Peace Out 2014! The Biggest Lesson I Learned this Year

What up pandas?!  

I know...I'm well aware it has been a minute, but boy did I miss you...fellow blog reader. I felt it was only right to end the year working on something I sought out to do at the beginning of the year, which of course is share my journey on 

This year was crazy. A whole lot of ups and downs. From discovering my newfound interest and focus in cinematography all the way down to the end of a 3 year relationship. I laughed, I cried, and without a doubt, I grew....

 My greatest takeaway from 2014 is...

"Don't try and do this alone."

Why this took me years to really embrace--I have no idea. But now that I have, there's no way I'm going back to doing the solo thing. I took a whole lot of pride in being a "one man band" (Or one girl band--whatever). I believed it gave me a competitive edge. The fact that I could shoot, edit, color grade, do some SFX here and there, photography, and design sounds amazing. Only thing's sort of a waste of time. 

I truly can't tell you the amount of hours I've spent isolated studying a massive variety of skills only to simply be mediocre at them. I learned...

"It's better to be a master in a small skill set, than a Jack of all trades." 

When you focus your skill set and become a beast at it, you become really valuable to a team that can use your expertise. Besides, that's what it takes to make a brilliant film--a team. When you isolate yourself by trying to do everything alone, you miss out on meeting and collaborating with some incredibly talented and amazing people. 

Photo taken by  Wei O'Connell

Photo taken by Wei O'Connell

You ever noticed back in the 90's, all the TV shows where superheroes would combine their powers to defeat the enemy? Power Rangers had the Megazord, and Captain Planet was summoned by earth, wind, fire, water and heart? Yea, they were on to something! Seriously though, there's nothing like a group of talented and creative individuals coming together to tackle a project.  That goes for any art. Music, filmmaking, even photography. Collaborate and Share! 

Something else I've been trying with my newfound discovery is reaching out to people who inspire me and offering my skills. I'm talking about people who write for big budget films, and photographers who shoot celebrities. I think we often get the impression that high end artists are unreachable because they work with celebrities that are--well, unreachable. But really, half the time they aren't. Drop them a line--comment on their facebook page.  You'd be surprised how quickly they respond. 

"True artists are inspired by the fact that they inspire you."

I nearly spazzed out this year when one of my favorite photographers replied to a comment I left her on Facebook. I was stoked a few months ago when I was standing there conversing with an instructor who traveled the world to teach Photoshop and Photography.  

I will carry this discovery with me in 2015. And not just apply it to my craft, but my life as well. I believe community, and camaraderie is critical in the world we live in now. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, and also those who bring you joy. And I am so grateful for those who take the time to read my blog, view my work, and reach out to me--and those who continue to root for me even when I stop rooting for myself. There may not be many of you, but you guys help me to come out my shell more, share more, and keep pushing forward.

So, just a heads up. You'll see a whole lot more panda in 2015! =)

See ya next year...

~ Panda


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