MANIC MONDAY :: Caught in the middle of the week, between classes and sleep, I stood in the back of an impressively calm crowd, waiting for a show I had anticipated since summer. Although I began to realize that my heels still weren’t giving me much of an advantage, this did not keep me from rockin’ hard as soon as Taylor Momsen stepped through the black curtains and into the smoke and lights that flooded The Club at Stage AE. Three months of waiting and I was there, watching Taylor toss her unbelievably long blonde locks as she poured all her strength into that microphone. The only feeling I had at that moment was every note, of a band that I had followed from the beginning, pulse through every vein of my being. My nerves buzzed with excitement, and yet, I was content—what a privileged it was to see her preform live.
Check out more shots I captured at the concert here.
I’ve got two DJing duos to share with you this week, with free downloads to boot!
If you’re looking to kick off your house party right this Friday night, you can do so live with The Electric Circuit from 9:00pm to midnight on WERG 90.5FM (wergfm.com). Also, be sure to MAVSoup’s SoundCloud where he and MatisFlex dropped their mix Trap Romance as Executive Order Music. MAVSoup’s latest creation is still in the works but Impeach Obama already has me hooked with it’s mash of news and push for awareness. It is apparent that these local boys certainly have talent and great taste.
While those two cut for their talk break, feel free to experiment with female power house tag team, The Jane Doze. The fact that these lovely ladies are veterans in the music industry has obviously kept them ahead in the game because they certainly know what to deliver to their audience, but they can still keep you guessing when they fade some true classics into their mix. Check out all the free downloads on their SoundCloud to keep your party going for hours.
I mean really, why hassle with a DJ setting-up in the corner of your apartment when you could just crank the bass on your home stereo for the same effect?
THURSDAY’S DAILY DESIGN :: If you’re in the area, stop by the Bottlebrush Gallery to check out the fibers exhibition September 13th through the 20th, featuring five students and one professor from Slippery Rock University’s Art Department. And if you can, attend the opening reception Friday, September 13th at
6:00pm 7:00pm, I’ll be there so be sure to say hi.
I want to take the time to discuss an issue that can always use further exploitation. I am sure this article can be applied to many fields, but as of now, the most relevant is the arts. More specifically I will address Graphic Design because it is the field I have the most knowledge (although always learning) and experience in when dealing with this issue.
I am an Artist—of many medias, but my focus is Graphic Design with a strong side of Photography. I am also currently a Undergraduate Student. Knowing exactly what I wanted to do by the time I started high school has helped me always think three steps ahead. I was able to grasp opportunities that I was given at a rather young age and build a portfolio by the time I graduated. And now, already half way through my college education, I decide to start my own small graphic design business. The point of this “business” was to give me something to do on the side as a sort of test training for bigger plans of mine, to gain more experience, practice, and knowledge in the field, as well as providing simple creative service for those who are in need of a cheap advertising pick-me-up (considering and understanding that I am still a student).
I hear plenty of professors in my department encouraging students to take volunteer opportunities and do work for free if only to gain experience. But I will stand to argue that those who are passionate about their field, and knew early on, may have already done their share of “free work” while in high school. Not to mention, when do you finally draw the line between volunteer work and a career? It’s safe to say that I have already drawn that line, but based on experiences in the past year, not everyone can take this seriously yet.
Last year I worked as the Promotional and Public Relations Director for my University’s radio station. And yes, I was getting paid. I eventually brought The Sea Lion Projekts up and running by the end of the fall semester and received my first client halfway through the following spring semester. She was a dance major looking for a someone to design her senior performance poster, and our mutual friend pointed her in my direction (if you missed that post you can read it here). I gave her a quote before we even started and she was more than ok with paying for my work. By the time the spring semester was coming to an end, I was approached by a radio station coworker to take some pictures of him for his professional DJing site. After giving him my prices, he quickly shied away and the project proposal quietly died. Here’s were things start to become irritating. I was once again, most recently, approached by a radio station coworker about “commissioning” me for a poster for his new radio show. (As a side note, I have not only quit the PR position, but the radio station altogether due to Executive Board politics and personal issues. They have obviously already hired a station member to fill the PR position). By “commissioning” he felt that a six pack of beer would be acceptable. To which I told him I only accept payments of cash and continued by giving him my starting price that I gave my first client. Here again, another project proposal died with curt words of “Thanks anyway.”
