26 December 2010

New photos

Can't travel this holiday so I spent some time taking photos around the neighborhood. Processed using the new HDR Efex Pro plugin and photoshop.

14 December 2010

Holiday Cards

Usually I try for an outdoor image but I've been housebound lately because of illness so I used some holiday tree decorations.

29 November 2010

Back to basics

I think drawing is still the most basic skill in all the visual arts. Nothing compares to learning about perspective, depth, form... you name it. It's something you can do anywhere and anytime with materials so cheap anyone can afford it... even me.

I often work from photos on complicated subjects like this guy. On vacation though I like to draw whatever is in front of me.

Since I am in the middle of some not very pleasant surgeries right now, drawing really makes things seem a little easier to deal with.

21 November 2010

Living for the Truth - revisited

I made this doc in 2001 and was never happy with it. So after upgrading to the new Final Cut Suite, I decided a severe cut was in order. 60 minutes to 7. The longer version is very dry. This is much more lively and helps hide the very bad video quality of the clips. The clips of her performing and lecturing were less integrated into the interview originally as well and I think this new treatment of them helps support and liven up the interview. She is still plugging away on Boston Neighborhood Network, claiming Obama is not really a citizen and that the Haitian earthquake was caused by an experimental bomb in a very "Tea party-ish" conspiratorial way. Disappointing, but since the interview was from 2001, I didn't find it fair to include things we didn't talk about back then.

* This might be better seen directly on Youtube as the blog seems to crop the video a bit.

19 November 2010

further along with the Whitman design

the front and back covers how they will look if the book was lying open on a table. (without the spine details for now. )

I like the "makes one face" concept, but I think keamy is leaning towards the same crop of each face.

18 November 2010

New Design Project

Just started working out a design for the printed version of a play written by Michael Z. Keamy about Walt Whitman. Working with Keamy is always great, and I thought I'd show some of the early design ideas. This will be available on Amazon's site sooner or later.

Still deciding on the right image and how much of it to show. Right now I'm going for a very "classic book collection" look.

07 November 2010

Hdr Options

I am not an HDR expert by any means, but in some ways I think that helps in deciding with software I want to use. I am very «results orientated» when it comes to work and usually the background tech doesn't interest me very much if the final product is what I was going after. So looking at these 3 options I was mostly looking at how easily I got to my goal.

Photomatix: as far as smoothnees went this one topped the others, at 100% there was very little noise to be seen and gave the most «photoreal» images. Options were limited and the interface out of date. It was the fastest processing the images of the 3. More painterly treatments of the image I found harder to control and get what I wanted.

Photoshop CS5: I huge step up from other version, I like the interface well enough and really liked the «details» slider for bringing out details in the images, something the other two was less straightforward about. The «photorealness» of the images was hard to accomplish and it takes quite a while playing around to get what you want. More illustrated looks are much easier to do.

HDR Efex Pro: Very nice interface, the best of the 3 with options to work on portions on the images and not globally all the time. Presets are fantastic starting points and there are lots of them. Images are much noisier than Photomatix, but less than Photoshop and that can be fixed with tweaking to a large extent. As slow or slower than Photoshop importing and processing the photos.

My recommendations...

All 3 are excellent choices, budget comes into play. HDR is included in CS5, the Photomatix plugin is 100$ while the HDR Efex Pro is 160$, a little steep. For a «1050’s postcard» look which I like, CS5 gave me more of what I wanted with HDR Efex a close second, Photomatix was a hands down winner in realistic treatment with HDR Efex a close second there. So a lot will come down to personal taste but I’d say, despite price a little too high, that HDR Efex Pro is the one I’ll go with. A big advantage is the speed of use. Getting what I wanted took less than 2 minutes while it took at least 30 in CS5 and never quite made it in Photomatix. (for this style of image). All 3 needed tweaking in Photoshop proper afterwards, which is to be expected I think.

