Hi and welcome to the … all NEW…. Cre8iv Edge website and blog,
I hope everyone is well and that great things have happened in your life since I last posted [which was a while ago now]. Amazing changes have happened in my life over the last few years but that isn't for this article - and no my hair hasn't magical grown back, although my gf is a consultant in the hair restoration business... so you never know [well she does and she told me it's a lost cause lol].
Moving swiftly on...
A brief update – I had been planning for a few years to sit down and bring some order to my spiralling web footprint. I am sure you’re feeling the strain too, with the social media train gathering speed / accounts [FB, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, YouTube, blah blah] and with it additional email / website accounts and the dreaded spam. On top of the standard chaos, I had a personal site for my artwork, another version of this site half way through migration to a new design, a blog that wasn’t easy to post to and a new photography Wordpress site.
I was in the middle of a whirlwind of info and addressing it seemed like a massive task to undertake, while working on client projects – hence it wasn’t undertaken. UNTIL …. I had a revelation, well I listened to some advice from a friend a few weeks ago, which was 'to distance myself from designing and managing my own website / logo / business cards etc'. The reason being that you strive for perfection on these projects [which isn’t achievable, whereas Excellence is, which is what I strive for on all client engagements] and this creates an inertia that drains the passion and energy from the project.
Coupled with finishing ‘The Art of Getting Things Done – by Dave Allen’ and reworking my personal workflow. I acted on this great advice and engaged a design company that could help me consolidate and turn my ideas quickly to life, while I concentrated on client work & expanding the company. They say once you commit to doing something 'providence moves with you' & through my networks, I was introduced to Matt at ‘Guerilla Tea’ and from our first meeting, I instantly felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
You can see from the images above, the initial work, I completed, to convey my vision of my new branding to Matt. The first image is a diagram [based on an article I read in the Economist about Walt Disney and how he drew up his ideas] depicting all of my cre8iv elements and how they could work together. From this I was able to understand my purpose and this allowed me to put my arms around my work & contextualise it for the first time. There are challenges bringing together cre8iv services and setting up a brand that conveys the right messages to potential clients. Having sketched out my new ideas, I was able to discuss and overcome these challenges with Matt. I wanted to embrace change and as I love the way Google have altered the perception of a company logo by reworking theirs, I wanted to be cre8iv with the 'E' for each of the 3 service areas [cre8iv consulting, photography and artwork]. Matt quickly turned these logo sketches into the digital concept logos above.
I loved my old grey business cards, but felt they were a little too complex and I wanted something fresher and more minimalistic for the new company. Using a booklet of photography backdrop colours and some pantone summer palettes, I got the look I was after. Matt challenged me on the text layout, as I was wedded to the alignment being against the right hand edge and on reflection, I agreed that the simpler layout was the right choice.
The website itself is also a lot simpler and I hope it flows for you as a viewer. The images are the focal points and I have tried to minimise copy. As the changes are still fresh, I would welcome any constructive feedback :) All in all, I hope you like the new look and enjoy the new articles that WILL appear on here ... 'smiley face & thumbs up' <---- btw I am being facetious here & I can include emoji's .. and the use of 'facetious' isn't a pun on a face either.... dam I am in a loop here... lol
Thanks for reading and have a great evening. See you soon.
Hello from London on this sunny spring day,
I have been relatively quiet on the blog front over the last few months. Yes, some of this was due to procrastination, I am still yet to slay that beast! Although, I have been gradually forcing the dragon back into its cave! I WILL eventually turn this internal process from a fierce dragon into the rabbit from the Monty Python film, you know the one where all the knights are scared to death about approaching the cave; there are scattered bones all over the ground at the entrance and then a bunny hops out! This is a battle we ALL go through with our own beast (the ego) and the sooner you can turn it into a little 'pesky wabbit' the better!
Although, I have been away from the blogging word I have also been making amazing progress on; finishing my two studios; venturing future into the supporting artist world (did anyone see my brief speaking part on Eastenders? haha); exploring the world of meditation in order to break unhelpful habits that I have created over the past 20 years; and, starting some very interesting creative projects!
Two years ago I had the dream of leaving the corporate world, where between me and the machine 'we' were not able to continually mine the immense creative and innovative talent, I know deep down I posses. The vision I had was to have my own art studio a brief walk from my flat and to have the freedom to create. I have realised this dream, but I am not naive and realise that there is a lot of hard work and challenges to come. Firstly, stripping back the behaviours and the thought processes that have been hard wired in me for the last 20 odd years (be it work or social), and rebuilding these states of mind with greater more productive and positive beliefs. I was introduced to meditation through a course I did with Dr Joe Dispenza at UCL just before Christmas - called Breaking the Habit of Being yourself. Two hundred and fifty people in a lecture hall learinging about how society creates limiting neuro pathways which become hardcoded within us. By the time we are 35 years of age (yep I am just in this category... gutted), 95% of our daily life is subconscious! Our bodies have become so used to the routine that our minds do not have to engage!! This is scary indeed no?
I will be writing a fuller post delving into this and more of my musing soon. I was compelled to write this brief post after reading my friend Christina's article on 'The Death of Creativity' below:
Christina encapsulates in here passionate piece the hum drum existence many (not all) people in todays society go through. I believe that we all posses varying degrees of creative talent, every child and her/his imagination is magickal (old english spelling by the way and I am bringing it back ... BOOM). Someone posted a reply to Christina's article and included the link to the presentation by Tom Kelly on 'Orbiting the Giant Hairball' - also attached below although you may need to refresh the page to view it. It is so interesting to see evidence that as we grow the ego starts to take over and we become more risk averse, fearful of judgement and failure. It is a simple concept to grasp but a difficult one to remedy - I got the poison, I got the remedy, I got the pulsating rhytmical remedy !!! The Prodigy may be on to a winner - the remedy is to re-ignite / reawaken that magick!!
