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TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE. Building a Creative Career + Life with Renowned Author Chris Guillebeau on #cjLIVE [TODAY – Wednesday, May 22 11am PDT/2pm EDT]

20130522 cjLIVE Chris Guillebeau Home Page Graphic

Update: We are TODAY with renowned author, world traveler and all-around inspiration Chris Guillebeau. My dinner with Chris last night was electrifying and foreshadowed today’s show which promises to deliver the goods on how Chris has accomplished more in his 35 years than most do in a lifetime. Head over to the live page to tune in.

Prepare to have that lightbulb moment for yourself while watching the next episode of chasejarvisLIVE on Wednesday, May 22 becuase my guest is the globe trotting, “self employed for life” hacker Chris Guillebeau. In addition to being all those things plus the founder of the World Domination Summit (most amazing name ever for a creative conference…) he is a best-selling author of The $100 Startup as well as The Art of Non-Comformity. And if all that ain’t enough – just this past April he accomplished a goal that no one in the history of time has done… visit every country in the world by age 35. [a few dignitaries have done it, but nobody of Chris’ ripe age has ever pulled it off]. For a decade Chris has been championing a lifestyle that beautifully aligned with my approach. It goes something like this:

_Stop living the life others expect you to – and start living your own
_Create a life where your time is spent doing things you want to do (it sounds harder than it is, doesn’t take a lot of money, and you already have the skills you need)
_Live a remarkable life in a conventional world
_This is all closer than you really think possible – once you get over the things that scare you

If any of this stuff resonates, then I’d better see you on Wednesday. Over the years, through his remarkable books and friendship, Chris has given me an insane amount of clarity and some hefty doses of inspiration. Take your life back.


WHO: You, Me, Practicing Non-Conformist Chris Guillebeau
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, May 22, 11:00am Seattle time (2:00pm NYC time & 19:00 London time)
WHERE: Tune into It’s free. We’ll be taking your questions LIVE via Twitter —> hashtag #cjLIVE

In addition to traveling and writing, Chris founded and organizes the World Domination Summit, an annual gathering of creatives held in Portland Oregon that runs the gamut from intellectual meet-ups and keynote speakers to hammock races and bollywood dancing. Sorry, ALL 3000 TICKETS are completely sold out, but that what happens when there are enough people who share your passions. (Note: I’m honored to be one of the keynote speakers for 2013.) Oh wait, what’s that?? Read the note below – we’re giving away a ticket $500 to one lucky soul to join Chris and I at the the WDS !! And what the hell…I’ll throw in free airfare to Portland too. DETAILS BELOW!

BONUS: This always goes fast. The first 30 people to email will be eligible to part of our in-studio audience (you +1 guest) at my seattle studio. You’ll get to watch the show in person, meet Chris and some other lovelies and probably drink some mediocre champagne with us. You will receive an email confirmation if you’re one of the first 20.


This is BIG my friends… – For a chance to win a ticket to Chris’ World Domination Summit – the 100% sold out summit I mentioned earlier. I’ll see the winner there with Chris. We’ll all high five. To win, send out a creative tweet promoting the show with #cjLIVE + @chrisguillebeau + the short link to this page included..

DURING THE SHOW we’ll be giving away signed copies of Chris Guillebeau’s books The $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Conformity. Tune in to find out more.

Contest Rules here.

Here is Chris at last year’s WDS introducing a panel to discuss The $100 Startup and their own microbusinesses.

Special thanks to our sponsors who help make this show possible – please follow them and let them know you appreciate the free content. #Respect.

Help us welcome new sponsor to chasejarvisLIVE and follow them on twitter @borrowlenses.
HP: @hpprint
liveBooks: @liveBooks (p.s. they are also offering special starter package deal for a photo website, exclusive for chasejarvisLIVE fans here.

Never ‘Work’ Again — On Following Your Passion with Photographer Ian Ruhter [When Dreams Collide]

They say that when you leave your old life behind and walk the path you’re meant to be on, be prepared to leave some friends behind, and be prepared to make new ones. This has definitely been the case on my own personal path. When I finally ditched the things in my life that everyone else wanted me to do and began a fulltime charge of my life’s dream of being an artist, it put my life on a collision course with energy, vitality, and some seriously creative / talented people who have both inspired me and strengthened my resolve to continue on this path. That’s not to say shit doesn’t get hard, and that there’s an unending amount of work…but it’s just one kind of work – the kind that draws you in – not the kind that sinks your soul.

One of those cool people I’ve met along the way is my homie Ian Ruhter, another man on a mission to be different, not just better. If you keep your eyes peeled here on my blog, you know that one of the ways he’s done that is through his most recent personal project titled “Silver and Light,” in which he creates photographic art using a wet plate process that dates back to the 1850s with a camera the size of a truck. I had Ian on the show last year to demonstrate his technique and teach me how to wet plat. (Episode at the bottom of this post)

Ian’s latest video posted up top, “When Dreams Collide,” he documents his journey before our meeting -across the past and present and up to his drop-in on #cjLIVE. This particular vid, while beautifully shot, really delivers on how he crossing all boundaries and bowled through all obstacles to follow his dreams. If you need to abandon your current dead-end path, it’s worth your time.

Follow Ian across these channels:

Instagram: ianruhter

Chase Jarvis 60: Macklemore

I’m grateful to have so many friends in the Seattle community who influence and inspire me. Among them – Ben Haggerty.

Known to the world as Macklemore, Ben and his talented musical partner-in-crime Ryan Lewis have been on rocket-ship ride to hip hop stardom in the last 7 months. They have been touring non-stop and sold millions of downloads their #1 hit song Thriftshop from the incredible album The Heist. They have appeared on Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, Letterman, Colbert Report and all the other major talk shows and venues along the way. It’s been fun to watch. We were fortunate enough to have them on our humble little show chasejarvisLIVE back in October of 2011. After the show I caught up with Ben for this portrait. Enjoy the moment.

