Miracle Of Faith – Part 12A

Craig Wagner - WFM Website Manager and Designer

Craig Wagner – WFM Website Manager and Designer

Note: I suggest that if you haven’t yet read Miracle Of Faith – Parts 1-11 yet you start there.  This way you’ll get the whole story.

Installment 12A

Design and Wrap Up:

In the old days (a decade or so ago) one discovered new music generally by hearing it the first time on the radio.  Now radio has lost its power of communication in the music world to the Internet and its myriad of communication devices.

One thing for sure is that the discovery of new music is no longer just through the audio experience.  Now the visual has become a major factor.  YouTube now makes or breaks acts like radio used to.  Also we have learned that the first experience that many listeners have with much of the music that we sell on WatchfireMusic.com is discovered by the eye rather than the ear – discovered first by seeing the CD cover and being intrigued enough with what they see to stop and click to listen.

So we believe that the graphics that accompany a new music work are more important than ever – the graphics being the visual promotions, the CD package itself and the Digi-Book.

In the early days of Watchfire Music as a start-up company, we worked a lot with interns.  One of our first hires was a young man just out of college named Craig Wagner.  Living with his folks in New Jersey, he would trek into the city three days a week and learn the ropes with us and do just about anything we threw at him.  There were times when we actually employed (they worked for nothing) 3-4 interns at the same time.

Interns are tough.  Basically it’s inexperienced help in the process of learning who can help up to a point, but we found that we spent more time teaching than was worth the payback.  For years I ran my recording studio, Westrax Recording Studios, here in NYC on interns, but that was different.  Running a website is simply a more highly technical job than running a recording studio.  In short: Dumb mistakes like a misplaced period in coding can break things.

So over time we found that interns were not worth the effort.

However, Craig Wagner, who interned for us for the usual 6-month period was a different kind of intern.  He simply ate up the information we gave him and turned it back as effective and accurate work.  At the end of his internship we hired him and within about another 6-month period made him the website manager.

At that point he decided to leave home and move with several of his buddies to the beach in South Carolina.  We thought at first that we would lose him, but decided to try to work with him virtually through email, Skype and the telephone.  It worked.

In these few years, Craig has become the backbone of our company.  He’s the turn-to guy for just about everything we do.  Not only does he manage a site selling over 11,000 products with over 3000 pages, but he has also developed into a wonderful designer of flyers, CD packages, videos, banners and just about anything else we throw at him.  In his spare time he coaches a boy’s basketball team and hangs out at his beach house livin’ the life.

I am so very fortunate to have found this egoless and most talented artist in my life.  Working with Craig has been one of the great joys of developing Watchfire Music.  I simply don’t know what we’d do without him.

What I love about his work is first the fearless capacity to tackle the new ideas that we bring to him.  He loves to learn and never seems to be afraid to dive into something new.  On top of that, he’s on time, meets his deadlines easily and seems to breeze through life with an infectious joy.

Most fascinating to me however has been his development as an artist.  One: he has a great eye for balance and composition.  Two: he has a great eye for color.  And Three: he has a sense of humor.  He’s not afraid to stick it out there.

I guess if there was a Four: it would be that he’s easy and egoless to work with – a trait that does not always come naturally to artistic people.  If I correct his work, he does the corrections with no pushback and no ego, yet at the same time is not afraid to stand up for himself if he believes that I’m wrong – which, of course, I sometimes am.

All that said, he’s simply a great collaborator and my right arm.

So I’m a very fortunate producer to have such a special designer to work with doing the finishing touches to my work and putting it out there on a high professional level.

With the Miracle Of Faith project it was, yet again, a creative and happy endeavor working with him on both the CD package and our latest Digi-Book.  As you’re perusing this project please keep in mind his terrific work.

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