Kris LeVasseur has been photographing for the film, TV, music, sports, editorial, corporate and advertising industries for the last 14 years on a national and international level. Today Kris talks with Altpick.com about his next adventure.
AP: Tell us a little bit about how you started out in the arts?
KL: Musical performances for the public were by the age of 4. Singing came first and drumming soon followed. I have no memory of not expressing my imagination, developing my creativity and wanting others to do so with me.
AP. As a musician, photographer and film maker, which genre do you focus on the most and feel the most comfortable?
KL: Drumming for example, is one of the only things in my life that seems almost effortless to me, but the reality of making quality music with quality people can be very hard to come by. Creating still photographs and videos has been a lot easier to obtain. I enjoy the independence and freedom associated with the visual arts. I love collaboration with the subject and/or the client for example. I thrive off of conceptual portrayals with people having fun and adding an element of improvisation to the basic blueprint that is given to me. Currently, this is my main concentration.
AP: Is there a synergy between all of the mediums and do you combine them to create something new?
KL: I have based a lot of my decisions as a filmmaker/photographer on what I have learned from being a musician. I find there is a relationship between all of the mediums. When I play the drums for example, I am antenna to not only the sights and sounds of my environment, but also the visuals that I see in my head…be it colors, abstract visions or more concrete dream like scenarios simultaneously. Most times in regards to my personal work, I have “a vision” or “a calling” and build it up and work it out from there. When a client presents me with what they are looking for I try my best to accommodate their needs and make them feel comfortable. I think it’s important to know your role, understand the importance of a budget, time constraints, and professional conduct…Respect + Trust = Team.
AP: Tell us a little bit about your new award winning video for Dan Lanois’ song “Aquatic”.
KL: I have been a fan of Dan Lanois for most of my life. Please check out all things Dan Lanois at danlanois.com. The video I just did for his song “Aquatic” can be found at http:://fleshandmachinedaniellanois.tumblr.com. He is most definitely a ‘sonic guru’ and has always encouraged ‘undiscovered artists’. He embodies such an amazing, consistent and deeply humble vibe. He has inspired me on so many levels. When his Flesh and Machine project surfaced and I couldn’t have been more excited to participate. I love the song Aquatic so much. It is not only a true honor to have the video I submitted to his video contest be selected for the song, but a true pleasure to create a visual relationship with Dan’s song through light and emotion. It was evoked by nature from a personal, sacred location under completely spontaneous circumstances.
AP: You mentioned that your next goal is to move to Panama City. Why Panama?
KL: I like going places I’ve never gone before. l love exploring and new experiences. My hopes for experiencing Panama are that overall it’s a vibrant, driven place; I want to share my background, skills, and knowledge, creating new business and providing services to the people of Panama. I love the fact that Panama prides itself on being a true melting pot, welcomes positive change, obtains an enticing biodiversity, as well as being conscious of respect to a demographic’s history in the process of gentrification. I want to be a part of a booming economy open to passionate people that do not judge success as a threat but as an asset to all of us.
AP: Who is your greatest inspiration…person, place or thing?
KL: My parents. They are a perfect recipe. They have great chemistry… one hand washes the other. They are resilient, motivated, and know unconditional love for each other through thick and thin. What you see is what you get and they are genuinely really good people.
KL: Thank you Maria. I have wanted to do an interview with you for a long time. I have always admired you for your intellect, articulation, respect for artists, and hands on approach to the business you conduct. Best wishes! – Kris
AP: It is our pleasure! Thank you for sharing and giving us some insight on your passions and profession.
I never was a procrastinator, in fact; things couldn’t go faster for me.
Today I look calm on the outside but my real impetus is to get things done and in the most effective way possible.
I can say this now, but this self-awareness came after a long journey and experience of being disappointed with our education, society and the system as a whole.
In years when I worked on the assembly line and try to fit into the 8-to-5 job, this restlessness made me ill, literally and physically. I had a hard time to become mentally calm, to find my inner pace and balance.
Since 2009 I work freelance and since 2010 we have a daughter, and I have never been so busy and never been so calm at once, how is that?
This blog post is about my personal experience on how to manage time more effective and still having fun. Chances are that you – the reader – find something useful in it.
What is Time?
