Earlier this year my good friend and fellow artist Patty Haft agreed to come to my design agency and mentor our people in recovery in the art of marketing and sales. She was a great help to me and those people as she advised, cajoled and prodded budding creatives to learn to how work as a professional in a design agency.
I’ve known Patty since high school when she was one of a group of young girls we guys used to admire at on the beach in Santa Monica. Years later I hired her and her husband, illustrator Dan Long to work on many projects for me when I was the executive creative director at Saban Entertainment. To return the favor she and Dan hired me as a VP of Entertainment Advertising at their ad agency in Valencia. Patty and I spent many days pitching business to all sorts of entertainment companies and worked on many campaigns for Disney, Sony and others. Over the years we both got divorced and remarried and divorced again but maintained our friendship.
When I asked Patty to help me earlier this year I had no idea she was in a major transition in her life. As she tells me now her search for what she wanted to do in the future galvanized as she worked with us at BTS Communications. The result of which is shown here. Artwork pieces that use discarded paper and recycles them into beautiful pieces of art that are fun to look at and have messaging in the art with the use of pictures, graphics and typography. All of her pieces are three dimensional and some move.
Patty is a graduate of Art Center in Pasedena where she majored in illustration and design. Her career has been in entertainment advertising where she successfully ran her own agency along with her then husband Dan Long. Now she is enjoying the creation of fine art.
As we talked over some Mexican food at Sharkey’s in Beverly Hills Patty told me she was going to start exhibiting and selling her work in the late Spring at local fairs and art walks, which I enthusiastically supported. I will follow up with Patty as the months go by and update you on the results of her efforts.
I read the LA Times today and buried in the first section of the paper was this wonderfully insightful article by Meghan Daum. In it she mentions Louis C.K.’s rant on Conan O’Brien’s show about cell phones and kids and why we all cannot be alone for a moment these days. How many times have you seen someone pull out their cellphone and check messages?….or better yet how many times have you done that? I know I have. God forbid anyone sees me staring out into space thinking about something. Look this syndrome has gotten so bad we have people all over talking on cellphones with hidden headsets and it appears like they are talking to themselves. Fact is it’s harder to tell whether someone is talking on their phone or just plain crazy these days.
To top that off I was channel surfing last night and I landed on the Sci-fi channel and there was a scientist talking about how he had a chip inserted into his brain or nervous system and could now operate a mechanical hand that was sitting on a table just by thinking about it. And he could feel the sensations of the grip in his hands. The far reaching implications of this are obvious according to him. We could all be wired together so that we could collectively think and create better solutions.
I’m all for advancement but to get back to the cellphone issue, I think we need to mandate a timeout. Perhaps have a group where we all meet and agree to talk and share and no electronic devices are allowed. Perhaps we do this on a hike or at the beach and just enjoy what nature has provided. Here’s the Louis C k video rant. I hope you enjoy and get as much out of it as I did.
Some time ago I created and published the Illustrators Journal, a magazine which ran anywhere from 15-36 pages and was published quarterly. After four issues and a failed kickstarted campaign I wound it down. It was too much for one person to publish while working fulltime as well. Since that time I’ve toyed around with other versions of the journal but I couldn’t bring myself to jump back into it. I just didn’t have the time to do it justice. However, I could see myself doing a weekly one page newsletter covering various aspects of being an artist in today’s society. What I like about this effort is it takes less time to put together and less time to read. In this era of sound bites and 140 character messaging it seems more appropriate. So here’s the inaugural issue. Sound off and give feedback. The more I get the better I can serve, Thanks,
Our still-primitive social skills haven’t adjusted to modern technology. Information ubiquity, amplification and preservation have cursed our social interactions. As a result, our conversational indiscretions can’t be hidden. “Oh, that? I was just mumbling!” Instead, our mistakes are etched in digital granite. And no platform presents greater problems than Twitter. In fact, of Mashable.com’s eleven greatest social media disasters of 2012, nine involved wayward Tweeting, each of which are summarized here in less than 140 characters:
1. With McdStories, “McDonald’s paid to promote a trend that showered the company in bad publicity.” #oops
2. Snickers paid celebrities in the UK to tweet pictures of themselves eating Snickers bars. Not allowed. #illegal.
3. American Rifleman posted a pro-gun tweet as the mass shooting in Aurora CO was unfolding. #dumb #whatweretheythinking
4. CelebBoutique posted a promotional Tweet using #Aurora to exploit a trending topic, without knowing why it was trending. #insensitive #stupid
5. A Microsoft employee criticized conservative pundit Ann Coulter from Microsoft’s Twitter account, not from his own. #oops
6. A KitchenAid employee made a disparaging Tweet about Obama’s grandmother. #firethisidiot
7. A Stubhub employee used the f-word in a company Tweet. #firethisidiot
8. American Apparel offered discounts to ‘bored customers’ during Hurricane Sandy. #insensitive #stupid
9. At the height of Hurricane Sandy, the Gap encouraged people to do online shopping. #idiotic
“Somewhere, somehow, somebody will Tweet something stupid.”—a corollary to Murphy’s Law for the digerati. The ol’ slip of the tongue, seen by 13,797 followers, viral, searchable, and archived forever for millions more!
