Who you gonna call ?

Tomorrow the Me2 Crew will be crashing the awesome after party in the Central Station of Stockholm (and guess who we called to drive us to the the party ?)

If you want to meet Me2, the Me2 Crew and some other infamous celebrities you are more than welcome to join us in Stockholm Central Station where LEGO and Warner Bros are celebrating the release of the best movie ever on Bluebeard and other related devices as of 10 AM CET.

We have some secret gifts for those of you who make it to Central Station and get a picture posted on Instagram tagged with the awesome #TLMscandininavia5 tag and Me2 included.

But no despair for those of you who cannot make it to Stockholm, Oslo or Copenhagen in the coming days as the folks at LEGO and WB have created an awesome Facebook App for all of you to let you vote remote (and even make you win a personalized print).

Here are the 5 easy steps (and you even get a fantastic sneak preview of the build):

1. Hit the link here: Facebook App
2. When asked to first like the WB homepage, just hit like.
3. Then vote for the awesome after party by selecting #TLMscandininavia5 and giving it your Facebook vote. So the fifth picture it is :-)
4. Tell your friends, kids and grandparents alike to do the same.
5. Say done here in the comments (or on IG) and you enter into the draw.
 
You see how easy that was ?

See you soon !
Me2 & Crew

Work in progress

I have been very silent the last few weeks both here and on Instagram.

The reason for this was not that I preferred cooking or laundry above my duties as a Sunday photographer (guess what day it is today), nor was I caught up completely in long night meetings with Darth Inc (there were a few of those as well) hoping I could trade the corporate world for a more bohemian lifestyle .

No, the reason was from a very different and much more artistic nature.

We got an invitation to participate in an artistic challenge here in Scandinavia and the last few weeks have been full of designing, building, rebuilding, shooting and reshooting an epic adventure which took all our creative energy and focus.

And yes, the hard work and focus did pay off and we made it to the ten finalists (more on this tomorrow). 

If you are in Stockholm on Tuesday (24/06), do pass by the Central Station and say Hiya !

And now back to putting the last bricks in the shipping container and making sure we are all set for the exposition coming your way.

Stay tuned !
Me2 

So You Want to Be an Artist

Congratulations! Like many people you might have the fantasy of quitting your mind numbing job and joining those carefree bohemien artists creating and selling their art. This is an admirable goal and I salute you.

Before you embark on your dream I ask you this one question: do you support the arts yourself? Do you buy from artists directly? Do you attend arts & crafts shows? Do you purchase the music you listen to?

If you want people to support you as an artist you need to support other artists. It’s as simple as that.

If you were to come to my house for dinner I will prepare the meal using a hand made knife and cooked in a hand made skillet. I will serve your meal on hand made dishes and glasses upon my hand made table. (If I really like you I will pull out the fancy hand made silverware!). As I am preparing your meal you can look at my walls covered with original paintings and sculptures that have been collected over the years. I might be wearing one of my many hand made sweaters and most certainly some hand made jewelry. Of course since my house is always filled with music, we will be listing to my latest music purchase. While you are waiting you might even browse my extensive collection of band posters, records or books…  all of which I have purchased to support the various artists that I love.

To me this is what supporting the arts looks like and I have a very good reason for living this way. If I buy from artists, they will often buy from me. Artists will often be your first paying customers. If they have money in their pockets they support the arts, because like me they know how important it is to purchase from artists directly.

I’m not saying you have to buy all your gifts and household items from artists, but next time you are out looking for a creative gift, look beyond the mall and you might be surprised at what you will find. Supporting the arts doesn’t have to mean writing out a donation check to some semi-anonymous arts institution, it can encompass an entire life filled with hand made goodness.

Simply put, what goes around comes around.

~ xxsjc

Do you support the arts?
If so, how? 
If not, why not?

I do get bored of posting my own pics on this blog. I would be happy to post other members images here as well. If we are not connected through Flickr, lets make that happen. 

The Burden of Dreams

I confess I’ve been watching documentaries again. This one was about Werner Herzog and his epic struggle to complete his movie Fitzcarraldo. The documentary, Burden of Dreams, concerns a movie maker on a seemingly Sisyphean task who’s main character is on a similar, nearly impossible task. 

As Werner Herzog is talking about his project, after hitting the umpteenth major snag, he said the following:

 “If I abandon this project, I would be a man without dreams and I don’t want to live like that.”

The above quote really struck home. 

It is good to remember that dreams are a burden. They ask much of us; sometimes too much. But like Mr. Herzog you have to keep going, no matter how tough it gets. You have to  nurture your projects and the dreams they come from. It doesn’t matter if success or failure await you; living without dreams would be a very bleak existence. 

~ xxsjc 


Have you ever though about quitting?
If so, what kept you going?



Summer is upon us …


While some of our plastic photographer friends down under are preparing for winter, the northern hemisphere is getting ready for summer.

Here in Sweden another solstice  is upon us, and you will for sure see some more party pictures in the coming days coming your way while we are exploring the deeper meaning of midsummer, dancing around a pole and singing strange songs about small frogs (which is considered an art on itself).

In preparation for midsummer next Friday here in Sweden I have been travelling the world and beyond to get the best ice cream for this summer parties and as you can see in the picture above we went all in.

So, we have one question for you:

Which ice cream you like best ?

