Creativity and Passion: Actors and Actresses

While writing this post it was inspiring to see the positive attitude and sunny disposition of so many actors and actresses on about.me. We loved the creative ways they used their pages to show off their personalities and their skills and many talents outside of the world of acting. Take John Bale, in our header photo. He’s not just an actor but director and writer who has won awards from the BBC for his work. We love how he uses the video on this page to show off the trailer for a mockumentary he worked on. It showcases his acting skills and is pretty funny, so be sure to check it out.

So without further ado, here’s a small selection of our favorites.

Melanie KannokadaMelanie Kannokada never set out to be an actress, in fact, she studied engineering at Stanford, became a consultant and founded a hospital before becoming an actress

Zach PopvskyFrom the beautiful Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende, a town known for it’s arts, Zach Popovsky is also a photographer. Check out his website and flickr app to see his work.

Mariah LeeAt the age of 7, Mariah Lee began acting in theater productions and gained her skills in Stage Combat, specifically hand to hand and rapier sword play. While she still loves the theater she now also acts in TV and films.

Frank ColeOriginally from Hayward, CA, Frank Cole was on track to become a professional soccer player when he chose to focus on his acting instead. He lives and works in Hollywood.

AnnaMariaAnnaMaria was born in Canada but now splits her time between NY and CA. The first film she wrote, produced and starred in called “Check, Please!” is now in post production.

Arthur KengArthur Keng holds an MFA from University of Southern California and is, in his words, a shameless geek. He has appeared on Criminal Minds on CBS.

Julie Houttemane A French actress and model, Julie Houttemane embedded her 2014 film reel straight onto her page so you can see her spot in the latest Star Trek movie. So cool!

Mikael AyeleOf Swedish and Ethiopian descent, Mikael Ayele first appeared in film at age 11. Recently he’s written and appeared in indie films like Train to Stockholm and Sahara Drifters.

Have ideas for other groups we should feature? Leave us a comment below!

 

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Education, Photography and UX: Staff Picks

Our weekly Staff Picks posts are about more than just selecting four people a week who have really awesome pages. We also hope they are a source of inspiration for you, our readers, as you’re creating your own pages. These exemplary pages demonstrate what you can do with your page to make it all your own, creative and beautiful.

Alice Howard-Vyse, in our header photo, is no exception to this. We met her and her vibrant personality last week at UX Week in San Francisco and snapped this great photo of her and she’s used it as the foundation of her page. On top of that she’s layered a great bio, Backstory and fun facts about herself (she loves cake!) to make a really awesome page. Be sure to check it out and give her a compliment.

Jeremy BurtonA teacher and designer, Jeremy Burton likes to design digital things and has founded two education startups in the UK, where he resides.

Serena CeveniniWe love Serena Cevenini‘s fun photo of her and some of the beautiful photos you can find on her Instagram app from her job as a wedding photographer.

Jorge SegadoJorge Segado is an entrepreneur a lover of his native language, Spanish, passionate about books and literature and has a great blog which he links to from his page.

Have a fabulous weekend an don’t forget to check out our Staff Picks page for more great pages.

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Art, Philisophy and Design: Featured Friday

Happy Friday Everyone! We’re finishing this week with five great about.me pages submitted to us through Twitter.

If you don’t see your page on this week’s #FFaboutme you can always try for next week by adding your about.me URL to your Twitter bio and tweeting at us @aboutdotme with the hashtag, #FFaboutme. Like the beautiful pages you see below, be sure to add a lovely picture of you to your background photo to be eligible!

Ben DolanWe’ve featured lots of artists on about.me this week and here’s another great artist page by Ben Dolan. Take a look at his Vimeo app to see some of his work.

Derek PorterDerek Porter is a graphic artist who shows off his love of the ocean with his beautiful background photo. He also loves sharks but thankfully they’re not pictured!

yesenia.delgado_1365525115_5 With a focus in international marketing it’s no wonder that Yesenia K. Delgado is quadrilingual! Some of her random likes include roller coasters and photoshop.

