We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Ken Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, how do you think about risk?
Taking a risk by going out on your own as an artist and freelancer is scary. Creating system in where you can think about how much risk you are willing to take on is important. One thing you can do is create a personal budget to figure out how much money you need to make month to month makes risk less of an abstract idea into a more concrete calculation. How many clients do I have to secure? What rates do I charge? Do I still need a part-time job or full-time job to build out my skills and network while sustaining myself? These are all important questions that you can ask yourself to make the idea of taking a risk a tangible negotiation with yourself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a person that seeks out the expertise of others. I have been blessed to have created relationships with people that are generous with their time and thoughts. Whether it is podcasting, producing, or photography I owe all my successes others. In any work I do relationship building is the most important part for me. I have learned it is better to build deep relationships with select people rather than having +500 connections on Linkedin.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am not self-made in any stretch of the imagination. My work and who I am is a result of the support I have continually received from various groups and people over the years. I want to give a shout out to my community college professors that helped me believe in my myself, the friends that show up in times of joy and grief, the seasoned photographers that take the time to sit with me and teach me the craft, and my family for reminding my worth is not tied to any job or thing I do.
(ME)Michael Ken Stewart – Black and white dancers & Liquor store imgae Lisa Chang – event photo infront of step and repeat with group Brandon Eng – long hair holding camera Stephan Han – Long hair surrounded by green leaves