What I Found Today
WHAT I FOUND TODAY
What do you see?
A dog? A wolf? A person? Something else entirely?
How about hope? Love? Brotherhood? Faith? Humanity?
That’s what Ricky sees, and after talking with him, that’s what I saw.
Ricky Murphy is the artist behind this photograph, and every photograph, at What I Found Today Productions (managed online at whatifoundtoday.net). Simply put, What I Found Today is a new way of looking at the world. I mean this in more than the sense that Ricky’s photography brings out things that most people otherwise would not be able to see.
“It’s not about what I see. It’s about what everyone else sees; allowing people to see this amazing world…I found the biggest icebreaker in the history of the world- ‘what do you see?’”
Let me back up a few steps and explain a little. Ricky takes photographs. Much of what you’ll see at whatifoundtoday.net looks less like a photograph and more like an oil pastel, or a water color, or even a computer generated image. But make no mistake, photographs they are, of every-day objects. Some seem logical- trees, clouds, nature. Others are less conventional- rust; cement; brick walls; dirt on the floor. Ricky takes photographs of these objects in order to make more obvious to us what he sees instinctively. Ricky looks at the world differently, and in this way teaches us to as well. However, Ricky teaches us how to look at the world differently in a much more meaningful and no less artistic way. The photograph itself is only the first part of Ricky’s artwork.
The second part of Ricky’s artwork lies in his method of promotion and distribution. The photograph above, and every photograph on whatifoundtoday.net, is distributed for free. The customer simply pays printing and shipping costs, and becomes owner of a truly unique piece of work. Ricky can print his photographs onto any medium the customer desires. Why give it away for free? Because, as Ricky explains,
“Let’s put it this way: most people who are artists struggle throughout most of their lives trying to get their name out there and get recognition. Now, that’s why I came up with the idea that I should take my photography and just give it back to the world, because I am not the artist. The world is the artist…so it only seems fair that I should give it back to the world that gave it to me.”
There’s no catch, but Ricky does ask one favor: that if you accept his artwork, you repay him by doing one thing:
“…doing what we all should do, and can do very easily. Pay it forward. That’s it…and pay it forward, meaning even the most random act of kindness is amazing. Even just holding the door for someone is an amazing thing. If people just did small things for a random person that they don’t know, it really comes back. We need to stop thinking about ourselves.”
If you can’t think of a way to pay it forward on your own, Ricky suggests this: determine for yourself what you believe the value of his photograph to be, and after you have received it donate that amount to a charity, or simply to an individual in need.
Besides paying it forward to his customers, Ricky is actively involved in local charities. He is preparing for a charity show in April, and frequently donates his artwork to charitable causes and nonprofit organizations.
This is the true art in what Ricky does. Most of his artwork has not been distributed because of people finding his web page. Ricky is one of the most dedicated, hardworking marketers I’ve ever seen. He is able to distribute his work because he has rediscovered the lost art of conversation, and truly cares about each individual that his art reaches. By showing this basic interest in another human being, Ricky has been able to touch people’s lives in a very significant way. He has had complete strangers open up to him about their deepest fears and innermost secrets. It is this opportunity to form a real connection between two people that Ricky values above all else.
To hear from his own mouth how and why he does what he does, Ricky has taken the time to explain the conception of What I Found Today, as well as its meaning and significance, in a YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_uWnUcGz5E&feature=youtu.be). Below are all the ways you can contact Ricky for more information, to obtain one of his photographs, or just to talk.