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Sean Tucker is someone who thinks very deeply about what drives him to be creative and why he’s drawn to the subject matter and mediums he uses. Sean, through his books, YouTube channel, and his photographic work, is not afraid to introspect in an open and honest way. By doing so, he learns a lot about himself, and he also gives his followers the confidence and the tools to do the same.
Listening to this podcast will give you valuable insight in how you can start to communicate more effectively with your own audience and also understand your motivations for why you do what you do. Enjoy the podcast and if you like this episode, please share it with your friends.
Listen to this episode with Sean wherever you get your podcasts:
Stuart: I’ve been watching quite a few of your videos in preparation for this, from your YouTube channel, and your backstory is fascinating because as I understand it, you were a priest and you got asked to leave because you spoke out on areas where you felt the church needed to change, modernise. So could you tell me a little bit about how that experience has helped you in your later career?
Sean: Yeah, so I was born in the UK but my family moved over to Southern Africa when I was about six months old. So I grew up in countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland as it was then, it’s now Eswatini and then South Africa. And when I was in South Africa, I got involved with the church there in my teenage years and joined a travelling music and drama group after it was quite sort of church focused. And then leaving that when I was studying psychology at university, I started to work for churches and then went off and got ordained and did another degree in theology. I think I worked for seven churches all in all, most of them were Baptist churches in South Africa and a couple of Anglican churches.
Probably my first year at seminary, which would’ve been 2001, I think already things were starting to fall apart for me a little bit in my own head. I was pulling at threads and things were unravelling and I was realising I’m not sure I buy all of this, but I still believed in the power of that institution to do good in the world at the time. So my particular role was working with young people, youth and young adults and poverty outreach. Most of the churches I worked for, that was my bag, I worked with the youth group and the young adults and sort of trying to get them out to the community to help people by doing soup kitchens or helping people get ID books who were living in poverty and get jobs. There were a lot of different reasons I was eventually asked to or politely asked to leave, stoned in the car park kind of thing, and I think one of the big ones was, I did keep standing up and saying that I didn’t believe in the way that we did money, particularly, because it seemed that we talked a good game about how we wanted to care for the least in society and those people who are really struggling. And yet it also seemed that we spent all our money on ourselves, building ourselves bigger buildings and fancy carpets and big sound systems and paying my salary, which obviously if I’m gonna talk out against it, I’m part of the problem as well.
It came to a head, I think 2008-2009, I was working at a church in Cape Town and there was some very serious xenophobic attacks, which kickoff in South Africa every now and again, where basically local people just start burning down businesses of people who come in from outside the country, from Angola or Zimbabwe or Somalia because they feel that they’re taking work away from them. And I went to the church and said, we need to get people out of these areas fast. We’re gonna take the bus in and get them out. And we were told categorically, no, you can’t do that. Because in their words, God gave us the bus and we had to be good stewards of it and we had to baby it and make sure it doesn’t get scratched or anything. So if you ever stole the bus and went in and bus people out the whole day, but we had to take them to local schools because the churches wouldn’t take them in because they were worried they were gonna mess up the furniture. And that last church I worked for, installed spikes outside the front doors, so homeless people couldn’t shelter in the rain inside the front doors. I started standing up and talking about this stuff in a very straightforward way. On Sunday nights when I spoke and just said I think, to be frank, we’re full of shit. And yeah, obviously, that wasn’t popular and I was told either stop it or leave. And I said, you’ll have to kick me out. And they obliged.
But like answering how that’s helped me, I don’t regret a minute of working for the church because it gave me a lot, it taught me a lot. It grew me up really quickly. And one of the very practical things it gave me was an ability to communicate and tell a story. I used to be, and I’ve written about this in this recent book that’s gone out, terrified of public speaking. We all have to do English orals at school where you gotta stand up and present something you’ve written for five minutes. If you’ve gone to an encyclopaedia, written down some facts about a volcano, and you have to stand there and give it to the class and for a grade. And it used to terrify me doing that, but working for the church taught me to put together a message and deliver it in a way that hopefully lands with people. And now, honestly, I wouldn’t have a YouTube channel that I think has the audience it does, or the tone that it has unless I’d learned all that stuff with the church. It’s a direct rip from what I learned there into just a new genre. I happen to be talking about photography and creativity now, but all those skills of putting that stuff together definitely comes from that time.
Stuart: So how did photography come into this journey of yours and where did it come into this journey?
Sean: When I was ending my time with the church, I was getting involved with video first actually. It started with a video. In South Africa I started to do video work on the side of working for churches because the church didn’t pay very well. Like you’re not gonna make money so I struggled to pay the bills. So I picked up little gigs doing corporate training videos or in-house videos for companies. I once did a training video for an abattoir which was eye opening. So those kinds of things on the side. And then I got roped into, probably 2005-2006, somewhere around there, Nelson Mandela commissioned a series of films to be made in South Africa that went out on TV on Sunday nights, one hour each. And each film was supposed to talk about a value that he wanted to see in society, something like perseverance or kindness or whatever. And there was a roadshow that accompanied that. And I got picked up as part of the media team for that roadshow that went around the country to promote those films.
So little things like that I was doing on the side really helped me cut my teeth with video. And then I started to move into photography from there. I’d always done it for myself, but not professionally. And I started to take slow steps into photography as well. And then when everything collapsed with the church, a friend of mine said to me, you have to start from scratch. I had just turned 30 at the time. He says, we’ve gotta start from scratch. You might as well pick something you love doing and see if you can make it a career. And so the obvious choice for me was, let’s see if I can make photography and video that pays the bills, and it took a long time, but yeah, I finally made it.
Stuart: You’ve built up quite a big following. Obviously you’ve got your own work and your photography, and you’ve got your YouTube channel where you talk about photography and you talk about creativity. And what’s really different about that channel for me is that you go really deep into the motivations about what makes someone want to create, what are the motivations, and it’s quite introspective and it’s quite philosophical. So what is it that fascinates you about creativity itself?
Sean: I guess for me it’s always been what it’s done for me, personally, that’s where it comes from. I suppose if you hack my personality a little bit, I think I’ve always had this desire to help people, understand who they are better, strap on some self-awareness and work out what drives and motivates them and tweak it so they can live more fulfilled lives. And that’s all philosophy’s trying to do anyways, is just work out how to live life better. And I think that’s what made me become a pastor. That’s what I was interested in and when I left and became a photographer. It’s still the thing I care about more than even photography, is helping people get a handle on their lives. So it was a very easy step for me to start to talk about photography specifically, but creativity more generally and even broader than that, our psychology, in a YouTube channel that helps people connect with what drives them, what motivates them, what keeps them happy, what makes them feel like they’re putting meaningful things out to the world that makes them more fulfilled. So it all flowed one into the other for me.