For me, time is valuable, a precious gift that was given to me from my parents, it probably lasts the lifetime of an average human and is limited to just one. I embrace what I can do in this time and I´m thankful that I´m healthy enough to enjoy and share my time with like-minded people.
I found that quality time is for every person something different, for me it is time to be with loved ones as also being with my artist self and create art for me or others.
Marketing and self promotion was never a thing I loved, but it is valuable to a business like a compass to a hiker, I learned to embrace these tasks much more. And so I enjoy interacting with fellow artists and clients.
Earlier in my life I had this feeling that 8 hours of my day were simply wasted. Now there are at least 12 hours a day that I enjoy.
Time-Thieves and Things that Seriously Steal your Time
There is something that I observed for quite a while and found no workaround except for keeping my eyes open all the time. For what you ask? For things or persons who steal your time. It’s obvious that we waste a lot of time on friends who we thought were friends but when we are in need they don´t care, the client who wants the best thing but won´t pay anything, technical things that always break, a car that only works half the time… you get the idea.
It’s not only the time we waste on such things, but also a waste of emotional labor that would have been better applied to people around us who deserve it.
Call them vampires, they sit everywhere lurking and waiting for a victim to turn to. Just be no victim.
You’ve heard of that myth that women can better multitask than men, it’s not true, at least it is not recommended at all.
If you have a hands-free-set, you can do a phone call and make household work or drive a car while doing so. That is because speaking, listening and doing routine work like drawing or household work is mundane enough to use less brain power. As soon as our capacity of things we do simultaneously is challenging our brain, we loose information/memory. You can also hear a useful E-book or a podcast while working on a computer instead of music this is both valuable and time-saving. But don´t try writing an email and listening to your wife, just don´t do it.
I sure use Twitter and Facebook and this blog, but I see updating these as a gift and duty to give the community something back. A contribution if you want so.
Sure, if you have a deadline approaching and feel tied to twitter or play games instead, than it can be a serious problem, one that should be solved before it is too late.
Changing habits by making the things you have to do easier is a good trick. Let´s say you want to do more workout, figure out one easy to do exercise that only costs a minute or two. From there it is easier to do something more.
I use to be a pragmatic all my time, so it comes naturally for me to think in advance whenever I have to go my route or one way. Taking the used coffee-mug, the empty water bottle and the laptop down into the kitchen after waking up, to fill the dishwasher, the bag for empty bottles and to read my news, then, time is saved and it is simple as that. Multiply these over 5 times a day, a week, a month and a year, you can guess how much time can be saved for important things.
Here is a list of everyday things you can do to save time for important things:
First of all: learn to set priorities, otherwise the fancy stuff listed below isn´t going to work
Think (not plan!) eventualities ahead as far as possible, for the next hour, for the next day and so on
Write sticky notes and don´t read them, do the things so you can throw the notes away after the “things-are-done“
Do multitasking, wherever possible and whenever no quality or security has to suffer through it
Avoid time-thieves, bloodsuckers, vampires and time-robbing things that break all the time, buy stuff that works, not breaks, even if it is more expensive, it will save you time.
Don´t drive faster, plan ahead and take the fastest route instead.
Keep your mail-inbox clean, make use of the GTD method and use an e-mail program that supports smart inbox handling like Gmail for example
Don´t work just hard, and also don´t just work smart. Work smarter and harder and also put emotional labor in everything you do.
Don´t do everything alone, learn to delegate and to outsource tasks you can assign to someone else
Don´t procrastinate and thrash yourself at the end of a project, do it in advance or at the beginning
Find a job that is fun to do and you never have to work a single day in your life (quoted)
Be rather active than passive (limit television for example) a passive lifestyle is counterproductive and unhealthy too
Shop online if the city is crowded and parking a horror
Eliminate distractions, if necessary, use a tool for computer related work that helps you to focus better
Be patient and forget about sent letters, this is the key to stay calm while doing all the things above
Below you find some valuable sources about time-mangement for freelancers, I highly recommend also the video from Randy Pausch about time-management, I promise these are the best spent 70 minutes about that topic ever.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
Altpick.com and members wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015!
Scott Lowden received 13 honorable mentions in the categories of lifestyle, fashion, children, self-promotion and “other” at this year’s Lucie Awards presented by the International Photography Awards (sister effort of the Lucie Foundation). The 12th Annual Lucie Awards Show Gala took place earlier this month at Carnegie Hall.