HDR Efex and Photoshop : Glowing around edges much more noticeable in Photoshop

Photomatix: much more realistic, but falls short on illustrated look

18 October 2010

FInal Cut Pro Studio 3 review

Final Cut Pro Studio 3 has been out quite a while, but because of budget and fear of a disastrous upgrade attempt (almost every update i’ve bought has been problematic to say the least) I hadn’t bought the new version.

Positive start:
The upgrade price is very reasonable, I can’t complain that Apple is trying to bankrupt it’s client base, which might be said for other companies like Adobe. For the first time in a very long time, the installation was beyond smooth. I have a million serial number issues since as an early adopter to Final Cut, I bought the various programs in the suite separately and my first version was installed on OS 7 (I think) which made the command «insert the disk from your first version» an impossible task, as it wasn’t long before OSX could not read «classic» disks. This time it didn’t even ask me to re-type in my earlier version serial number. As a dyslexic, these numbers which seem longer than any alphabet is a particularly daunting task.

Final Cut:
Not too many obvious changes here, but nice ones. The export options are greatly simplified and you can drag a clip into a new sequence and the sequence will conform to the clip and all the following clips inserted with too. I find it much snappier overall in speed as well.
This program always had it’s plusses for me but the painfully slow speed of it kept me away for using it for more than the most simple tasks. A good part of the problem might have been related to my upgrade issues as it never seemed to quite change it’s features despite a new version number. This time was a revelation. It now renders in real-time quite a few layers of emitters and video with no slowdown at all. I’ll have to re-learn it and take in all the new 3D features. While I doubt it will replace After Affects in my workflow, it will find a very important place in it.
Again, not many changes but some nice interface and workflow enhancements. This software completely ceased to function for me about a year ago with no explantation and I really missed it. Garage Band is not exactly a replacement for Soundtrack Pro, but it had to be until I got this update installed.
A lot of promise in this colour grading software. I’ve been playing with it and find it does a great job in first and secondary colour correction and the presets are ok as well. The interface is like something from the Amiga in the late 1980’s and nothing like a modern one. Some of the values are put in by hand, no sliders and you literally have to type them in and hit return, then do ti all over again if you guessed wrong. Live updates in the image are the way to go with this sort of thing so I don’t know how it ended up like this. The node concept of constructing colour grading is likely alien to many users unless they were using Shake or maybe the Expresso system in Cinema 4D for example. (slight correction: you can adjust some numbers by using the middle mouse button, or scroll wheel,not the best solution but better than entering manually)
I have to confess, I rarely use this program and I’m well aware of how helpful it can be if you take the time to learn it properly. For some reason, it seems too complicated, but I suspect it’s not really at all.

DVD pro rant:
This program hasn’t received even a backwards look from Apple since Roman Empire fell. It was a great idea but never even seemed to get the same quality output as iDVD. You could set up more complex menus but not much else. It is so far behind the times it’s a hinderance to workflow and not a help. I recommend Adobe’s «Encore» over it any day. I know Apple thinks that we’ll all be streaming movies and info tomorrow, but in reality we wont be anytime soon and not supporting Blu-ray and current DVD authoring features is shameful from a company that revolutionized the video editing market.

I have to say I'm impressed. The price and features combined with the speed increases and compatibility with my current OS and hardware set-up makes me wonder how I held out so long to get this.

06 October 2010

2 almost ready

They both need to be rigged, but I'll make the 3rd before i do that. I am hoping to adapt one rig to work for each and use different morphs for each head.

26 September 2010

Moving forward

EDIT: October 5
Almost ready for rigging now I think.

She has a head now. Still very generic as I am hoping to use this as a base for some other characters as well. Edit: photo with ears added.

Edit: textures started.

17 September 2010

4th Generation iPod Touch

Earlier this week I received the new Ipod touch, something I’d ben toying with buying since they were first released a few years back. It wasn’t cheap, I bought the64 gig version, but it was less money than the lowest storage capacity iPad and for my uses, more practical. I’ve never had a smart phone or touch device, so it was all new to me and therefore likely a little more exciting than it would be to many people who are used to these sort of devices.

