Shawn Binder

shawn binder creativeprofile-photo.jpg

Shawn Binder

Non-Fiction Writer / Photographer

Los Angeles, CA

www.shawnbinder.me
instagram @shawnbinderhere
twitter @ShawnBinder

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I write creative non-fiction essays; essentially, things that have happened in my life that I find funny or insightful.

I also am a portrait photographer and social media marketing expert. My day-to-day includes digital content creation, social media posting and monitoring, and making sure all digital marketing initiatives are being achieved by the brands that I work with.

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I began writing in college, from there an essay of mine was picked up by Thought Catalog that went viral. I started writing editorial and interview pieces for extra income while I was getting my college degree and was introduced to the world of copywriting and digital marketing after being laid off from an editorial website due to budget cuts. From there, I've run the gamut in the digital marketing field from being an influencer manager, to content photographer, to strategic brand partnership manager. Ultimately, the winding road I've taken has given me an opportunity to blend the written word with human connection-- which is such a passion of mine.

How do you stand out in your field?

I stand out in my field by integrating myself into brands so I'm able to live and speak in the way that they represent themselves on social. Having such a varied background grounded by my writing experience allows me to play around with other mediums such as video editing, photography, and strategic partnerships because I am able to back it up with a strong editorial voice and provide assets to brands that feel stylized while also honest.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I'm currently working on a book of short stories called "When Hands Catch Fire," which is essentially a collection of stories about people who are trying to navigate shame in society. After publishing my first book of essays when I was 20, I became interested in crafting characters that weren't weighed down by my ego or sense of self. I wanted to write stories from various perspectives while addressing topics that I explore in my own writing often-- such as shame, embarrassment, loss of identity, and love. It is surprising that the older I get, the less I'm interested in telling my own story out of vanity, and more interested in finding ways to injecting my experiences onto other characters--or brands-- in a way that feels authentic.

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

My specific taste is minimal in approach. Ultimately, every piece of content that I produce should elicit a feeling from the consumer. I wrote an essay called "I Can Self-Destruct" which addressed the economy of selling painful memories for a byline and a paycheck, something I feel strongly about in today's editorial climate. The essay, if nothing else, captured the sense of selling off memories online that writers may not have processed in a complex and meaningful way. It was my hope that this essay spoke to those who felt their pain in art was a commodity.

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I wish I had more time to be more artistically pointed in my photography shoots. I want to have the bandwidth to be playful without worrying if this is something I can gain an income from.

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

The projects that keep falling by the wayside are my personal writing projects. I'm not sure why journaling feels OK, but sitting alone with my computer to write an essay or a piece of work that may never see the light of day feels more challenging. If there were anything keeping me back from achieving a new level of work it would be the idea that my creativity is directly tied to my income, and expending energy on a non-paid project can feel difficult when your to-do list is lengthy.

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

I would have them filter my inbox-- being a writer it is insane how many press releases you get a day. I'd also have them handle some of the day-to-day things in my life that being a creative can distract you from. It would be nice to have someone always make sure there is milk in the fridge or something around to make for dinner that night.

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I would have told my younger self to relish the risks. I would tell my younger self to take more time to try things out that were challenging and required effort. I tend to become disinterested in things I don't immediately show natural skill at, so taking the time to fuck up and make mistakes as an artist would be nice.

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I would talk to writers about how they've made the jump from working side-gigs to having writing be their source of income 100%. What is their day like? How do they find time to write a novel and write a commissioned piece that will help them pay their bills? I would also love to speak to someone who owns a design agency to discover how they're able to make sure every client feels like they're the only focus in your life without sacrificing your well-being. Being a creative is one of the more challenging juggling acts of life, so speaking to someone who has found a way to put up healthy barriers would be awesome.

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Editorial, Social Media Management, Copywriting, and Photography.

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

My ideal collaboration would be to work with a musician to craft a range of editorial pieces and photography assets leading up to a single or album release. The idea of working so closely with someone else who has a vision for their work-- then helping them bring that vision to life-- seems like a dream.

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

Every project is different, but I price myself at $25 an hour for social media management and $50 an hour for photography work.

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Always hit me up via email because I check that more often than anything.

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Keep it flirty & fun, folks.


This member profile was originally published in November 2018.