DNLdidit Videography owner, director and chief videographer Stevie Ward has been shooting and directing video productions for over five years. Covering events that run the gamut from music videos, comedy shows, weddings and sporting events to red carpets, fashion shows and YouTube webisodes, the native Californian launched DNLdidit in 2008 and has watched it grow globally, despite the recession. The father of four has a natural eye for unique shots and interesting angles. Coupled with his first cousin Dameon Bender’s photography and productions skills, client satisfaction is guaranteed. Bender is a married father of three sons and the proprietor of DB Studios.
The kin joined forces to form a family business that prides itself on integrity and hard work. Here, Ward provides insight.
Do you most often actively seek inspiration or does it find you? Or is there a combination of the two?
It’s a combination of the two. I could be asleep and wake up with an idea or even walking around and something may catch my eye. Other times I may pick up a CD or watch a movie for inspiration.
What led you to art in general and to your art form(s) in particular?
Having taken a creative writing class, I found a love for words. I’d write poetry which inspired me to produce music and create visuals to complement the prose. It started with my love of words and rhyme.
Have you and your artistry ever been involved in traditional business? If so, how?
Yes, I have. If there’s anything you can sell and earn a profit from, you’ve entered the world of traditional business. It’s supply and demand. You must envision yourself or art as a product and create a demand for it. I’ve sold CDs of my work. I’ve written and produced music and created videos for people.
In addition to mastering their art, what other skill sets to you recommend that artists develop if they want to be successful?
If you plan on being a successful business with a successful product, learn the business. If you’re selling anything for a profit to learn the lingo and the ways of the business world. It’s a must.
How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
That’s easy. It’s only one me. So, I’m not competing with anyone. I do what I do. I have a separate vision so when I’m approached for work it’s because the client went for my vision. I have to keep what I do fresh to the consumer. I do that by staying true to who I am and what fueled me in the beginning.
Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about art and/or artists? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
Yes. Some are that we are lazy and we want everything handed to us. That’s not true. It takes time to come up with concepts and perfect them. Some are easier and quicker than others, but it’s still time put into each piece of art. I continue to work hard to show that those are misconceptions and challenge anyone to create what they feel is so easy.
How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I write everything down and try to plan it out and execute to the best of my ability. I don’t feel I have reached any level of success just yet. I’m working on where I want to be. So, the plan is in motion.
Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see/use as examples for you to emulate?
No one and everyone at the same time. I don’t consider anyone in my field because I don’t cage myself into the field of videographer or music producer or writer. I’m just one talent of many that has a little something different to give. I also use everyone and what they do to inspire me not emulate because I don’t want to be them. I’ll hear or see what that person created and instantly think this is what I would have done if it was me.
Name two of your top role models: one in the art world and one from outside of it.
My role model in the art world is Dr. Dre, visually and sonically he has created some nice work and I’m not mad at his business mind either. Outside the industry, it is my mother. She taught me strength and gave me room to grow.
Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, everything Michael Jackson and Hype Williams’ videos.
Why do you consider continued learning important?
Things change. The industry moves all the time. We are in a microwave age. Everything moves fast so you have to keep gaining information to keep up. Not all information just the information to keep you on top of your craft.
What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
Determination and loyalty
What role does art have in the community? What role would you like to see art play in the community?
Art has a huge role in the community. It influences others to display their creative sides. I would like to see all forms of art back in schools heavy also more non profits on teaching the youth different forms of are in the inner cities.
What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Technology is a big part of my day to day. Every piece of equipment I own and use is of today’s latest technology. That’s what I mean by keeping up with this microwave era. Everything is upgraded every six months.
What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life and/or career?
Pro Tools, Corel, and Final Cut Pro, my website (www.DNLdidit.com), social media: @DNLdidit, www.facebook.com/DNLdiditProductions, Instagram DNLdidit and www.Youtube.com/DNLdiditpro
Please define your personal brand.
Stay determined and loyalt to what you believe in. You have to first be determined to meet your goal no matter what and be loyal to completing it. So, we are here to encourage you to keep on going and complete the dream.
What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Hawaii. I love the weather and the peace.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My ability to care for opinions.
What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
Hard work. Michael Jackson