Gayle Kabaker’s animation “Exotic Yoga Retreats – See the World Differently” was one of only 42 projects selected from hundreds of submissions to be included in the International Motion Awards 3 collection.
Michael Morgenstern was selected for the Lurzer’s Archive “200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 2014 – 2015″. “The judges were drawn to my personal work for this edition, which made me very happy. I’ve been illustrating for about 19 years, and have created a pretty large body of work over time that I like to call my “art”. These things that I create for myself are a significant part of my illustration process. This recent piece that Lurzers chose is titled “moon dog”.
Red Nose Studio’s piece for “Hero of the Five Points” by Alan Gratz was accepted into the 57th Society of Illustrators Annual, along with Chris’ stop-motion public service announcement “Holding Polluters Accountable” which was awarded a Gold medal.
Dana Hursey received a couple of Honorable Mentions in this years IPA’s (International Photography Awards). “It is always so great to be included with such a distinguish group of professionals and we love the winning imagery this year!”, comments Hursey. “So much talent out there! Thanks so much to the judges for including two of our images in the mix!”
Hanna Barczyk’sillustration, “An Answer Blowing in the Wind Chimes” for the Los Angeles Times was selected by the Society of Illustrators for their annual book (57) and show, which will be exhibited in February at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City. Art director: Wesley Bausmith, L. A. Times/L.A. Affairs.
Tom Cocotos had two illustrations selected to appear in the American Illustration 33 award book. The images of bees are part of an ongoing ad campaign for the Writer’s Foundry MFA program at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.
Lennette Newell received an IPA Honorable Mention for her “Tanzania Wildlife” series, “Muddcrack diptych” series, “Ani Human Butterfly” series, “Alien” image and “Affection”, which was also a winner in the Moscow International Foto Awards. Lennette also won 1st place in a Special-Pets Category in the 2014 IPA Competition for the winning entry “Black & White Affection”.
Denise Hilton Campbellreceived word in September that her image for the June/July issue of Organic Gardening Magazine “Cherries” was selected as a runner-up in the Creative Quarterly 37 International Competition. Denise’s work will be featured in the CQ online gallery winter 2014-2015.
The Case For Loving; The Fight for Interracial Marriage (Arthur A Levine Books, Scholastic), written by Selina Alko and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko has received TWO starred reviews so far from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews . The book publication is set for January 27th 2015.
Kevin Hauff‘s image was selected to be in Lurzers Archive: 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 2014/2015 which was just launched.
Chosen for the 2014 Illustration Awards in Applied Arts Magazine, Rocco Baviera‘s images were part of a series for an issue of Philanthropic Trends Quarterly focusing on the necessity within organizations of developing a strategy and integrating a game plan, while stressing the need for simplicity.
One of Vlad Alvarez‘s personal pieces was selected in the Latin American Ilustración 3 Competition. The piece was also chosen in the “LOS DIEZ” (The Ten) group and was displayed at the American Illustration / American Photography Party in New York City held on Thursday November 6th. It will also be displayed in a special traveling exhibit sponsored by EPSON.
Ellen Weinstein‘s “A Primer on Forgetting” for Radcliffe Magazine was accepted into Society of Illustrators 57th Annual. Also, “Patron Saint of Ugly” book cover and “Superstition for Nautilus” were accepted into the American Illustration 33 Awards.
An image of a breast cancer patient from Robert Houser‘s “Facing Chemo” project was awarded placement in the 2014 APANY International Photo Contest. The images were displayed in October by a gallery in Chelsea, New York. Robert’s “Dancers” series was recently accepted into the APA San Francisco event, Something Personal, which opens on December 6th.
Paul Garland’s illustration for ‘UA Hemispheres’ magazine was accepted in the Society of Illustrators 57 show. In addition, “The Prize for Illustration 2015″ in association with the London Transport Museum illustration has been accepted to be exhibited by The Association of Illustrators.
James Bennett‘s painting of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark McGuire was accepted into Baseball’s Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown. The art was originally created for TIME magazine, during the Home Run Chase of 1997.