Niko KarppinenNiko Karppinen is a gamer and dancer (he enjoys salsa and street dancing) from Finland.

Kyle SullivanKyle Sullivan is a self proclaimed Jedi Enthusiast and also a Resident Advisor at Roberts Wesleyan Collage where he majored in relgion, philosophy and bible studies!

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Delve into the Diversity: India

“India is home to more languages, religions and people than any other place in the world. There are more than 1500 languages used within 100 different cultures and 50 different ethnic groups. Not only that, it is geographically diverse as well. South India has a tropical climate, in contrast to the North where there is extreme cold. Western India is known for its desert while eastern Indian is home to mawsynram, the wettest place in the world. There is no one place which can call itself representative of all India. If you decide to visit, make sure you do your homework.”

Wise words from Omar Siddiqui who was kind enough to give us some great information and tips about traveling to this amazingly diverse country. Here are his tips on places to visit.

Places to Visit:

  1. The Taj Mahal. About 3 hours from Delhi the wondrous building is impressive not only in size but also the immaculate attention to detail that was paid to its architecture and decor. The building is actually a tomb made in remembrance and love for the emperor’s wife. There are many other historic sites and beautiful Mughal castles nearby as well and the city is very accessible and tourist friendly.
  2. Varanasi is another great place to visit. It is considered the holiest of all Hindu cities and provides access to the river Ganges where pilgrims and those on a spiritual journey can bathe themselves. It has hundreds of temples and is widely considered a must see.
  3. For something more exotic, consider a trip to Kerala which is located in the southern part of India. The back waters and tropical climate provide relaxing vacations in breath taking settings. In fact, our header photo is of Kerala and is by Tim Moffat.

India is full of energy and commotion. It’s the second most populous country in the world and there are many different types of people. Generally, Indians are very warm-hearted and gregarious people.  Get to know some below!

Omar Siddiqui was born in India, raised in Japan and went to school in the U.S. A traveler, it’s no wonder he created GrabHalo, an app to message anyone in the world.

NainaA visual storyteller, Naina‘s name means “eyes” in Hindi. Check out her page for a link to see some of her amazing wedding photography.

Don Micky Xavier A freelance graphic designer, Don Micky Xavier also loves to review movies and blog. Take a look at his 500px app for his photography.

Nisha JohnNisha John is an entrepreneur and blogger. She founded Of Indian Origin to showcase Indian art and design.

Sree NivasaA world traveler passionate about UX, Sree Nivasa stopped by our booth last week at UX Week and had this picture taken. Thanks for dropping by!

Parul TongariaParul Tongaria is an artist and blogger. Check out her Medium app to read about things like, the right way to do artistic work for free and why typography matters.

Shailesh TiwaryShailesh Tiwary is a desingineer, Sunday photographer, and weekday wanderer living in New Delhi

Mousumi BhattacharyaThough she lives and works remotely from Bangalore, Mousumi Bhattacharya forms an important part of the about.me team as a backend developer.

Where should travel to next? Tell us in the comments section below or tweet at us @aboutdotme

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Inspiration for a Great Backstory

Since we announced the release of Backstory just a few short weeks ago we’ve seen the people using Backstory in beautiful and creative ways. Today, we’d like to highlight some of these people and their Backstories. If you still haven’t added Backstory to your page be sure to check out the ones below to get some ideas and inspiration for yours.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Jessica Riley‘s page (with her awesome photo that appears in our post header) and Backstory. Jessica uses her page and resume section of her Backstory to talk about her experience as a freelance Marketing and Creative Strategy Manager. Then she uses the map section to show off the fact that she’s currently taking on clients in San Francisco.

Rohit Sharma As a partner at True Ventures, Rohit Sharma uses his Backstory to show some of the companies he’s invested in and his extensive experience as an investor and CEO.

Mary McQuilkin A nurse, Mary McQuilkin uses her page and Backstory to share her goals for healthcare and her experience with working in diverse communities from Uganda to Baltimore city. Her map shows she’s now looking for positions in San Francisco.

