We had the good fortune of connecting with Elijah Yetter-Bowman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elijah, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
“When you can’t do something well, you should hire out.”

This is especially common in the production industry. Personally I heard a lot early on that I needed to outsource difficult tasks, such as editing. While outsourcing can be helpful and important in some ways, I fundamentally disagree with it as a default.

Especially in the creative fields, I find that investing in yourself and your team can be the best long-term solution. In the example above, being told to “hire an editor” was early advice I received from a number of folks that, themselves, do not edit. They understand that it is important, complicated and expensive – but they did not practice the art themselves.

I think any creative leader needs at least a moderate grasp of any task they outsource. Meaning that a good director will have operated their cameras, microphones, lights and yes – even edited their own material. There is a balance to be struck between outsourcing and doing everything in-house. For example, hire an editor as a consultant to GUIDE you as you become more familiar with the craft. After all, the most reliable person in your life is always yourself, so investing in skills gives you consistent access to them.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
“Our business” is a complex of professional creatives. Our work is art, but packaged to provide sustainable employment to our team members and collaborators. Our ongoing mission to bridge societal “silos” between humanities, research and business.

Getting here has taken a considerable degree of patience over a series of years. Being told no was frequent at the beginning but I believe it is essential to help one solidify new ideas. Embracing rejection is liberating. Sometimes it can teach you something: if not simply that you need to find someone who shares your vision. Towards the end of our first year, I very fortunately connected with someone who shared my vision. They were willing to provide support which let me quit ~3 jobs I had been using to sustain us. After that, I never looked back.

It’s easy to get discourage by rejection and to make compromises in your vision as a result: resist this urge. Investors are a dime a dozen, but being a free agent for YOUR work is irreplaceable.

The world should know that it is possible to both do good work, enjoy it, and earn a living. Sometimes, however, you have to create that job yourself.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If this is for THE TRIANGLE, NC: – Fly in on Saturday morning to grab a haul of produce from the HILLSBOROUGH FARMERS MARKET to keep you stocked for the week on delicious foods.
– Stay the museum//hotel 21c downtown Durham, explore all the exhibits and grab a cocktail from the bar.
– In the morning, grab coffee at the OAK HOUSE cafe on your way to the Natural Science Museum in Raleigh.
– Return for lunch at LUNA CAFE before visiting any of the ENO RIVER state park accesses.
– Hike & kayak for a few hours before a lovely dinner date at FICTION KITCHEN, the best vegan restaurant in Raleigh.
– Finally, spend the remaining four days at TRIANGLE ROCK CLUB in Durham become the best rock climber in record times. Occasionally visit our WEAVER STREET MARKETS cooperatives for sustenance.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My partner, Sammy! Without her love, patience, and encouragement I may have never began any of my wildest ambitions. The idea of being “self-made” is wildly popular in our culture, but in my experience there’s no such thing. Everyone has some kind of support circle to help whether that’s with money, time, advise, love or some combination of those. My successes have taught me how essential collaboration and PARTNERSHIP is at truly accomplishing anything. With out Sammy, the love of my life, I can’t say that I would be here now.

Website: www.etherealfilms.org

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yetter-bowman/

Other: https://vimeo.com/etherealmedia

Image Credits
Ethereal Films

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