Follow Friday: Talented Artistic Chicagoans

On Twitter, "Follow Friday" (#FF or #FollowFriday) is a way to recommend people you think others should know about. It's a very neat idea, though most people just add the hashtag and then list a bunch of Twitter user handles. It's a nice way to give someone a shout out, but often lacks the context. Why should I follow these people? Well I've decided to answer that question & provide that context. Each Friday I'll write a post briefly profiling 3 local or relatively lesser known creative people who you should know about. In this first post I'm going to start with some folks I met in Chicago over the past few years: Photographer Mike Hari, Musician John Farrell, & Comedians Big Dog Eat Child.

Photographer: Mike Hari

Website: http://www.fadeoutfoto.com/

In late 2008-2009 I kept seeing Mike Hari at local shows. It was as if every band I went to see, Mike was there to shoot them. We finally became formally acquainted during a recording session of Derek Nelson's debut album "Something Obscure", and after that Mike quickly became one of my favorite local photographers. I would end up working with him on multiple occasions and could always trust him to not only produce steady, quality content but to go above and beyond what was asked or expected of him. I trust him so much that he's shooting my sister's wedding in May, which is very exciting. After meeting Mike, my family saw the same things I see in him, noting how thoughtful he is and how much he cared about even subtle details. Mike Hari doesn't just want you to be pleased with the work he does for you, he wants you to be blown away and that drive has led to share him with you. If you're in Chicago you should not hesitate hire this guy to shoot something for you. Oh, and and as a bonus, Mike Hari is also "Moustache Guy".

Proud of you, Mike.

Musician: John Farrell

Website: http://johnfarrellmusic.bandcamp.com/

John Farrell is one of my favorite artists and favorite people. I’ve known him for over a decade, and have watched and listened to an amazing musical progression. He’s played in all sorts of bands and written music that spans genres. He's a talented multi-instrumentalist and it's been a pleasure watching him grow as a musician.

John Farrell

Over the years John and I have bonded over our respective loves of The White SoxThe Smashing PumpkinsJimmy Eat World, quoting comedies (at which he is unrivaled) and making fun of John. Yes, John Farrell and I both like making fun of John Farrell…a lot. John Farrell Rumor has it John and some former bandmates are cooking up some new tunes in the next few months, but lately I’ve been really digging his most recent turn as a folk artist. Check some of that out here:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/users/4236188" iframe="true" /]

Comedians: Big Dog Eat Child

Website: http://bigdogeatchild.com

I first met these guys at an open-mic style art/music showcase I started called "Collaborate" back in 2007. They showed up and performed some hilarious sketch comedy. One of their skits had of friend of mine laughing so hard he fell off his bar stool. From that point on, BDEC has made a point of making people laugh hard and fall off of things. Their video Jones' Big Ass Truck Rental & Storage introduced the world to the super funny Toby Jones infomercials and currently has over 4 million views on YouTube. BDEC hasn't rested on the success of that series however. They're currently in LA winning awards for some of their newer stuff as well. If you're in need of a laugh (we're always in need of laughs!) start here:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3B1526C07B3FBEBE