INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST

Here’s another artist that inspires me, he’s on the blogroll. Hugh MacLeod is a major marketing maven and cartooning monster who truly knows what creative is and what creativity is for. This cartoon for “businessneedsmoreart.com” just nails what art does for the culture. More art = more inspiration, every every time I experience good art I’m inspired, inspired to create. Good art doesn’t just inspire “artists” it inspires everyone, inspires innovation. Hugh has recognized a cycle of productivity here that is self perpetuating, feed art in one end and more art comes out of the other. And having some profit in the middle isn’t bad either.

<tangental rant>The canonical example of creative, innovational, profit of course is Apple (full disclosure: I do not own any Apple stock or products). As overhyped as it sounds to deny it is simply not seeing reality. Like, dislike, agree, disagree Apple has revolutionized both music and telephone, period. Where did that come from? Good art! Jobs was an appreciator of artistic expression who savored elegance and nearly worshipped craftsmanship. As mentioned, though I’ve never personally owned an Apple product I have used them and been struck by their simple beauty. Try this; go to Fry’s and ask them to pop the hood on one of the computers and note the mess inside, the inside you don’t see. Now go to an Apple store and do the same, big difference.<end rant>

Now get your head out of the box and go make/do something.


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PROFESSIONALS NETWORK

Went to my sporadic network meeting last night. Just a loose group of different business people, maybe 25 – 30 of us. All kinds too, some realtors, insurance brokers, a house cleaning service, a painting contractor, some writers, a publisher of children’s books etc. This night there were 14 of us and I was the only “creative”, I thought.

Discussion was aimed at aligning your actions so your business flows. You don’t want the receptionist to greet people with ‘Whadaya want?’ as this may not entice them to venture any farther through the door. I’m listening to a financial broker describe how he structured an acquisition deal from beginning to end, the flows he had to develop and the stops to overcome. Later a bookkeeper remarked that you may not need a full-time bookkeeper if you have a ‘housekeeper’ to corral your financials so the bookkeeper can sort it, say every quarter.

Then I was realizing as our business is growing and we still only have that expanding file as our ‘housekeeper’ and we’re stuffing more stuff in it all the time. We were out of town last weekend location scouting for the new novel and mileage, and the meals, and the purchase of the town map, and the local newspaper and it’s all business expenses to track.

What I really got from this meeting is how any business doesn’t run itself by itself. It’s all these different parts accountants, finance, cleaning, bookkeeping, and fresh green plants running together and areas of expertise that can make a ‘creative’ solution. Not everyone’s job title is Artist, but a true professional is creative.


MORE GETTING GOOD

Practice makes perfect. Really?? Why??

Keith Bond has an interesting article at Fine Art Views.

He offers a couple of suggestions:
“Do a variety of exercises to develop different skills from color theory to composition to values, perspective, creativity, expression, etc. There are hundreds of exercises you could do.

But most importantly – the best way to practice is simply create. Create with the attitude that the piece you are working on does not need to be a masterpiece. It does not need to be exhibited. It is simply for discipline.”

Drill, drill, drill.

I have learned the basics of proportion, where are the eyes on the face, how wide is a mouth, and extending to anatomy, how long is an upper arm compared to the lower arm etc. I try to draw these exercises a couple times a week, just keeping my hand in.

When you have the basics you have someplace to start and when you start you have someplace to go. Don’t start; no go.

Practice, discipline, practice, hard work, discipline, and practice will lead to Mastery. And as I quoted Hugh MacLeod earlier: “Something inte­res­ting and valua­ble. … It may be an old-fashioned word that makes peo­ple uncom­for­ta­ble, but that’s only because it’s something that elu­des most people.”

But when you actually have mastered something: “It’s something that truly belongs to you, for always.”

I like that last, “It’s something that truly belongs to you, for always.”