Justin Ahrens of Rule29, 42 miles west of Chicago, speaking at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe Saturday, 9/10/11
You can live anywhere and be great at being a creative
As creatives, we are aware of stores of our lives, whether we know it or not.
Importance of seeing the stories. There is something about your story and the way you grew up that you apply to your creative work.
How many of you think design can change the world? How many of you think you can change the world with design?
To See - to notice something you weren't looking for.
How do you keep that feeling of seeing something for the first time, of seeing things you weren't looking for, in your life?
Look back, when can you recall someone doing something that made you see differently?
In our career path, we all get to a point where we want to do something bigger. "I want to do something bigger, something more, there's got to be a way I can use my creative skills to make a difference"
Life in Abundance - organization in Africa Justin went to work with
Before we can act/do, we first have to see the world differently. To "be the change you wish to see in the world" (- Ghandi) we first have to see differently
* We can and NEED to help other see
Part of seeing and being open gives you opportunities. How design can change you and those around you. How can we do things that will feed our soul in our day to day work?
Design Matters. We are able to see things differently as creatives in terms of concepts and strategy.
Being thoughtful gives dignity. And dignity is often all the poor have left.
"seeing" keeps you open to the unexpected.
Concept of story, seeing and doing things differently, how can we help tell the clients story differently and help them see their story differently?
Creatives have the ability to "see" into the future.
Practice PAUSING everyday to force yourself to get into the space of seeing something differently.
Blog: rock, paper, ink
Practice everyday, finding a partner and each taking a picture of something mundane to share with one another and step outside yourselves. Its about taking that time to see the things around you.
Don't ever stop having FUN!
Inniative: stories matter...go out into your community and find a story, this helps you to become a better story teller. Under 5 min. story.
Justin shares a story/video clip of an artist named Wendy. She talks about art and about loosing her sight to retinitus pigmentosis. This is the same disease my dad suffers from.
The Give Inniative
Not just seeing with your eyes, but with your heart! Every day goal of seeing differently and pausing. Ask your self, have you done this, daily. You should have a personal project to express your own creativity.
Threadless - T-Shirt Co. in Chicago
Don't forget, you are awesome! (seriously!)
[I want to do something big. What does big mean to me though? Big can be small. Doing the small things with an open heart is huge! Big comes from the simplest things so much of the time.]
Sometimes its the really small adjustments that bring everything in line. Its the minor.
A year from now, if you actually do all this, you will be different. You're design will be different.
Albuquerque Rescue Mission - mentioned by audience member
You can't own all of what needs to be changed in the world, all of the tragedy. Incremental processing
Part 2: Where Life and Creativity Meet
Designers are traditionally really bad business people. Do you remember what got you into design? into creativity? [for me, writing poetry and being the author/illustrator/creator of little books in k-5, I still have a lot of those]
Remember what you dream about.
work hard and have fun! make out, laugh, dance.
Make lists, set criteria. Write pros/cons of things you're struggling with. You need to create space for yourself to listen. What really matters to you? When you're naked, its hard to hide who you are. Be that transparent with the things in your life you really want or with the things in your life that aren't working. Be honest. Are you in your work?
How can you be more you?
blog - speak human
Have a group of counselors
Get life perspective
Learn, network, reciprocate
Have quarterly updates of where you are with your goals
Who is on your personal list of advisors?
Make specific criteria
Open yourself to your advisors to give you advice.
Read book: Linchpin by Seth Godings
Have a set of rules you stick to and make decisions based on. Have some criteria at the start so you don't go where you shouldn't
From a prof. standpoint, Justin's 3 criteria for taking work:
1) Will it be profitable?
2) Will it be fun?
3) Will it attract other work?
Has to fit at least two of those criteria for Justin to take the project.
[define profitable. In monetary terms, experience doing something in my field, learning, establishing relationship, gaining experience]
Check out 37 Signals
Balance is a state of mind; its your perspective
What guides you? Professionally? Personally? Are you living that life to honor those things?
Balance is unique for each person.
Make choices. Maybe you're going to make a little less $ for a little while. We can have fun and love what we do.
Book: Love Both Ways
"Sometimes we just don't know what we are trying to change" - Stuart Wilde
Take time to become a student of yourself.
You want to gain a new perspective? Take time to interact with someone different than you. You have to constantly change your mind about things. Experience new things. Sometimes, you think you know what you want and that you have it all figured out. Get out of your comfort zone.
If it is something that interests you, chances are it is good to do.
What do you want to change? If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?
Donald Miller, book: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Start when you get home!
Just be you!
When do you think you became a designer?
Book by Justin Ahrens: Life Kerning
* For us to be EVOLVING, we need to be PURPOSEFUL.
The community part of AIGA is magic. If you have true passion for what you are doing, things will work out in the end.