This is one impressive device, easy to use, fast, versatile and very useful. This new version comes with 2 cameras and can take video and also take advantage of Apple’s new «Facetime» feature. This is a feature many people will have hard time trying as it only works with new iphone and ipods touches. I only know one person who I might be able to video chat with and we haven’t been able to set that up yet. The camera quality isn’t great, isn’t terrible. I see complaints on many sites about this and I don’t quite get it.... it’s music player, not a camera after all! It’s perfectly fine for taking snaps here and there and sending images of the vase you just have to buy to the spouse for approval. «Skype» on it is a dream, if you live in a heavily covered wi-fi area as i do, it’s almost like having a cell phone without the extra fees. The mail app from apple, once you get it working which was , to say the least, a very frustrating experience for me, is fantastic and syncs seamlessly to my mall app on my computer. The ability to group apps into folders is so useful, I can’t imagine how people managed on older versions. Book reading is easier than you’d think and browsing the internet fairly simple. The lack of «flash» is not really a problem. I’ll be updating the Behemothmedia page over the next months to make it more mobile friendly and «flash» will no longer be a part of it. I imagine eventually, the player will come to Apple devices but until then, it’s not exactly crucial. Watching videos, especially after years of watching them on an Ipod classic is a dream. The next 8 hour bus trip to Boston won’t be nearly as dull.

Short comings are what I would have expected. My fingers are not small enough for fluid typing, the auto correct is a horror show if you write often in 2 languages as I do... one of them will always be «corrected» with words that are hard to remove once the ipod has decided what you meant to type. The app store is a nightmare, trying to find things can be tedious and a chore. Electronic books should not cost the same as printed ones and many apps are not updated enough, but that is more a complaint about apps in general and not limited to the touch.

09 September 2010

Anti Social (Network) behavior

I am, by nature, not a very social person so anything I say on this subject should be taken in that light. I have also been someone who embraced the new technologies and the internet from the very start. I had a «car phone», which was later a cell phone. Yes, at first there wasn’t much battery life in a portable phone despite the fact they were the size of a handbag they needed your car battery to keep you talking more than a few minutes. I was also on various profile driven sites, AOL chat, even «Friendster». I still like video chat and meeting new people that way, just no where near as much as I used to. I no longer have a cell phone (which sends most people into a fit of confusion).

As these social networks expanded and took over more and more of people’s lives I’ve found them to be the exact opposite of social. «MySpace» and «Facebook» for example give you the ability to post your activities, photos and thoughts to all your «friends» in one space at the same time. Sounds good, except there is nothing social about it. It’s no more social than writing a message on a wall on a street many people you know, and many more you don’t, pass by every day. You’ve managed to transmit personal information without any social contact whatsoever. People can know the details of your life, but not you. It’s like an interactive form letter some send out yearly. Sure it gives everyone information they might be interested in knowing but it eliminates the most important part... that the information comes from interacting with you as a real person and in person. As a result we see the real skills of socializing in groups or even one on one in the physical world suffering. I’d much rather get a short email sent from a friend to me and get feedback from the email. Better yet, a phone call or visit now and then would be nice. I still write and recieve letters sent by post now and then, it’s quite pleasant to get a letter in the mail from someone you like.

The «electronic text only» way of communicating leaves out all emotions. A cartoon happy face does not take the place of a real smile and it’s just plain impossible to tell someone’s state of mind, even if they are happy or sad from what you are reading most of the time. It is far too easy to interpret things according to your mood at the moment and not as the sender intended.

I don’t knock these avenues of communication as useless, just overused and a lazy and even cowardly way to interact. I can’t tell you how many times recently an old pal I have lost contact with has has asked for my «Facebook» page, not to get back in touch, but merely to increase their «friends» list numbers. Me, I’d rather stick to my small circle of real life friends than have 1000’s of impersonal contacts that don’t talk to me personally but to the nameless crowd, many of whom they’ve never met.

