2013 so far through the lens of Instagram [press play]
Over the past few days my team has had the opportunity to connect with professionals we admire across the nation and the globe—all thanks to the creative strategist project we’re doing, #360creatives.
Going into this, I didn’t expect that tweeting at people would reveal the insight it has (by asking people to describe their professional mindset in six verbs). I’ve learned about company cultures, individuals, and what makes them tick. I don’t want to reveal any specific conclusions until we present the project in two weeks, but I do want to share what figures stood out to me from the 60 folks who were kind enough to get back to us.
Alice is a designer at Dropbox, and has an interesting career path that is worth the read. You can learn more about her on the portfolio site above. Beautiful design + illustrations.
Davy is the former creative lead at Squarespace, and a current interactive designer at Apple. His portfolio is simple, clean, and altogether gorgeous. I can see why Apple hired him.
Vanessa is the head of digital design at Donna Karan International. Her tumblr is extremely visual… as you might expect.
These people are all worth checking out, and just writing about them sparks excitement in me. This is why I decided to finish on this blog post—on an inspirational note. I already know that the brilliant people who surround me at the U of O will go on to hold jobs like these, and climb higher and higher to their wildest dreams.
I am certain about one thing: these people don’t simply work a job; they follow a calling.
19 - November 24, 2013
We are all capable of feats beyond our wildest imaginations. Ashrita Furman embodies this. I have watched this short film a few times since Brian McGinn released it two weeks ago (if you like this film I recommend checking out his website), and I waited to post it here so I could attempt to uncover a hidden insight. I realized that this film is so good that it doesn’t need a preface. It doesn’t need to be pitched to you. The work speaks for itself.
Have you watched the video yet? If not, why are you still reading this? Get inspired, see life from a profound perspective, and witness a man with 148 Guinness World Records attempt to break more.
My attempt at playing with facial hair in illustrator for this sketch Friday:
I found this photo in a collection on Flickr titled: Beards across the Commons. Congratulations to Dr. Abbot—his beard is epic.
An inordinate amount of strokes with my drawing tablet composed this beard. I eventually learned that I could simply make different patterns on the side of my art board, and drag them into the composition (as opposed to drawing each line individually). This discovery is the only reason I am not still working on this two hours later.
I really like this separation for some reason. The beard and eyebrow combo could make a great logo for a wise man some day. It’s expressive. Modern. Maybe dignified.
Here is the final sketch.
"My wife and I have been married 16 years."
“Any particular reason?”
“I was just never sure I wanted to have a child. And I always thought that with a decision that big, it was better not to guess and be wrong. I’ve just always had this anxiety about fulfilling myself and accomplishing my dreams. I love kids, and I love my friends’ kids, but I just didn’t think there’d be room in my life for a child. Some of the parents I know think that not having a child is a selfish decision to make. But then again, a lot of those same people, after two or three beers, have told me that they envy my freedom.”
I don’t necessarily agree, but Chase Jarvis continues to keep himself busy 16 years later.
With my wedding site done, I moved on to repositioning my ambitions in the advertising industry. This is the product of my labor:
My first and only project listed is a DP reel, an idea I have developed and tweaked for a couple of years. This reel is deeply personal, as it reveals the places, adventures, and subjects who make up my world of film from 2012-2013. Locations span from WA + OR + CA + UT + NYC:
Whether you like the site or reel is not important to me. I want you to understand this world I am trying to build. If you like what you see, then stick around. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.
It’s November and happy couples are busily looking to book weddings in time for their magical summer weddings. In lieu of this, I have designed and created a new website for my wedding videography. Essentially I rebranded myself, and introduced a new domain as well, weddingsbygrant.com.
My rationale: I wanted to share why I do this on every page, mainly because I am asked why I film weddings so often. My logo, GL, is an indication that I run this site, just as I run grant-lemons.com. I use the logo as a unifying indication that you can expect the same caliber of quality across my wedding channel as much as you can across my creative thinking/advertising channel.
I am already on the hunt for advertising internships, so I wanted this site to serve as a portal into another world of mine that I care deeply about.
I finished the book Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley last week. This book introduced me to design thinking, and how any problem can be solved through creative thinking.
Similar to a book I read over summer, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, the book stresses the importance of increased iterations overtime as the crux to success. Instead of applying it to startups though, they stress this importance in an individual’s everyday life.
"The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into 24 hours." - Thomas Edison (Kelley 41)
"Action and iteration are imperative to innovation and creativity" (Kelley 114).
An anecdotal example from the book references a pottery class where the instructor splits the class in two groups. He graded one group at the end of each class on the quality of the best pot they shape. He graded the other group on the basis of quantity over quality, or the overall weight of the cumulative amount of pots they could craft in a class. By the end of the term, the group with their backs against the wall, grinding till the last minute of class, produced better pots than the group focusing on the quality of one pot. Lesson: the key to mastering a craft is quantity over quality.
Right? I mean that could be true. Interestingly, over the past week I’ve talked with fellow creatives on their thoughts of quantity over quality, and an overwhelming amount of them think the concept is bogus. One photographer stressed the importance of carefully planning each shoot, and taking months to work on one primary photo essay. I stand somewhere in between, though I do see the benefits in my own videography work in pushing to create as many films as I can in order to better myself.
Here’s one solution to creatives who view this mindset as a pathway to mediocrity: create as much meaningful work as humanly possible. It’s easy to forget this for college creatives who deal with weighing passion projects versus class assignments. But that’s just it. Find time to do what you love, and work won’t seem like work anymore. Find the time to create things that matter to you or others, and a world of possibilities opens up.