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Almost Everything with Jeffery Saddoris
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Almost Everything with Jeffery Saddoris

Author: Jeffery Saddoris

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I released my first podcast in 2009. I was hooked and have been recording deep-dive conversations with interesting and creative people about what they do and why they do it ever since. I’m taking cues from some of my interview heroes like Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson, and Studs Terkel and distilling the conversations I record into one show. I’m calling it Almost Everything with Jeffery Saddoris and on each episode, I’ll be talking to both creatives and everyday people about their unique stories and lived experiences. 

282 Episodes
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I’ve been thinking about something for a while and I’m not sure whether or not it’ll land, but I’d like to try stringing together a few ideas. I think it’s time for us to embrace being self-centered, but not in the way that you might think. Typically, when we refer to someone as “self-centered” it’s not a compliment. It often refers to someone who is egotistical and only thinks about themselves or whose only concerns are their own wants, needs, or even interests. But I think there are ways we...
Whether you call it a slump, a funk, a downturn, a slowdown, a struggle, a breakdown, a nosedive, a stall, a meltdown, a plunge, or just stagnation, I’ve been in one for a while. While I have multiple journals that are dappled with notes, sketches, and the beginnings of ideas, I haven’t actually recorded a new show or finished a new painting in months. Even this newsletter has taken a hit on consistency after more than 130 weekly entries. I know the situation will come back online — or at lea...
For the past few weeks, maybe even the past month or so, I’ve been on sort of an Ethan Hawke deep dive. I like Ethan Hawke as an actor and while I haven’t seen everything he’s ever done, I really like Training Day and I would probably put Dead Poets Society and Gattaca in my top 20 — actually, maybe top 30. I know some people find him pretentious, but whenever I’ve seen him interviewed, he always seemed like a good guy. A few years ago, he did a TED Talk called Give Yourself Permission to be ...
The other day I was on the phone with my friend Neale James and we were talking about a recent episode of his podcast The Photowalk, on which he was talking to our mutual friend Sean Tucker about creativity. “I invite you,” Neale begins the episode, “to imagine a five-pointed star. Now on each point of the star, I’d like you to think of a word that’s important to you in terms of creativity or your creativity. Each is a kind of cornerstone of the why and even how you create as of today.” As an...
If you’ve been subscribed for a while, you probably know I’m a big Nine Inch Nails fan and have been since 1990 when I saw them open up for Peter Murphy. The other day, I was watching a terrific video with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross breaking down some of their most iconic tracks. One of the more fascinating aspects of the video was how much Trent talks about process and how important the “feel” of the music was and still is. “When we write music,” Trent says, “it’s coming from a place wher...
Last week, we recorded the last episode of On Taking Pictures. If you’re a longtime listener, you may think you’ve heard this before, and you’re right, you have. But this time it’s different. I’ll get to why in a minute, but first I need to back up. In 2008, I was teaching Photoshop at Tri-Community Photo in Covina, California. One of the other instructors and I started doing photo walks with some of the students on the weekends. As they got more popular, we put up a simple web page call...
Art as a Verb

Art as a Verb

2024-04-0806:47

The artist Richard Serra died recently, and I know he’s considered a big deal in the art world, but honestly I’ve never really gotten what all the hype is about. I suppose I can appreciate the scale and the forms of some of the work in the same way that I can appreciate the architecture of Frank Gehry, but overall, it just never really grabbed me. Anyway, one of the posts that came up in my feed contained a quote by him that goes:“Art for the most part, is about concentration, solitude and de...
After recording last week’s episode of On Taking Pictures, Bill sent me a link to a video that’s both fascinating and deeply disturbing, called “AI vs Artists: The Biggest Art Heist in History.” The video presents some of the grim facts around how images, including the 5.85 billion uncurated images in the LAION-5B dataset, are being illegally scraped and used to generate derivative work. The dataset was initially intended for research but has since been made available commercially and has bee...
Tool Up!

Tool Up!