Macklemore is a talented and a wonderful human being who reminds us all to be honest, fun and grateful. To see what I’m talking about check out this blog post he wrote last week – here.

The Irreverence Episode (aka NOT GIVING A F#$%) — Author Julien Smith + Musical Guest MY GOODNESS on #cjLIVE [RE-WATCH]

We had TWO amazing guests on the this episode of chasejarvisLIVE, which aired Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

Julien Smith is a NY Times best-selling author, CEO, voice actor and radio broadcaster. To fully enjoy his appearance on our show, you need to stop giving a f*#k right now. Not about your work, but about what other people – the haters, the doubters, the “experts”, your boss, your classmates – think. I went man crush when I read his post The Complete Guide to Not Giving A F*ck and The Short Sweet Guide to Being F*cking Awesome. I hit ‘like’ on Facebook, along with 53,839 other people (seriously) and promised myself to have him on the show that day. N.G.A.F. will set you free and put you on the path to being truly awesome. It will help you do your best work and be your most creative, most true self. A heavy dose of this is what you need.

Julien reviewed his message with us:

FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.
FACT NUMBER 2. You don’t need everyone to like you.
FACT NUMBER 3. It’s YOUR people that matter.
FACT NUMBER 4. Those who don’t give a f#$% change the world. The rest do not.

NOW…. Guest #2 is the perfect accomplice to Julien and his mantra, except these guys do it with music. We tipped you off to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis …had ‘em on cjLIVE before they went quadruple platinum… Tipped you off to The Lumineers before they hit the Grammys (among others)… In this episode, we offer yet another tip…the meteoric rise of Seattle duo, My Goodness. Drums, guitars, and some heavy effing vocals, it’s garage punk Black Keys on fire.

As you might imagine, this episode was a whole lot of fun. Check it out.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos:

Special thanks to our sponsors who help make this show possible – please follow them and let them know you appreciate the free content. #Respect.

Help us welcome new sponsor to chasejarvisLIVE and follow them on twitter @borrowlenses.
HP: @hpprint
Manfrotto: @manfrotto_tweet
liveBooks: @liveBooks (p.s. they are also offering special starter package deal for a photo website, exclusive for chasejarvisLIVE fans here.

The Largest Mobile Camera in the World — Ian Ruhter’s Wet Plate Photography


Some of you who follow the blog and chasejarvisLIVE probably remember Ian Ruhter from last year’s season finale of the show. I wanted to let y’all know that Ian’s Silver and Light Project will be in Vancouver, April 2nd to April 16th. For more info on the Vancouver event go HERE.

For some background on Ian and why you should be paying attention to his work:
Ruhter and his crew shared his unique process of wetplate photography with a worldwide live audience – and me – along with his very personal story when he brought the world’s largest mobile camera to my studio and we shot several wet plate photos over the course of a 3-hour live broadcast. If you missed it, it’s one of my favorite episodes.

His project has attracted a ton of attention and is a great example of the power of personal work. He transformed his life to follow his dream to do something different in photography. He has been living the mantra of doing something different… not just better.

His personal artistic mission is for the creation of photographic art using the wet plate process dating from the 1850’s. His project “Silver and Light” is getting worldwide attention for both the story and the unique images he is creating.

Ian’s story is one that is reflected in the subjects he photographs, Severely dyslexic as a kid he found himself as an outsider challenged by many obstacles. It was his mother’s gift of an old film camera that got him started on a way to express himself and the path to his present project. In his previous career as a snowboarder Ian was a rebel, which helped lead him to his direction as a photographer.

His “American Dream” series has focused the largest portable camera in the world, a giant camera in a truck which he calls “The Time Machine”, on a cross section of others with a variety of challenges. His photographs present calm and dignified portraits that honour the subjects and tells their story. The narrative of Ian’s project and subjects are truly inspiring. Ian’s images of Los Angeles and the Mountains are one of-a-kind studies that are beautiful, mysterious, captivating and mesmerizing all at once.

Now, just up to the north from us in Seattle, Ian is at it again, sharing his passion and his amazing Time Machine camera. He is creating a body of work focusing on Vancouver, people and the stories he can find. He will also be participating in a series of talks to share his stories.

For more information on the project go HERE

The Irreverence Episode (aka NOT GIVING A F#$%) — Author Julien Smith + Musical Guest MY GOODNESS on #cjLIVE [TODAY 11am PDT/2pm EDT]

chase jarvis Julien + My Goodness Home Page Graphic
Update: We are LIVE RIGHT NOW with NY Times best-selling author, CEO, voice actor, radio broadcaster, and all-around awesome, Julien Smith and special musical guest My Goodness. Tune in to hear why not giving a F%&! can truly help you be more creative. Head over to the LIVE page.

TWO amazing guests on the next episode of chasejarvisLIVE on Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

To enjoy Guest #1… you need to stop giving a f*#k right now. Not about your work, but about what other people – the haters, the doubters, the “experts”, your boss, your classmates – think. Such is the inspiring message of NY Times best-selling author, CEO, voice actor, radio broadcaster, and all-around awesome, Julien Smith. I went man crush when I read his post The Complete Guide to Not Giving A F*ck and The Short Sweet Guide to Being F*cking Awesome. I hit ‘like’ on Facebook, along with 53,839 other people (seriously) and promised myself to have him on the show that day. N.G.A.F. will set you free and put you on the path to being truly awesome. It will help you do your best work and be your most creative, most true self. A heavy dose of this is what you need.

He has tattoos, so you know you will learn from him. And not the “think out of the box” clichéd knowledge – but the kind that reminds you to be and adaptive human being. An irreverent, self respecting, and N.G.A.F. person. This information is going to help enhance your creativity, your vision, your personal freedom and help you lead the life you want. Here are a few facts, as outlined by Julien:

FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.
FACT NUMBER 2. You don’t need everyone to like you.
FACT NUMBER 3. It’s YOUR people that matter.
FACT NUMBER 4. Those who don’t give a f#$% change the world. The rest do not.

