Andrew Wyton is one of my best friends. I credit him with opening my eyes to a whole new way of looking at the world. A way in which I see my own potential to create something of my own choosing. A world where anything is possible. A world where I can step outside, far outside the rigid boundaries of societal expectations.
Back in our early days, we first became friends through our mutual passion for snowboarding. We spent all our energy focusing on the sport, essentially living at the local hill as though it were our second home. As young adults, Andy and I spent probably close to the majority of our time either boarding or filming videos and films about boarding. It was all-consuming for the both of us, and our passion for the sport has manifested a unique mindset for the way we look at the world around us.
In more recent years, as two young adults, our lives have changed quite a bit, but I can certainly speak for the both of us in saying that snowboarding set up the trajectory for our lives in a very unique way. Initially, Andy started filming snowboarding to solve the simple issue that there was nobody else to point the camera at him. Following a spine injury that forced his retirement from the sport, he continued with the video aspect of snowboarding for many years before eventually turning the hobby into his full-on career. In this episode, he talks about how his passion for snowboarding, quickly turned into a passion for content and cinematography. In the boarding world, a unique phenomenon occurred across the board when video footage grew in demand. The first people with the skills necessary to make good money doing this were the people filming skateboarding and filming. For Andy this was largely the case, and he found himself with the right skills and the perfect point in time. This has allowed him to create a lot of opportunity and freedom in his life as he owns and operates a well-respected video company at home in London, Ontario.
In this Podcast
In this episode, he tells the story of how this transition came to be. He also tells about his upbringing as I poke and prod him to try and understand why exactly his brain ended up with so much creative power. More recently, Andy has joined CEDASS, a charity dedicated to nourishing the poor and troubled region of South Sudan. His passion for this project has sparked inspiration for many of the people around him, and the experiences he has had along the way justify this.
I met Adam about a year ago when giving him a ride up to a video shoot in northern Ontario. As a really young guy at the time, I was really surprised by his maturity and rational awareness when discussing all things pop culture, personal development and creative expression. From what I have seen so far, he is an incredibly passionate creator with an eagerness for continuous learning and connecting with inspiring people. In this episode Adam and I had the chance to dive into a lot of different topics. In particular, I was curious about his process in creating a highly regarded short film that is currently touring across the United States. We also discuss his views on the current state of the movie-making industry, his creative process and how he has come to prioritize self-awareness in his life, a topic I honestly wish we spoke about a lot more.
In this episode, my friend Chris and I had the chance to rant about one of our favourite topics, technology and the overstimulation it creates in our mental patterns and behaviours. In specific, we dive into our view of how modern dating is impacted by smartphones, dating apps, and hookup culture, a topic we’ve recently collaborated on for a hopeful creative project. In his work life, Chris is a renowned videographer known for his work in the music industry covering events and directing music videos. Give this episode a listen to catch up on Chris’ views on all of the above topics as well as success, happiness and his personal story of career expansion in the world of cinematography.
I started writing as a way to add credibility to my resume. Beyond a few published articles, I had no intention of continuing. What I wanted was an interesting work life, and my lack of success in finding this prompted me to search for new, self sufficient methods I could utilize to build my skillset. My first article was simply the result of being struck by a thought while spending time somewhere unfamiliar, and figuring that I may as well try something new and unfamiliar while I was at it. In that moment, the sole purpose of writing was to function as a tool for building myself up. A lot has changed since then.
Although I first started to write over two years ago, it was only recently that I decided to put forth a commitment to regular writing. My writing used to be absolutely sporadic, only occurring when a wave of inspiration came into my reality. Organizing my thoughts was difficult, as I stewed over pieces for ages before they were of any quality worth sharing. One of the biggest changes I have noticed since I first started is the actual improvement of my content. First, my grammatical ability has been amplified, but most noticeable for me is my greater ability to connect and articulate thoughts with increasing accuracy. These are just the ways in which my writing has improved, but there are things outside the act of writing that have improved as a result as well.
Writing is an inherently creative process. What I have learned is that creativity is like a muscle. It starts small, but grows with practice and new challenges. I was recently listening to a podcast with Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell where he states that the best thing for his creativity was having daily deadlines. It forced him to generate ideas and write frequently. This process helped him develop an instinctive ability to brainstorm and in turn, create. Writing often has enhanced my ability to think in new, alternative forms. In an interesting way, expressing my ideas often is actually fuelling my ability to conceive them as well. The “ideas” note in my phone grows daily, far faster than my ability to even produce articles. Adopting the mindset of a content creator has helped me break into projects that are beyond the realm of creative writing alone. It’s exciting. I now work in a creative industry and am now experiencing opportunities to work with creatives and outspoken individuals of all sort. It has become another source of inspiration and is allowing me the chance to get involved in new modes of production I have never experimented with before now.
