Those-Folks

Page told me that while there’s been a lot of conversation lately about increasing the numbers of non-white, non-male people in various companies and sectors, it’s left open the question of how many folks those organizations are supposed to be aiming for. Is one enough? Is 10 too many? Can you fiddle the dials to calibrate some sort of ideal workplace diversity score?

Page says it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you simply want more women in the room, that’s easy enough. Hire a woman and stick her at a desk. Your room has, indeed, become more diverse, numerically speaking. Time for happy hour.

But if what you’re going for is bringing new perspectives into your organization, and getting people to actually think differently and come up with new ideas, then a different calculus is needed.

“One question you can ask is how many people of a particular group have to be in a room for them to speak,” Page said. That is, having a woman in a room doesn’t affect a whole lot if she doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up. And while he has found that the presence of just one member of a minority group in a room can positively influence the rest of the group to be more cognizant of their own language and behavior, that’s different from actually hearing out that person’s ideas.

The Illustration Academy is baller as heck.

Seriously. Go do it. I only ended up going for the last of this year’s five weeks, and it changed the way I approach my work drastically. For the better. Plus you get to learn from actual living legends, like Mark English, John English, and George Pratt, alongside guys like Jeffrey Alan Love, and Edward Kinsella III - who are just tearing the industry up right now. And those were the folks that were there for just the one week I was present; the full line-up is absolutely nuts. 

The final assignment was to illustrate the fantastic Neil Gaiman short story The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. Here is my take:

GET TO KNOW ME

movies [3/3]

→ lord of the rings

“it’s like in the great stories, mr. frodo. the ones that really mattered. full of darkness and danger, they were. and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? how could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? but in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. even darkness must pass. a new day will come, and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. those were the stories that stayed with you…folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. they kept going. because they were holding on to something…that there’s some good in this world, mr. frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”