After a year of work and more cups of coffee than one human being should be allowed to drink, the curtain finally rises on my short video art show called Half-World, and as I reflect on the experiences that brought it all together, it occurs to me that we’ve likely had a similar experience…
…a moment that altered our lives…
…and perhaps it still lingers with you.
Like me, someone may have once told you that you don’t have what it takes… that whatever dream you have, you’re living in a “fantasy world” and you should “get real” because you don’t have the right skills… the right education or enough money.
Maybe like me, you believed them and put your dreams away, and because of that, perhaps you have days when you feel unhappy, frustrated or a bit lost.
If this sounds like you… or even if you’ve only felt this way once or twice… then I think you’ll enjoy Half-World because, at its core, it was created to show you two things:
- Those “get real” people are wrong.
- You have everything you need right now to create whatever dream you.
To better illustrate, let me tell you a quick true story about how I created Half-World.
In 2013, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming an artist, and to many, it seemed like a foolish decision at the worst possible time in my life.
- I didn’t have any special skills.
- I didn’t have an arts education.
- I definitely didn’t have any money.
In fact, I had less than no money.
I was out of work. The bills were piling up and the only studio space I could afford was the back of an unheated garage, and believe me. If you’ve never worked in an unheated studio during a Canadian winter, it’s not an experience I would recommend for anyone.
Worse than that, I wanted to create fantasy art, which didn’t exactly promise the fast track to commercial success.
But I had three things:
- a cheap camera
- a burning desire
- the world around me
So I started taking pictures of whatever I found: trees, rocks, flowers, anything. Then I took pieces from those photos and arranged them to create the pictures I wanted.
And I didn’t know whether it would lead anywhere. So I got scared sometimes—especially about the money.
I started thinking about how they used to tell me as a kid, “You can’t make any money in the creative arts. You’d better get real or you’ll die poor and miserable,” and I definitely started thinking they might be right…
…and in a conflicted state of confusion, I lost my way.
Luckily, I had the good fortune of being reminded of something that applies directly to you and whatever you dream of doing.
When you stay focused on the passion and joy of what moves you, the rest eventually takes care of itself, like it did for me. I just focused on creating the best art I could with whatever tools I had around me. That was it.
Then I just put my work out there in the world with no attachment to outcome.
After a while, a few people contacted me to do some freelance work, and I just kept following inspiration until I was soon making a living in the creative arts.
Here’s the point:
Whether you dream of being a singer or an entrepreneur or even an astronaut, if I can do it, you can definitely do it too. That’s the message behind the short 3-minute art video called Half-World.
On the surface, the video (involving over 800 individual image elements) is a trip to a faraway forest, where glimpses of a strange carnival fantasy world come alive inside a mysterious theatre. Yet the video is really about the pieces I found and how I arranged them to create the images.
Those pieces are your reminder that you can also use whatever’s available in your own life to create the world you want to live in, and there’s a reason I called it Half-World.
The name represents a truth…
…that as long as you follow your passion and joy, you’re already halfway to where you want to be.
Enjoy the show. –Xris
P.S. – For a close-up look at individual images used in the Half-World video, you can check out the exclusive collection of Half-World art at Redbubble.
All images (photos, drawings, video clips) are original, copyright © 2017, Xristopher Bland | abmCreative. All rights reserved, with the exception of a few short royalty-free video FX clips used here and there.
“Elysium” copyright © 2016, Zero. Used and shortened with written permission from the composer per non-commercial use, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 to adapt and share.
“Mother Earth Chant” copyright © 2016, DL Sounds. Usage adheres to all royalty-free usage guidelines.
All Sound Effects are also royalty-free and adhere to all usage guidelines.
Eternal and tremendous thanks to my partner, muse and fellow Half-World explorer Mary Beth for the continual inspiration, for contributing photographs and accompanying me on countless shoots, for being in the video and for encouraging me to head into the wild where the magic still lives in forgotten places.
Eternal and tremendous thanks to my son and fellow Half-Worlder Nicholas, who showed me the way to Half-World long before I believed such places could exist.
Special thanks to my cat, Majyn, who kept me company every morning while I worked on this video (and “contributed” to the video by jumping on the laptop once or twice).
Special thanks to coffee. Without you, brain no work good.
And extra special thanks to:
- My mother for trusting me with the ABM name and for her guiding spirit throughout this.
- Trevor and Emese for letting us housesit at Snelston Maples (featured in the opening and closing of this video).
- Osie for his friendship and letting us romp around the farm with cameras, from Pond Acres to the Circle of Friends. (And all that awesome pie was pretty sweet too.)
- That wonderful unknown woman who let me into the O Theatre alone that morning at the Bellagio in Vegas, where I was able to capture some shots of public-display Cirque sculptures that would have been impossible to capture in any other circumstance.
- Rosewood Farm for being a major backdrop in this video and… well, for just being an amazingly magical place.
- Friends, family and followers for their encouragement and inspiration along the way, even if they didn’t know they were inspiring me. For every one of the 800-plus elements involved in the making of Half-World, I have 800-plus reasons to be thankful as I move forward to future creative projects and what I might find there.