NOW…. Guest #2 is the perfect accomplice to Julien and his mantra, except these guys do it with music. We tipped you off to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis …had ‘em on cjLIVE before the went quadruple platinum… Tipped you off to The Lumineers before they hit the Grammys (among others)… Well, prepare yourself again for another tip…the meteoric rise of Seattle duo, My Goodness. Drums, guitars, and some heavy effing vocals, it’s garage punk Black Keys on fire.

So this coming Wednesday should be a good bit of fun. Right here in my studio and live on the interwebs.

WHO: You, Me, Trust Agent Julien Smith + musical guest My Goodness
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, April 3, 11:00am Seattle time (2:00pm NYC time or 19:00 London)
WHERE: Tune into It’s free — anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

The first 30 people to email will be eligible to be part of our in-studio audience (you +1 friend). You will receive an email confirmation if you’re one of the first 30.


For a chance to win signed copies of Julien Smith’s books Trust Agents and The Impact Equation: Send out a creative tweet promoting the show with #cjLIVE + @julien + the short link to this page ( included.

But you’ll have to tune-in to find out how to enter.

Special thanks to our sponsors who help make this show possible – please follow them and let them know you appreciate the free content. #Respect.

Help us welcome new sponsor to chasejarvisLIVE and follow them on twitter @borrowlenses.
HP: @hpprint
Manfrotto: @manfrotto_tweet
liveBooks: @liveBooks (p.s. they are also offering special starter package deal for a photo website, exclusive for chasejarvisLIVE fans here.

12 Tips for Entering the Commercial Photo & Film World [Hint: It’s Not What You Think]

Hi folks, Megan here, long time staff Producer for Chase. We get a ton of email inquiries every day from guys and gals looking to “work their way into the industry” or utilize skills learned while at school. Most inquire about being a photo assistant. And while that’s certainly an option to learn a ton on-set, it’s not the only path you can take to get your feet wet in the business of commercial photography and film. It’s not often discussed, but as valuable as a good photo assistant is to a photographer, a good production assistant can be just as clutch. And it’s a way to ease in the biz without the same level of knowledge as the photo assistant gig, because a production assistant is even more about the hustle.

So I thought I’d have a little fun here and describe to you the Best Production Assistant in the World. This is all hypothetical, but if you think these are all qualities you possess, please, feel free to give your local photographer hero (or heck, even me) a call..

…are the 1st person on set
One of my favorite sayings in photography + film industries: If you’re early to the set (or location), you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, you’re fired. You should be standing around waiting, long before you’re supposed to arrive. You might not get fired the first time you’re not early, but the point is, don’t be late. Ever. Ever. Ever. Trust me, the producer doesn’t care if traffic was bad, or if your dog threw up. Be on time (= early).

…know when to be quiet
We champion the concept that a good idea can come from anywhere, but there’s a time and a place. The best PA knows when to chime in to their peers (almost NEVER directly to the photographer or director with a “creative idea” unless they ask but ALWAYS as a matter of safety – “hey that light is about to fall!”). So you’ve primarily got to know to stay quiet and observe. Getting caught chatting with the crew and making a bunch of noise is a quick way to not get hired again. Don’t be a know it all, but offer solutions to your peer group on set if you have a great idea. Generally speaking, keep your nose down and the work ethic up.

…have a car
And a decent driving record. A big part of being a PA is running errands, which is hard to do efficiently if you’re always waiting for the bus. Public transport is acceptable in NYC, Paris, London, etc, but usually frowned upon in non major-metro areas.

…are able to lift 50 lbs… easily.
There’s a lot of schlepping that goes on. You need to have some decent bicep strength and a healthy back. Be in shape, don’t be a slacker. If you’re not tired after a day of work, you either a) didn’t work hard enough or b) got lucky with a slack job. If b), don’t count on getting too many of those and don’t build your mentality of how in shape you should or shouldn’t be around the b) scenario. Be at least moderately physically fit – it will pay off.

…have no ego
Being a PA is not glamorous. At all. You’ll be asked to do things like take out the trash + clean up spills, all with a smile on your face. But doing so with pleasure and expediently is sure to get noticed and respected. Seriously. And in fact, I’ll add to this category… maybe even the most important thing… Have an amazing attitude. Nobody likes a whiner, a nay-sayer, a negative Nancy. Be a yes-boss, with a smile and some skills. Be positive. Oh, and be polite too. It’s amazing how far that goes.

…have a strong work ethic
You are working your tail off from the moment you walk on set, until you step out the door. The best PA is ready to work as hard and as long as it takes to get the job done. If any other PA or assistant is carrying stuff, cleaning, etc and you’re not, you’re not doing your job. Know when you need to steer clear of certain roles (Gaffer, Grip, etc) especially on union jobs – and know when to help. The more you’re around this stuff, the more you’ll understand the subtleties here.

…have a slight case of OCD
Attention to detail is the name of the game in production. The best PA is super organized and on top of his or her stuff. Always. If you’re a flake or even moderately poorly organized, this will show up quickly. Respect gets doled out if you can take on a project and complete it without being micro managed. On the contrary, no one wants to have to tell you the best way to “get coffee”. So you have to be able to figure it out. Efficiently and effectively.

…anticipate what needs to be done
See that the recycle bin is full? You empty it before being asked. The coffee pot is empty? You brew another pot before another crew member goes to refill his or her cup. Find yourself with nothing to do? Start making the rounds and ask if anyone needs a water. Anticipation shows that you understand what the heck is going on. Which, in turn, is the fastest way to get respect, a raise, a promotion.

…think on your feet
We’re always dealing with real-time problems on-set that need real-time solutions. The best PA is able to go with the flow and help resolve the issues at hand in a timely manner.

