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“Never be afraid to just do. ”— Simon Collison. Overheard at the Creative Mornings NYC event today.
Redesigning success with an artist identity
About three months ago, I was transformed by a talk Sharon Ann Lee gave on redesigning success. Lee is a cultural trend analyst and author who runs “a think tank/studio on trends, culture and creativity.” Her talk has been buzzing around in my mind since watching it. Lee recommends: 1) know your numbers 2) live in the power zone 3) create a poetic vision of your life. Because a poetic vision serves as your North Star, keeping your heart/dream/life-purpose mission at the forefront of your mind and guiding decisions about what projects to take on, I’ve wanted to start drafting mine. Well, today I did! I filled out the worksheet she emailed me and created my very first draft. Your poetic vision is a project that is in perpetual beta, constantly being tested and redefined, so although I need to work on it, I’m pleased that I now have a good first draft. [Note: I began drafting this post on January 9, 2012, which is the day I drafted my poetic vision.]
Lee’s talk was also important to me in a long journey I’ve been on to reclaim myself as an artist. Identity, and how you think about yourself is so powerful. Though I liked drawing when I was younger and creating visual art, I didn’t particularly have more of an affinity for it than most children (though I think children are amazingly creative and artistic!). I wasn’t labeled an “artist” by my family or education institutions nor did I think of myself as one. The way I thought of myself as a “creative” person ebbed and flowed. But more and more, bit by bit, I started thinking of myself as belonging in the Creative Camp. Though I didn’t think of myself as a (capital A) Artist, I knew creativity was important to me and I just felt like I belonged with poets, artists, dancers, and other creative people. Several birthdays in a row in my late twenties, I modeled my birthday parties after those a 5 year old might have, with coned party hats, and lots and lots of paper, magazines, scissors, crazyons, markers, tape, and glue spread out on a long table. The idea was to create an environment for people to create, engage, and connect with one another through art with no judgements attached - after all it was modeled and branded as a birthday party a 5 year old might have! There was no way to have “bad art.” The point was to have fun and connect and explore art-making.
In July 2010, I went (hesitantly) to a night for artists to work on something deemed artist liberation. The basic idea behind the evening was to work on the idea that art is important, that what we each were striving to do with art was important, and that while oppression against artists was damaging and hurtful — and real — we could keep going forward with what we believed in.
I knew this group was very open and non-judgemental about who qualified as an artist, so though I decided to self-identify enough to go, I didn’t feel like a “real” Artist, and wondered if maybe I shouldn’t be there at all. It was amazing, and I had probably the first major breakthrough in beginning to think of myself as an artist. Afterwards, I tweeted (lightly edited for clarity):
Inspired by artists and thinkers I met with tonight. Some thoughts I had: 1) Ideas are (one of) my medium. 2) The Internet is a giant playground 3) The open, social web *is* art & creativity, realized (and other stuff). 4) designing play & interaction is art making. 5) I love humanity.
I didn’t have to think of myself as a visual artist to be an artist. Being an artist was a way of looking at the world, of being in the world, and interacting and influencing the world. I could look at problems, I could look at situations, I could look at the wonder of the universe with an artist’s mind. Lee’s talk took this idea that had already been percolating in my mind, and made it more real by describing the way she came to think of herself as an artist.
What's Happening This Week! Tad Carpenter, Second Story, Creative Mornings!
Holy cow it’s week FIVE!!! We have an awesome week lined up here at FoGD! Plus check out everything that’s happening here in our program, and around the city!
Thursday, February 9th
Show & Tell with Tad Carpenter (Video chat)
Noon | Room 160
Tad Carpenter is an illustrator, designer and teacher living in sunny, snowy and forever changing Kansas City, Missouri. Tad has illustrated anddesigned several children’s books, spot illustrations and national campaigns in the current market place. He has been featured in Communication Arts, Print, How, Graphis, Grain Edit, Drawn!, Grain Edit, Illustration Mundo and dozens of publications in regards to design and illustration. Tad also teaches graphic design and illustration at the University of Kansas. Rock, Chalk.
Friday, February 10th
Field Trip Friday at Second Story
714 N Fremont St, No 200 Portland, OR 97227
First 20 students to sign up tomorrow at noon here on the blog will get to attend!
Second Story conceptualizes, designs, and develops interactive media experiences that enchant, inform, and entertain—pioneering new ways to inspire wonder and connect audiences to stories, ideas, and information.
Friday, February 10th
Creative Mornings with JD Hooge of Instrument
FREE | 9AM | Ziba Auditorium
Tickets for this event sell out faster than Hannah Montana tickets, but signing up on the waitlist is ALWAYS an option!
Dead Stock at Compound Gallery, curated by Jason Sturgill
107 Northwest 5th Avenue Portland, OR 97209-3822
In the world of retail, merchandise that does not leave the shelves or the warehouse is destined to become deadstock. These forgotten relics of commerce can sometimes get a second chance, once again returning to the marketplace to fulfill their intended function. How does art become deadstock, and once it does, how does it once again serve a purpose?
View more photos by Jason here.
Happening NEXT WEEK:
Thursday, February 16th
GOOD Idea for Cities
7PM | Ziba Auditorium
910 NW Marshall Portland, OR 97209
How would you improve your city? Our new event series might give you some ideas.
GOOD Ideas for Cities taps creative problem-solvers to tackle real urban challenges and present their solutions at live events across the country.
Read more about this event and learn how to attend here!
Last week, graphic design student Alie Kouzoukian installed this piece in the art annex for Nicole Lavalle’s Design Thinking class. This is made out of 22,480 push pins!
I ordered 30,000 thumbtacks (Thank you, Internet!), but only ended up using 22,480. I decided to do an update on the W+K wall by choosing rainbow translucent thumbtacks instead of clear, and using a hand lettered script to deliver my message, which is an oversized bad pun, “Push It.”
Read more about this project and her process here! Go Alie!