02 September 2010

new animation project

As usual, it's a long slow start to getting an animation short done. I am hoping to have the character(s) modeled and rigged by winter to start animating. I always try to do a little more each time out, this time I am hoping for a very stable rig and to animating more than one character on screen at the same time. (I did Nomi and Chog a while back, but these will be humans). I think this clay render looks promising. I really have issues getting what's in my head realized in the 3D model.... but it's gets a little easier project!

22 August 2010

HDRI images

Nothing new to many photographers, but I've never really done more than use "Bracketeer" to balance out bracketed photos in bad lighting conditions. With Photoshop CS5 there are still limited but much better options for some interesting effects. My new Nikon really helps out by giving me quality images to start with.

Above:a sample of a standard shot and after the HDRI treatment.

04 August 2010

Does I-tunes Suck?

Of course anything involving Apple software/hardware gets people’s panties in a bunch for some reason but i-tunes has crossed platforms and is no longer a «which is better» discussion. As the sole software to control your i-pod or i-phone (I-pods take a HUGE 60- 75% of music players depending when/where you find you research) i-tunes has a bigger than normal affect on how people buy and organize their music and video on portable devices. The shear amount of control this gives Apple is, I think, basically unfair, but that doesn’t mean i-tunes sucks as many would claim, nor does it say it’s the best way to do things as Apple would like us all to believe.

Many of the complaints against i-tunes I hear are extremely outdated and basically false as are many of the anti-Apple claims that never seem to die and are passed down person to person without anyone actually doing any fact checking. You can, for example, put music, movies etc you buy from other places into your itunes controlled device and it’s pretty darn easy. No, all formats are not supported, but no device supports all formats and itunes does slightly more than Zune, to name a competitor, though maybe not all the ones you are used if you are on a PC.

There are plenty of real reasons to not like this software, however.

1) It’s way too big, takes up too much space and uses too much ram.
2) The store component is too in your face. Not everyone wants to buy from Apple directly and the store itself lacks, even in the music department, a decent selection of musical tastes. While this is slowly changing, I am very wary the Apple’s prudishness with the app store doesn’t actually extend to all areas of itunes departments.
3) The app store.... I don’t think it can mentioned enough that Apple should not be telling end users what they should and should not be using the item they paid a hell of a lot of money for.
4) The censorship of the app store can easily be avoided if you could just make your own categories and could put password protection on them. If I or you or anyone else wants to watch porn, keep confidential documents secure or keep R-rated movies from the reach of their kids, it’s their right and easy enough to do. Frankly, it’s a feature that would drive even more people to use Apple’s portable devices. I’ve never understood why everything on the planet earth needs to be kid friendly to the exclusion of adult needs and sensibilities.
5) No plug-ins.... a great way to get programmers on your side and add functionality Apple mat not want to take responsibility for. Granted Apps do some of this in the i-pod touch, pad and phone, but not everyone has those things. I don’t for example.
6) This is my pet peeve with most software... too much useless «functionality». I can choose my own songs to play thank-you very much.

None of these limitations make i-tunes suck, but it does leave much room for improvement. On the competitor’s side, there isn’t much. Very few of the alternatives can provide the integration and ease of use of i-tunes and they also lack crucial features, many of them the same ones i-tunes is missing. overall, it depends on your needs whether something "sucks" or not unless the software just plain doesn't do the basics it needs to or crashes all the time etc. Many people wan to make playlists on the go, which would certainly make i-tunes suck for them. I on the other hand, could care less about that, so it's not an issue.

30 July 2010

Low light photography

Still slowly going through the functions of the new camera. With an ASA of 3500 + I was curious how concert shots etc might be.

29 July 2010

Current work

I am working on a retouching project not finished so I can't post anything yet, however I did finish a total redesign of the BADA (Boston Art dealers Association) site after doing the original a decade ago.