Louisa Bertman‘s animated short, Tits. is Lunabar’s 2015 Lunafest Winner and her illustration “Naked Beast Don Draper” for Seed & Spark’s Bright Ideas Magazine is an AI-AP American Illustration 33 Selected Winner.
Brian Cummings‘ “Crest 3D Whitestrips” ad was accepted into Graphis Advertising Annual 2014 and Brian’s “Knife & Flag” campaign was accepted into Communication Arts Photography Annual — 2014 Award of Excellence,Addy Awards — Best in Show — Regional 2014 and Luerzers Archive VOLUME 4/2014 — Featured.
Barbara Kosoff‘s illustration, “Prosperity” was chosen to be on the cover of Graphic Design USA for their Sept/Oct issue. Her winning entry was one of two winners selected for the digital printing competition sponsored by Neenah Papers.
When it comes to matters of the Zombie Apocalypse, fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead are extremely passionate about catching the latest episodes on Sunday nights. So when the network aired a commercial spot at the beginning of Season 5, Episode 4 threatening that “AMC may go black” due to a contract dispute with DIRECTV, a Twitter firestorm erupted that nearly drowned out the storyline for the next half hour. DIRECTV fired back in the second half of the episode with a cartoon zombie whose head explodes because the threat of interrupted service isn’t real.
Miami Beach’s Lacko Illustration provided the comic relief with his frighteningly funny zombie design for JxTwo, Inc. under the creative direction, design and production of Jeanne Le Blanc and Jeremy Alcock. The DIRECTV commercial assures Walking Dead fans that AMC is only trying to scare them and that there will be no break in the undead action. “We intend to renew our AMC partnership at a price that is fair to our customers. It really is a no-brainer.” And with that, the zombie’s brains pop out.
The DIRECTV spot impacted the show’s many fan discussion boards and shifted the dialogue on Twitter. However, the threat of a contract dispute made more waves in the press the next day than the recap of the show’s gory narrative. Networks and satellite providers taking their fight straight to the audience during a top-rated show proved more frightening than the bite of a walker, but for Lacko and the JxTwo agency, it’s all in good fun.
Lacko has a dark and scary history with the SciFi and Horror genre having worked on GODZILLA graphics for the ADOBE MAX Creativity Conference in Los Angeles, DC Shoes Musical Monster Skate tees, Hasbro Toys Monstrocity Cuponk Collection and recording artist ANDY GRAMMER’s 8-bit inspired tour tees. He provided art for YouTube’s GEEK WEEK and the FEARNET.com Fun House plus the FANGORIA CHAINSAW AWARDS, an annual celebration of the year’s best horror movies.
Cade Martin, a renowned photographer and long time visitor to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, visited the town to capture the spirit of the Day of the Dead festival. During his four-night stay, Cade and his crew set up a small mobile studio and took photos in the street.
“The idea is to create tight portraits of existing faces with the hopes of photographing real people that we see walking around,” said Cade. “We were looking to find inspiring people who are already dressed up for the festival.”
Several local art galleries helped Cade Martin’s efforts out, including the Guiness Gallery, Moyshen the Gallery and Fernando M. Diaz Art Studio. All three are located in La Fabrica La Aurora, served as a staging area for Cade Martin’s efforts. Helena Moreno Fine Arts Gallery in downtown San Miguel de Allende also served as a staging ground to help photograph the festival.
Joining Cade was renowned social media blogger Geoff Livingston, http://geofflivingston.com. They posted live updates throughout the weekend on their social media accounts, including @cademartin on Twitter, cademartinphoto on Facebook, and @geoffliving on Twitter. They also live blogged San Miguel’s Day of the Dead festival on the Huffington Post.
The team took photographs of San Miguel Allende itself and feature the town as a travel destination. They will publish several articles about the visit upon their return to the United States. If you would like to contact Cade’s team, contact them on their social media channels, website or email them at email@example.com.
Cade Martin is an award-winning photographer for clients worldwide, and is often featured in top arts and design publications. His meticulous attention to detail helps shape an environment that echoes the real world, but with a heightened emotional focus.
Specializing in people and location photography, Martin has worked for clients including Tommy Hilfiger, Coors Brewing Company, Zurich, America’s Next Top Model, Discovery Channel, JC Penney, IBM, Verizon, Marriott International, Grey Goose, National Geographic Society, Starbucks and other companies and creative agencies.