monday Link Love, Week #2 November Photo Challenge Submissions, my Birchbox review, some interesting updates to my life, and a fun feature.
November Photo Challenge Week 1’s submissions! What do you think? Have any favorites? I love Jon’s and Trudy’s. My shot was much more experimental than how I normally shoot. I tend to shoot film or digital with little editing. I decided to actually brainstorm and envision each week’s shot before the challenge started. It’s a habit that I want to pick up when it comes to writing or design. Did you plan your shot out? Or was it more impulsive/in the moment?
If it was provided, I linked each image to the provided website. Make sure to include a link to your website when submitting each week. I can’t wait to see all your submissions for Week 2! The theme is Comfy & Cozy and your submission is due by 8pm EST this Sunday. Even if you didn’t submit for Week 1, you can still submit for the next three weeks. You just won’t be able to win the prize (to enter into the contest portion, you must submit for all four weeks.) Happy snapping!
I usually spend Sunday creating and scheduling blog posts for the upcoming week. This weekend was CRAZY. I mean, yes, I sat at my desk for the e.n.t.i.r.e. weekend but I probably worked 45 hours combined on projects. Although my right arm felt like it was going to fall off…I’m SO excited to share these projects:
- Betty’s Betties 10th Anniversary Pin Up Calendar. Pin Up photoshoots, Photoshop, InDesign, vintage designs, amazing typography. You’ll want to get your hands on one of these.
- I’m also working with Evan Savage (a musician in Chicago) to launch his new website just in time for his new Christmas single release! Check back tomorrow for ways to get your hands on the song.
- If you’re in the Indianapolis area and are looking for a wedding/event planner…check out Lori Solomon with Boldly Chic Events. I’m making updates to her site now!