I am an artist, a photographer, a digital designer, a product designer, and I believe in the inherent value of creative work. I believe that art inspires, challenges, and changes us. I believe that creative ability is a large part of what makes us human, and I believe that we all deserve to operate our lives from a state of ease, flow and aliveness.
I believe that creative works should be valued and protected, built upon, archived, and made accessible to as many as possible.
Art is fundamental, unique to each of us…Even in difficult economic times –
especially in difficult economic times - the arts are essential.
Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all ABUNDANCE.
Keep putting out good, and it will come back to you tenfold in unexpected ways.
Abundance flows into my life in very surprising and miraculous ways every day.
I believe that creativity wants to breathe, and spread, and stretch its wings. I believe that inspiration is a gift to be shared. I believe that we do our best work together, and that a legacy is something for others to build on, not something to be fenced off and protected.
I believe that there is always enough to go around. That generosity breeds more generosity, and that regardless of how people choose to behave or treat you, that my spirit thrives when I choose to come from love.
I choose to believe that people are basically good, and that everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt, regardless. I choose to believe that an atmosphere of abundance, optimism and generosity is always better than an atmosphere of scarcity, defensiveness, and suspicion, no matter how much or how little we have in hand.
I believe in straightforward and generous licensing for digital products.
I believe in straightforward licensing that is easy to access, easy to understand, and generous in intent.
I rebel against the tradition of requiring attribution for every paper and ribbon before we will give our blessing to someone’s digital art. Everything we do in life requires us to build upon the work of others, and some of it will always go unattributed. There is a place to talk about inspiration, a place to thank mentors and credit designers, but I do not want a world of scrapbook layouts filled with attribution citations any more than I want a world of paintings covered over by small text detailing where each artist got their paints, or who’s work they were most inspired by.
ln a sense, nothing the artist produces is his in any exclusive way. An inventor takes inventory of that which is already there. A discoverer uncovers that which is.
Ultimately, I am honored when people use and build upon my creations, and I believe that grateful attribution should not be required.
As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. lt’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.
Because I believe in the inherent value of creative work, I care passionately about supporting myself and other creators in what we do. I believe in assisting people wherever I can, and reject negative competition in all its forms, along with any spirit of scarcity that says we can not coexist and thrive together as generous creators.
While I rebel against the tradition of making people feel like criminals for wanting to download and build upon my creations, I also rebel against the tradition of consumer entitlement that has been propagated by the Internet: the idea that we deserve to have everything, now, and for free. As a creator, I work long and hard, and I choose to give generously—but that generosity is not without expectation: I expect others to value my labor and my work, to respect my right to make a living at what I do, and to be grateful and generous in turn. I give much freely, but I also look for (and deserve) financial support; I do not demand attribution, but I look to be credited where appropriate for the art that I create.
No one is entitled to receive without ever giving back, and the fact that we sometimes look to take, take, take, without ever returning a gift, is a sign of disease. I believe that we can overcome this disease by realizing that all of us are creative at heart, all of us are meant to be active members of the communities we inhabit, and all of us should look to give back.
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill
I look forward to the day when artists no longer need to maintain, through intellectual property laws, an artificial scarcity of their work, yet still receive abundant returns borne of the gratitude of those who receive it.
I challenge myself and everyone else within the digital scrapbooking community to stop viewing ourselves as consumers, and start recognizing ourselves as actors and creators; to stop indiscriminately downloading and hoarding products that we don’t use, and start creating more layouts and designs of our own; to stop expecting everything to be free, and start thinking about how we can give back to those who have given something to us (or how we can pay the gift forward to somebody else); to stop complaining that the world isn’t the way we want it to be, and start actively participating in ways that assist us in making it better.
I am optimistic about the future.
Throughout history we’ve seen that life is not a zero-sum game: working together, we can actually do better for everyone—or we can do worse. More people are being more creative right now than ever before, and while the Internet has brought challenges for the digital artist, it has also brought amazing opportunities.
Unlike physical goods, digital goods can be distributed easily to a great many people. As such, I want to distribute my creations to as many people as possible—to inspire as many as possible. If I can reach more people I can give more generously to everyone, while still feeding myself and my family. Thus the cost of access can go down even while the amount of creative energy goes up. This is not a zero sum game, and I refuse to fear the future. To be healthy, creativity doesn’t just want to be generous: it deserves to be generous.
So whether you are a designer or a scrapper, a long-time veteran, or are just getting started, I invite you to join me in this revolution—not as a passive onlooker, but as an active co-partner: help me transform and enliven the digital scrapbooking community by finding ways to be generous, creative, optimistic, and caring—right now, right where you are. Each of us can make a difference.
(Professional, Commercial & Personal Use)