…remain calm under pressure
In the immortal words of Jimmy Dugan, “there’s no crying in baseball.” Or on photography sets. Be clear headed. Like Fonzi.

…value presentation
Sometimes there’s a designated Craft Services professional on set, and sometimes it falls on the PA to shop for and put out breakfast, lunch, snacks and bevies. The best PA has a keen eye for presentation, whether it’s food, a pile or cords, a stack of apple boxes, or whatever. Make stuff look nice. (You also hopefully have a sense of style, whether it’s food or design. Understand that setting down a can of Cheese Whiz and a pack of Saltines OR wearing your flip flops to a celebrity shoot is usually no bueno.)

…are resourceful
Perhaps the most useful and prized of all PA attributes, this one will help you out in any and/or all facets of the creative industry. You know who to call, where to go, how to make it happen, or you can figure it out without much oversight. Try to “know people” who can get shiz done – whether it’s a welder or a car wash, the owner of a photo store or the guy behind the rental counter. Make an effort to know people. And know how to do stuff. Lots of stuff. Sure you can make coffee, but can you properly coil cords and cables? Can you paint (as in walls)? Can you parallel park? Can you fix broken stuff? Can you MacGyver your a$$ off? The more stuff you know how to do, the better. BE RESOURCEFUL.

Of course having some experience is preferred in every line of work, but it’s not 100% required when starting out. There’s something to be said for possessing the innate ability to “figure it out.” If you’re eager to please and ready to work your booty off, starting as a PA might be a good entrée to the industry. You’ll certainly get to see the underbelly of the photography + film worlds, which is often a good thing if you’re wondering if this photography thing is a good line of work for you. Gotta see the sausage being made in the basement to know where all that industry flavor comes from…

Everybody’s gotta start somewhere.

Insider Interview with Macklemore — Staying Independent, Humble + Going Quadruple Platinum

As many of you who are regular readers know, I am longtime friend (and fan of course) of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Ben (Macklemore) and I get coffee at the same joint. He has played dinner parties at my studio and he and Ryan deployed a magical performance on chasejarvisLIVE among other things over the years. But it is with a special appreciation that I’ve been attuned their meteoric rise to the top of the musical charts in the last six months. Quadruple MF’ing platinum, that is. For those who are counting, that’s 4 million copies of “Thrift Shop” alone… all without a label. Not only do these guys represent a great new era of conscious hip hop, but they represent the opportunity of the future for independant artists everywhere And I can say these guys are hard working, humble and dedicated to their craft.. unabashedly this success couldn’t have happened to better people. Well, last weekend those cats achieved their dream of being the musical guest on Saturday Night Live (video above). A few weeks ago, just a couple hours before a sold out Red Rocks show in Denver, my homie and manager Jerard sat down with Ben and his manager Zach Quillen (also a stellar gent) for an interview. Enjoy. -Chase

[Interview has been edited and shortened for print]

CJ: Can you tell us a little bit about this time in your life right now? This album’s only been out for five months and has sold hundreds of thousands of downloads. Thriftshop is double-platinum. You’re blowing up. (chase’s note… this was a month ago, and it’s already quadruple platinum now…)

Macklemore: It has completely exceeded my expectations of what I thought the project would do and what I hoped it would do. We sold 78,000 our first week. We were expecting to sell around 25,000 to 30,000.  It was a lot bigger than any of us anticipated.  Coming in at number two on Billboard independently is something that we are all really proud of. We decided to put out the album ourselves. And it kind-of worked. And we didn’t know if it was gonna work; we didn’t know what the, you know, what the reaction was gonna be.

I think that you have, on one side you have things like numbers that mark how far you’re going up, like, the hierarchical ladder of success. And you also have something which is the art. And wanting your art to resonate with the people that are hearing your art. The people, the fans that were there, the people that are hearing you for the first time, you hope that you have an album that garners critical acclaim as well as selling units. And you hope that you have both. And I think that, with The Heist, it turns out that, you know, we’ve had success in both of those areas. But the most important, for me, is the art. And that’s something that I am very proud of on The Heist. And I’m not saying that to be like, “Look what we’ve done. Ha!” I’m saying that because I’m still really fucking surprised that has happened. And you know, when we made “Thrift Shop”, we made the album, I didn’t think there was any chance that we would have a shot at commercial radio whatsoever. Like, if we didn’t sign a major label deal, literally in my head I didn’t think there was a percentage of a chance that it would take off at radio.  It’s weird to be recognized in public as kind-of like the “Thrift Shop Guy” right now.  I didn’t anticipate that. And once the record kind-of takes off to the level where it has, to where you’ve sold, you know, you’ve gone double platinum and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down… it’s very exciting but at the same time it’s a little bit scary. Like, “What the hell did I sign up for?”  “I can’t turn back now.” It’s a transitional period. And also life feels completely the same as it did a month ago or as it did three months ago. But in terms of where I’m at in my life…everything’s the same. And yet, the attention is such a different level and you’re still the same person. And yet you have the number one record in America. That’s bizarre and strange. So I’m adapting to that.

CJ: I like what you said about underneath all that recognition, for you, is really the art. And you first came to my attention through Chase. Back in 2009 or so you were on his show Songs for Eating and Drinking and you did a song that, at that point, was called “Air Jordans” and that’s actually on The Heist as –“Wings”.  You put your heart and soul into this album. Starting way back then, really busting this song out for, what I assume was, one of the first times.

Macklemore: It was THE first time. [I recall] I had forgotten about the event and I woke up from a nap and it was like fifteen minutes until it started. And I printed off the last thing that I had written which was “Wings”, which was then titled “Air Jordans” ‘cause I had just woken up from a nap and had no idea what to call it. Yeah that was the first time.

CJ: At that point, you had turned the corner in your career. You were a professional musician. You’re…

Macklemore: Nah, I was fresh out of rehab, living in my parent’s basement.

