Sunday, March 20, 2016

Warehouse of Ideas

Your ideas are neither stupid nor insignificant. They're yours. You own them. Ideas are born from DNA, instincts, biases, deeply held beliefs, and from default modes you learned from people who care for you. You've acquired a critical knack for recognizing good ideas, and you can spot bad ones.

Ideas are useless unless they're assembled into useful products, services, or lifestyles. So, you're nowhere unless you're an assembler or an integrator, matching ideas with machinists, designers, or marketers. How big will your idea grow? It depends on your integration skills and your access to capital. Some ideas can be made real for a buck and they can be scaled up a 1000x. You won't know unless you try.

Some ideas are too weak or they're constructed on fragile foundations. Too bad.

Here's how to take your idea to the bank: adopt a set of clear principles to guide your project. Set an overall objective, one that's supported by your subordinate goals. Construct  your plan using components oozing with good character traits. Operate within an environment of ethics. Your ideas will grow strong legs, and you'll go far.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Art and Freedom

Art and Freedom (The freedom to unilaterally define creativity)

The pinnacle of an artist’s creative life is not simply in completing a work of art. The highest distinction is receiving the laud, respect, and praise as recognition, verifying what the artist believes to be his own extraordinary creativity. He wants freedom from criticism and scorn, whether real or perceived, but art is about image and perception, so an offense is no surprise when it’s perceived. Luckily one room in the two room schoolhouse of art appreciation is the room where the artist himself lives. When he wakes up, the artist can appreciate his own creations. It’s a good way to greet the day.

Sometimes, the artist simply wants verification that he has a unilateral right to define creativity. He wants you to keep the cooperation vow, art lover to artist. He’d gladly compliment your kindness if you’d (virtually) give his piece a blue ribbon. Blue or red, a kind word, or a “wow”. It’s the laud, not necessarily the height of the trophy.

The same vulnerability that unfetters the artist’s mind to allow wide ranging creativity also exposes his soul to the core where deep feelings hide. Freedom to define beauty, creativity, and artistic perspective is the key.

One of the healthy choices is to limit your audience to a jury of one. You.

My art is mine, and within my own compact little world, I’m able to award prizes and ribbons for my own creative work. If I want to, I can throw away anything that doesn’t make it in my humble gallery. Even though some recognition would be fortifying, I’ve decided to hold my expositions and one-man shows here in my own mind. Art for sale is a quirky business, and anyone who is not already a god in the world Picasso, Renoir, and Michelangelo anchored isn’t fast-laned for any million dollar paydays. I haven’t budgeted for a lavish lifestyle funded with royalties and auction purses because I don’t think the odds for an upstart Joe in the art world are very good. I’m betting that statistics would back me up.

Kodak’s Steve Sasson gets the prize for inventing the digital camera, and here’s a high five from me. I like to record memories with the 12 megapixels at my disposal, and I have lots of 35mm prints, too. Our albums are full, and we have Shutterfly memory books stacked on the coffee table. If I ever flee the scene, I’m packing those books first.

But drawings, paintings, and art objects that were created out of an inspiration here at home are different than snapshots. They’re a lot more than memories. They’re a source of satisfaction and self esteem. That may be the real good that art brings to our culture. Ownership of ideas and creations is a source of special fulfillment for artists, sculptors, musicians, and other art hobbyists. Personal art may be that mustard seed of faith that backs me up when I need to feel worthy.

Is there another kind of creativity that fills that self esteem niche? I think so. When I built my own garage, I felt good. When I retired after 34 years at a hard rock job where innovation counted for a lot, I felt relief and a sense of accomplishment. I realize now that it was the freedom to do my creative best that sustained me. When I think about other people who seem to be happy in their personal lives, I think about key factors and their genesis. I know that freedom and creativity mix to become a new compound with a big robust molecular structure. And, creative freedom is on the road map to self esteem.

Ed Slater

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hawaiian Islands

Oregon Territory


Marched to War

They marched stiffly and without a coward's flinch onto bus, train, car, minds on a cause

Marched to instructor’s time, to service of fleets and seas, wanting more to be, to survive, to know God’s
favors, asking for none

Marched onto ships grey with painters’ splotch, down into bulkhead flats

Sprinted up into turrets a circus troupe, crawled down into cold hull sweat a heaving rab

Smelled gunpowder’s sulph ash, sore-choked wet Pacific salt, spray-slapped

Thrust upward…onto…smashed into…as mighty guns slashed chunks of sky

Mammoth sea holes swallowed iron cordwood, towering spouts grasped heaven’s hand

Some raced the night, some fell deep in sleep consuming sea’s deluge one final gulp

At port, they’re marching, but at fathoms, done

We pause stiffly and without a flinch we sons and fathers and all

Stopping to imagine silent white on black survival dreams, to know God’s favors, asking for none.

E.E.Slater 2003

Montana Rockies