When I started that channel, I looked around and thought there’s thousands of channels out there teaching you photography techniques in tutorials, which I do a little bit of as well. And there’s even more that talks about which lens to buy or which camera body to buy. There’s all that kind of stuff, and I felt what was missing for me, the stuff that I used to look for, that I couldn’t find was why should I even pick up a camera in the first place? That seemed a better question to ask and answer for myself, is working out why would I even do this? What are my expectations of it? What I want it to give me, what do I want to give it? What do I want it to give the world? All those kinds of things were important to me.
So I pretty early on worked out that there was a way to take what I used to do in the church and what I now do in photography and bring them together so I didn’t have to lose what I used to do, but I could talk to people in a way that said, yeah, I don’t care which camera you buy, I don’t really care what sort of photography you do. There’s things that are common to all genres and all gear choices and what everything else, and that’s why you would pick this thing up in the first place. And then what stories you choose to tell once you pick it up. And I think if you answer those questions, it’s gonna bring you much more fulfilment than working out. Which 50 mm 1.2 lens is gonna blow your socks off with the boat, that’s not actually gonna fulfil you. It’ll be fun for a day, but there’s deeper stuff to ask.
Stuart: So in a sense, I think what you’re saying is, whatever you do in your life, you’re expressing some deeper beliefs and you can do that through the medium of photography or from your job or whatever kind of creativity you do. That you are essentially using that as a tool to express your deeper beliefs. So is it actually that creativity enables you to understand, in retrospect, a bit more about your actual fundamental beliefs? Or do you sit down at the start and think, what do I believe, and then you work out what you wanna do.
Sean: I think it’s two things. And for people who’ve read the book I got out there, this will be like repeating the same stuff. But the way I try to describe it in the intro of the book is I think what we are doing when we make things, and this is why human beings are driven to make stuff, is because we are trying to order chaos. So if you think about the fact that life is very unpredictable and difficult and things happen all the time that we don’t have any control over and from the dawn of human history, we’ve tried to find ways to at least feel like we’re in more control of things than we actually are. Which is why and what science is trying to do, it’s trying to order it. It’s trying to explain why things are the way they are. It’s what religion does. It tries to explain the stuff science can’t explain. But none of that really fits with us because religion gets too prescriptive and weird sometimes. And science doesn’t have all the answers.
We’re learning a ton, but it doesn’t answer everything we want answers to. So where do we go with the rest of it? And I think what we do is we create, and I think what it is, it’s human beings in tiny ways, ordering chaos. If you take a lump of clay that’s just disordered and you form it into a vase, you’re shaping this lump of clay into something that has order. It’s a tiny act. It’s a tiny thing. But I think we keep finding millions of ways to do it, whether it’s pottery or photography or filmmaking or writing or poetry or songwriting. We are trying to describe what we experience and order things in a way to push back entropy. Like we know this thing falls apart in the long run. We know everything ends in disorder, but for our lives, I think we like to try and spend energy reordering things. It feels like life, cuz a life as we know it is order against the chaos. It’s the order against entropy. So what we try and do with our lives is create more of it in tiny ways. So that’s why we’re driven to do it, I reckon.
But when it comes to our unique creative voices, that absolutely comes out of who we are and how we see the world and what we think is important and the stories that we have access to and our personalities and how we’re wired. All those things come together in the choices we make with whatever creative medium we have. So as a photographer, I’m definitely influenced by the fact that I studied psychology. It’s why I moved towards portrait photography. My portraits probably have a quieter sense to them than some other portrait photographers. That’s because I’m an introvert. My street photography, for example, comes directly out of who I am. It’s single figures walking alone in streets through light and shadow. And that’s because I’m an introvert. So when I’m in a city, I’m often walking on my own. I’m photographing myself in a sense. So I think yes, when it comes to what you say with your work or what flavour it has, you get to your voice faster by knowing who you are better. It’s all self-awareness, I reckon.
Stuart: So is it a conscious process though? Do you understand who you are and then you are conscious of that when you are making work? Or do you only see it and you join the dots retrospectively, or is it a kind of gradual process as you go?
Sean: I think for most people it’s unconscious and it just hits you one day. But I think you can take more responsibility for it than that. I know my revelations about my own street photography, I wasn’t very conscious of it at the start. I didn’t know why I was making the work I was making. I just took photographs of things that looked a particular way, cuz I liked the look of it. It was an aesthetic choice. But then it was people who started commenting on images of mine going, oh, this reminds me of Edward Hopper’s paintings. And then I went and looked at Edward Hopper’s work and said, oh, that’s interesting. What was he doing in the 50s? Why was he painting single figures in urban spaces? What’s he doing? And then reading a bit about, oh, maybe he’s talking about the fact that urban spaces were booming then, but we were feeling quite isolated as individuals and lonely in those spaces still. Oh, okay, so why am I doing this? Oh, how do I feel in a city space? So I do feel uncomfortable in big cities, so maybe I’m photographing that aspect to myself.
But once I realised that for that particular part of what I do creatively, it woke me up to being more aware of everything else I do and why, and trying to pay more attention and trying to dig a bit deeper. Why am I attracted to that way of doing things or that aesthetic or that message in my work? And I could start to take a little bit more personal responsibility for the choices I was making, which I think is something we should push ourselves to do. We shouldn’t just be on autopilot cuz we can move faster when we’re more aware of why we’re doing what we’re doing instead of it just sitting in our subconscious and not at least interrogating it a little bit.
Stuart: So do you think that when you start making some work and you look at it, you can start to interrogate it straight away as to why you’re making it? And do you think that if you do that and you understand your motivations for making it, then it’s more likely to help you to achieve the recognition of the success for that work, or rather, I should say, rather than recognition, like the appreciation of that work from other people.
Sean: I reckon it depends where you are on your journey, because I still advise anybody who’s starting out in something like photography to make a mess at the beginning. Cuz how could you know what you wanna say at the start? You’ve gotta take your 10,000 bad photographs to work out where you’re going. So don’t try and lock it down too fast, I reckon. Play and experiment and try a bunch of different avenues and aesthetics and styles and subject matter because I think in doing that you’ll learn a ton. So don’t try to find too early. But I think there will come a point where you’ve worked out what techniques you like and what subject matter you wanna focus on, when you are a few years down the line and what your aesthetic is and what your message is, then it is time to start asking that question more deliberately.