Me2

Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League’s New York (Trailer)

I had the pleasure of watching this documentary film recently and I wanted to share it with you. During the 15 years that The Photo League of New York existed, they nurtured, celebrated and discussed some of the greatest photographers of the day. This documentary is a veritable who’s who of photographers who were practicing at the time. These are people who wanted to change the world through there photographs. They wanted to make a difference and for the most part they were successful. 
I urge you to take a look at the trailer and hopefully find the time to watch the whole film. It is good to know the historic foundations of your passion. Many of the figures discussed in this documentary I knew of from my own photo history classes. It was inspiring to hear them discussed in context of The Photo League and it also gave me fresh perspective on this important stage of photography’s history. 
~ xxsjc

Sunday Painters (another perspective)

I can relate to +Me2  and his Sunday Painter plight. I am not sure any of us has the stamina or the time to create meaningful art on a daily basis. It is so much easier to do the laundry, cook a meal, play video games or any of the thousands of distractions we encounter daily. 

Before anyone gives up on this so called battle lets talk about what creating art on a full time basis looks like. Because sometimes I think people have a grander notion of what being an artist is. What it’s not: painting every day in your studio, listening to classical music while your faithful cat keeps you company (or insert personal fantasy of your choice here). What it can look like is thinking about what you want to make, planning out your image, gathering supplies and props and sketching some ideas in a work book. Often it means simply staying caught up on what’s going on in your field, understanding the changing marketplace and researching the past. Day to day tasks often involve organizing work, matting final images, networking, bookkeeping, meetings, phone calls and e-mails like any other grunt worker. 
Finding success in the market place is a mixed blessing. The process of creating and selling the same old same old that pays the bills can be a soul deadening experience. For most artists creating new, exciting and challenging work on a regular basis is the exception. In a way relegating them back into the category of the “Sunday Painter”.
For the working artist (or the Sunday Painter) the greatest luxury is creating art that inspires you. 
~ xxsjc  
What does your perfect artist life loo like? 

I chose this image by +Gordon Webb to illustrate another time suck that is a big part of our weird Stuckinplastic world,,,forever sorting. 

No One Ever Said This Would Be Easy

Did you take the time to listen to the TED talk suggested by +Me2 yesterday? I did and I was mildly amused by Sting and his talk. Maybe I was not as taken by it as Me2, but that can be explained by the fact I was also working.

I think it is important to realize that every artist struggles with the artistic process. No matter if you are a multi platinum musician who makes enough off his royalties to live in a chateau and grow his own grapes or the beginning photographer. The creative issues are the same if not the income stream.

So, yes we are all in similar (I will never say: “the same”) boats. The goal is to make relevant art that speaks to who ever might view, listen or read our creative works. There is no magic formula to success, I wish there was. But I do know that if you speak from the heart and are true to your own voice you will make a connection with your audience.

I think it was interesting that Sting had to go back to his roots, the ones he had been denying, to find the motivation and his voice again. Sometimes you have to go to the dark places, the places you want to avoid to do the work that needs to be done. I think the trick is to take your viewers on your journey with you, but still allow them to find themselves in what you are saying. To be personal, but still universal.

By creating honest work we will find ourselves a little closer to the answers and hopefully maintain our inspiration.

~ xxsjc

Where do you get your inspiration?

I leave you with a song by one of the bands that has inspired me the most: Cloud Cult. They managed to take a personal tragedy and create some of the most beautiful music while working through the pain.   Craig Minowa is a testament to the “Art Saves Lives” motto. Remember: no one ever said this would be easy. 


We are all in the same boat …

While Shelly keeps us updated with great pieces of literature we should all consume in order to grow our artistic self, I try to keep an eye on what is happening in the online world of TED and share some of it with all of you when I believe it connects with what we are trying to explore here.

When I enjoyed the latest TED collection I was blown away with this simple story told by a small boy from the ship yard and how his dream and determination changed his live forever.

A story that truly touched me …


” … The fact is, whether you’re a rock staror whether you’re a welder in a shipyard,or a tribesman in the upper Amazon,or the queen of England,at the end of the day,we’re all in the same boat …”

Let us know below in the comments what you think about it and if we are indeed all in the same boat.

Me2

Staying Motivated is Hard to Do

I don’t think there is any skill harder to develop than the ability to stay motivated. No matter what you are doing, taking photographs, building your latest MOC or writing the next great novel, staying motivated is hard.

It’s easy to get distracted by day to day obligations, or worse yet just quitting altogether, because creating art is hard. But there is a trick to not quitting, make friends with people who share your passion. Surround yourself with supportive excited people who like to do what you do. Get together on a regular basis and share what you’ve been working on. Geek out, it’s fun!
I know that toy photography is a rather specialized photo niche and Instagram can be a great substitute for a local photo club. It can function like the most amazing and supportive group of fellow photographers you could ever hope for. Plus by getting in the habit of posting once a day, every other day or whatever you can commit to, you will be getting better just by shooting consistently. It is also a great place to make friends who share your passion for toy photography.  
So get out there and shoot some photos with your camera, your phone, your fancy DSLR…it doesn’t matter what the photo looks like. Some days your photos will be awesome, other days, not so much. It goes with the territory. Post your photo to Instagram, get some feed back and do it again tomorrow. It’s doing the work that is important. Of course the real fun begins when you look back over your feed and see how much you have grown. 
And THAT will feel much better than quitting. 
Do you find it hard to stay motivated?
How do you stay motivated