Coming Of Age

Some time ago, I found myself transitioning into another “coming of age” period of life.  Late in my twenties, I started feeling the artist’s dreaded plateau of complacency.  For years, I held a unique position in the most unlikely of organizations.  I had creative freedom and opportunities to showcase my imagination in grand scale.  I experienced exponential career growth and the material luxuries associated therewith.  And, I enjoyed the sensations of being unstoppable and the world being endlessly new.  All of this, however, reached a zenith, and long before I realized such was the case.

Finding Inspiration

My days had become pure agony, as my inherent need, my raison d’etre, my burden to captivate people through my creations was no longer being satiated.  It was around this time that I stumbled upon an excerpt from Thomas Wolfe’s fictionalized autobiography, Of Time and the River, and that catalyzed the genesis of Claymaker:

“His own power and magic — overwhelmed him for a moment with a feeling of the purest, highest, and most glorious happiness that life can yield — the happiness that is at once the most selfish and the most selfless — the happiness of the artist when he sees that his work has been found good, has for itself a place of honour, glory, and proud esteem in the hearts of men, and has wrought upon their lives the spell of its enchantment.

At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being — the reward he seeks — the only reward he really cares about, without which there is nothing.  It is to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic, to make his life prevail through his creation, to wreak the vision of his life, the rude and painful substance of his own experience, into the congruence of blazing and enchanted images that are themselves the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity.”

At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being...

Thomas Wolfe

The Urge to Inspire

Upon discovering this sheer poetry, I felt for the first time in adulthood that I had a tangible explanation of the purpose I serve as an artist, and in such surreal, quintessentially “me” language.  Of every visual I have conceived, there has been an underlying hope if not a personal requirement that my audience feel something powerful through it.  After all, my own life experiences and the feelings, emotions and revelations within are what inspire my creations.  If a personal experience awakens me to craft apiece, do I not also desire my audience to experience the same?  Wolfe gifted me an epiphany.  I imbue my works with specific feeling such that the audiences will feel it too.  And hopefully, that feeling inspires or makes a difference for them.

With reawakened vigor, I shifted my focus toward something that had been growing within me for years – my own company, a collective of artists sharing the same passion of making a difference through our creations.  The name had been chosen along the way.  A former boss, now mentor and friend once called my biggest pieces “Claymakers”, a derivative of the sports term “playmaker”.  In sports, a team’s playmakers are its multitalented players that make a difference in the game.  I found “Claymaker” appropriately fitting, as yes, it immortalizes my persona, but more importantly, it identifies that myself, and the artists I work with are difference makers, and we have a wide skillset in film and television.

Claymaker’s Purpose and Vision

With this as our foundation, this group of artists and I will continue pouring life-changing experiences into the visuals we create with the goal to inspire a difference.  Whether we inspire you to create your own work of art, to donate to a cause, to volunteer, to be a source of light in darkness, or to just enjoy a sense of wonder by momentarily leaving your world behind, my consistent hope is that we make you feel something special.  Experience has taught us that feeling perpetuates action, and action perpetuates a difference.

We are inspired to create and we create to inspire, and the common goal out of all of this is that a positive difference can be made in our communities, in our country, and in our world.  And with that, the purpose, and now tagline of “Claymaker” arises – to make a difference with moving pictures.  Not just motion pictures – motion pictures that move.