Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Contemplating Art

Ponder w/ me - the "Affliction Clothing" line that is N highend retailers & boutiques right now... they make a lot of use of religious themes albeit N a dark way...but are they Christian? Anti-Christian? I haven't found anything offensive, to me. I've seen some designs that R offensive to Catholics. But R they bringing 2 light our mortality & sin affliction N their designs? Is that so bad 2 B reminded of?

Here's one offensive to Catholics.. but I'm not catholic, so I can actually see some good in this shirt... b/c Mary was human and suffered affliction same as the rest of us.

(You can click on the photos to see them better)

Is it a statement towards catholics?

Even this simple design, what does it mean:

Is it saying to NOT live like there is no tomorrow, that our life is fleeting, that we are mortals and need to be concerned with the matters of the cross?

This one seems to represent "death" personified, looking through the book of death (as opposed to the book of life)

What is this one saying? A mortal, holding on to the cross with passion:

Now there are a lot of things that I disagree with in these images, but as ART, what are they trying to say?

This one received a lot of attention recently:

A catholic lady had it pulled from the Nordstom retail chain. It is an adaptation of the famous Millenium painting. This one depicts Mary, again, as a mortal... using the skeleton to symbolize that

Here's another that deals with Catholics again.

This one seems to be promoting prayer, in this case catholic prayer, because of our mortality and sin affliction.

There are a lot of Christian clothiers right now that are less questionable in this vein - Rebel Spirit, Sanctify, and NOTW to name a few. They have high end clothing that has a Christian message in a "cool" and artistic way. But does Affliction really belong in that list?

I'm always on the side of the artist when it comes to any art- whether you are painting with sound or on T-shirts. But I always search through to what the artist is trying to communicate with his work... b/c that is what all artists are doing when they work.... communicating a thought or question in a creative fashion...

So, that being said, do they show case mortality and affliction for the cause of contemplation or do they glorify our sin affliction? Should they be considered as Christian messages, or maybe Anti-Christian messages?

Or maybe, the worst answer of all: maybe they are simply combining things that will sell and there is no artistic significance whatsoever... that thought is always tragic.

(c) 2009 Reformation Productions

Monday, June 22, 2009

Head from the band KORN speaks about his life

Another little tid bit to tide over until we're completely up and running again.
We are moving equipment into the studio this week, installing, etc. Their A/C still needs it's sound proofing and a couple of small things but construction is just about complete. Hopefully, we'll be up and running soon.

Todays Post:
Brian Phillip Welch (born June 19, 1970), better known as Head, is an American musician best known as the former lead guitarist of the band Korn. Welch left the band in 2005 due to contrasting personal beliefs, to focus on life as a father.

Friday, June 19, 2009

blog post: selling out vs. sustainability

This post isn't mine. It's from Brandon McCormick and it's too brilliant not to share. Brandon is an independent film maker and owner of WhiteStone Motion Pictures. You can view his work at www.WhiteStoneMotionPictures.com

As we continue in the reconstruction of our facilities, I hope to be blogging with you again soon.... and in video :)

blog post: selling out vs. sustainability

At the halfway point of the year, there have been some new thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind.

This year for Whitestone is the year of sustainability, in the most simple of words, the year we learn to make money.


As an independent filmmaker, just the thought of making art for money is enough to make my skin crawl. This idea has become a taboo path in the indie world, associated with the selling of your soul. However the other picture in my mind does nothing for me either. The struggling artist who can’t take care of himself or a family because he is ‘misunderstood’ by the world and can’t find a way to monetize his art. As one of my creative mentors said to me, this route ends with the artist high in the mountains, alone and with a bullet between his eyes.

I want nothing to do with either picture.

My first step is to create a distinction between what I want to do, and what I don’t want. Here is what I’ve come up with so far.

Selling out is doing something you don’t want to or believe in for money. It’s also another way prostitutes are described.

Sustainability is doing something you love and believe in, but getting someone to pay you to do it.

It’s a subtle difference on paper, but of profound difference in real life.


I can write this post because I’ve done a healthy amount of both. I’ve done countless business videos, conference openers and yes, even weddings, that I did just for the money.

On the other hand, I’ve been able to do a lot of what I love to do, getting visionaries (much smarter than I am) to buy into the bigger picture with me.

The key part is believing and living for a bigger picture.

If what you’re about and what you want to create isn’t for something bigger than yourself, you’ve not much of a chance in getting anyone to buy into you. Your vision cannot rise and fall on only you. You must think beyond yourself, think beyond the status quo and selfish instincts to find a place where what you do matters to the world at large.

Another element of sustainability is timing.

We’re in a sort of digital renaissance. A magical but frightening place where the old business models no longer work. As art continues to become digitized, it magically becomes shareable world wide. The downside is that once something becomes easy to obtain, it’s perceived value drops almost immediately to zero.

This is both good news and bad news to the independent artist.


This means on the one hand, I can push a button, and BLAMO, my work has worldwide distribution.

On the other hand, I’m competing with millions of others pressing the BLAMO button at the same time. The basics of supply and demand say that my work has just become lost in a sea of ‘competition’ eventually driving the price to zero.

Why pay .99 cents for a short film when I can pop over to Vimeo and watch hundreds, if not thousands of excellent short films.

Art has the same basic binding principals in the market as any other commodity. One of those basic principles is in the form of a question

Does it add value to someone’s life?

The question I’ve been asking myself lately is do our films, our ideals and what we stand for, add value to anyones life. If not, how then could I ask them to trade money for what we have to offer, be it films, ideas or inspiration.

So now I’m left with this question. I have many ideas, many of which you’ll see later this year, some may work, others may not. I leave the question out there and unanswered. Until we have cracked the code, we won’t be the ones answering the question with a definitive answer, but we hope to be one of the few asking it in a new way in a new time.

And as Socrates might say, sometimes asking the right question is more important than having the right answer.

semper ad melora

blog post: selling out vs. sustainability

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