“Every creative act, however small, enriches our species and the world around us. To find and nurture talent, is to be truly wealthy.” – Stewart Stafford
As a writer, reading and writing go hand in hand. The things I read and the things I listen to are often the source material for new projects. Books and audio content consume a generous amount of my time which, consequently, inspires the bulk of my articles. Writing more has catalyzed me to read and listen more. It’s kind of like a positive feedback loop of new knowledge and (hopefully) greater skill. During university I neglected books and many forms of reading. Endless amounts of school work shaped a personal belief that reading was always and exclusively a chore. After, when outside that learning environment, I found the absence of a learning process instilled within me the urge to find new ones. This spurred me to start writing and reading again, with the amount of reading increasing equal to the amount I started writing. It still amazes me how much my passion for learning has changed since my days as a 16 year old with an unhealthy obsession for snowboarding and nearly nothing else. Reading, writing, and vulnerability are all things I now enjoy and continue to have more and more fun with the deeper I go.
Writing started small for me and has evolved into something entirely different. I write often, I write better, and that’s because I enjoy the process involved. For myself personally, the benefit lies in the opportunity to be a creator. Before I started writing I only consumed. I read, I watched, I listened, and I bought. Everything was taken inward but I had nothing to reflect outward. The new ways of thinking involved in writing regularly stimulates the mind in a unique way that can truly shift our mental schema. I think we live in an era where this is becoming an incredibly valuable ability. Creators innovate. Creators lead, and creators mold their own path in a world where everything seems to be pre-defined and pre-destined for us.I began creating as an early step toward an eventual ability to avoid typical corporate 9-5 life, but many others do the same to thrive in that environment. It all depends what you are looking for.
From the beginning, I began writing to bring value to my situation in whatever way I could. What I didn’t realize was how much value this interest would truly manifest. Creation is an intangible skill that will change your life over time through repetition, through working that creative muscle. It can be as simple as knitting scarves for your friends or cooking new dishes. Finding a way to express yourself outwardly is something that needs to be taken advantage of and not for granted. Becoming a creator will alter and grow your mindset in ways that are difficult to describe, and this is not exclusive to writing or any individual art form for that matter. Any creative interest that brings value to your life is good.
Many of us go to school or enter the workforce, and are taught skills and concepts that have the purpose of helping us merge with society. Most of which are essentially lessons on how to follow suit and how to fit in with our designated position or sect. I’m not one to bash our modern education system, but I do believe that it has its impairments. Educational institutions do teach very valuable information, especially for those pursuing highly specialized career paths. Would we really want to trust somebody without a healthy expertise in structural engineering to construct our homes and buildings? Would we trust our investments and financial livelihood to an average Joe? Or put our kidney removal in the hands of a non-surgeon? Certainly not. Learning how to follow the rules is a really important concept for many professions, but for the rest of us, there are skills few of us learn in school that we can develop and infuse into our lifestyle and career.
“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” – Albert Einstein
In recent years I’ve developed a small fascination with entrepreneurship. I am in love with the idea of working for myself with an open-ended future of unlimited potential, based on my own effort and willingness to learn. While I do see this possibility in my future at some point, I know I have to put in some long-term work to get there. Alongside and as a result of this fascination with the world of the entrepreneur, I’ve come to really appreciate the value of creativity. Upon regularly asking friends with positions at successful, unique and interesting small companies, a common trait they all state their founders possessing is massive doses of creativity. On a large scale, when considering some of the worlds most innovative leaders today, it is easy to see this quality in these individuals as well. These people are not only incredibly intelligent, but they are experts at thinking outside of the box. They think in highly unique ways and are able to see the world from a completely different angle than the vast majority. I often think about how interesting it would be to crawl inside the minds of some of these creators and innovators just to understand how their brains work.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso
When I first started writing posts to share online, I struggled to create. Writers block was a constant burden and I would wrack my mind for days just to think of something, anything to put on the paper. Likely right before writing started losing its fun, I came across an article online that sent me down a path of readings about developing creativity as a conscious skill. As anything else in life, the moral here was that you will become more creative the more you practice creating. From my experience, it is absolutely true. Writing daily (or as regularly as I can) has helped me to develop an ability to organize and convey my thoughts easier than ever. The simple act of using a minuscule form of creativity through the process of subconsciously connecting words in new patterns, trains your mind to connect similar pathways more quickly in the future. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my ability to convey thoughts more clearly, and come up with ideas for articles and projects more frequently as well. Creativity takes a lot of practice. Master artists, producers, and innovators are experts at this on the simple basis that they have spent a lifetime creating indiscriminately. Ideas flow through them like water. They know how to think outside the box and innovate because they practiced it for decades. I’ve always enjoyed having a creative outlet in my lifestyle. Whether it be through board sports, photography or writing, it’s almost as though it is something I unconsciously needed as a method of channeling my energy. However, I see this quality as something that can be very valuable for most individuals in the professional and personal sense. Our world is changing quickly from an industrial economy to a technological service economy. As things evolve, becoming an individual with a unique skill to think outside of the typical could truly become indispensable. This is an ability we should all consider developing.