Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Luis Enrique Coll

Luis Enrique Coll is a system analyst and developer based in Seattle, Washington. His multiple points of experience include systems engineering, web development, and social media strategies. He is a respected freelancer who works with a wide variety of large and small companies, enhancing their use of technology to leverage their business development.

Coll specializes in coding new software from the ground up. His expertise allows him to develop quality solutions for any need presented by a company.

Luis Enrique Coll has taken it upon himself to teach young people to code. The position of systems analyst is expected to grow by 17 percent by the year 2024, meaning that many new coders will be required to fill the industry’s needs. He believes that young talent is sorely needed in the world of software engineering, especially young minds that have no preconceptions about what a piece of software should look like.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is international travel. I spend a lot of time in Central and South America, where I enjoy learning about the local culture and history. My favorite countries to explore are Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I first began traveling with my family when I was a young boy. We made trips to visit family in Peru and Argentina. My first travel memories are of traveling high in the mountains, where we saw many indigenous animals like llamas and alpacas. I loved the thrill of driving on winding mountain roads, even though my mother was nervous. Being welcomed by family in a new country gave me a lot of confidence in exploring on my own.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love exploring culture and history. There are so many rich cultures in South America; it would be difficult to experience them all. Each region has its special charms, from the food to the art. I have a special interest in the Precolumbian cultures of Peru and Ecuador. I am fluent in Spanish. I am also beginning to get a foothold in Quechua, the indigenous language of many people in the Andes and the surrounding areas.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I have been involved in a local club for travel enthusiasts. We can get together and share the best stories and photos from our journeys, as well as helping people plan their adventures. I have encouraged many of my travel club friends to go to South America, even if they don’t speak Spanish. The travel club has enhanced my own travel experiences by pointing me to places I would not have otherwise traveled.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Most of what I invest in are good quality backpacks and hiking shoes. I like to explore the natural environment when I travel. I spend a good amount of money buying supplies for travel. I recently bought a new hydration system. When you are traveling in the high mountains, it’s doubly important to make sure you are well hydrated. I also buy comfortable but presentable hiking wear. I had outgrown the age when I backpacked around in my worst T-shirt and shorts. This way I can hike during the day and visit good restaurants at night.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I mostly shop for my travels at REI, though I buy things from LL Bean as well. It’s crucial to try on backpacks and hiking boots, so most of those purchases are done in person. Seattle is the location of REI’s flagship, so they have an excellent selection at my hometown store.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I am a big fan of the Lonely Planet series of books. I would highly recommend them to novice travelers who want to get away from the crowds. I don’t need them in many of the areas where I travel today, but whenever I go to a new place, I try to pick up a Lonely Planet guide to give me ideas.

How has this changed your life?

Travel has opened my horizons in amazing ways. My job is demanding, and freelancing can be lonely. When I travel, I can interact with a wide variety of people from around the world. Getting away from the keyboard is also a valued part of travel. Like most tech people, I do use my phone a lot while I’m traveling, but mostly for taking photos and sharing them with my friends at home. Many of the mountainous areas where I travel have no cell service, and that provides me with a perfect reason to unplug. I am planning a trip to Antarctica.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be afraid to stay in small hostels or bed and breakfasts. You’re not getting the full travel experience if you stay in American chain hotels.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Art is a hobby of mine that I’ve recently picked up again. I am learning to paint landscapes of the areas where I’ve traveled.

Richart Ruddie

Richart Ruddie is an internet entrepreneur and philanthropist. Ruddie grew up in Owings Mills aNorth West suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Florida Atlantic University majoring in Economics and post FAU he took online classes at Stanford University. After college, he worked at a boutique hedge fund in South Florida but during an internship, he worked on building a startup from the ground up and learned the valuable search engine optimization and search engine marketing skills that would later be the core to his future success. While working during the day at the hedge fund he spent his weekends building his first website and growing its presence. Within the first 9 months, he parlayed a $500 investment into a company grossing over $90,000 a month. Since then Ruddie has helped consult, start, and invest in numerous online and offline ventures and has proudly donated over $100,000 to numerous non-profits and charities over the last 8 years.

