2015 Deck – Week 10

In Guyana, when you’re hungry and you want some “fast food” (that’s a relative term, as anyone who has been to a fast food restaurant knows only too well) the place to go is the nearest Chinese Restaurant, or maybe not the nearest, but one you know and trust… ok, trust is a strong word; the one that hasn’t given you “belly-wuk” as yet.

As you can imagine, it’s unlikely that I’d be in a Chinese Restaurant with the camera in hand, but these days the built-in cameras on our cellphones (mobile phones for you northerners) are pretty decent, a year ago I’d probably never have tried to take this photo, but with different gear comes a different attitude.


Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Duos  |  Instagram


I’ve been in that chair, probably with the same expression, a few times before… 🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, for other images from my mobile phone photography experimentation, check my feed on Instagram.

Fame and Folly

2012  |  At Rest  | © Michael C. Lam


It’s not a local issue, but it’s one that many artists have to face in the developing world more than their contemporaries in the “first world” (not saying that they don’t face it too, just to a lesser degree)   –  “We want to use your work for free, you’ll get exposure”.

Every artist at some time thinks about “Fame”, we’d like to get our work out there, for one piece to cross that invisible line that separates the millions of works of art that go relatively unnoticed and the few that make it to the galleries, the collectors’ circles and the list of “masterpieces”, one that becomes instantly recognisable upon sight throughout the art-world.

Most artists will strive to get there, but few ever attain it, this often has little to do with skill or artistic expression, and it also has little to do with the “exposure” that the hungry marketers want us to believe will catapult us to fame.


2012  |  Last Stand  |  © Michael C. Lam


Each famous artist’s path to glory is different, and we as artists have to “work” at it, not expect it to be handed to us or to become a household name by having our work used by marketers for “exposure”, those marketers are making something out of it, the artist is not, and I’ve yet to hear of artists who got the call shortly after one of these “events” for a commission or for one of their pieces to be bought.

A photographer’s photo in your magazine will make the reading experience of your clientele a bit more enjoyable, but no one will read the fine print to find out who the photographer is so that they can “buy” any of their pieces,

A sculptor’s work that took several months to complete may look nice in your hotel lobby, but none of your guests will enquire who the sculptor is to commission a piece for themselves.

A painting in your foyer will make it more welcoming, but no one stops to ask who the painter is that they may acquire a piece just as beautiful.


2011  |  dry docked?  |  © Michael C. Lam


We are artists, our work is a product of our intellect, our imagination, our skill, our craft…  it is not yours to use for your own benefit while we receive promises of exposure, such promises are meaningless and degrading to the artist.

If you want that sculpture in the lobby, buy it, it is a product of blood, sweat and tears, not an idea brought to life on a whim in mere hours…  If you want that sketch of a building that caught your eye, buy it, don’t promise the artist that you’ll hang it prominently in your boardroom for “important” people to see it…  if you want my photograph for your publication that IS paying everyone else concerned with its production, then pay me, I invested in gear, I invested my time, I invested my skill, imagination and artistic vision in it.

I may never be famous, but it is folly to believe that I do not deserve to be paid for what is rightfully mine.


2011  |  Shooting the breeze  |  © Michael C. Lam


If you’ve reached this far down, thanks for reading my rant 🙂

Click on the images to see them in their respective galleries in the Collection.


2011 Deck – Week 28

For years I have had the job description of a “Computer Graphic Artist”, I can honestly say I don’t think I deserve that title, I am not an artist, I can’t draw to save my life!  I know some computer software programs that help in “artistic” layouts, so that’s what I do  🙂  And apparently, successfully, at least for a number of years now!

If someone were to say that my “vision” of the product I am trying to create using those software was artistic, I’ll take it as a compliment, and if someone were to say that I have used that artistic vision and adapted it to my photography, I would also take that as a compliment  🙂  My first “artistic” job under that title was under Bernard Ramsay, and I learnt more about layouts and type-style usage from him than at any other time in my life, I helped to bring the Computer into his business (which was mostly hand-done even then), but he helped shape the “artistry” in me.

Even before then when I did small posters or flyers for the church, or Posters for the National Cultural Center for the late, great Lloyd Grannum, it was the encouragement of those that I did those things for that helped shape me.

As a side-note, Lloyd Grannum was probably one of the greatest men to ever walk this earth (in my humble opinion), his outlook on life, love and his laughter always made me feel that this simple man, with a simple job and a simple family life, had more greatness in a smile than I would ever achieve in my lifetime, and that feeling has never changed.

Back to the topic of artists!  During the recent Squash tournament that took so much of my time away from my work and my “casual” photography, there was an Opening Ceremony for the event, and just before that ceremony, one of the female squash players of the Guyanese team did some “face-painting” for the members for the team.  She is an Artist (yes, with a capital “A”).  A talented young lady, who comes from a very talented family, I think every member of their family expresses “art” in one way or another, simply amazing!!!

She is Gigi!  watch out for her, she is destined for greatness in art.  My Deck photo this week is of her in action, while painting faces may not be very glamorous, this was not only about the art!  It was about Squash, about Team, about Compadres and Friends, about Expression, and Patriotism!

Gigi!