Add some life to still images and catch the attention of readers.

Cinemagraph by Lisa Fotios/Nic Kocher

Stock images are a big part of the Medium experience. They bring welcome color and zing to our stories. They can replace reams of text and illuminate when words fail. They will draw readers in to choose your story over others.

The problem is we are all using the same pool of images. Free stock has been a revolution for writers, but there are only a few sites that offer them. When confronted with hundreds of tiny thumbnails — they can all end up looking the same.

A little bit of movement can make the difference between a reader that…


Join the Print on Demand community, liberate your creativity and make money

A selection from Redbubble POD website, Illustraion by Nic Kocher

What does a Danny DiVito shower curtain, a tote bag with the word ‘Crap Bag’, and a travel mug with stylized suspicious cats have in common?

They are all the bestsellers in their category on the Redbubble website. Whoever created these designs have earned thousands of dollars from a good idea and a few minutes of work.

Print on demand (POD) is a worldwide phenomenon that connects artists with buyers. It takes care of all the printing, billing and postage.

Technology has enabled this artwork to appear on a wide variety of products, from mobile phone cases to duvet covers.


Join the video stock community, unleash your creativity and make money

I often sneak away from my family during vacations to shoot some video stock. I enjoy doing it, it engages me with the local area, and it has the added benefit of paying for the next trip.

Shooting video stock takes time to pay dividends. Like all passive income, it’s like pushing a massive bolder: its hard at the start but after a while it builds momentum, and you can let go. It will then roll by itself, making it easier to maintain and makes more money with less work.

Video is a solid earner. It’s in a sweet spot…


Become a mentor and gain a lot more than paying the bills.

Animated Illustration by Nic Kocher

Rows of expectant faces look up at you. They are hungry for knowledge, skills and inspiration. It’s okay; you have done your research and can explain the intricacies of your art with confidence. You inspire, give meaningful feedback, and foster a growth mindset. You are a teacher and a better artist for it.

What does JK Rowling, Marc Chagall and Sting have in common? They were all teachers. At one stage, every artist was. The guild system lasted a thousand years in Europe — built on the arrangement of master and apprentice. The artist obtained money from the student’s family…


Inkjet printing has evolved into an exciting endeavour

Animation by Nic Kocher based on illustration by katemangostar / Freepik

Printed photography had been bound and dictated by the likes of Kodak, Agfa and Fuji for most of its history. At last, it has been torn from these aesthetic shackles and can leverage the ancient tradition of papermaking. Combined with modern pigments and printing technology, contemporary inkjet printing beats the old, light-sensitive paper to a pulp.

Canson in France est. 1557 and Hahnemuhle in Germany est. 1584 have pioneered many of the breakthroughs in paper manufacturing. Their use of cotton and hemp have given us tactile fibres that feel firm and smooth. …


A guide to ween you off a dead medium while avoiding the mediocrity of digital

You have a passion for shooting on film. The satisfying mechanical properties of sprockets, levers and hinges gets you excited. It slows you down and connects you with photographic heroes from the past. Best of all, it’s not mainstream. It rejects Instagram with its monotonous sunsets and selfies. You think analogue is the answer — It might be, but there is a danger that devoting too much time to it could be fatal to your career.

Choosing to shoot film at college can be dangerous

You have limited time.

There are three or four short years of learning before you need to step into…


A project that has gone cold is hard to reignite. Here is how to do it.

Animated illustration by Nic Kocher

Starting a new project is like falling in love — everything is bright and fascinating. You actively choose to spend all your time working on it. After a while, the color fades, and the reality of hard work sets in. Often you abandon it for the next shiny distraction.

I’m not a stranger to procrastination. I have several unfinished projects. They are generally out of mind but occasional thoughts surface, which creates guilt, promises of revisiting them, and excuses why I haven’t.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With the right strategy and a few phycological tricks, you can…


Improve your work with the philosophy of an entrepreneurial giant.

Illustration by Nic Kocher

Elon Musk may be the most significant entrepreneur of all time. He has dabbled in banking, underground boring, neural implants, and solar power, plus revolutionized two stagnant and challenging industries: automotive and space exploration. He has done so by using a unique philosophy that boosts creativity and gets things done.

This 12-part framework, drawn from studying Elon Musk’s personal approach to his work, can help us improve our own productivity and reach our goals more efficiently with our own creative projects.

Let’s get started.

Speed up the process.

“If the schedule is long it’s wrong, if it’s tight it’s right.” — Elon Musk

Musk…


Children need your help navigating this compelling and treacherous world.

Animation by Nick Kocher (Based on Super Mario Bros)

Our dear friend, Arthur, had tuberculosis. He didn’t have long to live. Sitting in the doctor’s room with the warm late afternoon light filtering in, hearing the news was surreal. We shared a lifetime of adventures, of growing and maturing as the world changed around us.

My children are distressed. They had bonded with this courageous man. They had helped him when he had to make tough moral choices. He taught them so much.

We left the doctor’s surgery, logged out, and turned off the Playstation — time to discuss this sad turn of events.

Play is vital. Life skills…


A harsh environment has nearly killed off an entire profession; however, it can be reinvented.

Animated image by Nic Kocher

Photojournalists used to be unique. They were courageous, resourceful and respected — the rock stars of the photography world. Picture editors would send them to exotic and dangerous locations and await their return with excitement — they would saunter in, wild-eyed and full of stories of heroic deeds. Engaging and thoughtful photographs would be lovingly curated and delivered to a grateful public.

Now photography is mass-produced and anonymous, steadily streaming in from billions of devices. The cloud is raining images, and the rising flood is drowning us.

When everybody is a photographer, nobody is.

Newspapers and magazines were the patrons…

Nic Kocher

Image Maker • Commentator • Educator

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store