What is your hobby?

Traveling

How did you get started with this hobby?

In October of 2011, I was asked to do work for a client in Las Vegas. I needed to be there in October and back in 3 weeks. Instead of going back and forth between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Nevada I decided to try traveling between California and Nevada while still working. It worked out so well networking with clients and working on the road that I continued to do it and have naturally adapted the nomadic lifestyle that I’m accustomed to today.

My first trip to Israel in 2010 inspired me to travel more but I was stuck in the 7:30 – 19:00 working hours and only had 2 weeks off a year and wasn’t able to explore the world until my eyes were opened in October of 2011.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Seeing the world is truly amazing. What is even better is learning about other cultures and being able to appreciate and respect their ways while trying that culture or countries foods.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

I would say that I fly but I’m really just a passenger on a plane while the pilot flies. Having helpful apps such as VoiceTra, JetSmarter, Mobile Pass, Trip Advisor, WhatsApp and Telegram travel groups, and Lonely Planet are some of the most helpful tools of the trade for me.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

The best thing about traveling is it’s all about acquiring experiences, not material goods. As long as I have my phone to take photos and to handle any relevant work calls that I need to be on and my laptop I’m covered.

Are there any good books for beginners?

So I only get a chance to read when I fly. That’s the only time I get to disconnect from the world. I read over a dozen books every year. My favorite book is How To Win Friends and Influence People. Another book that is a lot more somber but really strikes a chord is Man’s Search For Meaning. I could go on and on with book recommendations. If you saw a photo of my bookshelf you’d be impressed.

How has your hobby changed your life?

It’s given me great cultural references and respect for others around the world. I understand and see how people live from the poorest places in the earth that I’ve been to as well as some of the wealthiest places in the world that I’ve seen. I appreciate seeing both places and like being able to have a conversation with almost anybody and being able to tell them about places that I’ve been to or seen in their own country.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Just go. People all the time tell me that they wish they had my lifestyle and they always wanted to go see XYZ city. I tell them just get on the plane and go. Even if its only for a long weekend you will be glad that you did it and you won’t have regrets for not getting to see a special place before it’s too late.

Kola Adesina

Kola Adesina is a travel blogger based in New York City. She spent her childhood in Belgium and moved to the United States after graduating from university. Since she frequently traveled with her parents as a child, Kola feels at home in any corner of the world. Her travel blog explores the best sights and destinations in Europe, North America, and Africa. When she is traveling, Kola Adesina frequently brings home mementos of her trips abroad. Her apartment has become a mini-museum of art and design from around the globe. She especially loves to collect textiles and fabrics.

What is your hobby?

I love to knit. I started out making weird scarves for my girlfriends, and gradually advanced to the point where I can make a nice sweater with very fine yarn.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Friends inspired me to try knitting. I grew up in Belgium where it’s rather chilly in the winter, and I wanted to be able to make something nice for my mother and sisters. It took me a while before my efforts were wearable. I came up with some truly ugly things at the beginning, but I persisted.

Tell us what you love about it.

Knitting is a kind of meditation for me. When I’m knitting, I don’t have room in my head for worries and anxiety. It’s a soothing activity and can be done anywhere. Since I started knitting, long layovers in airports (one of the few drawbacks to the life of a travel blogger) have become much more enjoyable.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I do drop in at my local yarn store’s knitting events every once in a while. I’m not at home very much, but it’s fun to compare notes with other knitters. I’ve made friends at the local yarn store. Shopping local is a good way to foster community spirit, even when you live in such a vast city as New York.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Knitting is a fairly inexpensive hobby to start with, but I’ve accumulated a lot of equipment over the past few years. I have needles in every size and variety. The one thing I spend the most money on is yarn. Every knitter I know has a problem with keeping a large “yarn stash.” I recently bought a set of circular needles where the tips interchange, so I don’t have to carry multiple circular needles with me.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I love my local yarn shop. I try not to shop at the big box craft stores, though they are a good place to pick up needles and things. I also buy a lot of yarn when I’m traveling. I always leave room in my suitcase for yarn and other souvenirs. I have some beautiful wool that I picked up in Scotland. I’m going to make a sweater for my best friend.