12 July 2010

more photos _ Art's farm

Took some photos while visiting a friend's new farm. I am pretty happy with the quality of b&w I can get from images with this new camera and some camera RAW tweaking. Click photos to enlarge.

24 June 2010

quick fixes

Recently I've had some success with my Dreamweaver font issues. Adobe, who has been basically doing its best to make me come into their main office and bitch slap each person working there (maybe they are into that? who knows?),started to personally call me about the problem. Once I spoke to a programmer, the almost year long saga ended, for the most part, pretty quickly. There are still issues, but easier to deal with ones and they don't halt work completely on any projects coming up.

The invisible text boiled down to 3 fonts that were not being seen by dreamweaver (cs4 or cs5... cs3 could see them no problem)
I was told to copy the fonts off the hard drive, delete them from the font folder and from the font book application, do a permissions repair with disk utility and them put them back on the font folder. It did work, but i've had to re-do this one extra time already for one font. I still had to play with spry menu items to get them show text as well. It did make life a little easier again, however.

It did not fix the times problem in Pages... "fl" combinations still turn into a symbol i've never seen before.

22 June 2010

Backwards Compatibility

What ever happened to idea of backwards compatibility? You know that the new version of software will open in an older version or you can save as an older version so clients and other people not yet up to date, or even in the case of the page layout, printers can still work with you without paying for expensive software upgrades or you having to keep 100 versions of the same software on your system.

This seemed to be the standard not so long ago, but more and more software companies seem to be forgoing this very useful feature to force upgrades. Pagemaker, for example could save to quite a few older versions, while Indesign can only save one version back. Photoshop, on the the hand is pretty good at opening files whether they are older or newer than what you have. After Affects and many others don’t even give you the “one back option”. I now have version 6.5, CS3, 4 and 5 on my system... a huge waste of space. I have to keep Indesign all the way back to CS3 and still save those files to CS2 for a couple printing places.

I don’t get it... back compatibility is a great feature, it allows you to update and promote new features to reluctant clients while still being able to service their needs. I’ve found it actually encourages people to upgrade since they know they can still do business with those who haven’t.

Of course some features won’t work and there will be some cases where it just isn’t possible to go back even one version... but I think that is very rare. I say let’s bring back the past a little and add this feature back into the standard of every new upgrade. If you MUST rake your customers over the coals more than you normally do, proved a plugin for older versions at extra cost.

01 June 2010

Nikon D5000 SLR

Having been a photographer most of my life, the last few years have been tough, my Nikon prosumer point and shoot model basically died a slow death and with little work coming in, there was no way to replace it. Recently a couple of good contracts allowed me to think about getting a new camera and finally this past weekend, I did.

Bought at L.L. Lorzeau (which had a great deal and as a serious camera only store, incredible selections and service) I also bought what I consider essential extras. Remote shutter release, extra battery and polarized lens filter. The kit came with 2 lenses, 18-55 and 55-200mm with an anti-shake feature. I also got a superb macro lens. Yes I went over the budget I had set, but it was worth it, I am the sort of person who might sell his house before going without a camera.

So far, I am over the top happy about it. The images are really good and it's a gi-normous upgrade from the other digital cameras I've been used to using. Looking forward to some portrait shots to see how it fairs in that department. I also have been excited to do some time lapse stuff and long exposure work that the other camera and even past cameras just could not do. According to the specs this one should handle it all very well.

So far the video function is not very impressive. The quality isn't that great, but good enough to not take a video camera on vacation, but not film anything serious with. At least not without a lot of post work.

Click on images for larger versions.

19 May 2010

Adobe CS5 Master Suite test

Though only using a testing version and not having the chance to look into everything in detail, I have been playing around with the CS5 suite and getting to use some software I was curious about but never touched before. Overall for those who don’t like to read through an entire article. Some welcome changes but not worth the huge price to upgrade in my opinion. Basically you seem to be paying mostly for more stable software, which for the most part it is. Stability should be a bug fix for free, not a paid upgrade.

