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Your Creative Signature

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Creative Purpose | 0 comments

There are certain creative drivers whose body of work is so unique and different from everyone else, their creative signature can be recognized almost immediately. The two-part harmony of The Beatles, a painting by Picasso, an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, or a photograph of Yosemite by Ansel Adams are just four examples of people with creative signatures. The first song the “Lads from Liverpool” wrote as teens didn’t put them on the charts, but Lennon and McCartney’s songs quickly became a signature that launched the 60’s British music invasion. Picasso’s work ushered in a new era in modern art and gave painters another way to tell a story. Because the...

6 Things That Don’t Require Talent

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Creative Passion, Featured | 0 comments

Performing at the top of your creative game isn’t just about talent, it’s about making choices to set yourself apart from people who have talent alone. Before the start of every football season, former Ohio State coach, Jim Tressel, gives a manual to all his players to read. In it is a section called, “Things That Do Not Require Talent”. Considering the amazing athletes who have played for Ohio State and the awards they’ve won, it’s fascinating to see the value Coach Tressel places on six key words. Not only are they important on the football field they’re important in the creative world too. Here’s his list of 6...

Everybody Has A Story

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Creative Process, Featured | 0 comments

Every week on The Early Show (CBS), correspondent Steve Hartman tosses a dart over his right shoulder at a map to determine where he will go for his next story. The segment is called Everybody Has A Story, and when Hartman arrives in town he chooses a name at random from the phone book, calls the person up, and begins the interview process. As a result of his skill as a journalist and reporter, Steve has produced 100 of these stories, and has won virtually every major broadcast journalism award there is — including an Emmy. Everybody Has A Story has taken him off-the-beaten-path to places where television simply...

You Gotta Fail To Succeed

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Creative Process, Featured | 0 comments

Every creative person has to learn to deal with failure. “If you’re not failing, you’re not taking enough risks,” says Tony and Emmy award-winning choreographer, Twyla Tharp. “Especially if that view liberates you to fail too often.” In her book, The Creative Habit, she goes on to say that… The best failures are the private ones. Private failures are the first drafts, sketches and manuscripts that get tossed on the floor. They are the not-so-good ideas you reject en route to finding the one that clicks. The more you fail in private, the less you fail in public. The creative act is editing. You’re editing out all the lame ideas...

Toss Out Your Microwave

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Creative Process | 0 comments

If you’ve ever watched the Food Network program, Dinner: Impossible, you might have seen the vanity plate at the end of the show for the production company that creates it. If not, let me describe what happens in the five seconds it’s on the screen… A microwave timer goes off. Ding! A hand quickly opens the door. And a voice says, “That’s done!” The message is, “Ok, I’m done with that! What’s next?” Watching it always leaves me feeling like the show I  just viewed was made by someone who didn’t care about what they created. Ding! And if they didn’t care about the show, why should I? Ding! Don’t get me...

Putting Lipstick On A Pig

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Creative Process | 2 comments

Every month I’m asked to create commercials for products with little or no value. For the past ten years, I’ve written and directed commercials for necklaces, pendants, keychains, a floating pen, candles, letter openers, notepads, Christmas ornaments, statues, paper dispensers, books, CD’s and DVD’s…to name a few. Sometimes I’m handed a great book by a well-known author, which makes my job a whole lot easier. But most of the time it’s a “trinket” or “tchotchke” I have to find a way to sell. How do I do it? I put lipstick on a pig. Although the line, putting lipstick on a pig, has been around forever, I got it from...

5 Beats of Successful Storytelling

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Creative Process | 0 comments

Author Philip Pullman wrote, “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Whether we’re talking about life, business, or art, storytelling is an essential skill. Maybe even THE most essential skill. But that doesn’t mean it comes naturally. Whether it’s your own personal bio, a summary for your company’s “about” page, or a pitch to a major client, fitting everything important into a concise yet engaging narrative is a challenging task. So we turned to performer, comedian, and storytelling guru David Crabb to share his storytelling framework. It’s called the Five Beats of Storytelling, and you can use it to make any story more interesting, engaging, and memorable. These...