Are there any good books for beginners?

It’s best to learn knitting in person, but it’s good to have a book on hand as a reference. Knitting Basics for Beginners by Katrina Gale is a great way to hit the ground running. I have found several YouTube channels that are great for helping me figure out a new stitch I haven’t used before. My favorite is Knitpicks.

How has this changed your life?

Knitting has changed my life because it’s showed me the value of sitting down and clearing your mind. I’m a very on-the-go person, and it’s hard for me to settle. That is probably one of the main reasons I was inspired to start my travel blog: I don’t like to be in one place for very long. Knitting helps me relax and focus my mind. I also have pride in my abilities, and I love to be able to give my friends and family special gifts.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Find your local yarn store and take a class in person. If you can’t find a local yarn store or don’t have time to take a class, you can use a book or YouTube, but you might pick up bad habits that an instructor could correct for you quickly and easily.

Another piece of advice that would have been helpful for me when I was first starting out was to buy enough yarn for a project before you start. Running back to the shop only to find out that they are out of the color you needed, or that the dye lots don’t match, is frustrating. Buy lots of yarn, and if you have extra, keep it in your yarn stash.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I collect art and souvenirs from my trips abroad. I am especially interested in traditional pieces and folk art. I love to spend a summer afternoon wandering a street fair and picking out new pieces of art. I’ve gotten to be an expert on shipping it home. I also love textiles, and I use them around my home.

Douglas Knight

Douglas Knight is a software engineer from Boston, Massachusetts. He currently works in Silicon Valley. With a wealth of experience in coding and building proprietary software, he is one of the top experts in his field. Douglas Knight is particularly interested in teaching a younger generation how to code and how to write their own programs.

Douglas Knight, New Canaan resident, volunteers as a speaker and runs programming seminars for high school students. His view on teaching students to code is that young people have progressive ideas. He believes they should be encouraged to take up coding before college and to share their entrepreneurial ideas with the world. Douglas also writes mobile games on the side.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is woodworking. I’ve made lots of furniture for my home and have started giving it away to friends. I recently made a bookshelf in my living room.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Late one night, I couldn’t sleep, and I became fascinated with an episode of This Old House. It reminded me of my childhood living in old houses in New England. I enjoyed watching the project come together. I decided I would try my hand as a furniture maker.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love it because it’s hands-on and gets me away from the computer screen. As much as I love to code, it’s essential to keep from living your entire life on the computer. Being too sedentary is not healthy. I enjoy working with my hands and having a project move from plans on paper to a piece of furniture that is functional and looks good in a home.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Not really. Woodworking is a kind of meditation for me. I love being around people and teaching coding, but I also really enjoy having quiet time to myself. I do occasionally attend an exhibit or a woodworking show. It would be cool to find some fellow software engineers who like to do woodworking on the weekends. You’ve inspired me to ask around.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

My garage is full of woodworking stuff. I recently moved to a house with a two car garage so I would have somewhere to put my car. I have a vast collection of tools and supplies. Most recently, I bought a new router so I could engrave letters on a chair that I made for my girlfriend. She puts up with a lot from me, and I thought her patio could use some comfortable seating.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Honestly, I get most of it at the home improvement store. I love to go in there at night and browse the aisles when there’s hardly anyone around. It’s like a toy store for adults. They have gotten to know me very well by now. I also love the Rockler web site and catalog. They have a lot of high-quality woodworking equipment that the big stores don’t carry.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I recommend Woodworking Basics by Peter Korn. This is the book that got me started. I like how he teaches both skills with power tools and traditional hand tools.

How has this changed your life?

Since I started woodworking, I have been a calmer person. I don’t do as much gaming on the weekends, which my girlfriend appreciates. I feel like I’ve gotten a new perspective on planning projects that has carried over to my work in coding.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t buy too much equipment at first. You might end up with all kinds of things you don’t need. Start with what you need for your first project and go from there. Buying items as you go helps you sensibly build your collection.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to run and play the trombone. I ran a half-marathon a few months ago. Running helps keep me in shape, and it’s also an opportunity for me to think without the constant distractions from texts and emails.