CJ: Okay, we’ll go back to that, but you had made a choice to be a musician. You were pursuing your craft full time.

Macklemore: Drugs and then art. [laughs] Nah, I at that point, yes, I had… you know, stopped smoking and drinking and I was just trying to get kinda get back on my feet.

CJ: The transition from that point to today is… is rather dramatic. Today you are double platinum (see earlier note) and then you were waking up from a nap. But underneath it is really your art and your craft. And I think that’s important for you know people who are interested in you and pursuing their own work That here’s Ben saying, Macklemore is saying, “Hey, even when you’re at the top you still have perspective on that.” Now lets take it back to your parents basement and how your work pulled you out of that time period in your life as well.

Macklemore:  To go back even further, I think I was then, and always have been the type of person that would have no moderation with drugs and alcohol.  Ever since I first started at fifteen years old. I also wasn’t the type of person that could create while being, you know, high on weed and drinking alcohol. And I smoked weed, once I was smoking weed it was like a wake-up-in-the-morning-’til-go-to-bed-and-pass-out thing. Wake up the next morning, smoke the roach, call the drug dealer and wake him up at nine o’clock. It was just that type of cycle. And so I wasn’t making music, and it continued to get worse. And I went to treatment, got out, and it was really kind-of a rebirth for me. I got another shot at this. And I thought, if this doesn’t work now, I’m gonna have to go and pursue something else. That’s a scary place for an artist to be. I always had this faith.

Somebody asked me recently, “What was it that kept you going when it wasn’t popping off, when you were broke? What was it that kept that artistic spirit going?” And for me it was this thing that if I did get sober, if I could get sober, that I knew I would have a career making music. I didn’t know that it would look like this; I didn’t know that it would look like what it looked like two years ago. But I felt like I could sustain myself off of my art. But getting out of treatment that was gruesome, dark. That  was a very dark and depressing time.year. It was very much, “If this doesn’t work I’m gonna go get a nine to five and do something that I probably am gonna hate doing and resent a good portion of my early twenties for not handling my shit.” And, very blessed the fact that it worked out.  And that’s when Ryan [Lewis] and I were making the verses to EP.

CJ: The guys here at The Business of Fun have this analogy that’s called the aircraft carrier analogy.  That there are five thousand guys that run an aircraft carrier. There only a  hundred pilots. But there’s this huge support system behind any of the things that are out front, the people that are out front. So you and Ryan are out front but your manager Zach is sort-of in the boiler room sometimes. It’s relevant because when you have a passion for something, you don’t necessarily have to be the MC; you don’t necessarily have to be the double platinum artist. There are people behind the people.

Zach Quillen: What Ben and I have in common there is that I was never gonna be satisfied or happy with a nine to five–a traditional nine to five. I got fired from like every job I had in high school for having an attitude problem. And it ultimately was that I didn’t wanna work for anybody but me. And always had a passion for music but not, you know, not necessarily the other things that you need talent-wise to be out front, be up at center. So this was as close as I could get. I wanted to stand as close as I could to people like Ben and use the talents that I had developed over the years to help them achieve what they want to achieve. And ultimately achieve what I wanted to achieve alongside.  I never saw any other option. And if you know anything about getting into the music business it’s, especially at first, there’s nothing glamorous about it. While Ben was performing in front of eight people in Omaha I was making like $22,000 a year living in New York City, barely coming up with money to buy groceries. It’s a similar path in that way – where you just have to love it. It has to be everything for you. I was totally fine to be broke in New York as long as I got to stand next to these super talented people that were making music, that were changing people’s lives. I didn’t care about really anything else.

CJ: There’s this perception of the glamour of it, but really there’s a grind. Whether it’s sport, or art, music, photography, how are you gonna be committed to it when the work  is really kicking you in the balls everyday?  And you guys both went through that.

Macklemore: That process it doesn’t stop. It… that never lets up.  I’m off like an hour of sleep right now coming from New York. And we do Red Rocks tonight, fly out at six o’clock in the morning which means that we’re back at the airport at four o’clock in the morning to catch the flight. It’s more of a grind than it ever has been. A lot of it isn’t fun. Still. But it is my life’s work. This is what I’ve always wanted. And you need to constantly be reminding yourself that as you evolve because, if you’re not grateful in those moments, like, sure I might’ve got an hour of sleep last night but I was on David Letterman. And I never thought in my life I would be on David Letterman.

CJ:  Can you share with us some of those influences today, and some of the things that helped bring you up, that you really paid attention to?

Macklemore:  I try to pay attention to art outside of hip-hop. I don’t do a very good job of doing that. But when I am paying attention to art that’s not just hip-hop, I am often times inspired in a way that I can’t get if I just go to like the same like four hip-hop blogs that I go to everyday. Yesterday I watched a concert film from David Byrne of The Talking Heads. And it’s this show that he did probably like in the eighties.  I didn’t know anything about David Byrne of The Talking Heads. Like I recognized some songs as I was watching this film, but… You know, he comes on stage with just like a boombox and presses play. And it’s just him with the boombox. And as the show goes on, you know, he adds a bass player, and a guitar player, and some dancers, and a drummer. And it turns into this whole, huge set–a huge production. And it’s watching things like that. Like great, great minds–people that are thinkers–that wanna challenge what a show looks like, wanna challenge the audience to really be engaged with them, with what they’re performing. And thinking about it in a different way. Like I think that, you know, I’ve been thinking about our show and not really happy with the show that we put on. I’m really happy with what we can deliver but I think we can do better. And I don’t know that I could do better if I’m only watching, if I’m only checking out hip-hop blogs. ‘Cause for the most part, like, rap concerts suck. You need to be inspired by other mediums. When I was writing The Heist I was taking walks in graveyards and trying to write at the art museum. Buying books and reading a couple chapters and putting it down and picking up a different book. Just trying to constantly be inspired by culture and just trying to get that spark that can lead to a new song. ‘Cause if I’m only listening to hip-hop music, if I’m only living my day-to-day life the same every single day, constantly, there’s no fuel to create something brand new. And that’s how I stay inspired.