And then, yeah, I reckon when you do that, when you are more purposeful about the work you’re putting out there and what it actually says and you have more ownership over that, I think that is when you start to attract more of an audience, and I don’t mean numerically because you might still have a small audience because of the subject matter you choose. Maybe it won’t appeal to that many people, but there’ll be a dedicated audience who get what you’re trying to say because you’re trying to say it with purpose. I think it’s important to try and find that kind of midpoint where it’s time to switch, it’s time to take this more seriously. You’re done with the experimenting phase. You need to start to do something. And that’s not to say, by the way, that you cease to experiment and then you always experiment, but that you do try and take more ownership and stop being as freewheeling and whatever sticks to the wall kind of mentality that you start going, I think this is what I wanna say. This is what I want the outcome to be from my work. This is what I want someone to experience when they look at my work. This is what I want it to mean.
Stuart: So if let’s say you are putting work out there, and you are not getting the sort of feedback, it’s not getting noticed, it’s not cutting through that imagery that we get bombarded with every single day. Would you say that’s because you haven’t found your authentic voice yet? You haven’t found your why? How do you know whether it’s that or you are just not marketing yourself in the right way or you’re not putting it forward in the right way? Or maybe it’s so niche you haven’t found the people yet that appreciate that? How do you know the difference?
Sean: I don’t know if you can, that’s the tricky thing. I think it’s very dangerous to use social media metrics and attention as any kind of judge of how well you’re doing. Because now the example I used before is if you want that, if that’s the goal is as much attention on your work as possible, get naked or get a puppy. Because you will instantly have a big Instagram account, but it doesn’t mean you suddenly became a good photographer. That’s not what that means. It just means people like naked people and puppies. That’s all that means. So I think you have to be really careful with that. And it’s gotta be about your 1000 True Fans. I came across this article by Kevin Kelly called 1000 True Fans. He makes the point that as an artist to sustain yourself, you only need a 1000 true fans and he defines that as somebody who will buy a print, come to your exhibition, come to your talk, support you financially because they like the art that you do. That’s not about numbers. It’s not about ‘I need a million followers’. It’s about ‘I need a strong core group of people who really believe in what I’m doing’. And if you can build that, you’re home and dry. But when you go, yeah, but a thousand isn’t a million. And if it was a million, that would be brilliant. Some people with a million followers can’t pay the bills, and some people with 500 are killing it. It’s not about that big top end number. It’s about ‘are you taking ownership of what you wanna say’? And have you built an audience who you can tell really care about what you do?
Because the problem with social media is, it’s free and very easy and very forgettable to hit a follow button or a subscribe button one day. If you go to my YouTube channel, you’ll see I have over half a million subscribers, but less than 10% of those people are still watching the videos, which means that 90% of those people hit subscribe one day and completely forgot about me. That subscriber number is a mirage. It’s not real. That’s not a core audience. That’s how many people hit a button one day and instantly forgot about you. I’m focused on that core group of people who keep caring about what I’m doing, deliberately keep up with the work that I’m making, and support me in an ongoing way. That’s what I’m focusing on, and that’s a much smaller number than how many people said they’d follow you or hit a button.
Stuart: So I think you can probably tell that through the sort of conversations and the comments, and look whether it’s in person following because you’re having exhibitions and people come to your show, your private view, or whether it’s online. I guess, rather than looking at the numbers, I think what you’re saying is look at the conversations that you have. Look at the interactions you have. Are people being really deeply affected by what you are putting out there?
Sean: And are they supporting you in tangible ways, that also says something. For the last five years, I’ve sold a book of photography at the beginning of every year. That’s how I work out who’s here, who’s helping me make this work? Who are these people? Who buys those? That’s a good way to gauge, and I saw that growth slowly year on year until this year where it’s really dropped off for a bunch of reasons. But that’s my marker. Those are the people who care about what I’m doing so much that they’re standing behind me in tangible ways to keep me going. And yeah, having people leave comments where they’re meaningful comments. ‘This thing you said in this video changed my mind about something.’ I’ve literally had emails from people saying, I was gonna take my own life, but something you said stopped me. And I thought about that and realised, oh my gosh, I can go another day.
If one person sends me that email, and it’s been more than one, but if one person sends me that email, in terms of my own fulfilment, I’m maxed out. That’s nothing to do with a big subscriber number. That’s to do with, I made a meaningful difference in one person’s life. I didn’t do anything heroic. I just made something that I believed in and it happened to connect with somebody at the right place at the right time, and made a massive difference in their life. In terms of fulfilment, I’m at maximum. So that’s when I know that whatever I’m doing is something that’s worthwhile. Because I know how I could change my channel today to be much more visibly popular, and to get much more subscribers faster. I know that I could start pushing out basic tutorials because most of YouTube are beginner photographers. Those who watch photography videos are beginners who want tips. And I could start doing gear stuff. My channel will grow much faster very quickly, but I wouldn’t like it as much.
So from the outside it’d be like, wow, Sean’s getting really successful, and I would feel like I’m failing because I’m losing all the depth that’s really making a difference in people’s lives. Not to say that people who do that kind of work, it’s meaningless, but it’s not for me. It’s not my goal. I have a different goal. I know how to hit that, and if I stick to it, then that’s gonna mean I sleep well at night thinking I’m doing something worthwhile in the world.
Stuart: I read a fantastic book recently actually called Start With Why by Simon Sinek and I dunno if you’ve ever read this book, but he talks about, in a business sense, he talks about Apple and Microsoft and various sorts of businesses and he talks about the why of all those really successful companies. They have this connecting factor. They had a mission. They had a calling. It wasn’t ‘let’s create a company and make loads of money’. It was like, I wanna build this thing. After reading that, I looked at what we do, for example, and I looked back and I thought all those things that I did that were not that successful, I can see that I started with the end result in mind and something I was generally passionate about. And then the things that worked for us, we didn’t start with that end result in mind.
So is that how you should go about things? You should not be worried too much about the end result in mind and you should just be thinking, what is it I actually wanna say? And if that is the case, then does your passion, whatever it is, always supersede the ability to make a career out of this cuz some of those things that you do, that are pure passion, just might be so niche and lend themselves to any kind of commercialisation that you are just gonna be doing this because you love it.