Playing the trombone is something I’ve done since I was in fifth grade. I took a few years off from it after college because I didn’t have a good instrument. After I became more successful with my career, I invested in a professional quality instrument. I started retaking lessons for the first time since college.

I recently joined a brass ensemble, and we play shows locally. Playing in a group is a lot like working in a team of programmers. Everyone has their own role to play. I would recommend music to anyone who works in programming. It’s relaxing and challenging at the same time.

Chase Rubin Invests In Recipes As Much As He Does In Finances

From his home base in the East Village of New York, Chase Rubin has built one of the most successful financial careers in the U.S. Rubin has developed his interest in the financial industry from an initial love of math in high school which he explored further at college. Much of the personal success of the financial advisor has been put down to his intense work ethic beginning in college where he took server jobs to pay for his tuition. Now mostly interested in real estate, Chase Rubin combines this financial sector with a love of investing in developing economies and businesses. After working his way through college as a server and bartender, Rubin now spends much of his free time indulging his passion for food and cookery.

What is your hobby?

I love spending my spare time learning new recipes and discovering new foods I have yet to sample. I spend what limited free time I have away from my business reading recipe books and trying out new recipes. Lately, I have noticed my passion for food has expanded to include buying different kitchen gadgets such as a vegan juicer purchased just a few days ago.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

During my time at college, I worked in different restaurants and bars to pay my bills and tuition. I guess my love of food and cookery began back then and had remained a constant in my life ever since. The first small level of inspiration I received in cookery was from a slightly difficult chef in a New York restaurant I worked in. The chef would show me simple techniques to make my food taste better.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love being able to experiment with new flavors and sample new recipes. One of my great loves is finding new flavors and ingredients for my pantry which I then try and use to discover new recipes.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I do enjoy the recipes of the British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver and joined his Website to access the thoughts of other amateur cooks on how to utilize my skills. I have taken a few cookery classes over the last few years during my limited vacation time. When I see there is an event at the impressive Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture just outside New York City, I do head to the farm to explore their sustainable produce. It’s a fun place to visit for my whole family.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I’ve been trying to stay fit and healthy recently and bought a vegan juicer which removed the pulp and seeds from my juice blends. It was only a few dollars but has already become one of the essential pieces of equipment I have purchased. I have an entire kitchen filled with gadgets and equipment, but one of the most used pieces of kitchen equipment has been my steamer. Not only do I steam rice I also try to cook healthy vegetables.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I’m lucky to live in New York where we have different neighborhoods with specialty kitchen equipment and grocery stores. Recently, I have begun looking Online to find some of the more difficult to find pieces of equipment and ingredients.

Are there any good books for beginners?

In my opinion, Jamie Oliver’s “Five Ingredients” is a great book for beginners and those looking to cook with children. Each recipe is explained in simple terms and has just five ingredients to use to make sure even those who have never cooked can have a go at a tasty recipe.

How has this changed your life?

Life used to run at a hectic pace, but since I have reconnected with cooking, I have slowed down a lot to make sure I am prepared for every aspect of life. A good recipe can only be cooked at the correct temperature and for the correct time. I have taken this into my investing as I now spend more time on research and make decisions based on buying and selling stocks when I think it is the correct moment.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

As with most aspects of life, your first attempts at a recipe may not turn out perfectly but keep on trying. Perfection only comes with practice.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

My job as an investor takes me around the world and has inspired me to travel more for fun. I also played a lot of soccer as a youth and have been coaching a high school age team for the last two years.