I can no longer work for free. I mean, that’s why I’m going to college right? I need to make a living off of this “stuff” I call art. I’m not trying to make a living off of ripping people off. I try to be extremely generous with my prices, especially to students because there’s a mutual understanding there.
The more I think about it, the more irritating it becomes, and with all this thinking, I’ve come across three points I would like to make:
1) Stop trying to take advantage of me.
Just because you “know” someone does not automatically mean you get to use their talent or knowledge for free. “Knowing” someone can make things more convenient, but by no means is it a tool in which to use someone. Chances are, they are probably already doing you a favor—perhaps by crunching time or cutting down on the total cost within reason—then so, chances are, they probably don’t owe you anything.
2) Where’s the human decency?
Don’t get me wrong, I always feel a little bit guilty at times, charging true friends for my work that I may have done for free when we were younger. But as I grow older I become more experienced, my work becomes stronger, and my confidence holds out for a better guarantee. Yet there is still that subtle hint of guilt that tugs at my heart as if I’m putting out a price on my relationship with someone. So then why is there no guilt from the other party when they try to take advantage of me? Why it is expected of me to work for free? Yes, in fact, this is extremely offensive.
3) It’s all very hypocritical.
Here’s the thing, the majority of people have a hard time understanding that art is found in almost anything, yet I am often posed to the question of “What are you going to do with that degree?” or “How do you plan on getting a job?” and sometimes I am simply offered the assumption of “You’re going to be a starving artist.” And although these fears had rattled my mind at one point, I have only recently understood the hypocrisy of it all—the only reason there are so called “starving artists” is because people with these assumptions refuse to see the benefits of paying a professional artist even though they do it every day but in different aspects. People like this, with these assumptions, pave the road to failure for those who are talented and creative. We are immediately set-up for failure because the majority is intentionally blind.
With this all being said, I would like to end with: Let’s pull back on the expect, and offer a little more respect.
If you were aware of that obscure MTV show, My Life As Liz, a few years back than the title I proudly display here should strike a familiar cord within your heart. Or if you were at least awake for the small era of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, you will understand when I say that I lived the Tibby “dream” the past three months (but with less documenting and much more sleeping).
While the majority of my friends made their way east, sinking warm toes in the salty sands of quality coastal beaches, I was sending SnapChat selfie replies in my work uniform through the bathroom mirror when taking mental breaks from the register and panini press. After a while, the hours seemed longer and the paychecks smaller, as it usually does, but at least I was out of the house and doing something more constructive than staring at my ceiling, right?
And although my summer to-do listing barely got any shorter, it’s safe to say I cannot even check “Blog” off with a satisfactory sigh. But here are a couple I can (yes, three out of the five are write-ins)::
1) Go to the beach. The only thing I could talk about for the last month and a half of the spring semester was how much I just wanted to spend my time at the local beach soaking in the summer rays between the light brushings of early morning breezes. I may not have gone to the Outer Banks, or Ocean City but at least I made it locally… twice—totaling about 45 minutes of solid sand serenity.
2) Learn to sail. I would have never even dreamed of putting this onto my to-do list to begin with, but when a friend came up to visit he informed me that his grandparents own a boat and were locally docked. So we went down and paid them a visit, and his grandfather seemed so excited that he took us out on the lake. On thing led to another, and I somehow ended up in the captain’s seat, steering the boat, and I loved every moment.
3) Join a local radio station. After battling some demons last semester and finally breaking free for the better, I decided there’s no reason to stop pursuing something I loved. So I didn’t and I found a new home to support college radio and became a Monday morning radio host for Gannon’s WERG 90.5FM. It was great because it gave me a little something to do on the side this summer and one less activity to worry about during the school year. If you missed me this summer, no worries, I’ll be back again next summer!
4) Explore for new music. This really is just a continuous, unwritten goal in my life. So I suppose I will just share the song that ruined my this summer; the song that broke my heart every night while driving home from work for a good month. Thanks to a not so gentleman who loves playing games, I present to you "Head On" by Man Man. ("Cello Song" by The Books feat. Jose Gonzalez was a close second.)
5) Go to a wedding. I was asked so far in advance that the majority of my summer free-time was spent planning my outfit for this special occasion. I hope I gave Audrey Hepburn a run for her money. Regardless though, it felt great to go all out if only for an evening.
All-in-all, I feel successful in keeping up with my Instagram—in which I had already shared a couple of these events with great photographs. Follow me @misssea_lion (all other social media links can be found in the sidebar) for a decent up-keep of information. This coming fall semester already promises to be busy again and my calendar is only halfway full.