Sean: Yeah, I reckon that’s true. What’s been really helpful for me is getting into the stoic philosophers and reading their stuff. They make a big point about you have to start with understanding what you can and can’t control. Like I can control what I make. I can try and make it the highest quality I can. I can try and make sure that the message that I intend is in there and do the best job I can do, and I can control how I show that to the world and release it. But the minute I let go of it, I have no control over the response. I have no control over how many people will love it, how many people will hate it, how many people just don’t care about it, how much money I may or may not make off it. I have very little control. I know this isn’t like popular stuff to say in a capitalist society, but I don’t think we do have as much control as we pretend. We’re all trying a bunch of stuff and seeing what sticks. And I think the minute we get honest about that, then I think we can be realistic about our expectations.
I feel like I have work I do that I really believe in and then work I do that pays the bills. And I do think about it in those two buckets. I ran a YouTube channel before it made me any money because I believed in the message and I’ve stuck to that. I could see the temptations along the way to change it and make more money. I didn’t take ’em because I knew I’d hate my own work. So I kept it as that. And if it goes away tomorrow and it has taken a massive dip for me so I’m not making nearly the money off that kind of thing that I used to and the writing’s on the wall that I might not in the future, I’ll still do it cuz I believe in that. But I might need to do other things that mean I pay the bills. I might need to go and do corporate headshots. I don’t care about corporate headshots as I look to change the wall of this art I believe in. They want a white background and it’s gonna be a bunch of people who walk in a room and go, hey, just so you know, I’m very uncomfortable in front of a camera. That’s not creativity as in, oh my gosh, this is my art. But it has to split into those two.
You hit a real sweet spot if you manage to make work you believe in and it supports you. And I understand I’m really lucky in that, for now, that’s where I live. I don’t think I’m owed that. And I know it might go away and I know I might need to adjust as I go. And I’m realistic about that. I can control that I produced the work I believe in. I can’t control whether it pays the bills or how many people like or love it, but do I still wanna make it? Yeah, I do. Cuz I wanna see more of it in the world. That’s enough of a reason for me. Everything else is gravy.
And like I said, it’s been four or five years since I left a full-time job. I’ve been able to keep my head above water that long doing this the way I wanna do it. And even if this is the last time I get to do this and from here on I have to compromise and do other stuff, I can say for five years of my life I got to make work I believed in and spend all my time on it, pay the bills. I think that’s a privilege that we should all aim for. But I’ve also been on the other side where, you know, for years in photography, I was a product photographer during the day, so I was shooting sofas and garden sets and beds and stuff like that, which is the opposite of creative photography. It’s a production line. And then, I had to do the work that I believed in on my own time where not many people cared about it and I didn’t get paid for it. But that’s okay as well. That’s fine, because I’m still paying the bills with a camera in my hands. It’s not exactly what I wanna do, but it’s a privilege in itself. And I still get to make the work that I believe in, even while not many people cared about it. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but it’s often a mix, and there have to be compromises as you go.
Stuart: I’ve noticed, throughout your videos, for example, you’re highly autobiographical in a way, or you’re constantly drawing on your own experiences and you’re very open about your internal thought processes and some of the contradictions you can have as an artist and a creative. Is that hard? Was that a natural thing for you to do? If it wasn’t, how did you come to develop that skill?
Sean: Yeah, that was an easy one for me, just because I think I cut my teeth on that with the church. So I decided that, especially because I was working with 12 year olds through to sort of 35 year olds with the church, and I’m supposed to be talking to them about theological stuff, which just sounds like Game of Thrones to most people. Like this isn’t real. It’s fun, it’s cute, but it’s not real. How do I talk about that stuff in a way that will make sense to them, that should mean anything to them? I think I quickly hacked it, that the only way I can do that is to tell them what it means to me and what difference it’s made to me. And that became autobiographical as well. Having to tell my own story and the tangible flesh and blood ways it actually made a difference to me and helped me get a handle on my life. And so I made a point to do that when I communicated in the church and got into a lot of trouble for it, I have to say, cuz I used to be very honest about my doubts as well in the church and say, I’m not sure about this. I don’t know about this. I struggle to believe this. This doesn’t make any sense to me.
And I used to get emails every Monday morning from a particular corner of the church saying, you cannot do that. As a leader, you cannot tell people your doubts. You have to lead them and tell us what to believe. And I just obviously disagreed pretty violently with that. For me, you can’t have faith without doubt. And I know they’re often put on opposite ends of the scale, but the way I used to talk to them about it was, okay, so say you do die today and you wake up and you’re standing in front of God. You can actually see him. There he is. You’re like, oh my gosh. That’s a real thing. Do you need faith? They’re like, no, of course you don’t need faith. Why would you? He’s right there. So actually faith can only exist when you have doubt. When you have no prune, you’re not sure what’s going on. They have to be together. So I always used to make a big point of sharing my doubts cuz I felt like some of this stuff is pretty nuts and I’m not sure we’re supposed to take all this literally. So can we at least admit that between us so we can find the good stuff in it and actually use it to live better lives together and be a better community and be a better influence on the rest of the world.
It just didn’t go down well and that cost me everything. That cost me my job, that cost me my community. It cost a lot. So getting onto a YouTube channel where I had nothing to lose now it was very easy to go, ah, here I am, this is who I am. I don’t mind. Here’s the stuff I struggle with. Here are my doubts. I’d already had all the practice in the world, so it was paid for that earlier on, and I could just pretty easily step into that and run with it by the time I got to the channel.
Stuart: Is it important for photographers and artists to open themselves up a little bit about their thoughts and their creative process and to be able to do that or for someone else to do that for them? Because I do feel that a lot of the time people really want to understand the motivations behind creating work. They look at the work and they’ll obviously take it on its own merits. But then the instant question is, who made this? What brought them to this point?
Is that important for artists & photographers?
Sean: Yeah, you and I definitely agree on this from doing the video with you. I think people follow people more than they follow art. I use myself for an example, I have a big following on Instagram. People might assume that’s because loads of people think I’m a brilliant photographer. I don’t think that’s the case. I think people follow me on Instagram because of the videos I make and the things that I say. So they follow me as a person because they wanna know what I’m up to, what I might say next, more than they think this guy is just one of the best photographers on the planet. Cause that’s not true at all. I’m somewhere in the middle. Like I’ve got a very sober view of that. And I know that putting myself out there, sharing my story and my motivations as vulnerable as I’m willing to, is something you have to decide for yourself.