Whitney Blodgett Discusses Her Photography Hobby

Software as a Service developer, Whitney Blodgett has been one of the leading figures in the establishment of new aspects of Online retail over the last few years and has seen her own company grow by more than 150 percent over the last two years alone. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Whitney Blodgett’s work as a SaaS developer, began on a small scale with local business leaders looking for assistance launching their Web-based programs. In the last few years, Whitney Blodgett has grown her business to take in clients on a national and international scale through the excellent service her company provides for clients.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy photography in all its forms from creating a portrait to heading into the countryside and takes photos of whatever I see around me. Although I class photography as a hobby, it has become a significant part of my life as I travel more and more for work. I take my digital SLR camera everywhere with me and have developed an increasing interest in nature photography as I never know what I will see on a shoot.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Throughout my childhood, a camera was always being used by my parents to record our family trips and special events, and I suppose I just picked it up. When I got to the University of Georgia, I took a few classes and had carried a camera with me ever since. I even use my Smartphone when I am working if I see something of interest and want to take a photo.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love everything about photography as I think it combines my developers need for accuracy and the creativity I have always held inside. Looking back through the images I have captured, I feel as though I am progressing with my hobby and the results are easy to identify with the naked eye.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I recently joined the Atlanta Photographic Society and had enjoyed meeting people with a shared interest. One of the things I am looking forward to with the club is heading out on some field trips and exchanging tips and information with my fellow photographers.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

As my business has progressed, I have been able to invest in some impressive cameras, but my latest investment was the most costly, and I think the best I have ever bought. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a professional standard camera I am enjoying exploring, and the 70 to 200mm lens I purchased with the new body has been invaluable in recording the best in nature across the U.S.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

The majority of my purchases have been made through Online Sites such as Amazon and eBay, but I do enjoy exploring smaller independent camera stores I find across the world. I was recently in a junk shop in Atlanta and found some old cameras and equipment which really caught my eye and have led to a whole new area of interest for me regarding photography. Hopefully, I can find some traditional SLR cameras and equipment and try out some older techniques in creating my own prints.

Are there any good books for beginners?

The book I remember being most inspiring was “A Year With My Camera: Book 1” by Emma Davies which was filled with practical advice and many different tips. I think a book like this is a good option for anybody who is looking to develop an interest in photography along with any photography books showing the work of professionals who can inspire through their work.

How has this changed your life?

My word, that’s easy to answer. Before I started taking an active role in photography, I was stressed and moving at breakneck speed all the time, but now I feel I have the ability to take a step back and look at what is happening around me as I’m always looking for the best photos and composition.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Pick up a camera and take some pictures. It doesn’t matter how bad you think your first attempts are you will improve simply by practicing and having fun learning about different ways to compose an image and get out into the world around you. All the research and reading in the world can only take you so far before you have to put what you have learned into practice.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I have recently been interested in developing some skills in calligraphy and have been enjoying learning another skill which helps me build my patience and inner peace. There’s no way of rushing the completion of a calligraphy assignment, and I have learned many life lessons from this hobby.

JMD Furniture: Interview with CEO, Dev Joshi

Dev Joshi is the founder and current CEO of JMD Furniture, a company that focuses on quality furniture products which are both pre-made and custom-made. Mr. Joshi has risen from humble beginnings to become a successful entrepreneur that shines through his values and education. His furniture company is currently a family-run business, and it has gained recognition in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Members of Dev’s family Ritu, Preeti, Narender, and Sunita have all cooperated to establish the success of the company for over a decade.

 

Prior to his success, Dev Joshi worked hard to acquire the skill set he needed as he completed high school. Being a diligent student allowed him to be recognized as a hardworking person by his peers. After high school, he decided to start his own business with his family, knowing that he had the resourcefulness and mindset to do what it takes to succeed. At present, JMD Furniture stands as one of the top ten trusted and valued furniture dealer as announced by the Prime Buyer’s Report.

 

Aside from his business, Dev Joshi enjoys other endeavors. Coming from a family who enjoyed cooking, he grew up to learn recipes both from his mother and father. He admits that during down times, he enjoys whipping up creative recipes in the kitchen. He likes preparing a diverse type of cuisines, but traditional Indian cooking will always take the first place as his favorite.

 

What is your hobby?