The biggest disappointment is Premiere Pro, it had issues with sound, rendering, exporting you name it. I was hoping to use it in place of updating Final Cut Pro. I like some of the new ways things are set up and the media exporter integration is very nice, but if the final product is missing sound or if it takes 5 times as long to edit something because of render issues, it’s a step back not forward. Soundbooth was a new one for me and it’s excellent, though I was hoping for better ability to make music from clips like sound track pro has. Could just be unrealistic expectations on my part. After Effects is fine, I haven’t had any footage to try the new rotoscoping features. So far I haven’t had reason to switch from my CS3 version. That could change if I get deeper into it. EDIT: many of these issues did not appear when I started a project from scratch as opposed to importing an older project. Many of the issues may be a result of importing older versions that already have rendered files associated with them.

Photoshop, as usual, gets the best updates, the content aware fill is nice but not perfect, a good start for a complicated fill job. Like content aware scaling, I suspect the feature is less useful than it is impressive (when working on an ideal file for that feature) in the real world. The new paint brushes and colour mixing features are quite amazing, many artists will really profit from them. Best thing is the constant crashing seems to have stopped from CS4.

Dreamweaver STILL has the same text not visible issue I’ve had since Apple updated to Snow Leopard and Adobe has not been able to do anything about for over 8 months. Dreamweaver CS3 does not have this problem. Indesign is nothing to write home about and frankly, it’s a shame, not because adobe doesn’t have a great layout program, bit more because it’s almost impossible to get printers to update the software. Many are still on CS2 and you can only save to one version behind. So no matter what Adobe does, unless you work with all up to date print companies, the latest version sits on computer opening any indesign file you click on despite telling the finder use an older version. (A very annoying bug!)

Fireworks, finally stable, Flash... like the Flash Catalyst idea except that older versions of Flash did this very thing with components in effect, without having to leave Flash. Illustrator has some nice updates, but the main one, the perspective drawing is a little premature.

Encore I like a lot, it’s got a learning curve if you are used to other similar software but the end product was really professional.

Not sure I’d pay the upgrade of close to 1000$ (canadian) for what amounts to a few new features and one additional software I’d like to have (Encore).

10 May 2010

Is the world still in world wide web?

More and more when I search for things on the www I find myself locked out. “Sorry, this video is not available in your country” sort of messages appear more and more. I am sorry, but don’t put your info on the world wide web if the world can’t see it. I am in Canada, virtually all the clips I want to see are shown here, just at times I might miss them. I can watch them on TV, copy to see later even, but not on the “information super highway”. The weird thing is, these clips are shown for free in any case, so what’s the harm?

It seems the web, which once promised a free flow of information to anyone anywhere is pretty much under the control of whatever corporation decides what it wants you to see or not. I am all for protecting your copyrights and all that, but once something is on the airways, copied to millions of videos, Tivo’d and put on the web (in the USA) for free, you’ve really no reason to restrict it from being seen online. No wonder so many people illegally download stuff... it’s easier than seeing it legally!

It’s just sad to see the internet going this way, we had a good thing for a while, but as they say, good things don’t last!

01 April 2010

April news

There are some pretty interesting things going on in tech April. None of them are affordable to be right now because work is so bad, but we can dream.

Of course you’d be living in a cave if you didn’t know the Ipad was coming out. Press has changed from «just a big iphone» to a must have device as it’s uses are more apparent. I don’t have an Iphone, nor an Ipod Touch so for me it would be a great little device for trips or sitting in front of the TV to catch up on emails and a great device to show off work to clients. I like that you can use pages and Numbers with it as it means I could update my blogs and write on it while away, making bringing the laptop less obligatory on short trips. Like the Ipod when it came out, it will take a little time for people to realize what they will use it for... but I have a feeling it will get used!