How much are you willing to share? Because it does cost you in a lot of ways as well. You gotta count that cost. But I think you should push yourself to share your why, your story, your motivation as much as you possibly can alongside your art. Because it will mean that people connect with it on a different level than just aesthetics or the outright message. You get 90% more depth when you understand where the artist’s headspace is. And I reckon, yeah, if you can push yourself to do that, you’ll build a following that’s far more meaningful and far more loyal than if you just put art there and hide away from it and don’t attach your name to it or your story of who you are. To put yourself out there as much as you possibly can, can only help as long as you count the cost.
Stuart: So do you think that’s a skill that you can develop at any point in your life or is that an innate kind of personality thing?
Sean: I don’t even think it’s about developing a skill. I think it’s about making a choice. We talk about stuff that’s, oh, I’ve gotta learn how to do it. Or reading enough books to work it. It’s got nothing to do with that. It’s deciding to do it and then do it. And I think the only danger you are in, is you need to make sure that you are as self-aware as you can be, because there’s nothing worse than putting yourself out there and quote unquote vulnerably sharing your story but people can see where you have some self-deception or where you don’t really understand yourself very well. It’s amazing how when you do share your story, if you have things about yourself that you’re not being honest with, your audience might pick it up before you do, and that can be an embarrassing thing to do.
I always advise people to go to therapy, not because you have a crisis to solve, but because you want to talk to an objective mirror who’s going to say back what they see from you. And so you can bounce off somebody who’s not your friend, who’s just mindlessly trying to support you and agrees with everything you say, but someone who will tell you, hey, I think you’re full of it here. If you can find those honest mirrors, you can get a better handle on who you actually are and how you’re seen in the world. And then I think you can start to confidently share that story.
I’ve got a lot of friends who are really sweet and I really value them, but I wouldn’t go to them to ask them to challenge me cuz I know I wouldn’t get it from them. They wouldn’t be that honest with me cuz they want me to like them and I want them to like me and you know how it goes. But I have a few friends who I know don’t care and they care about me more than they care about me liking them. And they will tell me what I need to hear, whether I like it or not. And those friends are gold because those are the ones I’ll bounce stuff off if I’m unsure and they’ll tell me, you know what? I think you sharing that is a bit self-indulgent or I don’t think you’re honest about your own motivations about that. I wouldn’t share it. I’d do some more thinking about it. Having those people in your life I think is very key. But yeah, other than that, it really is just the decision to put yourself out there and then do it. Find your way to communicate it.
Stuart: Is video a really important part of that for photographers and artists? Because I guess with video, there’s a lot more expression. Often when people text each other, they get so many misunderstandings between people because you don’t have that ability to understand facial expressions, whether someone was saying something tongue in cheek or they were being deadly serious, for example. Therefore, is video important?
Sean: I love it as a tool. I think as a storytelling tool, it’s really powerful cuz it includes so much. I can write a script to test out the ideas first. I can then talk to a camera so you can see my facial expressions and how I’m thinking about things. The way I film it, the way I grade it, the music I put underneath it, the timing of the cuts, all those things serve as a very rich way of communicating something that’s, I think, built on each other and makes it a more powerful medium. But I don’t think it’s the only way to do it.
I still have, especially after writing this book now, I have a real love of writing and I think writing can be incredibly powerful. What you are talking about with texts that can be misconstrued is because when we text, we’re really lazy. We don’t really craft sentences and work on things to make sure we’re getting exactly the meaning across. But the written word, if you write a book or a blog post or whatever it happens to be, I think you can really push yourself to use written words to say things you really want and allow people’s imagination to kick in and put their own flavour of it. But you’ve written it so tightly that they can’t misconstrue you. I think it’s a powerful way of telling your own story as well. And the book I wrote is super autobiographical.
You are talking about the videos, so I had to do all that thinking. How am I saying this? Am I being honest about where I messed up in this and my own failures as well? Or am I trying to paint myself a superhero or all that kind of stuff? Am I saying the point that I wanna say, am I thinking of every angle and every criticism that might come and heading those off at the past to make sure you don’t think, I haven’t thought this through. It really forces you to think clearly about what you’re saying. The writing side too. So yeah, I think writing and video are very powerful communication tools, certainly for me.
Stuart: I assume with the book you have people proofread it and do you do the same thing when you make a video? Do you show it to people first? Or are you just quite experienced now where you feel quite confident it’s the right thing to put out there?
Sean: Yeah, the book was a good process because the publisher is in the US, so what I did is when I was writing each of the chapters, I’d send the chapter to the publisher just for some feedback on the content. And they’d sent back a couple of thoughts here and there. Not a lot to be honest. And then it went through a round with a proofreader who tightened up the language, so there were layers of that to help me hone it, which is great. But no, the videos, I don’t pass them by anyone. I might sit with a friend and say I’m talking about this, what do you think? But I wouldn’t pass it. I don’t actually use the script. It’s probably important to say, I don’t say the script to the camera either. But I write a script just to test the idea with myself. If I’m asking someone to sit and listen to me waffle while sitting on a couch for 15 minutes, I better make sure what I’m saying is worth your 15 minutes. So I script it to make sure that the ideas work, that the examples work, that it flows one to another. But when I say it to the camera, I’ll often just read sections and put it down and say it in my own words. I don’t use the script like that. So I might test the idea with friends, but I don’t test the wording because the wording is not important when I actually give it to the camera anyway, cuz it changes all the time. I don’t use it like a script.
Stuart: It’s a really big thing at the moment. A lot of photographers and artists are very annoyed with Instagram going to video home. There’s that sense of, okay, they’ve been through the pandemic and that was devastating for a lot of the photographers and they’re just emerging out of this now and starting to get jobs again. And now they’ve been told, right, you’ve gotta learn this completely new skill. Because if you want to get jobs in the future, you want to get some reach on Instagram or other social platforms and it’s all gonna go to video and there’s this rolly eyes of what next.
What do you think about the video? Is it another medium to express yourself, it’s another part of your creative practice, or is it something that supports your photography and is a kind of marketing tool around it?
Sean: I mean, for me personally, I’m not playing the video game on Instagram. I just don’t have the extra capacity to bother. And I’ve just kept it fairly simple for myself. I have a channel on YouTube because I like long form videos. I’m not interested in doing one minute videos. It’s not the format that works for me. I’m not doing vertical video cuz it’s not the format that works for me. So YouTube is where I put that video stuff out and communicate those sorts of videos. And then Instagram for me is sharing the photography side, the photography journey side.
