Blog Personal – Leaving VRX Studios and Minimalism

Personal – Leaving VRX Studios and Minimalism


Dedicated Blog Reader: “Kurtis, where the hell have you been? Your last post was prior to the London 2012 Olympics!”

Kurtis: “I would have to reply with “…working”.”

I spent the last 4 months as the Post Production Coordinator at VRX Studios, they are a global full service photography company that focus’s on the Hospitality Industry. As the Post Production Coordinator I was in charge of:

• Liaising with all VRX departments to ensure the production process is as smooth as possible at all times
• Coordinating VRX’s global team of photographers, copy writers and illustrators
• Organizing and Managing all production projects
• Managing VRX’s post production workflow from ingestion to delivery
• Monitoring and prioritizing all delivery schedules
• Running and Analysing weekly reports on system activities
• Maintaining clean data within VRX’s production systems by performing frequent quality checks

If you’re looking at a hotel on Expedia or Hotwire etc, VRX probably had a hand in creating those images. My decision to leave was a hard one as they have probably the most talented retouchers I’ve had the pleasure to work with and I’ve learned so much I can’t even begin to scratch the surface in this post.

The short of it is, I just had a sense that I had no goal I personally was working toward outside of saving for retirement. I’ve been working ever since I graduated the Langara Professional Photo-Imaging Program …’cause that’s what you’re supposed to do until you’re 60 when you retire… riiiiiiiight…

I’ve let my work define who I am and I’ve found that that’s not exactly the best route to take. No vacation in 3 years makes Kurtis go something something… I’ve let a whole ton of hobbies and passions fall by the wayside all in the name of a paycheck and that needs to change. Immediately.

Enter Minimalism…

I’m by no means the Ghandi of this movement but to me here’s why Minimalism appeals to me:

“If you have less things you need less space, less space = smaller rent. Smaller rent means you have to work less, working less means you have more time to pursue relationships and things YOU want to do. We do not need to work 40 hours/week to “survive”.”

To some this may come off as an antagonistic approach to consumerism and maybe it is. I’m not saying go live in a cave and hunt things with a spear, all things in moderation (maybe a crossbow instead…). I think the biggest thing that hit me was the concept of Christmas. I pose these questions to you dear blog reader;

  1. What did you get four Christmas’ ago from your Aunt/Uncle/Cousin etc?
  2. Do you still even know where it is?
  3. Is it in a storage locker you pay $$/month for…cool. How many hours/week do you have to work to “support” that gift?

Personally, I would much rather have an experience I shared with someone that fosters growth in that relationship than a “thing”.

So, this past Saturday I attended a talk by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan NicodemusThe Minimalists“, it was their final stop of their 2012 Book Tour. I stumbled upon their site while browsing one of the many blogs I follow and really liked the message they were getting out.

*Ryan/Josh, I apologize for the terrible paraphrasing*

They started their journey to minimalism by getting rid of their things viaa “Packing Party“. Basically, you pretend you’re moving and pack everything up in your house. You only unpack things that you use over the course of the next month. Ryan and Josh were left with ~75% of their belongings in boxes…

I’ve moved 5 times in the last 2 years and still have stuff I’ve put in boxes just to take out of boxes and put on a shelf never to be used. Annoying, stressful and unnecessary.

After attending their talk I purchased a copy of their book which I promptly burned through in about a day. Throughout the book they speak of five main areas they focus on to be “happy”:

  1. Relationships
  2. Growth
  3. Health
  4. Passion
  5. Contribution

I won’t go any further into it and ruin it for you. I’d recommend you pick up a copy on Amazon or Kindle, it’s more than worth your time.

kurtis_stewart_minimalism_live_a_meaningful_life Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn


Yes, I do realize this is probably one of the longer posts I’ve written annnnnnnnnnnd Minimalism is in the title. The irony does not escape me.


  1. Callan says:

    Number 1 on the list: RELATIONSHIPS

    Sounds like you me and Leigh are going for some food and dranks come the New Year. AW YEAH. We’ll do it up big. Or minimally?

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