Like an athlete trains for an event I went down to Huntington this morning to practice my shooting. Fortunately some pros were out on the north side of the pier practicing as well. The surf was fairly big so the rides were pretty nice. What was really interesting was the south side of the pier was breaking totally different than the north side. So I split my time between them. The sun came out the surf was good and it wasn’t as crowded as it will be next week so I was soaking up all the good vibrations of “Surf City”
I just got this pearl of wisdom from Mark Susnow www.inspirepossibility.com and it ties into a cartoon I wrote the other day so I’m posting these thoughts for you the reader. I live by these words and have found them to be true. We can do more than we think, we have to trust ourselves and others and move ahead despite your doubts.
For the last seven or eight years I have enjoyed a recreational activity that gives me exercise and satisfies my longing to be in nature. When I ride my bike on the mountain I feel exhilarated, refreshed and proud of myself. Putting on my biking clothes, oiling my bike and riding down the street are the beginning of a ritual that has evolved over time. Within 10 minutes, as I climb the trails of Mt Tam, I feel transported to a different world, one in which I leave behind all of my worldly concerns. In this world I feast on the beauty and tranquility of nature with its wildlife, majestic redwoods, flowing streams and the smell of fresh air. As part of my ritual I end my ride at the health food store and enjoy a healthy drink.
It was there that I ran into my young friend Bobby who is an avid rider. He rides his bike daily to the college but isn’t that familiar with some of the trails on the mountain. I offered to show him some of my favorites. Soon after we set a date for our ride, I started thinking about what trails I could show him that would be challenging for him but not too challenging for me.
A few days later we started on our ride. For the first part of the ride, we began climbing a trail which was part of my usual loop. And then I knew it was time for me to stretch and ride higher. As I looked up from the place on the trail where I usually stopped I wondered if I could climb higher. In my mind I surveyed the incline to be 25-30 degrees at its steepest point, which was much steeper than what I was used to.
It’s amazing how changing our thinking changes our experience of almost anything. I knew that the steepest part of the climb was the beginning. If I could climb beyond that phase then there was no reason I couldn’t climb all the way to the top of the ridge. As I started climbing my focus shifted from the top of the ridge and how difficult the climb might be, to what was immediately in front of me. In the 2 or 3 yards directly in front of me I did not notice any slope at all even though I knew there had to be one. As I continued the climb in this manner, instead of feeling tired I was able to maintain my energy and when I looked ahead I was almost at the top of the ridge.
Because I was able to climb higher than before I was able to see things for the first time. When I reached the pinnacle I was able to see for miles in every direction. The view had always been there but I had never put myself in a position to notice it. For the first time, I felt the interconnectedness of my surroundings; an interconnectedness that was always present even if I wasn’t able to see it.
Were it not for my change in thinking and sense of adventure I would have stopped miles ago. And that’s what so many of us do-we stop when it begins to feel uncomfortable instead of continuing to explore the unknown.
In my work with many of my coaching clients, I ask them what their biggest regret is. The most common response is that they didn’t risk enough. Certainly that has been true for me at various times in my life.
As you successfully take risks, you become more confident in what is possible and what you can accomplish. You’re more willing to get out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons. This expanded sense of exploration, extends to all aspects of your life including opening your heart and risking feeling more. That’s when you feel most alive and fulfilled.
Often its subtle shifts in thinking that make it possible to reach and experience higher levels. That was certainly true for me. My shift from thinking about the difficult trail ahead to what was immediately in front of me, enabled me to reach the pinnacle.
I know that you have your own mountain to climb. Sometimes when you think of the big picture the task ahead seems daunting and you don’t know where to begin. You might feel that whatever you do will just be a drop in the bucket. Here’s a suggestion that has worked for me and many others that I work with. Start with just one little thing and then continue to make little changes consistently. Over time you will see a dramatic difference in the quality of your life.
Do something new or different everyday for at least ten days. You could make it into a game. It could be as simple as taking a different route to work or getting up earlier and meditating. It could be listening to some new music. Or something as basic as brushing your teeth with your other hand.
It definitely gets you thinking about other things you do routinely and don’t pay attention to. As you begin to make these changes on a regular basis you will notice that you become more comfortable with the concept of change. As this occurs, you wonder what else you can change. And that’s when you will be willing to risk exploring the unknown.