I really enjoy cooking and creating new recipes for my family. Although my business is all about design and constructing home furnishing, food and cooking have a special place in my heart. My mother and father are both great home cooks, and they taught us the value of preparing thoughtful meals for the family. I am enjoying learning about baking bread and experimenting on Indian and other Asian cuisines.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

As I have mentioned, the love of cooking came to me at an early age. When I was younger, my mother would ask me to help shape the naan bread, and my father would take me on trips to the local market. It is something that I grew up with and truly enjoyed, and I guess it kind of stuck to me as my creative outlet.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

I love cooking because not only is it a form of self-expression, but it also is a form of service. You see, I run a family business and each of them helps me to grow our company. Cooking is a way for me to say “thank you” and appreciate them for all the work they have done by my side.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I don’t specifically join groups because I already have a support system that enjoys my cooking! My family loves it when I cook for them on the weekends. I would usually make a really nice vegetable stew, naan and chickpea curry. It’s a traditional staple. On some days, they would request for something else, and that makes me feel motivated to learn more. I have been enjoying learning about Thai and Vietnamese cuisine too. Like Indian cuisine, the flavor profile is very diverse and my family just enjoys the variety of food that I can make for them. On random occasions, I would bring tofu and bean sprouts egg rolls to my workers to make them feel appreciated.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I have recently invested in a food processor. I didn’t know how much convenience it can bring! I used to own a whole knife set, and cooking Asian food, I am aware that I have to cut, grind, and peel a lot of things. It was then when I was watching cooking videos online that I was enticed to invest in a heavy-duty food processor where I realized that the process of preparation became easier for me.

 


Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy most of my supplies at the local Asian store a few blocks away from our furniture shop. If I go to Walmart or Kroger, they wouldn’t usually have the ingredients I would need, most particularly the spices and vegetables. So for the complete supply, I head to Asian stores. I enjoy it because I get to find good deals for the things I have missed to eat when growing up.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

There is a book that’s on our shelves for a long time and I enjoyed reading it as a kid. I would watch my mom flip the pages of that book and I would read it to her in moments her hands were busy! So I recommend the book “Classic Indian Cooking” by Julie Sahni. It’s a book that contains the most common Indian dishes that has been passed from generation to generation.

 

How has this changed your life?

I would say that this is a book I knew from growing up and having been able to know almost every page of it made me branch out to experiment and try other variations and fusions inspired by the classical cooking. It also made me see how rich and beautiful Indian cuisine is, and how I am proud to be a part of that culture.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

My advice for people who want to get into cooking is to learn from others. I can say that because it’s true for me. If you can find a mentor who can help you learn the tips and tricks in the kitchen, or maybe just watch a mentor on your screen where you can follow recipes with, it will definitely help you grow your skills.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love reading and doing decorative woodwork! Those are the things I truly enjoy at my spare time.

Adrian Rubin

Adrian Rubin is an established freelance creative director based in Brooklyn, New York. Adrian has been the main freelance creative director for several types of companies, both high-profile and startups. He has been in the creative industry for more than a decade and is deeply interested in the fast-evolving pace of arts and design.

 

Now that there are more opportunities to express art in different forms and means, Adrian Rubin is looking forward to generating more ideas for his clients. At present, he focuses on digital design and marketing, which allowed him to hone his skills aligned with the present modern culture.

 

Having a passion for the arts has allowed Mr. Rubin to develop strong creative hobbies.

 

What is your hobby?

I do what I love, and I love what I do. My life has been art and art has always become a part of my life. I enjoy sketching as my past time, both through a drawing pad or in my digital tablet, which I have been using to help my clients for the last couple of years.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I can remember being young as 6 years old and asking my parents to buy me the biggest set of Crayola. I loved having art materials as a gift, whether they were drawing pads, oil pastels, paint brushes. I love being in the quiet and making the sketches come alive. I guess starting out at a young age has developed my skills over time. Some people would be into sports, reading, or music to de-stress. I guess I could say that sketching has always been my go-to to relieve stress from daily responsibilities.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

The difference between drawing or sketching on my own compared to fulfilling a client’s order is the creative independence I get to have. Although a lot of companies that I have worked with allow me to express my creative side, of course, I had to abide by their rules. It’s not all the time that I get to have that personal touch. With my hobby, this is something that is “truly me”, and I get to fully express my artistic side without having to follow through another person’s wishes. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with my clients. It’s just that an artist also needs time to develop his craft independently.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of, or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Back in college, I used to join an art organization. I enjoyed it a lot because I got to meet with other artists whom I’ve learned several creative styles from. We would have exhibits sponsored by our organizations showcasing our art, including paintings, photography, or video presentations. A good friend of mine became a museum curator, and some of them also focused on the digital design industry.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment, and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

