Welcome to my Flickr profile page. This page is sponsored by Nothing™ and the Nobody Brands of Emptiness®. Please enjoy these words about photography, creativity and things.

I want to tell a story and to invite people into that story. For a time I was very conceptual, creating elaborate compositions to help convey some larger meaning — sometimes very silly, sometimes very serious. I'm not sure if I have any style or any discernible signature to my photos, I just try and pull as much story from the moment I capture as possible. Nowadays, when I do take photos (which sadly isn't as often), I strip away as much details as possible and allow space (and clever titling) to allow someone to elicit their own meaning from the images.

I don't want to waste your time with my photographs. There's enough self-indulgence and meaningless distractions in life, I don't want to generate more noise. If you can look at one of my photos and laugh, be amused, intrigued or moved to an emotion, then I feel I've done something worthwhile.

No one wants to create something that no one sees or cares about. We all want to, at the very least, hear that what we do has meant something to someone. If I've engaged anyone with my silly photos, then I've come closer to creating something that isn't a mindless, meaningless distraction.

Where do I get my inspiration? Inspiration is a phantom. It might be a conversation I hear in the office, a song I can't get out of my head, a book I'm reading, a drawing my 4 year old is making, or perfectly cooked bacon — it's never solitary and it's never formulaic. One of my favorite exercises is to purposefully mishear things (ok, maybe I'm getting older and am actually mishearing things) and to explore the strange and ridiculous phrases and sentences that I think I hear (not unlike that scene in "Roxanne" where Steve Martin's character says "10 more seconds and I'm leaving" and Darryl Hannah mishears it as "Ermore sessions by sleeving"). It opens up a door to the absurd and silly and breaks my barriers of adult rigidity. All that to say, I have a hard time pinpointing any individuals or things or places or moments that inspire me; as I pull from so many disparate things: movies, comedy, books, cartoons, photography, music and roasted Brussels sprouts (which is completely a lame cop-out).

I try to approach everything I do (whether it's photography, design, podcasting, Vine videos or driving a car - well, maybe not driving my car) with child-like wonder and absurdity. At some point most of us grow out of playing, yet play is the best and most natural way to learn about yourself, the world and how you fit into the world. There's nothing more paralyzing than the daunting task of not making a mistake. The fear of failure kills creativity. Kids don't have that fear. They're explorers. Tunneling deep into their boundless imagination without worrying if it's true or silly or popular or marketable. I find it endlessly rewarding and challenging to try and harvest some of that mentality. I had it once, which means it's still in me.

Work: ChoreMonster
Photo: Wiseacre Photo
Me: i am paul armstrong
Blog: Armstrong Circus
Twitter: Wiseacre
Facebook: Paul Armstrong

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Testimonials (14)

  • view profile

    Roberto_Enrique says:

    "you are a genius !!!"

    April 4th, 2008

  • view profile

    FotoRita [Allstar maniac] says:

    "Paul, you are my personal Genious!!!"

    February 1st, 2008

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    mary poppins! says:

    "Quite possibly the most amazing self portraits I have ever seen."

    January 15th, 2008

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    Full Circle Photography- Calgary says:

    "Your work is outstanding!! Amazing amazing amazing! Can't wait to see what you come up with in the future!!"

    December 9th, 2007

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    cooleye foto says:

    "Always look forward to seeing what is going on in the mind of this guy! Interesting, imaginative, kooky, and full of spirit Wiseacres' photos just make you want to look. I hope he keeps up the great work and he is def an inspiration to all of us."

    August 5th, 2007

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    topupthetea says:

    "Wow! What a guy! Not only great at photography, but always looking for a challenge, and always working hard to improve what is already great! His standards are so high that he almost makes me feel bad (but not quite). Constantly pleasing and impressive. Rock on (:"

    April 10th, 2007

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    Prozac74 says:

    "This guy is a constant source of inspiration for me as well as a reason wanting to improve my photoshop skills. He ticks like me concerning having a new idea and then making a series out of it. He is only faster and much more skilled."

    February 21st, 2007

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    notcatherinezeta says:

    "They don't know what you're doing. Babe, it must be art."

    December 3rd, 2006

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    Visual Reserve: David Bean says:

    "Paul, you're genuis is showing."

    September 13th, 2006

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    bryanstupar says:

    "his creativity never ceases to amaze me!!"

    August 18th, 2006

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    Rebeca_Saray says:

    "You are amazing!"

    July 8th, 2006

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    Jaqueline Vanek says:

    "You are one of the person with the greatest mind I ever saw on flickr!!!! Your work is excellent and the best thing of all is that you are damn original in your own style :)!!!

    Lot of compliments."

    June 18th, 2006

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    _rebekka says:

    "one of my favorites here on flickr. Clever and funny , excellent post-processing, and some of the best titles ever;)"

    May 19th, 2006

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    Mr. Mark says:

    "At the time of writing this testionial, Paul had exactly 700 images in his photostream. You can read all about how cool he is in the glowing testimonials that are sure to follow mine. I just wanted to point out this little statistic. It was a comment whose time had come."

    May 2nd, 2006

Paul Armstrong
September 2004
Newark/Wilmington DE
Cincinnati, USA
I am:
Male and Taken
Co-founder / CCO of ChoreMonster
Wiseacre Photo