You have to realise or be honest with the fact that these platforms don’t really care about us as artists. They’re businesses that are selling advertising space on our work to companies. They’re company facing, not artists facing. And they are going to change their mind and change their algorithms and change their emphasis as many times as they can to try and make the platform as popular as they think it can be. So at the moment, they’ve gotta be in their bonnet about being TikTok. It’s not gonna work. We all know it, but they obviously have to prove it to themselves. So they’re gonna run down that road for a while. And at the moment it’s killing them, honestly, because I’ve seen a lot of photographers shifting over to platforms like Vero and the rest of it and they are losing a lot of their audience. Their whole goal, by the way, and this is YouTube or Instagram or anybody, is to keep people on their platform for as long as possible. So they think they’re gonna write these super clever algorithms that are gonna keep us on there as long as possible. And it often works for the short attention span crowd. But for artists, we do want a bit more depth than that and we’re gonna take our content somewhere else and in the long run, that will hurt them, but it’ll take them time to work it out, I reckon.
But on the artist end, I think you just have to be honest about the fact that you’re gonna use these platforms for as long as they work for you, for whatever you want to use them for, because it’s your choice. You can post or not post whatever you want. I still choose to post photographs and stories to Instagram. I’m not posting videos. It’s not interesting to me, even though I know it might help. That’s not necessarily been proven either, but I’m just not gonna bother. But that’s my choice. I know what I’m losing with that. I know what I’m gaining with that. But I know what I can do and what I want them to do for me and what I’m willing to spend the time doing. And everything else, I don’t really care.
Again, it’s that stoic idea. I don’t care what happens from that. I can’t control whether something I do is popular or not popular because there are so many variables, not just people’s ever changing tastes, but now companies changing their algorithms that we don’t know about until it’s too late and it’s already happened. I can’t predict that stuff, so I might as well just decide what I wanna put where and make the best work I possibly can, and if I am gonna make changes, make it based on not just someone flipped an algorithm switch that might be flipped back tomorrow. It’s too flippant. I’m gonna make a mess of my work if I jump every time they do that. Just try to stick to something and be a bit more consistent and watch what happens over time.
To those people who are desperately changing and trying everything and just vomiting reels out there to try and get as many people as possible coming through this stuff, I don’t think it’s making that much of a difference, though. I haven’t heard anyone who was like, yeah, no, I’ve cracked it. I’ve got it now. They’re all coming. I don’t think it’s working. But in the meantime, you look like a headless chicken running around making a ton of different things because you think you’re gonna crack their algorithm in reverse. I’m not sure you’re gonna manage. And like I said, everyone’s bailing from Instagram and Instagram are turning some of those algorithms back now because they’re worried we’re all leaving. So again, what happens to that lot that changes their entire strategy and artistic output just to please a platform that doesn’t really care about them and now they’re changing it back anyway. Your work is then such a mess with what you’re putting out there. I’d rather the consistency for me.
Stuart: So where does looking at data and analytics come into things? Cause I was thinking about asking this question of you, and I was thinking about my favourite film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it got panned by critics when it got released. And there’s so many examples of things that if you were looking at the numbers or the reviews or whatever, you probably wouldn’t do that really unusual, different thing. And yet, often 20-30 years later, people look back and go, wow, that was a groundbreaking moment.
So how should, looking at numbers, analytics, things like that, engagement, how should that be fed back into what you decide to do? Or should you just completely ignore it?
Sean: I do completely ignore it, I’m not sure. I don’t wanna speak for everybody, but for me, I do ignore it. I don’t look at analytics and stats because it’s clear for me. Say my YouTube channel is an example that my favourite videos don’t get the most views by far because it is me sitting on a couch talking about some philosophical idea to do with art that when I look at the comments, it’s incredibly meaningful to people. My most viewed video on my channel, I think it’s got over a million views at this point, is how to take a portrait with one speedlight. So if I take the stats seriously, I would have to say I need to make more tutorials about portraits and speedlights because that’s what the crowd wants me to make. But then I’ve lost control of my channel. Now I’m being directed by whoever happens to be the biggest group using YouTube, which is beginner photographers.
So now a nameless, faceless group of beginner photographers are directing my art, and I’m no longer making the stuff I believe in. I’m making stuff to get numbers attached to it because I like numbers instead of saying, no, that’s not the point at all, I’m happy to give out tutorials that are helpful for beginners every now and again, and I’m glad they help. That’s why I put them out there. I’m not being disingenuous by doing it, but the more meaningful work for me always will be the stuff that gets smaller views. So why would I check the stats when the stats will just confirm what I already know, which is, the stuff that I do that’s more meaningful, that necessarily requires more patience, is less popular. I know that, but it shouldn’t direct me. That would be a big mistake. And I think that’s where artists have to get very honest about why they make what they make.
I’ve got a whole chapter in the book on attention and what role getting attention plays for us as artists. And the example I use is taking a particular picture when I would’ve been about eight or nine years old, and I was on my own and it was my mom, my brother and I, my dad had left home, my mom had then remarried and my half sister was gonna be born soon. And I felt very isolated. I was being shipped off to boarding school. I wasn’t part of this new family that was forming. That’s how I felt. And I took a photo of a seagull at the beach one day. When those photos came back from getting developed, my mom was flicking through them at the kitchen table. She took that picture of the seagull and she said, this is great, maybe you’ll be a photographer one day. And I remember that moment so clearly because it was like, oh my gosh, the affirmation of something that I made. It’s the idea that you do that drawing and your parents think it’s worthy of the fridge door and it goes on the fridge door. And that’s the affirmation we get for making things addictive. And it’s good.
It should feel good, obviously, but I think we often get it over calibrated where that’s all we chase, that the number of people who like the thing I do validates me as an artist. But if that’s the case, I would only be making one speedlight video and that’s not the meaningful thing that I make. I can’t fall into the trap of thinking the number of people who affirm my work means my work is more meaningful. I have to look deeper than that, at the depth of the comments and who’s actually hanging out and what it means to them. Not just, Hey, I bought a speedlight, or someone bought you a speed light for Christmas and I took three portraits. I think they’re good. What do you think? Good. And then they never touch it again. That’s not meaningful. But someone on a video goes, I was in a really dark place, this really helped me, on that video with very few views. That’s life changing stuff. That’s what I’m after. So that tension trap, the numbers trap, I think is very real and you have to work out what you’re really after.