You have to be able to experience life to have something new to write about. I don’t wanna write The Heist again. Like The Heist was a moment in time. I am a very conceptual writer. I can’t write those same songs again. I need to have new experiences to draw from to be able to put into my art.

CJ: [Question from live studio audience] If you could choose one song out of any of the songs that you have written for the world to hear, what would that song be and why?

Macklemore: I’d probably say, right now–and hopefully it will change ‘cause I write new songs and it evolves–but in 2013 it would probably be “Same Love”. THat song carries a message that I want to be heard around the world. And I think it’s an important message. It’s a message of tolerance, of equality, of compassion, of understanding, of pushing ourselves and our own bias and our own stereotypes. And I think that that’s my highest potential as an artist is to write songs–anyone’s highest potential–is to write songs that have an impact on society, have an impact on people’s lives, that can create dialogue within other people. You know “Same Love” is not a song that’s like you listen to it and I want you to immediately agree with everything that I say in the song. I don’t want you to feel that way out of any of the songs that I write. Everyone interprets music differently and messages differently. But what I hope is that it facilitates dialogue, that people listen to “Same Love” and then have a conversation. Or re-evaluate the words that they use, the language that they use. Or their, potentially their own, um, their own set of beliefs and retrace the lineage of why they are the way that they are. That’s essentially the greatest tool of music, is to… for us to examine who we are, find our truth, and evolve. And I think that “Same Love” falls into that category.

CJ: [Audience Question]Malcolm Gladwell talks about how if you really dedicate yourself to something and invest 10,000 hours you cmaster your craft. But he also really connects that blood, sweat, and tears, the passion, with kind-of this serendipitous opportunity, if you will, like a moment, a magical moment where the universe aligns and allows you commit to that craft.  Was there a moment or a period in your life that holds true to that ideal for you?.

Macklemore: Woah, yeah, That’s a great question. It kind-of gave me like a, uh… it brought up some emotion actually. There was a moment. I was, um, I was in treatment. I tried, as I said before, I tried my whole life to get sober. And I didn’t know how to do it. And always felt that I had  words to share with people. I didn’t know on what scale that would be. I didn’t know if that was like a hundred people or a hundred thousand. I didn’t know what that meant but I felt in my heart that I had something to share.  There was a monk And in treatment I had this moment. I was accumulating these tools to stay sober and part of the guy that was kind-of leading me through the steps in treatment was a practicing Buddhist monk. And we went to a monastery. And we were doing this kind-of this chanting and walking in a circle, walking in some figure eight circle. And you know earlier in my life I, when I got out of high school I couldn’t get into any colleges. No one would accept me. I cheated in school on math from sixth grade on. So I, when it came down to like the SAT’s, it’s a lot harder to cheat on the SAT’s. Looking over your friend’s shoulder doesn’t exactly work the same. I don’t recommend anybody doing that. I couldn’t get into  any schools. So I went to I went to India for a couple months when I graduated from high school. And I had this experience there of, I was like meditating on top of–this all sounds like really “Losty” and like very hippie but it’s just the truth. So I was meditating on top of a hill and I had this very serene peaceful moment. I meditated. And it was the first time I had ever done it where there was like no thoughts in my mind. It probably lasted for like two seconds, but I did it. And I’d been trying for a while. Mostly through hallucinogenics I was trying and that didn’t work.

So I finally like hit this point naturally and the first, thing that kind-of brought me out of this state of, you know, two seconds of kind-of just serene peace was this thought of, like, “This is so incredible. This is so amazing. What I’m feeling right now is the truth. This is my highest potential…” And then, “but you’re gonna go back to using drugs and alcohol.” And I was eighteen years old at the time. And it was a very depressing way to kind-of exit out of this moment. And I knew it. I was sober at that moment, but I knew I was eventually gonna go back to Seattle. Or it was gonna be a couple days later or whatever and I was going to go back. And when I was doing this chanting, you know, some, you know, probably eight years later, I had that exact same kind-of moment. And it brought me back to that place. And I was like, “I don’t need to go back anymore.” And then, “That’s it.” I didn’t come out of that like meditation space as I did before.  “I’m gonna go back. I’m gonna fuck up again. I’m gonna be a drug addict.” My thought was, “You don’t have to do that. And it’s your choice.”

That was my moment that I turned around. You know, since then it hasn’t been perfect. If you’ve heard the song “Starting Over” that’s obvious. But, my life changed in that treatment center. You know, I really have my life and my craft, and my art, everything that is good in my life, my relationships with my girlfriend and my family and my manager, and being present in this moment right here is all do to the fact that I’m sober.

So that was that moment.

CJ: Great question, awesome answer. I think we actually have to take you guys back. I think you’ve got something to do tonight. Thank you so much for making the time to come and talk to us.

Macklemore: Thank you. This is fantastic. I appreciate everyone for coming out.

ZQ: Thank you.

[To see the video of the above interview go here]
And check out the folks who made this interview possible (doing some very cool things) at The Business of Fun

Join Me! LIVE in a Google Hangout from Aspen Talking Photography, Music, SXSW and more…. with Robert Scoble & Chris Davenport.

UPDATE: here’s a recording of our chat…above! Thanks to all of you who watched live.

LIVE today at 9:30 PDT, 10:30 Aspen, 12:30 NYT, 17:30 London right here on the blog or on my YouTube channel

I’m smack dab in the middle of shooting next year’s campaign for Aspen (last years BTS video here with octocopers and wicked visuals) but had the morning off and managed to wrangle a couple friends for a live Google Hangout to discuss a bunch of questions that have come across my desk in the last week about the Aspen/Snowmass campaign (helicopters and photography), my new favorite music, the democratization of technology and a few other odds and ends that you will find of interest. Joining me is one of the key talent for my Aspen shoot, one of the world’s best skiers, Chris Davenport, the tech guru Robert Scoble (fresh outta SXSW) and the digital maven here in Aspen, David Amirault.

