Sunday, February 22, 2009

Alan Fletcher makes Design FUN

Whilst in England in Jan 2007 we went to the Design Museum because it seemed one of the coolest places for a creative spark to hang out and just by chance and stumbled upon the most wonderful exhibition with resources that I still hold in my minds eye!

Don't know who Alan Fletcher is? Click here to see what The Times had to say about the exhibition.

Reading the Times article really showed that Mr Fletcher and I were quite similar,

You’d often catch Fletcher wandering round his neighbourhood, Notting Hill, with a knife, to slice off an L that caught his eye on a cardboard box in the street. He’d rarely go out without returning with something in his pockets, a bit of scrap, perhaps, to metamorphose into a toy for his grandson or a kitchen cabinet.

He called himself a “visual jackdaw”, forever on the lookout for something others might overlook, to take back to his studio and transform.
I too am a complete bowerbird and have a MOST massive collection of visually appealing trinkets and paper snippets - never to be used but to be constantly rediscovered periodically in my 'art room' and admired!

What I found most inspiring was his ability to make these seemingly random illustration connections that I seem to be blogging most about lately. He found a sense of fun in mundane and made the mundane fun!

Ohhh I have just discovered a google search in images for Alan Fletcher (ignoring those of actor Alan Fletcher who plays Dr Carl in Neighbours!) shows me samples of that wonderful work i got up close and personal to in England!

Many of his illustrations were sublime in their simplicity, yet there was so much to them! I highly recommend a google images search and you will see what I mean.

I'm almost inspired enough to start doing some of my own art again....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More on tidy minds

Now I can't say it any better than this post from Mind Power News "Your secret weapon to unlimited wealth"

The real juice starts about half way down with these gems:

Aristotle Onasis, legendary Greek shipping tycoon, (he at one time owned over 200 companies) said:

"Always carry a notebook. Write everything down. When you have an idea, write it down. When you meet someone new, write down everything you know about them. That way you will know how much time they are worth. When you hear something interesting, write it down. Writing it down will make you act upon it. If you don’t write it down you will forget it. THAT is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!"

Sir Richard Branson, English billionaire best known for his Virgin brand, prefers to conduct his business the same way he’s done it since the beginning; by writing all of his ideas in a notebook.

Branson says:

"I can’t believe when I see people not writing things down. You know they’re not going to remember everything."

Branson now has a collection of over 125 black ledger notebooks that he’s written in over the years."

And anybody who has listened to Tony Robbins knows that he is a massive advocate of journalling and recording your ideas and using these to create a road map of where you want to go. It's one of the surest ways to get there...

So go find yourselves a journal, it can be as pretty, as silly, as old, as special as you like - and write write write. I keep little books and scrap papers everywhere, including in the car and beside the just never know when that idea will strike and with our busy little minds always ticking over and making connections you just might get caught out and let that idea slip by unnoticed...and at what loss to the world? We will never know....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Creative Connections

A quote from Charles Handy "The modern economies will not be constrained by lack of resources but only by lack of creativity & ideas.” and as observed by John Kao it is actionable ideas that will be our future.

The greatest contributor to GDP in the US in recent times has been intangibles - brain power, things that cannot be bought or made - ideas!

So how do you find those creative actionable ideas? By making the best use of our truly creative scattered and untidy C21 minds and those wonderful messy brainstorms those thoughts create.

Seth Godin is a master at making connections between bizarre and weird stuff and making it relevant to business problems. Think Purple Cow or Meatball Sundae and he has really got some great talks going on You Tube - just search for him and see how he makes connections. One of my favorites is his talk at the 2008 TED conference on sliced bread.

The ability to 'indulge' in daydreaming is creative thinking and making connections. This is the future for our children's success.

It is businesses that cut brainstorming time from their schedules as a cost cutting measure that do the most damage to their innovation.

Leave time to daydream and make some wonderful connections - see where those storms take you and your C21 mind!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tidy Minds

Sir Martin Sorrell said in a Forbes interview (sometime in 2008 I think ) “The 21st century is not for tidy minds.”

How interesting. I think this is fiercely apparent in watching Gen Y & Millennials as they maneuver their way through the various communications media simultaneously.

It's a good thing - this multi tasking, but all that jumping around can make one's mind get messy.

Surely having all those thoughts bumping into each other and all those conversations buzzing is going to either lead to creative connections that might not otherwise have eventuated or complete disaster!

So here's to C21 messy minds and the creative brainstorms that rain out of them!

Be Like Douglas

I have a small green model frog, a friend bought him back from Port Douglas for me, hence his name is Douglas.

Have you ever noticed how happy frogs look? Their big mouth and wide eyes? They always look like they are smiling.

So Douglas sits in an inconspicuous place in my car and when I feel road rage or car crabbiness or just general poopy-mood I look at Douglas...and!

We all need reminders of the simple things, (I also have a bracelet that says follow your dreams but that's for another day...) they're called emotional triggers.

We have good triggers and sometimes bad - but what matters is that we can control them once we are aware of them. Set up some happy triggers in your life that remind you of the simple pleasures and, well, be like Douglas!

Have a smiley day...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Curious behavior

I was driving through the city today and saw the strangest thing. A man walked part way along a crossing in front of the stopped traffic, put his Gloria Jeans coffee cup on the bitumen, looked up and down the street - raised both arms in the air, first 2 fingers held out in a Victory sign, then picked up his cup, continued crossing the road and strode off without a glance back!

I pondered on his curious behavior for a while - what did it mean? Was he a little touched by the excessive Melbourne heat we have been experiencing? Did he care that people were watching or was it his own private ritual? Was it a peace protest for a cause, if so what cause?

Then I started thinking how much like marketing that behavior was. We create ads, posters, banners, promotional items, brochures, blah blah blah - we walk around, put down our coffee cup, undertake some bizarre attention seeking behavior and hope that people get it and are moved to take action.

Hmmm, curious indeed. There is so much buzz around interactive marketing, and I may have heard the term 'me-kerting' bandied about, or did I just make that one up! If so I think it is perfect for what we really need to do now as marketers - it's about ME not the ad or the copy or the company or the product.

So then the question remains, how do we get our curious behavior noticed by the people who are going to be most curious and then engaged to do something about it? And the final message from my peace loving coffee drinker is that we need to be sure that our message is dirt clear...not masked in obscurity.

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