Stuart: And yeah, it’s paradoxical, isn’t it? Because I do hear people who, like yourself, and a lot of the other artists and photographers we know through theprintspace, say similar things and they tend to be the ones that do have bigger following. So it’s almost like a paradox where if you don’t pay attention to it and you just do your own thing and paradoxically it brings yoiu those numbers.
Sean: I think often it does, you’re right. I’d always just be careful of promising that, cuz I think people hear that and they go, oh, if I do what I really believe in, I’ll definitely get a big following. Like, we know that’s not true, but you’re right. Paradoxically, I think it is your best chance of getting a decent following is by being true to yourself and saying the things you believe, because we are all attracted to something that’s genuine, something that’s vulnerable, something that’s real, that’s offered, that’s really what we’re subscribing to is the person we care about and what they have to say. There’s something trustworthy and interesting about them.
So yeah, I think you’re right. It is your best shot. But I suppose you also have to remember that all those people you’re talking about who have bigger followings, we didn’t always have that and we were still making that work. It wasn’t what it was about. I had that 1000 True Fans article. I’d read it before I started this YouTube channel, and I had that in my head. My goal is only 1000 people who really care. That’s it. I don’t care what the big subscriber number does, and when I felt that I got that, I felt everything else was gravy. I don’t care what happens from now on, which is great because now that my channel is slowing down hugely, I don’t care about that either. As long as there’s that thousand people in the middle that really care and will support the work that I do, so I can keep doing it. That was always my goal when I had no followers, when I had some followers, and when I had a lot of followers. When those followers are slowing down, it’s the same. So I don’t get it. There’s no change for me through that journey cuz the goal at the start was simple.
Stuart: So slightly controversial subject now, just wanted to get your opinion on it. This morning I was on a Facebook group of photographers and I saw a portrait and it was kind of amazing. And then it transpired that it was made with an AI generation tool. Subsequently the group rules have been updated to ban that. Now that to me brings up a whole lot of really interesting subjects.
So first of all, will machines ever be creative? Maybe not in a human way, but will they bring some unique creativity? And secondly, how should photographers feel about it and how should they be embracing it? Should they be fearful of it? Should they be thinking about the possibilities that it brings them?
Sean: Yeah, I think it’s so interesting, isn’t it? Cuz it’s brand new, this stuff in a sense. Like we’re all talking about it and there’s Midjourney and all these programs suddenly out there. I was talking about this on another podcast with a friend of mine and we were saying the interesting thing is with these programs now is for those of you who don’t know, basically these things are like a plugin on Discord. So you’ll go in and you’ll type in a series of keywords. So maybe you’ll type portrait woman, red hair, green eyes, jungle background, but Rembrandt style painting like detail. You’ll type in a bunch of stuff like that and the AI will generate usually four images which you get to pick the one you like. And it comes up with some incredible artwork and some of it is very photorealistic through particular programs. I think DALL-E is very photorealistic in some of the stuff it pushes out. But the question we had when we were talking about this a few weeks ago is who gets the credit for that?
I don’t think the person who puts in keywords gets the credit for the artwork. It is the AI’s artwork. It’s almost like you walk up to a sketch artist on the street and ask them to draw you something and they draw you something. You didn’t draw it, so you can’t post it as if you made it. You can post and say, Hey, I commissioned this artist to make this. I think that’s what it’s more akin to and I guess, it’s not really the AI’s creativity as much as it’s AI mimicking human creativity, cuz it still looks like the things we make. But it’s nonspecific. It’s made up of a whole amalgam of anything we’ve ever made that we’ve ever loaded onto the internet. So it’s complicated. But yeah, I think there’s gonna be interesting conversations coming up about what is this? Like who owns this? Whose artwork is this? Think we’re being a bit naive if we plug in a bunch of keywords and then spit out an image that looks incredible and post online going, look what I made. No, you threw in a bunch of keywords. That’s all you did. You didn’t make anything beyond trying in keywords. So I think that’s an interesting conversation.
When it comes to photographers, I honestly think it’s very exciting tech. If you’re into photo composites or creating artwork that’s digital artwork with photography included, I’ve seen some photographers do some really creative stuff where they will generate portrait backgrounds for photographs that they’ve taken and then comp them together in Photoshop. Incredible looking stuff. So they are using their skills as a photographer to capture the portrait and then their skills in Photoshop to combine the background that they commissioned AI to do and incorporated in. So for more purest photography, I don’t think it has a lot of use, but if you are somebody who enjoys composite photography, I think it’s very exciting. It’s got some real possibilities and there’s some people that are doing some really interesting things. But again, it’s just gonna come down to when you produce that work, are you gonna be honest about where it came from and how it was made if you’re asked, and not try to claim that you made it from scratch, and that’s where it becomes an integrity issue, I reckon.
But yeah, the fact that this thing is only really being talked about the way that it is in the last, what, three to six months maybe? It’s brand new. And look how amazing it is already. In five years, you’re not gonna be able to tell the difference between an AI generated photograph and a real one. Yeah, but we’re gonna have to have some honesty around that for sure.
Stuart: I guess on the one hand, what you are saying is that it throws up some interesting creative possibilities for maybe people who don’t have, for example, the budget to build the background that they want to build. Or they can create a background that is unique or unusual and couldn’t perhaps be done by any other means. So I guess it does open up creativity for some photographers in it. I often think about technology as democratising things and I wonder whether it makes it easier to create more fantastical kinds of images and portraits and more, whether your imagination, the limit of what’s possible is what you can think of.
Sean: Yeah. That’s what makes it exciting, isn’t it? The friend that I was talking to is a mixed media artist who usually strolls through old ephemera magazines from the 40s and 50s and uses that in his artwork with painting and texture and everything else. Exciting thing for him in his art is, he gets to generate that ephemera now. He doesn’t have to find it in a magazine. He can say exactly what he wants, those pieces that he’s gonna print out on transfers and put on his canvases. He can say exactly what he wants them to look like, which has loads of exciting possibilities for him. But yeah, it’s definitely got its uses in its place I think. For what it is it’s very exciting.
Stuart: So a couple more questions. First one would be, why do creative people suffer from imposter syndrome and how do you get over that?