Abobe releases CS5 soon too, though photoshop has the splashiest updates and it seems, most of the updates released to press so far, it’s still not on my must buy or die list. For one thing, CS4 is still not showing text correctly on my tower and Adobe has made very little effort to solve the issue. You might say they’ve made a negative effort even, just sending me links to «fixes» that don’t apply to my situation and in one case, was not even for my OS! I also have a feeling that the price will be too high, but in this economy, almost any price is to high as it is. Some of the features, like mixing colours as you would paint are pretty amazing and the «Intelligent fill» which is a follow-up to the «intelligent scale» form last time looks very impressive. Like the last time though, impressive as the tech is, in real life application, you will find yourself looking for ways to use these features rather than them filling some need in the everyday workflow. I imagine the new fill will be like the old scale in that it will work well in very specific problems that fall into certain parameters but in many cases you’ll fall back into using whatever techniques you were doing all along. In situations that do warrant the function, however, it will be amazing and fast. Another problem with Adobe updates is they come too quickly lately. Most printers are still on Adobe CS2 for InDesign, making it impossible to use those features in many projects as you can only save to the previous version and only if you don’t use any new features. I haven’t seem much on Dreamweaver as far as improvements go, another sign that once Adobe bought out the competition, they let just let the Macromedia products wither. Except for Flash, of course, which they have totally turned into a monster no one wants to deal with now.

After settling some Final Cut Pro issues, I think I’d update to the new version of that, which is really well priced before buying any of the new stuff this April. For once, I’ll let other get burned and adapt late!

09 March 2010

Walk With Me

Logo design for Oneil Junior, dog walking service, Boston

08 March 2010

Do Do bird

I am working on another animated character, but for what is a mystery... even to myself. I hope to get deeper into C4D Bodypaint for the final textures and develope a very stable rig and maybe some "canned" animations like running, walking etc to use in tests.

17 February 2010

Art does not Equal Money

One comment I hear quite often, bothers me quite a bit. It’s when someone shows they have an artistic talent, makes the mistake of showing people, and then have to hear comments like, «You should sell your art and make millions!». I know it seems like a completely positive thing to say, but the reality is it just makes the artist feel like a total loser.

Why? Think about it... how realistic is that statement? If someone could make a million dollars doing something they love that easily.. wouldn’t they be doing it already? Almost all those making the statement don’t buy art themselves... where do they think these «millions of dollars» will come from? As a result the artist ends up thinking they have somehow failed in exploiting their talents or worse, they think that they actually can make tons of cash and will crash into depression when they discover winning the lottery is more likely. The statement also devalues the personal statement and drive to make the art into a simple product anyone can make and sell.

Success, the type of success these comment speak to, is extremely rare in the art world. For every Andy Warhol, there are 2 million people who never even get a chance to show their work, no matter how fantastic it is, in the local café. Face it, the most successful artists are dead ones.

The same is true for creative jobs, like I have. If you are anyway involved in making movies or TV shows, you are assumed to be raking in the dough. A film like «Avatar» might cost ½ a billion to make, but that doesn’t mean each technician made 1 million each. In fact many make less salary than your average person despite having very rare and specific skill sets that involve constant retraining and experimenting to keep up to date. I might charge 50$ an hour for contract work, which seems like a lot until you realize getting 40 hours of paid work a week is actually impossible, that my computer system to do the work cost 5 000$, that the software to do the work costs even more, plus updates every 18 months... you see what I mean. Also a small filmmaker like myself will work alone for years on a film that will costs hundreds of dollars (not including time and already existing hardware etc) and they won't even make that money back.... ever. No matter how many hits they get on Youtube.

It’s perfectly reasonably to want to make such hopeful (yet misguided) statements to someone who’s work you admire. Most people work in offices, where many things, like the cost of software and hardware for example are covered by the company and never thought of. So unless you have a way to get this creative friend of yours into a situation where they can actually make some money off their talent, please refrain from making them feel it’s a given they will, or worse, that it’s their fault somehow that they haven’t done it already. Instead, if you like it that much, offer to buy it for a reasonable price for the time and effort put into making it. Now THAT would be a true compliment!