working
Ash Craig

Musician. Photographer. Software Designer.

Ash Creative

Welcome to my site. I am a creative soul. These are my creations.

Photography

STUDIO WORK. LIVE EVENTS. CREATIVE SHOOTS.

Photography has always been a part of me. I love capturing moments and working with people who are passionate about what they do. I am available for onsite and studio projects.

Design

SOFTWARE DESIGN. CLOUD APP DEVELOPMENT.

I've been building commercial software and web applications for more than 25 years. I specialize in mobile and web technologies with a strong focus on end user experience.

Music

PLAYING. WRITING. LISTENING.

Music is a universal language. It has the unique ability to move us. As we embrace it, we get emotional currency that connects our soul to something greater than ourselves.

Creative

No Filters. No Calories. My Blog.

There are moments in the creative process where something unseen flows through you like a rushing stream. You learn to embrace these moments.

Latest Articles

Ash
3 Min Read
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I am so grateful for this moment.

My pain level in my lower back has been at a constant 6 with my up/down pain in the 8-9 range for weeks. Every step is a struggle. Getting seated or getting up comes with an insane amount of pain. There's a point when your mind just adjusts to the new normal and you go on.

I awoke today with a new level of pain coming from just about every joint in my tired body. And my lower back was screaming.

Ash
2 Min Read
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It is a crisp morning here in Phoenix as I take a moment to enjoy a warm cup of coffee and reflect a little. Not on the past but on the present. Right now. The here. The now.

Big breath in... big exhale. Ahhh. I notice the sun is gently warming the mountains as it rises. This is a brand new day. A brand new year. A big, beautiful new canvas that is untouched by anyone and ready for a new masterpiece. There are no wrong answers. No wrong colors. This canvas has no expectations or requirements. There are no judgements.

Ash
4 Min Read
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If I were asked to leave a few final words that might be found by another seeker, I would say the number one thing I have learned in this life is to be generous.

Do it big. Do it to the best of your ability. Do it quietly.

Be generous.

Be generous with your time, talents, abilities, resources, energy, forgiveness, mercy, patience and money. Don't wait to be asked for help. Focus on becoming sensitive to the needs around you and then give what you are able. Do it quietly and as anonymously as humanly possible.

Ash
6 Min Read
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Sometimes going back isn't an option. It just depends on what happened and the condition of the relationship. Is the bridge still intact?

You: What the hell are you rambling about Ash?

Me: I have a few things on my mind today. And in the words of the great wedding singer... I have a microphone and you don't. You know the rest... lol

I remember growing up, I knew a family where the father would preemptively become abusive while placing an order at the local McFast Food place. It was the very same spot that consistently served him cold, disgusting alternatives to the hot, fresh food they promised on the commercials.

Ash
2 Min Read
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I'm on the go and need to get something with about 50gr of protein. I don't have a ton of time, so I decide a quick protein shake will get me through until my pre-workout meal.

I stop into a popular place in Scottsdale that serves up such beverages and order the leanest shake I can possibly get in this place while still ordering off the menu. I just removed the fruit and added one extra scoop of protein. The guy at the register looks at me and with a straight face says... that's $19.

Ash
4 Min Read
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"I'm not trying to be an asshole here but..."

Here's a phrase that is invariably followed by someone being a huge asshole. At least you know there is a 100% chance of asshole like actions to follow.

In promise form, the spoken word has completely lost it's meaning for me. It is now simply a placeholder for possible action.

Ash
2 Min Read
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Jesus is changing his name. I know this because a friend's sister's cousin knows his mom and she said he can't even enjoy a smoothie at Nékter without people piling up to ask him for shit.

Come on. He's sick of everyone asking for everything. Lottery numbers, the good parking spot in the Walmart parking lot, discounts on chainsaws, a 'Greenie' with no apple, extra ginger.... and his absolute favorite; get me through this and I'll never do THAT again. lol

Ash
2 Min Read
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Cleaning the house today and found a couple interesting photos of my late 20's. Some people wish they could go back... I NEVER wanna go back there.

At 27 years old, I was on my way out of this life. Almost 300 pounds, I worked 100 hour work weeks, ate terribly and never exercised. My eating was out of control and the 10 or more sodas per day weren't doing me any favors either.

Ash
3 Min Read
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I'm just reading through the email this morning when an alert reminder pops up from the stupid Apple calendar app announcing "Father's Day is tomorrow".

My first thought is "how do I turn this reminder off"?

Then, the part of my brain that handles my paternal type repressions steps up to the microphone and starts up. The rest of me is saying... 'shut that fucking guy up over there'.

Ash
4 Min Read
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As an introvert, this is something I have struggled with my entire life. Sitting on the sidelines evaluating the odds of failure, rejection or even someone hurting you. All the while, everyone else has "jumped in".