As a freelance creative director, I have to invest in a lot of high-technology design tools. At present, I own the latest Wacom Intuos, and it has helped me greatly with conveying sketches and design ideas for my clients. I currently work with a T-shirt company who consistently asks me for new design ideas. This is where my Wacom Intuos is put to use, and it has been a great convenience for me.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I purchase most of my products online, especially when it comes to gadgets. As for specialty tools, I go to my local community art store in Brooklyn to get the best deals for my supplies. The owner knows me, and he gives me a special discount on my usual needs.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

If you’re an absolute beginner trying to draw or sketch, I recommend a book called Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. This book is about learning how to sketch more proportionately and being able to integrate your touch depending on the style that you want to achieve.

 

How has this changed your life?

This book has allowed me to note the slight differences that make a drawing style different from another one. Since I have clients which have varying preferences, this book has helped me adapt from these style shifts.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

My advice to beginners is just to start on it. A lot of people are hesitant to try out a new hobby fearing that they won’t be as good as they expected. I’m telling you, the passion is what makes the hobbyist, and not the skill. The skill is only developed over time.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love incorporating nature into my art, so recently I have enjoyed hiking and trekking during my travels. It gives me a fresh perspective and allows me to be physically active which is very helpful as a freelancer.

Ismail Sirdah

Ismail Sirdah is a Miami-based photographer who owns his own studio that specializes in wedding, travel, as well as retail photography. Unlike most businessmen, he started his endeavor at the age of 20 and worked his way up to become one of the most prominent experts in this market. Having started with nothing more than an SLR camera, Ismail Sirdah had to improvise angles, lighting, effects, and countless other aspects of photography to make his work stand out. Given the success that he was able to achieve, he recently diversified his entrepreneurial career and opened a school of photography for younger people.

 

What is your hobby?

As you can probably imagine, photography. I always traveled armed with at least one of my smaller cameras as the professional ones can be bulky and impractical to carry on-the-go. Thus, regardless of what I might be doing, I will always make a quick stop to capture a photo that I believe can be astonishing. So, photography could be classified as my job and my hobby.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Years ago, one of my friends was given a high-end camera as a gift. Although they liked it a lot, I became amazed by everything that this device could do and the type of photos that I was able to take were amazing. Although it took me a while to understand that it was not just the camera doing the work by itself, it only took a few weeks for me to realize that this might be something I could do for the rest of my life!

 

Tell us what you love about it.

The never-ending list of perspectives that something can be captured from. Think of it this way, if I capture a black and white photo of a landscape, it immediately implies an oldish and somewhat sadder nature. If I do it with a full brightness and intensified colors, on the other hand, it becomes an inviting scenery that is very different from the previous one. Not to even mention everything that you can do once you start playing with the angles and effects.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Most of the events that I attend are related to the school of photography that I recently established. I used to be a member of many organizations related to this industry but, as I got more involved with my projects, I had to prioritize things.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I bought quite a few different cameras. As with every photographer, those tend to be the main source of unexpected expenses. Also, since I have my own studio, I had to invest in the actual rental space that needed to be equipped with some furniture and decorative tools.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

It just depends. A lot of the things that I buy are straight from the internet. That enables me to save time by not having to pick any of the items in person. Sometimes, however, I enjoy spending some time browsing the things that I want to purchase. Thus, seeing me at a store like Best Buy would not be surprising!

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are quite a few that people can use. I never used many books as most of the things that I know were self-taught. Nonetheless, those interested should look into “Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera” by Bryan Peterson as well as “The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos” by Michael Freeman. Of course, there are many other books that might work better depending on the specific type of photos that you might be trying to take.

 

How has this changed your life?

