Quality or Quantity

Is it better to have quality content or to have lots of content? Often on YouTube, users that make great videos only have a few of them. While content creators that make mediocre content tend to have an endless amount of videos. For a very long time I thought it was better to have more videos than less high quality videos.

What this means as an artist/content creator is; having high quality work is more valuable than having low quality work. It’s also better to have a larger portfolio than a smaller one. Therefore it’s best to have a large body of work that is high quality. However, it’s extremely difficult to combine the two.

Artist tend to have a problem: we always want better quality work. When we create something that is beautiful and perfect, we want to create something that is more beautiful and more perfect. It doesn’t matter what the previous quality was, as long as the next is better. This drives progress because it forces the creators to motivate themselves to produce better content, thus increasing skill.

However, it often is intermixed with unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We have difficulty accepting our work and being proud of our products. Sometimes we create crap content. Everyone does.

Anyways, for a long time I thought it was better to have more content. More content means that you could explore more areas and find what you like best. It also means that you have a larger portfolio which could cater to a larger group of consumers. By creating a lot of work, you grow significantly.

However, mass production doesn’t always drive improvement. This blogging project is about creating a large body of content. Its purpose is to teach me how to write. By sitting down each night and finding a topic to talk about, I’m learning a skill. At the same time, writing daily doesn’t give me time to edit, or really think about concepts. It’s very much a produce, produce, produce, mindset.

As the last two weeks come about, I’ve been getting this sickened feeling in my stomach. This blogging project took a lot of time. It’s produced 350 blog posts so far and more than 120,000 words. Overall, this is the most I’ve written in my life.

The last days though, I’ve been reflecting. This year has been full of adventures. I’ve recorded some of them in blog posts and others in pictures. The mass quantity has forced me to learn how to write about any situation at any given time. Which is a great skill but I can’t help but feel that it’s also been a poison. Right now I’m rambling. There is purpose to this text but nothing that is worth editing. Mass quantity breeds ignorance of the process.

This work isn’t great. It’s just work. At the end, I don’t know how many posts I will keep up. I learned from it but it’s not something I want to show off. The lesson was learned and I’ve grown from it but this isn’t my portfolio. It’s not a complete version of myself.

A couple years ago, a photographer I loved removed all of her work from Flickr. I was absolutely devastated. Her work was a huge inspiration. The photos she posted were one of the reasons that I started taking photos myself. I didn’t know what to do when I couldn’t look through her work.

I was devastated and vowed that I would never remove my work. I wanted others to be able to see my growth. They could also look through a large body of work. Perhaps they would see that I’m human and they could create too.

As this project halts, I don’t want to display my content. I want to remove it and start fresh. It takes a lot to start from scratch but I don’t like this content. It’s not polished. I can’t share it with everyone. It’s imperfect.

I can’t answer whether having a large body of work is better or worse than having a higher quality of work. That’s something you have to decide. Would you rather put a lot of time into creating one excellent piece or five pieces? When you go online, would you rather see five mediocre videos of your favorite YouTuber or one awesome video? It’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself: quality or quantity?

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Lately I’ve been struggling with the idea that maybe everything we experience boils down to a chemicals rushing around in our heads. Our perception is based on our mood which is derived from a mess of chemicals in our brains. So if our entire life goes through our head, and our experiences are just chemical imprintations from our senses, then what does it mean? There has to be something more. This world can’t boil down to a handful of chemicals. We have to be more than just a swirl of sense information. It can’t be so robotic as to simply add more of one chemical to change our perception. We have to be more than that.

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Color to my Life

Back in August, I volunteered to drive some friends downtown while they were out drinking. As the night progressed they became incredibly drunk and things took a turn for the worst. There was a quarrel and a whole mess of people involved. At the end of night, one of them apologized to me saying that they were sorry about how everything happened. I replied to them with, “don’t worry, tonight added color to my life”.

What I meant is that no matter what happens, experience adds to your life. Whether good or bad, exciting or boring, you’re always growing. Sometimes it’s important to remember that even if a situation doesn’t feel good, you will learn from it and move on. That night was crazy but it added dimension to my life. I feel more vibrant having lived a wide range of experiences. Try to experience life in all ways, and, no matter what happens, grow from it.

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Collaborations

In the art community, collaboration isn’t unique or rare. Perhaps because we like to express ourselves, we are willing to work with others and create new things together. The music world is no different and collaborations are commonplace. Try to think of a song that Nicki Minaj song that she’s done alone? What about a song by David Guetta or just Calvin Harris? It’s difficult to name any unless you’re a big fan because most of their work is done through collaborations.

Lately I’ve been getting really into The Sounds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Metric. The more I listen to them, the more that I fall in love. By the way, did you know that those three bands formed in sequential years (1998, 1999, 2000)? Anyways, members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs lived with members of Metric for a while and it’s weird when two of your favorite bands cross paths.

As I’ve gone further into each band I’ve followed their projects and collaborations. For example, Emily Haines (lead singer of Metric) has worked with Broken Social Scene, Stars, and a few other bands. Karen O (lead singer of Muse) has done a lot of independent work. She’s done the soundtrack for Where the Wild Things Are and appeared on the 2014 Oscars. Some of the work she’s done with other artists rival her work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Sometimes our collaborations turn out like that and two minds build something greater than what one of them could have produced. Working with Carolyn Snyder during my photography 365 project definitely improved the quality of my work. Co-writing gives both writers the ability to review the other person’s work and create something greater.

Basically what I’m trying to say here is that you should go out and try a collaboration. If you blog, find someone to co-blog with you. If you sing, why not find another singer and do a duet? If you’re a photographer, find a painter and create something outside of your comfort zones. Try something new and work together with someone. It can change your style of art or just be a temporary thing. Working with others definitely improves our art!

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YouTube Sundays

Happy Sunday everyone!

I’m not sure how many people put the words “happy” and “Sunday” next to each other but I hope yours is going great! Mine was filled with running, writing an upcoming interview, and meeting new crazy awesome people. In fact, I even made you guys a YouTube video! The internet is slow here, so it’ll be up by tomorrow hopefully!

If you’re not up to date with the YouTube community, right now Playlist Live is going on! Basically it’s where YouTubers from around the world get together and do what YouTubers do! It’s fresh because your favorite people sometimes meet your other favorite people and make videos together. I’m excited about RussMarine‘s videos and Davey Wavey. Check out both their channels if you’re interested!

This week I want to make an addition to my 365 challenge; now I want to make a new YouTube video by 5PM EST every Sunday! Basically I want to get out of my awkward inability to talk to a camera. Also, hey, the YouTube community is beautiful! Why not join in on the fun?

Well, it’s past my bedtime and I made a video for you all. So I’ll cut this short with a goodnat! I’ll edit this post and show you that video tomorrow! 😀

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