Let Go of Fear and Find Your Art — Without Failure, We Don’t Know Success

Death Do Us Part from Ian Ruhter : Alchemist on Vimeo.

In six short years, my friend Ian Ruhter lost some of the closest people in his life. This video is about finding the strength to move on from the past. As Ian explains to us “I got to a point where I had to let go of the past in order to move forward into the future. I reached the point where I had to let go, was no other choice. “. This story follows Ian, his assistants, and that same incredible wet plate mobile camera-truck we had here in my Seattle studio on chasejarvisLIVE. Check out the episode here.

“Death Do Us Part is the fear of letting go of our past in order to reach for the future. When we take this leap of faith we decide to let go of our fears. We begin free falling with nothing to hold on to. These are the rare instances that we are actually living in the moment. Your support is the driving force behind our project. We could not have done this without you. We have made it this far because you shared and supported us through our social networking sites. We were able to connect with the people in this film because of the internet. Every time you share or like this project it brings us one step closer to photographing your town, people you know, possibly even you. Become a part of our journey.” -Ian Ruhter

Legendary Celebrity Photog Chris Buck + Musical Guest Hey Marseilles on cjLIVE – [RE-WATCH]

In this episode of chasejarvisLIVE I sat down with legendary photographer Chris Buck and hosted special musical guest Hey Marseilles.

Chris has taken the concept of “celebrity photography” and flipped it upside-down. By applying a playful, twisted fine art mentality to celebrity photography (and his commercial work) Chris has created some of the most interesting work I’ve seen. He is truly one of my all-time favs. We talked about everything under the sun, including his work with editorial giants like GQ and Esquire and what it’s like to photograph President Obama and what his life is like as the photographer of a good 100 or so of the top celebrities in the world. Never afraid to push the line – Chris often erases it, which is why he’s been one of the most powerhouse photographers of the past decade.

Also featured in this episode was some incredible music. Remember more than a year ago when we brought you LIVE to our humble little show bands like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (now #1 in the USA, double platinum, and headed to perform on this week on SNL – March 2) and The Lumineers (nominated for 2 Grammys) long before they were blowing up? Well we did that same thing again for this show. Hey Marseilles, brought us a full performance. Thanks for tuning in if you caught it LIVE and if not tune in for the next episode of chasejarvisLIVE for yet another conversation with the most fascinating people I know, who are doing big things in the world – coming April 3.

Special thanks to our sponsors who help make this show possible – please follow them and let them know you appreciate the free content. #Respect.
Help us welcome new sponsor to chasejarvisLIVE and follow them on twitter @borrowlenses. They are helping make the world a more creative place by supporting the show and supplying gear to photographers and filmmakers everywhere who need a gear solution TODAY.

Manfrotto: @manfrotto_tweet
liveBooks: @liveBooks (p.s. they are also offering special starter package deal for a photo website, exclusive for chasejarvisLIVE fans here.
HP: @hpprint
Broncolor: @hasselbladbron

From Obscurity to Internet Sensation — How Creatives Can Win the PR Game with Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is a media genius who promotes, inflates and hacks some of the biggest names and brands in the world. He’s also the Director of Marketing for American Apparel. Oh, and he’s just 25 years old. His point-of-view is enlightening when it comes to understanding today’s complex media landscape. You might remember that I had him on chasejarvisLIVE last year. Since then his book ‘Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator’ has become a bestseller and his secrets have become well known. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene (who appeared on another super popular episode on chasejarvisLIVE here), he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known. His strategies are used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and have been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company. Ryan is back in Seattle teaching for creativeLIVE (happening today and tomorrow here) with a course on PR for artists, entrepreneurs and businesses where he will be going deep with some of the topics we touch on in this interview.

CJ:I believe that this is the most exciting time in the history of mankind to be an artist. And I’ve heard you say that we’ve entered a “new economic model.” Do you agree with the fact there is more opportunity for creatives right now than ever?

RH:I totally agree. Look, you could post a video online tomorrow and it could get a million views within 24 hours. You could email a link to your product to a blogger and it could become a major media story within minutes. And what does all that cost? NOTHING. It’s amazing. I don’t think those things were ever possible before, or if they were, you’d have to retain enormously expensive agencies and professionals to help you. So yes, it’s a spectacular time to be a creative. HOWEVER, it’s not always as simple as just posting a video or emailing a link. Look at the people who have managed to have repeated success online–there are methods and tricks and processess that make this replicable and possible and that’s what I’ve spent my time studying, implementing and writing about.

CJ: You are a well-known voracious reader. What books could you recommend for people who are interested in growing their PR and Media efforts?

RH: Believe it or not, I think some of the best books about marketing don’t talk about marketing at all.
I like the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, I think Saul Alinsky’s books on community organizing are AMAZING (Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals). I would also suggest people read Clay Shirky’s book about Here Comes Everybody and the book Blue Ocean Strategy (which is easily translatable to marketing and positioning your creative business). And of course, Seth Godin has laid out probably the best basics in terms of understanding marketing and business in Purple Cow, Permission Marketing, The Icarus Deception and all those books. I tried to write my book to fill in the gaps

CJ: What is the first step for a creative to get their work noticed… from someone besides their mom?