The biggest impact it had is in the way that I look at the world. Nowadays, everything that I come in contact with is analyzed. I seek subtle signs that something could make a beautiful photo. Although this can be quite distracting at times, it helps me see things in a positive ways.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Do not be afraid to experiment. If you are planning on becoming a world-renowned photographer, taking ordinary photos will not get you there. You need to learn what types of photos are easy for you to take, what do people react to positively, as well as what type of surroundings you enjoy. For example, if you are a natural talent at wedding photography, it would make no sense to spend time doing nothing but nature shots. Similarly, if you enjoy taking one type of photos yet people around you do not express much interest in them, you may need to question your work. Although you could be doing everything right, the fact that your work might be “ordinary” is very detrimental to your career. Thus, be creative and try new things!

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I do have other hobbies that come alongside my photography. For instance, since I have a business to run, one of my hobbies is reading entrepreneurship-related books from professionals who built their organizations from

Andrew Knight New Canaan Developer

Andrew Knight New Canaan is an established front-end developer based in Connecticut.

 

Now having served over hundreds of clients, Mr. Knight was able to create software for businesses with excellent Graphics User Interface and optimized web pages. Since his main focus was in the real estate industry, he hopes to help realtors and other land developer businesses to get their ground in the online space. He believes that all companies need technology to succeed, especially now that almost everything can be done digitally.

 

Andrew Knight New Canaan enjoys making art and playing video games during free time. Art is one of his innate passions even as a young child, but now, he has the right resources to develop this craft.

 

What is your hobby?

I enjoy making hand-made paintings and graphic designs. I have always been interested in art and how it evokes thoughts and emotions to people. I guess it’s one way to express myself, and an outlet because of the mental demands of career life.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started going into this hobby when I was working and graduated in college. My young college-self was so immersed in studying that I almost had no time for hobbies. When I had my own means to purchase materials and schedule my time for work and play, that’s when I decided I would get back to my roots and continue doing art again. I have always enjoyed going to local museums when I travel. I learn a lot about artistic styles and this is where I get my inspiration from. Whether it’s painting, architecture, or just the beauty of nature, I make it an inspiration for my pieces.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Art for me is a form of expression. Without art, life loses its beauty. And I guess that’s the part I love about it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the routinary tasks that we forget to stop and contemplate about the really beautiful things in life. Art is one way of capturing that beauty in physical form. Whether its purpose is to express emotion, provide inspiration, or just for aesthetic purposes, art is what brings the life of people.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of, or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Since I travel very often, I don’t have the chance to be a part of the local community. However, when I go from place to place, I always take the time to do nature sight-seeing or going to a local heritage area. If there’s a local art museum nearby, I always take time to go as well. I also love to support local artists. Sometimes, I would just look into Google and find events in a place where I’m at. There was one time, an art exhibit was held for local artists in Minnesota. I decided to attend even if I had no contacts. The artists were so thankful to see a stranger show support for their craft.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I actually own a Wilson Bickford signature brush. It’s one of my biggest investments in painting that I purchased a year ago. It’s a complete set of high-quality brushes that I use for canvas paintings. As much as possible, I take care of my hobby tools because I prefer to purchase the good brands. I think they’re a great investment.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy most of my supplies online. Since I often travel, I don’t have to time to go to local shops to see if they have my specific art tool in mind. I just make sure that each product has top notch reviews and it comes from a verified supplier. Buying online also helps me because I just have them ship it to my home even when I’m away.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I recommend a book called “Color and Light” by James Gurney. I’m a fan of realist paintings. This is because such type of art needs a high skill. When I read the book, I learned about tips and techniques to make my paintings as close to the real thing as possible.

 

How has this changed your life?

This book changed my life because I used to be frustrated with my skill. I think I’m a pretty good impressionist painter, but realist paintings were my weakness. It really helped me gain confidence in trying new styles.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

My advice is to just do it. Some people are afraid to try new things because they’re afraid to fail. There’s no failure in a hobby. When you do the things you love, you’ll get better at it no matter what.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love playing video games! I know it may be unrelated to painting, but it’s also my way to de-stress myself. Like most guys, I would be pretty much into playing League of Legends.