Let me just take a moment right now and embarrass myself.  With baggy pants, long hair, bandannas, Linkin Park, hacky sack and thinking we’re cool, I humbly present to you the very first video I’ve ever made:

First, let me just say that I used this video to work my way into the creative department at Rockford First Church.  Crazy, right!?  This was an announcement video made way back in 2005 for my hometown youth group in Cold Spring, MN.  I watched over the shoulder of a youth leader of mine edit a video using Final Cut and the spark began from there.  I convinced them to let me borrow their camera, I believe it was a Canon GL1, back in the DV Tape days.  And there lays the master piece before you.

We all have to start somewhere.  I often hear creatives complain about not being happy about the projects they currently are working on.  “If only I can be apart of that shoot.” “Apart of that project”  “If I had this camera,”  “If I had this gear,” “If I lived here,” “If leadership would let me do blah blah blah”  Thing is, those examples might be somewhat true.  Yes, it would be awesome if you had those things, but that’s the wrong attitude to create by.  If you saw what I saw, when re-watching that youth group announcement video, then you would agree with me that I wasn’t hired purely based on my talent.  There’s a difference from being an emotional artist to being a creative professional.  BE A TEAM PLAYER!  Now, I’m just guessing here, because no one really told me, but I think I was hired to be on the team because of a few things; I took initiative in learning something new, trying something different, I expressed passion for the over arching end goal and was honest that I may not have any idea how to do something but would do everything in my power to make it happen.  Fulfilling the goal and being apart of the team was more important to me than showing off what I could do.  And luckily, someone saw that potential and took a chance on me

If you’re going to be a creative in a professional world, if you’re a designer, an animator, a writer, cinematographer, editor, whatever, fill in the blank, you have to give up yourself.  Your art is not your own.  Pour everything you have into it, but it’s not who you are.  You were gifted to give it away.  So whatever stage you find yourself, whether at the beginning of your creative career or you’ve been crushing it for years, give your art away.

I’ve been truly blessed be apart of the Rockford First team since 2008 and in between now and then there had to have been some growth.  So let me close with some shots of some projects I had the opportunity to work on in the last couple years:

Special shout out to Kyle Curran, Kurt Peterson, Maddie Eickhoff for letting me post this without your permission.