Win, lose or draw; those who have "jumped in" are experiencing something. I'm not saying evaluation isn't important. And I'm certainly not saying to "jump in" to anything that comes along. But there is a point where you must start participating on a level worthy of the opportunity or risk losing it.

Status Updates

Ash Yesterday

Evgeny Pobozhiy is one of my favorite Jazz virtuoso players on Youtube. This kid never makes a mistake and feels every note. His technique is reminiscent of Vinnie Moore on 'To The Core'. Unreal talent.

https://youtu.be/rUiYT7Vowag?t=261
Ash 8 days ago

What a gorgeous morning for coffee with the windows open. The desert breeze was rushing through the upstairs long enough to finish my first cup and it was a fantastic way to start my day. I'm grateful for it. 

I have Chary Life by Anika Nilles playing in my Saturday morning playlist and that song immediately brings me to my happiest place! She is one of my favorite drummers and a brilliant composer.  

Happy Saturday!

Ash 9 days ago

There's some seriously good music coming from the Czech Republic. My Youtube feed continues to grow with new favorites all the time. It's funny how each of these fantastic players take me to my "happy place" for vastly different reasons. 

It all started for me when I stumbled into the epic record "Celkem Jiná" by Gabriela Gunčíková. This quickly became a loop worthy staple in my playlist. A few years later, I still only understand bits and pieces but my soul can sing along phonetically. It's insane how music can connect us like that. She has a voice that stands on it's own but has always reminded me of Sandra Nasić. There's a ton of great Youtube content by Gabriela and I truly hope there are more records coming from this talented performer.

The drums on Celkem Jiná are legendary and that's where I stumbled into Veronika Mraz. OMG can this girl play the drums. She has a unique feel to her playing that is truly recognizable and live, she is a true rockstar behind the kit. There's hair flying everywhere. 

I love her approach to fills and placement. She is a groove player that always seems to add a memorable feel to the song. Nothing is rushed. One of my very favorite drummers ever.

From Veronika, I stumbled into another legend. Drummer, composer and husband, Dali Mraz. At just 28, this guy has been composing music at a genius level most of his life. One of the best drummers on the planet, you 'feel' the ADHD energy pouring out of his playing. I remember a favorite Drumeo appearance where he explains creating as a composer. His brain moves at an astounding pace. (his cymbal work is insane)

From Dali, I made another favorite discovery... his sister Elis Mraz. She is a natural performer, creative song writer and phenomenal vocalist. These kids make it look easy on Coriander and I definitely wanna play at their house. That video takes me right to my happy place. lol

Elis has a superstar personality on camera that you just know she was born with. I love her creative approach to writing and her delivery is always entertaining.

What's super interesting is how these two favorite singers have matured as performers. Gabriela and Elis have two very different approaches to english enunciation and it's awesome to be able to watch them improve over a few years of videos. Czech is a beautiful language and tongue placement is obviously much different than english. One thing I love about Youtube is the ability to see how these singers are forming vowels and consonants. It's an insane amount of work to perfect I'm sure.

Well... my little post has become more of a blog entry. lol - gonna stop here. Do yourself a favor and check out the talent coming from the Czech Republic. There's a ton of it. :-) 

Ash 12 days ago

Quarantined on a Saturday night. Opened the windows, cranked up the amps and played a while. The desert breeze was awesome. (another benefit of living in the middle of nowhere) lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48WbC3tT_pU
Ash 14 days ago

Very little gravel left to rake... so today's workout is small, isolated movements on the rings and lots of cable work.

Ash 14 days ago

Today's workout. Who needs the gym when you have 2 tons of gravel to rake? ☀️💪#jackedAt50

Ash 21 days ago

Building some fantastic new open source tooling and talking about it over on my GX website. GXUI2 is just about completed and I am so ready for a vacation... oh yeah, I forgot. Quarantine. Sigh.

Here's a few of my latest open source components for GXUI2! Check out the daily GX updates on my Dev Channel.

Ash 23 days ago

I gave up on finding the right girl and just married this piece of PVC pipe. We're very happy. 😳

Ash 25 days ago
Ash 1 month ago

Absolute brilliance from Bruce Dickinson in 1983. It's been said the phrase "Die With Your Boots On" is a saying from the American Old West, meaning to die with honor after putting up a fight.

"Another prophet of disaster taunting us with visions. Afflicting us with fear. Predicting war for millions, in the hope that one appears.

In thirteen the beast is rising, the Frenchman did surmise. Through earthquakes and starvation, the warlord will arise. Terror, death, destruction pour from the eastern sands.

But the truth of all predictions is always in your hands.

No point asking when it is. No point asking who's to go. No point asking who's to blame. If you're gonna die then die with your boots on."

The ship is not lost. Hang on tight and stay the course. Be brave and see it through.