In life, I see everything in black and white.
What do you want for dinner tonight?
I don’t like grey. Grey is watered down opinions, thoughts, and ideas.
For example, a “grey” opinion is your friend who goes:
What do you want for dinner? I don’t know. You pick. Oh but we had Chinese last week. Oh sorry, I don’t like pork. Can you choose something healthier, perhaps more low-carb and gluten free?
A black or white opinion:
Let’s get Japanese Ramen, with an extra side of Charshu pork belly.
Or, tell people what you don’t like, or practical restrictions.
We can get anything. But I’m allergic to shrimp and other shellfish. I like fish though.
I love realness.
I was in a taxi ride today, and asked the driver in Vietnamese,
Are you feeling healthy? (The way to say “how are you?”)
And kept driving.
At first I felt a bit offended and affronted.
Then, I realized:
Wow, it’s so refreshing so have someone spit the truth– not to just water down their thoughts and feelings, like how most Americans do.
I want everyone to love me.
Why are we afraid to share our opinion?
I’m not sure, but for myself, I’m often afraid of sharing my opinion, because I fear offending others or harming the feelings of others.
But to be honest, it is impossible to live a life wholly without offending anyone else.
Also, if you want to be a real artist– you cannot water down your artistic insight.
For example, don’t ask others for their opinion. Ask yourself for your own opinion.
All black everything.
In photography, I like to crush the blacks. I like high contrast, all black or all white. I don’t like the grey tones so much.
Clothing, I don’t like grey. It’s not quite black, which looks elegant and strong. It’s not quite white, which is pure and flashy.
Grey is kind of, “meh.”
Alienate your audience.
In photography, the worst sin: to share boring photos.
Your photos should either offend people, or excite people.
Avoid sharing photos that give people emotionally-grey responses.
Avoid the lukewarm (grey) responses.
For example, I’d rather have someone hate my photos or blog posts, rather than feel lukewarm about it.
In business, I need people to hate me or love me passionately. People who love me passionately or are entertained by me will attend my workshops. People who hate my message would have ignored me anyways.
How I embrace black and white in my personal life
So to sum up, to be a better artist:
Avoid half-way opinions. Either be a full-time crook, or an angel. Either be Dionysian, or Apollonian. Either be an ego-maniac (like ERIC KIM), or a Zen monk.
By embracing both black and white you will probably live a more interesting life.
Also for me, this is how I balance the black and white of my personality:
- Either dominate a conversation, or be totally quiet and only listen.
- Either fast from food, or gorge at the buffet.
- Either get fucked up from alcohol and weed, or abstain totally (I only get fucked up one day a year).
- Either rage when I’m angry or just shut the fuck up (usually the second)
- Either listen to hardcore hip hop, or Baroque music.
- Either don’t own a car, or buy a (used) Lamborghini.
- Business: Free, or charge a lot of money for it.
- All black espresso, or no coffee. No milk in my single origin shot of God.
- Either 3-hour dinners and conversations with friends, or no contact via text messaging.
This doesn’t work for everyone. Only for me.
So safely ignore ERIC KIM, and find out what works for you.
All black everything:
- MONOCHROM: The Streets Are Your Rome
- Black is Good; White is Bad
- Black Canvas
- Monochrome Manual
- How to Shoot Black and White Street Photography
- Why Shoot Black and White?
- Video: How to Master Monochrome
- Eric Kim Lightroom Presets (use Monochrome 1600)
Unleash your creative potential:
- November 7th, 2020: ERIC KIM BLOGGING MASTER CLASS (Online, via Zoom). [Register Intent Here]
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.