Alex LeiphartA current student at Northern Arizona University, Alex Leiphart uses his Backstory to show off his experience as a young entrepreneur and graphic designer.

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How to Craft Your Visual Story

Last week our friend Patrick Ewers (@PatrickEwers) of Mindmavin told us why you should create a visual story. This week he explains how you can craft your visual story.

The Best Part About Stories is Sharing Them

Stories are powerful because people enjoy sharing them. Think about it. Social media has become so popular, that it has become a perilous addiction for some. It proves that as a culture, we are addicted to staying current with each other’s stories, sharing them and adding our input to those stories.

For that reason, one of your goals should be to empower the people around you to want to share your story. No wants to share a bland, abstract story. A person will be far more likely to share an interesting, visual story. If you can come up with a great visual story, it creates a domino effect: you’ll get mentioned more often simply because it’s fun to mention you; being mentioned often results in more opportunities coming to your doorstep. In sum, great visual stories will allow your network to help you become more successful

Sold? Now that we’ve covered the why, lets move onto the how.

The Art of Storytelling

A visual story is something that evokes an image or a series of images. It’s created using words that possess a certain honesty and vulnerability which describe feelings and pivotal moments in time.

An abstract story would sound something like this: “I have been very passionate about video game development from a young age.” While this gets the point across, you’re not getting the reader’s visual cortex firing. A much better way to tell the very same story would be:

I was 12 years old, sitting in my room playing Call of Duty, loving every second of it. I started to get hungry and wandered out to the kitchen for a snack. On the TV, I saw a commercial for a video game graphic design course. I stopped dead in my tracks. Before that moment, I had never even thought of this possibility. From that moment on, I knew what I had to do. I enrolled in a program to allow me to be that guy who makes those amazing games. Here I am today, ready to do just that.

Stop now and ask yourself what that second story did for you.

You could probably see his story: you can see the boy in his room playing video games, it isa dark room, you can see him walk past a TV, see him stop, eyes widening at the idea of apotential dream come true, forgetting all about his snack. The point is, you can see, understand and resonate with his “A-ha” moment. You probably have a few similar ones of your own.

The fatal error in the first story is that abstract concepts or descriptors like “I am passionate” will be quickly overlooked because it’s an empty claim and unproven. The images are what cause the reader’s brain to infer and understand those qualities you’re trying to get across.

The reason this inference is so important is because when somebody infers something, they own it, they believe it, because they constructed it in their own mind. There is absolutely nothing more powerful than if a person thinks that they were the one who came up with the idea that you are passionate and motivated. Most importantly, they will want to share it.

Work It Out

It may seem daunting, you may think your story is boring, you may not be the “creative type”.

Fear not, there are four simple steps that you can take to create your story.

  1. Come up with a bullet point list of the abstract type of strengths that you have that you want to show off to the world, such as: dedicated, motivated, intellectually stimulating, etc.
  1. Think about events or scenarios that were able to illustrate those attributes about you. Specifically, try to come up with some moments that were unique, pivotal or simply powerful. Write these examples as sub-bullets as they pertain to each attribute.
  1. Try to tell a very visual story for each one in a very brief paragraph, not more than 3-5 lines. If you need some help here, you can try out The Visual Thesaurus.
  1. Tell the story to someone who knows you well and afterwards, ask them, “What did that story make you think of me in terms of who I am?” If that story works, it should circle back to one of the original attributes from your list.

Today’s header photo is by our friend @DavidSherry36 from @deathtostock

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Illustrators, Sculptors, Painters: Artists

Artist is, of course, a very open title. Over 22,000 about.me users have tagged themselves as artists but we’ve narrowed it down to just a few of them who use their pages in particularly unique and interesting ways. They’re illustrators, sculptors, painters and everything in between and we had an amazing time exploring their pages. We hope it’s just as fun for you.

In our header we have Greg Mike, who lists himself as ARTIST / DESIGNER / MADMAN and works in a variety of mediums. His art is displayed in galleries across the U.S. and aside from seeing it in his background picture, you can check out more of his work on his beautiful website which he links to from his about.me page.

Check out more of these artists we love.