RH: I’d say hold on a second. People think about marketing too early and too late. Before you think about, I want creatives to be POSITIVE their work and business is ready for lots of attention. If your website sucks or your distribution is disorganized, do you really want anyone other than your mom to buy from you? Getting in the New York Times would be a disaster. So hang on a second and make sure your house is in order (and this is something we’re going to talk about in the creativeLIVE class today and tomorrow.
Then I would say: are you ready to be a full time marketer? Because marketing is not something you do two weeks before the product comes out either. It’s a lifestyle. You have to think and breathe it constantly. You have to know the influencers in your space, create messages and content they can spread. You have to bake that into your product. In other words, campaigns take time and resources and unless you’re going to dedicate yourself to doing it–it won’t happen and you won’t get results.

CJ: What are the tools you could not live without in getting your job done?

RH: There’s no question the single most effective tool in marketing is relationships: who do you know? Who can you reach out to to share your message? If you don’t have any answer to those questions it doesn’t matter how many great apps or tools you have. So I want to recommend that people spend less time obsessing about technology and more time with people, building connections, friendships and reciprocal relationships. But personally in terms of tools, I’m completely dependent on Google Docs and Basecamp. It’s how I collaborate with my employees and keep all my research and contacts organized.

CJ: Who are the people you really admire in today’s over-saturated world of noisy content? Who is breaking through that noise and more importantly,why are they able to?

RH: Joey Roth, who I’m going to have on during my class is an amazing example of what a talented, driven person can do–how one designer running his own small business can get more PR and publicity than he knows what to do with. And he gets it for the right reasons: he makes a great product and connects to the right influencers to share it. I’m going to talk to him and get him to share his secrets with everyone in the class.

The term PR is a slippery one these days. There is this blurry line between PR and Marketing now — but it really seems to put the individual creator at an advantage. What is efficient PR in 2013? Is there still a place for Edelman and giants of the PR world? Or are they on their way out in this time of the creator taking control?

RH: To me, PR and marketing are the same thing. And they all come down to a single principle in today’s attention economy: doing interesting things. Businesses need to be create content and messages that facilitate their customers talking about them and their product. That’s PR–giving the public something to talk about and relate to. Obviously there is still a place for PR giants because giant companies have totally different problems than entrepreneurs and growing companies. But if I had a choice, I’d much rather be a creator–operating on a small scale, able to do exciting things and quickly getting my message out.

CJ: Lets assume, with the help of your methodology and a lot or hard work, a creative achieves a level of success. They get the business, the attention, some audience. How do they take it to the next level?

RH:Marketing is how you scale–as they’re calling it now it’s a form of “growth hacking.” At the end of the day, the whole point of market is to drive new business right? So if you’re not doing that with your marketing its just an art project. For me, as I’ve grown my business, I’ve tried to bring people along with me. I am always training new people, teaching them what I know so they can come along and grow. I want to take on new clients so I can give them (and myself) an opportunity to try new things. I think creatives have an obligation to pay it forward and give the same training and advice that people gave them. To me that goes hand and hand with scaling up your business from a one man shop to a two man shop to a many-person shop.

CJ: Final thought: What are the opportunities that you see creatives missing? The things right in front of our faces that can make a massive difference in success that most people walk right by?

RH: The web is infinite. There’s no limit to the amount of content it can produce or the amount of posts that a blog can publish. So stop thinking that getting press is hard. People WANT to write and talk about you. So give them what they want! Stop sitting around and waiting for them to come to you. Embrace this awesome opportunity and use it to your advantage.

Check out Ryan on this week’s creativeLIVE workshop here.
Ryan Holiday currently lives in New Orleans with his rebellious puppy, Hanno.

What You Need for Your Photography Business – [Guess What? It’s Not a Camera]

Put bluntly, if we creatives want to make a real livelihood with our work – we need to realize that the business end of the stick if we’re holding. And while you know I’m always up for the occasional rant on this topic, I today decided to save myself a few blood vessels and some hot air, and instead passed the baton over to my homie, best-selling business/finance author and master of psychology, Ramit Sethi. I’ve said this before in public – Ramit taught me more about the business side of art in 30 minutes than I’d learned in the previous 5 years. As such, if you listen to one person about this shiz, I suggest you listen to Ramit. – Chase

Thanks Chase.

Let me start by asking you a couple questions.

Do you need the latest camera or software? Will it help grow your business?

Or is it more likely that the latest shiny equipment is distracting you from finding clients who will pay what you’re worth?

Today, as in right now, creating a framework to think about whether buying the latest equipment will actually help you grow your creative business and earn more money. Here’s how this came up: I was in San Francisco, shooting a day of video, and on a break I overheard my crew talking about whether they should buy a $70,000 camera to grow their business.

My ears perked up. I asked them why they would buy it. Their answers were wishy-washy and vague: “Well…it’ll help us get exposure…” So on the spot I suggested a framework to use when deciding whether to purchase new equipment for your creative business.

You might be surprised to hear what I suggested.

1) There’s a time and a place when buying the right equipment will help grow your business
2) But surprisingly, most clients don’t care about your equipment
3) If you can figure out what they value, you can save tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and actually make your clients happier — at the same time.

Put another way: I’ve hired many photographers, videographers, writers, and designers in the last 3 years. Can you guess how many times I’ve asked what camera or software they use? Answer: Zero. I’ve spoken to Chase about this as well. How many times do you think he’s been asked about his equipment unless it’s a super elite, over the top shoot. His answer is the same: zero. Put simply… buyers simply don’t care about that. And usually that equipment won’t help you make the thing you need to make.

Now, there is a time and a place to invest in the right equipment. You can become the ‘specialty guy or gal’ at this or that, but I bet dollars to donuts that we’re not talking about what you need NOW. When you’re growing your creative business, here’s a little video to guidance how to know whether you should invest in new equipment…or decide to first focus on other areas of your business….

By the way, in the video I mention deeply understanding your clients to figure out what they value. (This is how you can find better clients, charge more, and work with the people you want to.) If you’re curious how I study my own clients, here’s the actual survey I’ve used to generate over $100,000. Feel free to use it for your own business.

I now return you to your regular programming. [Thanks Ramit! – chase]

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