I met Tim 25 years ago when we were both students. He helped me gain a better understanding and appreciation for photography. I was studying graphic design, getting a grasp on typography, but photography was a bit of a mystery to me at the time. Obviously, Tim is a master, so who better than to learn about photography from ! He's got some mad skills. His work is just stunning. His lighting is super sexy. And, I love that he started a warrior poet code, I'm inspired to start one of my own.
Tim's Creative Process :
Garbage in, garbage out. Keep it simple.
Don’t let perfect ruin good.
Good food + good friends = good art.
Trust your first choice. Go where others aren’t.
Question authority. Stand for something important.
Create a lot, show a little.
Don’t take or give “no” for an answer.
Show enthusiasm, even when you have none.
Value loyalty and honesty. Take responsibility.
Have integrity. Tell a story.
Shatter the stereotype.
I believe these few phrases are all you need to know to be a successful creative. Whenever I get lost, one of these shows me the way back. They are not cliches, they are simple truths.
When I hear a truth, I write it down. I tell it to other people. I make it a part of my “Warrior/Poet Code”. My first boss always said "Perfect is good enough.” Meaning to never except “good enough” when “perfect" was possible. For a long time I thought he was right. He was wrong. Perfectionistic tendencies ruin good creative. Instead, 10 years later, I learned to be prolific. This is a much greater challenge and I find it makes me much more energized and satisfied. This is a hard won lesson I will forever be grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn on my own. So even bad advice can be very good for you. I am just as grateful for the adversities I’ve been able to overcome as I am for the blessings I have been given.
I hear it all the time: “You are so lucky to have a job where you get to be creative.” And: “It must be nice to work for yourself.” Or even: “I wish I could be like you.” And they are right, because I am lucky. Very lucky. But what these people do not realize is that there is a very scary flip-side: What if I wasn’t lucky? What if the breaks never came? What if I did everything just the same way but instead of being in the right place at the right time I was somewhere else or with someone else? What if I was born a woman in Afghanistan instead of a man in America? My opportunities would have been much different. So many of my successes have been pure luck. They say, “You make your own luck.” But this is simply not true. Luck just happens. I can't force the hand to be dealt a certain way. But what I can control is what I do with the cards I am dealt. I play every hand. I maximize the opportunities when they come. I am very grateful for them and I DO NOT IGNORE THEM!
I believe we are all an amalgamation of what surrounds us. So surround yourself with greatness. People, books, music, food, art. Live in a place that you love and wake up early. Every day. Keep an ongoing list of everything you want to get accomplished. For the day and week. For the month and year. Every time you find a person you want to meet, a place you want to go, a goal you want to achieve, add it to the list. I’ve done this since I was 15. I live to cross things off my list. Every time I do, I get a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment. By making proactive decisions based on what you want to do rather than reacting to what you need to do, you will keep your heart and soul free. This allows the universe to come in and help create the reality from your dreams. This is a great way to prioritize. This is how to remember what’s really important. But here is the Big Secret: Never finish the list. No matter what, always leave something needing to be done. This isn’t procrastination. It’s motivation. It’s planning. It’s purpose. It’s legacy.
And finally, when you make a mistake, be accountable and apologize. Even if it takes you 25 years. This is how we pay the universe back. And you’ll be very glad you did.
Tim is curious to know about the creative process of Tom Waits, musician, actor, composer, husband and father of 3. If given the chance, he'd love to have his family along on one of his fishing/boarding/golf trips, They'd make fried pies over a campfire and maybe even get to put a Stilley guitar in Tom's hands… (Ed Stilley, guitar-maker, is coming next on Get Fueled).
You can see more of Tim's work here