Takao MiuraBorn in Japan, Takao Miura, began doodling at the age of 24 on a trip to New Zealand. There he became interested in Maori tribal designs and hasn’t stopped “doodling” since.

Tony DiTerlizziTony DiTerlizzi is a best-selling author and award-winning illustrator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. See his WordPress app for more on his work!

Rachel RyleAn illustrator and animator of stop motion videos, Rachel Ryle‘s Instagram shows off her work and was voted by MTV and Buzzfeed to be the best Instagram account in 2013.

Rob SnowRob Snow is a creative illustrator and graphic designer with a fun bio, written in the form of a recipe and a short film of him, embedded in his page, that shows his artistic process.

Sienna MartzA soft sculptor and creator of wearable art, we loved reading Sienna Martz‘s awesome Backstory to see all that she’s worked on just this year. Check it out!

Sam ParrThough it’s not a self portrait, we love how Sam Parr added this piece as her background photo and a photo of herself in the bio. It’s a creative way to show off her work and herself.

Sergio GomezA visual artist, gallery owner, art and graphic design professor and so much more, we love how Sergio Gomez shows off his gallery and his work with the pictures on his page.

Mikela Prevost An editorial and children’s book illustrator, Mikela Provost is a people watcher who translates her moleskin notebook sketches of people into beautiful works of art.

Matthew ChildersMatthew Childers is a comic book artist and designer whose page incorporates his work in a very beautiful and natural way and has the perfect space for his bio box.

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Social good, Design & Social Media: Staff Picks

This week’s Staff Picks were especially difficult to narrow down especially with creative people like Robert E. Smith (in our header photo) in the running.

A creative photographer, illustrator and writer, Robart as he dubs himself, has designed everything from postage stamps to billboards. Check out his page to see his designs in his Behance app and his Blogger app to see more of his photography skills. And don’t forget to send him a compliment!

Here are some other pages we love.

Andrea GomezAlways looking for a good story, Andrea Gomez is a communications strategists and tech fanatic who has a huge sweet tooth and wants to live all over the world.

Peter PodolinskyPeter Podolinsky works for Facebook in its Czech and Slovak markets. He loves running with his dog and documenting his travels with great pictures. Check out his 500px app.

Stephanie RudatWe admire Stephanie Rudat for her work in social enterprises and who is currently in the process of launching her own to make internet access available to all.

Have a splendid weekend and remember to discover even more great pages on our Staff Picks page.

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An Evening with Tony Conrad

On Thursday, September 18th, Tony Conrad will be in his home state of Indiana and at his alma mater, Indiana University, for a day of special programs with students and the community. In the evening he will host a talk on entrepreneurship and owning your online identity, as well as about.me! His presentation begins at 7pm and is open to the public.

If you’re in the area, or know someone who is have them check out the Facebook event here and RSVP to let us know you’re going!

Who: Tony Conrad (CEO of about.me)
What: A presentation on entrepreneurship and owning your online identity
When: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 7:00PM
Where: Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union

Tony Conrad by Christopher MichelPhoto by photographer and about.me advisor Christopher Michel.

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Photographers and Human Resources: Featured Friday

It’s Friday and we’re so pumped to have so many awesome people to feature on this Feature Friday or #FFaboutme post.

If you don’t see your page on this week’s #FFaboutme you can always try for next week by adding your about.me URL to your Twitter bio and tweeting at us @aboutdotme with the hashtag, #FFaboutme. In order to be eligible, also be sure to have to have a picture of you and your lovely face in your background photo!

John Torres We are so impressed by John Torres‘s page! It is not only beautiful but shows off his amazing skills as an environmental potrait photographer. Way to go John!

Shanay MilesShanay Miles is a digital media professional with her own company called “Smiles Productions”. Check out her flickr app to see her work.

Varun DaveA human resources professional, Varun Dave also enjoys watching Test Cricket and is a Manchester United fan. Wonder if he’s seen Ander Herrera‘s page on about.me…

Marlee ShifmanMarlee Shifman is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University who is passionate about film and social media.

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