Self Development for Creatives

I think I just easily discovered my new favorite Instagram account. It's called Red Club Lemon which is a self-development ideas hub for creative people ran by Alex Mathers - a writer and illustrator living in Thailand.

Here's quickly some of my favorite quotes:

  • "Create more, tell your story, and share your work, even if no one is watching. Soon they will."
  • "Create more crap. This is where you find the momentum needed for genius work."
  • "You need to be OK with making stuff you don't like."
  • "Just keep making more."

Jakob Roze


My quest to collaborate with people who live and breathe a healthy lifestyle continues. I would say it's difficult not to be inspired by these individuals especially when we're all capable of taking care of our body the moment we realize it's far more vital than any other materialistic thing we may splurge on. This goes back to being the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with.

Jakob Roze is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist based in New York and we met up in at Rockaway Beach to shoot in what seemed to be one of the most humid Summer days thus far. I typically shy from ever shooting under such harsh light but having incorporated the Godox AD200 in combination with a small soft-box, I managed to illuminate those areas that would have typically been overpowered by shadow.

82,200 Hours. Your Job Or Your Life

You don’t need to be smarter, more talented, or more gifted than anyone else to be a success. As long as you have a purpose in life, something that you know you are destined to do, and you achieve it, you are successful.

Sometimes the most simplest of statements are the ones that have the most profound impact on you. They may not have the same affect on others but at the right time and at the specific moment, the power of the words clarifies so many things for you that were blurry before.

On Anthony Bourdain's Passing

I’m still attempting to process Anthony Bourdain’s passing. We hear news about celebrity deaths all the time and I’m not saying these are reports we should be numb to it but the initial reaction is still of disbelief. We’re spectators to the glorious lives these people live as they’re flashed on every media outlet like an ongoing slideshow but behind all that we’re never truly informed on the intricate mechanics of what we’re seeing.

I’ve written before how much I idolized Bourdain. 6 years later that admiration remains which is why his unexpected death made me reflect on what a lot of his work revolved around: everybody has a story based off their life experiences of which we may know nothing about. We can only decode so much from the outside.



We’ve all familiar with the saying that “it’s lonely at the top”. I assume while you’re up there, the desire to reveal the best image of yourself, to stay liked, to be a role model puts an insane amount of pressure on anyone. A feeling which very often goes unspoken by the person living it. Who knows if this was the case for Bourdain; he certainly didn’t seem the type to have given this celebrity quandary much thought but we’ll never know.

I’ve read all his books, I’ve seen every single one of his show episodes, I’ve followed every project he was involved in, including the very ambitious Bourdain Market which was set to open in New York but unfortunately the entire project was axed. I’ve trolled Bourdain’s work because I cared so much in listening to his perspective on life matters that extended far beyond what he was known for. While food might have been the entry way in which he gained access into people’s lives, it was more about than that. It’s that “more” element which enabled him to shine. You can’t fake being interested in people. Either you are or you’re not and that’s what he was all about.

As Helen Brosner said in a recent New Yorker piece, “Bourdain felt like your brother, your rad uncle, your impossibly cool dad—your realest, smartest friend, who wandered outside after beers at the local one night and ended up in front of some TV cameras and decided to stay there.” This is what made him so relatable. He was highly thought of and yet he never seemed as thought he thought highly of himself.

What’s not to love about a guy like that! Through his expression you can read the pain he had endured to reach the well-deserved celebrity position he was at. He lived and suffered but inspired as well. Without suffering and the occasional doubts, the mind will have a tendency to rest on cliches and stay there and there was nothing Bourdain despised more than that.

We may never have the opportunity to travel as much as his sough-after career allowed him to but I’ve learned traveling doesn’t always have to entail far long journeys. I’m fortunate to live in one of the most diverse cities in the world and not a day goes by where I don’t encounter people with different customs, different ideologies, different life perspectives and it’s those differences that Bourdain taught us to embrace.

I’m extreme sadden by Bourdain’s passing just like any other fan. He’s the reason I enrolled my son in Jiu Jitsu. He’s the reason I bought my first ever pair of Clarks Suede Desert Boots, he’s the reason I became a voracious reader, he’s the reason I love to write about what I shoot because I was inspired the way in which he narrates his travels experiences in his shows.

To do what he did required a lot of toughness but also a constant connection to reality. To me there was no one else more real than him and that’s how I’ll always remember. Speak your mind, stand by it and stay curious.

If you admire him as much as we all do, I think you'd appreciate this beautiful Life in Pictures CNN composed of his life's work.

5 Most Basic Rules of Health and Fitness

It pretty much breaks down to this:

  1. Do Something Active Every Day
  2. Do Stay Engaged in Life
  3. Don’t Overeat
  4. Don’t Drink to Excess
  5. Never Smoke

In case you haven't noticed, I've been photographing a lot of people within the fitness space largely because the very thought of individuals who utilize their body to inspire and push their own limits challenges me to apply what they so willingly share.

For some reason, I have a timid demeanor in talking to people about the healthy lifestyle I live because I consider what I do nothing out of the ordinary other than being content with repetition. The biggest difference based off the people I continue to meet is that you do something long enough to the point where you don't feel like yourself if you're not taking care of your body and lets face it, who doesn't yearn to just be themselves?

Living the NION Life

The struggles never go away they just change...

If anyone makes it seem like living the life of an artist is easy it's probably because they've been shy to share all the sh*t they've gone through and continue to improve it in order to achieve their version success. I personally don't do anything of this creative endeavor full-time yet but I can tell you there's a lot of sacrifices involved which hasn't bother me because it still allows me to spend time with people I love while still being behind the camera when I'm not a work.

Someone who I've learned a lot from not just from his work but from his continuous writing on the creative life is Nick Onken. He said, " My journey...was NOT easy… however, I discovered a few tricks along the way that I know could make it a whole lot easier for YOU."

He recently wrote an article on this very topic which I highly recommend you sit and take notes on, especially for those considering starting a career in art.