Sean: When I’ve worked that out, I’ll let you know. I don’t know. I dunno. I think it’s very difficult, isn’t it? I have the same issue. I try to just keep a sober view of things. It’s like I said earlier, I don’t get swayed by the negativity that comes my way, and I don’t get swayed by the positivity that comes my way. If I have a hundred people posting on a photograph, saying, this is the best thing they’ve ever seen, I don’t go, oh my gosh, I’m the best photographer ever. I go, oh, okay, that’s the best thing you’ve ever seen. Either you’re not good enough for photography yet to realise this definitely isn’t the best thing you’ve ever seen or maybe it is, and I’m sad for you. If that’s what that means. It doesn’t mean I’m brilliant. Equally, if I’m getting people going, you’re awful, you’re terrible. Why are you even doing this? You’re wasting your time, which I get regularly. That also doesn’t mean anything.
You have to be, I think, a little bit self-contained and I think, again, I talk about it in the book a little bit, but I say that this is where your ego is very useful and dangerous. Freud came up with this idea of ego as being like, you’ve got your id, which is that middle drive in you, which is like that animal instinct to make sure you eat enough and you have shelter. It’s those instinctual drives and on the outside you’ve got your super-ego, which is your sense of responsibility to your community around you. And the thing that negotiates between those instinctual drives and your sense of responsibility for others is your ego. That’s what in the middle of those two, it’s what defines who you are as a person. And that’s necessary. If we didn’t have that, we’d be lost. We wouldn’t have a personality, we wouldn’t be a person. But obviously there’s two sides to that coin. The one is if it gets over calibrated and we think we’re brilliant, we can lose our way. We just become arrogant, annoying people who think we’re better than we actually are. It’s that Dunning-Kruger effect if you’ve come across that.
I think where it’s really helpful, and the phrase I use in the book is I think we need to be more self-centred in a good way, in that I believe in what I’m doing and I’m doing the best work I can, and I have a sober view about how good that actually is because I can see people ahead of me who are way better than me. So the way I talk about it in the book is I think you need to be more self-centred in a good way in that you make the work that you believe in. You’re giving it the best quality you can possibly give it and putting it out into the world so that people see that, they understand what you’re doing. And you’ve also got a sober view about how good that actually is. You’re looking up the ladder the whole time and you are well aware of how good photographers can actually get, for example. But you can also see how far you’ve come from a beginner. You’re somewhere in the middle and you’re progressing all the time. So you’re not swayed by, oh my gosh, we think you’re brilliant, or, oh my gosh, we think you’re terrible. You’ve got that sober view and you hang onto it.
And I think that’s the way to battle that imposter syndrome is like when you do start to get those compliments coming in and you’re going, oh, if only they knew how rubbish I was. That’s a lack of self-awareness about where you actually are on your journey. And I’m not saying that I don’t struggle with this all the time. I do. I think it’s very hard to gauge how I’m doing, and it is for everybody. But I think it’s trying to find that middle ground, that sweet spot where you can be as honest as you possibly can about how far you’ve still gotta go. But also celebrating how far you’ve come and living comfortably in that middle zone, backing yourself with the things that you make.
Stuart: Fantastic. And so my final question, which I ask everyone is, if you were talking to someone, starting out right now, a photographer or artist who wants to make a career and pursue their creativity full time, what sort of two or three steps would you advise them to take first?
Sean: I’ll use photography as an example. I think at the start it’s important to, like I say, just have time where you play and build your skill set and experiment as much as possible. You have to give yourself that space. Until you’ve done that, I don’t think you can start trying to do it as a career. You need to know what you are good at, what you’re trying to say and what your aesthetic is and have started to make those choices. Once you’ve done that, I reckon, then it’s a case of picking a lane. So if you’re a photographer, how are you gonna make your money? Are you going to be a photographer who serves other people? Which is legitimate. I did it for years and I’m proud to have done it. It’s not less than being an artist.
So in my case, I identified that lots of e-commerce companies need quality images of their products to go on their website and they need consistency and all that. So I went to those companies with portfolios of work that I built up in my own time. I started actually in food photography because I’d shot some food photography for friends, cafes and other things. I took that portfolio through and said, I can do this. I think you need this. Here’s how much you can have me for. And companies picked me up for that. And then I moved on to other sorts of product photography. So I served companies with my camera and doing that took me working out which direction I wanted to go. Practising hard, building my skills, building that portfolio, and then going and presenting myself.
I think if you’re going the other route and you’re deciding, okay, I wanna make a living as an artist making my own work, it’s a lot harder. It’s a lot more difficult because it’s a lot less defined and takes a lot longer for most people. So then it’s a case of building an audience to sell things to. To sell your artwork to. That’s how you’re gonna make money. So it’s starting to make the work that you believe in, building that portfolio, as we’ve already discussed, telling your story around why you are doing that, what drove you to that, why you think that work’s important. And then as you start to build that audience, you say, yeah, we like this. We care about what you care about. We want to own some of this work, or help you keep making it, then you’re gonna offer them ways to do that. And it could be through Patreons or selling prints or offering workshops. And then you start to work out what’s my offering that I can give to my audience that they then have a way to support me, but they’re getting value back as well. And then you can slowly build that over time and refine it down.
So depending on which avenue you go, I think the answer’s slightly different. But it’s gonna start working out either way, what your direction is, making sure it’s the best work that you can possibly make at this point in your life and that you stand by it. I think too many photographers walk into meetings going, oh, you should hire me, I’m a photographer. And they go, are you? Yeah, yeah. I really like it. It’s fun. Where’s the great quality work? There’s no way in any other industry we could walk into a room and ask someone for a job just cuz we like the idea of it. We’d have to prove we can do a serviceable job and do it consistently.
This is something else I think photographers in particular need to learn, and I certainly fell into this trap. I accidentally took three or four good shots of my friends’ portraits one day, but I also couldn’t replicate that most days. I just got lucky cuz the light was good. I didn’t understand why that shot was good and I couldn’t replicate it if someone asked me to. I couldn’t take that into a room and say, here’s my portfolio. And they go, okay, well yeah, do that with one of us now. And I couldn’t do it. I have to be able to do it every time. So building up that consistency and being able to be hireable because you can be relied upon to produce that same quality every time even if you have to do some problem solving, that’s also important. So the love of it is only a part of it. You have to take seriously building that skill set as well.
Stuart: Thank you very much Sean. It’s incredible advice there. And thanks for spending the time with us today to share that.
Sean: You’re welcome man!