A little about Shawn
An introduction to the Author Photographer who will be rambling on here the most
Life is a strange trip. There are so many times that we think we have it all figured out. That we know where we are going and how we are going to get there. We like to think of ourselves as kind of the captain of our own ships on this voyage through life, but more often than not, a lot more often than not, we have no clue what we are doing. We make it all up as we go along. The best-laid plans often end up getting tossed into the sea of what the heck was I thinking. We make smart choices as often as we make dumb ones which brought about the phrase whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
First stop on my Journey
I was 21 when I dropped out of college for the second time to travel across America with one of my friends. We were young and were honest enough with ourselves that we had no clue where we were going or where we would end up. We left Maine behind one morning before dawn and after a little under 7,000 miles we ended up in California. It was a short stint before we backtracked a bit and landed in Phoenix Arizona. I sold cars before taking a short spin as a financial adviser licensed with my series 7, series 66 and Arizona life, health & variable annuities licenses. I spun that position into a stockbrokers position dealing in employee stock options and employee stock purchase plans.
For a time I was happy. In fact, that job above all others was the job I look back on and have the fondest memories. I loved it. Then the tech bubble burst and I was caught up in the wave that washed out most of the industry. I was still in my early twenties, I had a nice chunk of cash in the bank and a severance package that encouraged me to go back to school. I did just that. I enrolled in Motion Picture & Television Production.
I had everything figured out. I was going to learn the craft and concur Hollywood as a screenwriter who directed and starred in his own films. Everything was on track until I ran out of money. It was a setback that turned me towards a career in management at a fortune 15 company. I had success, but it left me with a hole in my heart. I didn’t have time for my writing or for making films.
I found myself adrift for a lot of years. Made good choices and made a lot of bad ones. I never landed in jail so that is plus.
I spent a lot of years doing things that I was okay enough at to get by with. I needed to pay the bills so I worked jobs that allowed me to scrape by enough to make that happen. It was never easy, mostly because I wasn’t with the right person. That isn’t a knock on them, I wasn’t the right person for them either. As things go things could have been better, in theory, they could have been worse, but in the flames that ended a decade of my life, I met the person who was right for me. I met my wife, my best friend, my companion, my partner and inspiration for everything. It’s a humbling experience to find someone who compliments you in ways that you didn’t know possible.
Being a creative is not easy
There are so many things that Rowena and I could do with our lives that would be so much easier than the voyage we have set ourselves upon. She is an amazingly talented artist who pushes herself to improve constantly. I spend my life in awe of that woman. Her strength, her talents, her kind heart. She is the best mother to our children that I could imagine having. I am, for what it is worth, a competent enough author. I’ve published 3 books co-written with other authors under pseudonyms. Nothing that has paid me back for anything more than a few pizzas, but it was never about the money on those projects.
I enjoy being a storyteller. It used to be only in words, but my time learning film, lead to my love of photography. I’m still a newbie in a lot of ways even after the years of capturing moments. I am told I can capture pretty okay moments, but as I set about on continuing to constantly learn the craft I find that I know nothing. There are levels of creativity that I am not even aware of, but I always keep pushing forward to learn more. I don’t know if I will ever reach the point where I can say I am a master, but I do know I still have room to grow and I have a lot of accumulated knowledge to pass on.
Being a creative in a lot of ways sets you up for a life of constant criticism from strangers and constant self-analysis and occasional compliments.
Being a creative is the only thing I can image for us going forward
Rowena and I are now a few years into our journey with Mouse Island Creatives and the family of divisions that encompasses. Photography, art, stories, and graphic design are the 4 cores, but we have a lot of side projects on the to be tackled soon list. The Wicked Good Life is the life we live and it what we are attempting to share with you so you can not just follow along with us, but also live it as well.
Just because something isn’t the easiest path to walk, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk it. Rowena has been freelancing for twenty years. It hasn’t been easy, but she’s succeeded at it and still is. Our photography business is holding its own, enough that it enables me to do this full time. Could we be busier, yes, but we haven’t been ready to advance things further than we have with Mouse Island Photography until recently.
Things are growing. Things are good. Things are Wicked Good. Thanks for reading.