2024-03-1709:12

About a week ago, I jumped back into using Photoshop for the first time since 2018 and I’ve got to tell you, it was kind of like putting on a favorite pair of jeans. Yes, the interface has changed a little and a bunch of terrific new tools have been added—especially Object Select, which I’ll come back to in a minute. But even after such a long hiatus, it was still so familiar that straight away it got me thinking about why I stopped using it, and in a broader sense, about some of the decision...
Swimming in Molasses

Swimming in Molasses

2024-03-0505:38

I started this Iteration on February 29th—Leap Day—and for me it was a good day, which, frankly, I really needed. In the last Iteration, I talked about how difficult 2023 was for me and in the week or so since I shared it a lot has happened. Probably the biggest thing is that I’ve started going to therapy. I’ve danced around it for a long time and I think it just got to a point where I could no longer keep pretending that everything was okay—that I was okay— and that whatever was “wrong”...
I’m not going to bury the lede—2023 was not a great year for me, especially financially. In fact, I think it was one of the worst years I’ve had since I became a solo creative, and for the most part, it was nobody’s fault but mine. One of my favorite movies is High Fidelity (get the book here) and in it, there’s a scene where Rob (played by John Cusack) is going through a particularly frustrating time and says, “I’m sick of the sight of this place. Some days I'm afraid I'll go berserk, throw ...
Another February 5th

Another February 5th

2024-02-0606:14

Today is February 5th and it would have been my dad’s 83rd birthday. I normally mark the day by posting a simple message like “I miss you, Dad” on Instagram or Twitter, when Twitter was still a thing and I was still on it. Today, I want to do something a little different and tell you a story. My dad could be tough and for a big part of my adolescent life, we butted heads. A lot. At one point, it got pretty bad and we actually didn’t talk for a while. It seemed like we were often at odds with ...
A couple weeks ago, I finally bought a set of wireless mics. I had been wanting and maybe even needing a set for a long time as a way to record the random conversations I seem to have with people out in the world on any given day. I’d been looking at them for a while, but I saw a review that Curtis Judd did—who was one of my favorite audio YouTubers—and I thought, “I'm just gonna get these. They'll be fine.” I had been going back-and-forth between the Røde Wireless Go IIs and the DJI Mics and...
Starting Out Heavy

Starting Out Heavy

2024-01-1308:37

If you’ve spent any time around me at all, you know that I have opinions—lots of them—and I have since I was a kid. Sometimes when I would offer my unsolicited thoughts on various things, my mom would respond with “Oh, there he is…my little critic.” The thing is it’s not just criticism. Not always, anyway. More often than I generally care to admit, I find myself feeling personally offended, either by the design or functionality of a product or service or by someone—whether I know them or not—...
Well here we are again, nearing the end of one more trip around the sun and I for one cannot wait for it to be over. Christmas used to be my favorite time of year, but that was really because of my mom. She would start decorating the house around Thanksgiving, and when I say decorating, I don’t just mean putting up lights—our house looked and smelled like a Hallmark store. Yes, there were lights, but she also had all sorts of ornaments, figurines, and little holiday town squares and villages....
Back in the late 70s, there was a terrific documentary on the BBC called Connections. It was hosted by historian and author James Burke and now that I think about it, I don’t remember whether I watched it on PBS or I borrowed VHS copies of it from my freshman English teacher, Mrs. Copeland who also loaned out copies of Cosmos. And to be clear, I’m talking about the Carl Sagan version, not the Neil Degrasse Tyson version. Regardless, the show was all about tracing the connections between thing...
As we get into this Iteration, I’d like to take a minute to let you know about some changes that I’m working on that will be rolling out in the coming weeks and months. Iterations will still be weekly (mostly), but I’m going to mix up the types of posts I’ll be including and treat it more like an old-school blog. For example, you may have noticed that the Blips have been getting more substantial in terms of the research I do and the number of links I include. They started out as a just few li...
Over the past few days, the photography world has been buzzing about the “global shutter” on Sony’s new flagship A9 III. I’ve listened to various YouTubers andinfluencers talk about it as if it’s the second coming. They’re saying “it’s the most remarkable camera I’ve ever used” and calling it a “a game changer,” insisting that “it will change photography forever.” But here’s the thing: for 99% of photographers, it won’t change anything. If this is all Greek to you, let me back up a minu...
Let It Incubate

Let It Incubate

2023-11-1007:50

They say that one of the best ways to solve a problem—at least a creative one—is actually not to think abut it. After all, how many times have you been doing something like taking a shower or going for a long walk and you find yourself having one of those eureka moments where suddenly the solution to a problem you’ve been wrestling with forever seems so clear? It happens to me a lot and it’s one of the reasons that taking walks in the forest behind our house has become a daily ritual. Trying ...
As I was working through the recent redesign of my website—which you can read about or listen to in the last Iteration—I started to look at some of the other software I was using to see whether what I was using still made sense for the projects I’ll be doing in the coming year. I think it’s sometimes easy to get into a routine of using tools that are “good enough” that we just don’t look for potentially better options. I know that’s been true for me. About eight years ago, I ditched Phot...
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