Gallery Show, July 11 4-8pm

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Click image to enlarge.

It’s been awhile but I’m dusting off the beret and the protruding tea cup finger to display a range of some of my visuals at the CAb this coming Saturday, July 11th, 4-8pm, 8443 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305. I’m recovering from an injury so that’s going to force a little scramble in terms of installations but everything will be up in time. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to hold off on presenting my most recent project though. I’ll be presenting photo and video. There will be food and music by a DJ; free admission. There’s a permanent collection, my stuff and some of the other artist rooms might be open.

It’s a good place for local artists to show their work so bear that in mind if you’re an artist or a patron looking for something to support in the neighborhood. The open house varies from monthly to bi-monthly, if I’m correct. You can search Facebook for Ericco Studio to fact check that.

I’ve wanted to get back into displaying some of the stuff so this will be fresh step. So many things have changed over the years with the how and who to collaborate with that there is a void of connection despite all of the communication mediums available. There’s also the transition from youth to older. You have to find different options in different ways. Well, this is supposed to be an announcement post rather than a musing so I’ll cut it here.

J-P’s Frenglish

Jean-Paul Mann

Jean-Paul Mann was a photographer who was very open to me about many things technical, business and life-related. He constantly excused himself for his Frenglish as though he was the only French speaker that anyone had ever heard in Los Angeles. He was, however, the only Jean-Paul Mann that I had ever met.

He was introduced to me through my homegirl Lu and I would frequently pass by his office and talk the talk. Dude was open to talking to anyone, especially if they were pushing photography with skill. Big time pro in Europe, never quite finding his footing in the U.S. due to health and the resulting fatigue; The cat had a good spirit but a weak heart. It wasn’t the heart that got him as much as it tried.

After trying to catch up to him for months, I came to find out he wasn’t well. The not-well went permanent. Now, I’m typing this. My Los Angeles is lesser without imagery, the Frenglish and the man.

Jean-Paul Mann MM

Jean-Paul Mann website #1 (for however long its up)

Varmints

Preparation and production, that’s what little professionals are made of…

5 = 2009’s Number of associates, acquaintances who I had previously done business with who have completely shafted me on payment. All happened in the first part of the year. Oh you fool, repeat after me: “50% up front nonrefundable deposit”. You can give exceptions to associates, acquaintances who you’ve previously, etc. but the number 5 has me thinking about hardcore stance on the deposit. Now it’s going to wind up being 5 court dates instead of get back to me when you have your deposit. Leverage gone. You can’t always tell when someone’s going to go full on skank with their business so I guess you have to value your piece of mind better than I have.

I forget = Number of associates, acquaintances who made partial payments. One character paid most of/but not full the balance. She referred another client to me (who paid in full) and I guess considered her balance paid as part of an unspoken finder’s fee. Who knows. It wasn’t enough money to stress. She burned the people who vouched for her shortly thereafter also so I guess there’s more than one sucker this side of the ocean.

The conundrum there is that some gigs you have to get credit. But one of the event gigs I shot, the “client” didn’t like how the event went and didn’t need the shots and so holding the shots only now serve as evidence for small claims court. Time sensitive stuff seems to hold the most ransom value but disorganized people/companies tend to let timelines slip so you can’t really bank on that either. Hm… ruthless eradication of the rodent class seems to be the most surefire way of not having problems.

But… I was doing a freelance motion gig at a global ad agency about 3 years ago. High rise, bomb gear, corporate stiff. Before sitting in on the meeting for the beer company ad I was there for I overhead some account execs having heated words regarding an electronics company (brand of my first full-size keyboard). It seems the electronics company were wayyyyyy past due (7&1/2 months past a previous extension to my foggy recollection) to $1/2 a million. They were looking at filing big legal beatdown to the electronics company while the electronics company’s agenda was to see how they could somehow get their upcoming campaign worked on while still being deep in the hole with no end in sight. Corporate skankitry. Wascally wabbits.

They made me go outside to get it.

If you see me lighting the runway don’t come up to me, “Excuse me. I’m not trying to do your job but… I’m a photographer and…”. Who isn’t? You’re not even the photographer on the job. Shut up. Read a book. Go play in the traffic because you don’t know the instructions. You’re not intimate to the situation.

So I’m reacquainting myself with the world away from my computer because… you know… the work is out there and it’s only going to be on my computer with a combination of multiple efforts. Saturday night — sit at the pad, go out and waste time on a bad flick, or score a couple of ducats watching young ladies walking in strange clothing on a runway illuminated by my Croatia-made halogens? No contest. I believe many people get lulled into the Lotto mentality where they await their one break. Whereas you hear stories of individuals plucked from obscurity and thrust into the big time, I’ve witnessed alien abductions at a rate of 10,000: 1.

The doors are numerous. Those are your “breaks” and you cannot behold yourself to one door. Because that door that opened for you has another direction possible. Business is an absolute bitch as a creative. As a pro photographer I’ve done more cross reference, analysis, charting than any other commercial endeavor I’ve involved myself in save publishing. In motion design, visual effects, etc. it’s all been about skills and technique. Professional photography is slow and continual torture as it’s more about finding ways to get intimate to bank accounts of the buyers by first somehow leapfrogging their cylindrical receptionist.

Promo cards, web sites, source books, various promo tools don’t weigh as greatly as running into a cat in casual conversation where you find out they’re a creative director at Pleasegivemeawholelotofmoney Advertising. This cat I know started talking to some dude in a slow moving bank line. Cat came to find out dude wanted to go bungee jumping but no one else had ever considered going with him. Cat said he could go in a month barring schedule changes. Cat soon learned dude was a VP at Bigassmoviecompany. Cat was dangling from a rubber band that weekend. When he bounced back he had a 2-movie deal at Bigassmoviecompany. Sproing.

I opened an account at that branch with f!!king skydiving goggles.

Rusty the security guard gets a little nervous when I walk in to check on my negative balance. What a punk.

jacqui is pretty