One of the video's shown in the UCL course by Dr Joe Dispenza was the sketch by Bob Newhart (below), it is very powerful and has a very simple message to snap all of us out of any anxiety or issues we may have ! Take a goosey gander and let me know what you think :
Thhhattttsssss allll for now folksssssss
Well Ladies and Gentleman,
We are now safely two months into the year that is 2013! The Myan's did not actually predict the end of the world, as Hollywood had us believe, they did however suggest the earth and its inhabitants would experience a significant change/shift at this juncture in the cosmos. My yoga teacher (yes, I have indeed started yoga specifically for mind relaxation and also as I am still playing competitive football in my 30’s for Alleyn Old Boys) explained that our galaxy has spent 2000 years below the equator of the universe (I am not sure how they know this) and has now moved above it and in doing so ventured out of the 'Age of Pisces' into the 'Age of Aquarius' where it will stay for the next 2000 years!! Which is a bonus for this Aquarian !!!!
Wikipedia - Astrological ages occur because of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. There are two broad approaches about the effects upon the world due to the astrological ages. Some astrologers believe the changes upon Earth are caused and marked by the influences of the given astrological sign, associated with the Age, while other astrologers do not follow the causative model and believe it is a matter of synchronicity.
You may or may not buy into the idea that the planets and their cosmic alignment can affect our planet; our spiritual destiny; our decisions; and fundamentally our lives, but what you have to concede is that the moon controls the tides. TANGENT ALERT - > Which the Yeehawww gang still claim to have stepped on (one leap for man blah blah in your dreams Neil) as if it isn’t made of cheese – haven’t you seen Wallace and Gromit! Now that’s definitely more realistic than their attempt.
So if the moon has the ability to control masses of water on earth and we are 70% water, then there is a significant possibility that the said little ball of cheese and the other galaxies could have unseen impacts on our bodies of water - agreed!?
Well whether you’re with me or not, there has been a significant shift in my life over the last few months that has coincided with the 2600 BC prophesy – I must stress here, I am not suggesting that the mystical Myan predictions were entirely written to predict the coming of the new Lee Edge! I will leave this for you to decide…. but the evidence is convincing no?!
After 12 years, I made the decision in October to leave the 9-5 corporate world in order to follow my dreams…. About time I hear a few of you say! … There are too many superlatives to describe how I am feeling at present, so I will chose just one. You know when you lose yourself in the moment, when nothing else matters; you’re focused in the present on something that just feels right for you and time and space doesn’t exist?! Well that’s the feeling I get when I am being creative. We all know breaking out of a habitual routine is extremely difficult and many of us in the present chaos can easily get lost and hanker for a new journey. Some individuals find contentment early in their lives, others remain unaware of the potential within them and live in an almost ignorant bliss (I am not including the benefits scroungers and teenage chav couple with 4 kids in this category – but that said they are a creation of modern society and not themselves completely to blame).
There were times when I was jealous of these two predicaments but I wouldn’t change the way my journey has panned out. I learnt a lot of invaluable lessons in my twelve years in the corporate world, which will stand me in great stead for the future. I have known since a was a young whipper-snapper that my calling was creativity, ideas, innovation. Be it destiny or fate:
Conduct me, Zeus, and thou, O Destiny,
wherever thy decree has fixed my lot.
I follow willingly; and, did I not,
Wicked and wretched would I follow still.
(Diogenes Laertius quoting Cleanthes; quoted also by Seneca, Epistle 107.)
Whoe'er yields properly to Fate is deemed
Wise among men, and knows the laws of Heaven.
(From Euripides' Fragments, 965)
O Crito, if it thus pleases the gods, thus let it be.
(From Plato's Crito)
While doing some flat administration over the Christmas break, I unearthed a sky diving dvd which was filmed in Mission Beach, Australia in 2003. This was taken during a holiday that came to be known as the 'Midas Touch Tour'. It is a widely known Edge FACT that unplanned events tend to be the most memorable! It is with that in mind that I start this short tale...... It was while weaving my way through the self-obsessed furore of the Clapham Junction masses, (after 12 years of London your peripheral vision becomes honed like an Olympic athlete, you're able to anticipate erratic movements / gaps and synchronise, but miss-time and you will receive the wrath of the locals... it is a little like Frogger when you get run over by a truck) on a cold March morn. That I bumped into the legendary ‘Acapello Vanilla Ice-man’ that is Colin Brett.
Having not seen the Colin Brett-meister for a couple of years, it was by pure chance (or was it destiny, fate or that ball of cheese?) that we walked into each other in Clapham Junction. Due to Colin deciding to make a career change, into the world of law, and myself a little unsure about my career choice, we decided literally on the spot to do a 6-week tour of Australia.
2 weeks later Colin had an itinerary drawn up and I had a well-stocked rucksack ready for action. We landed in Perth and after one night headed up to Port Headland for 4 days in the Karinjini National Park. After 3 amazing nights sleeping under the stars and having our ears well and truly chewed off by pleasant but persistent English girl we headed down south on the Greyhound bus to Exmouth!
Exmouth is a picturesque town on the West Coast of Oz, which was at the time largely untouched by tourism. Diving and swimming with the whale sharks was out of this world, my dive under the pier where the American’s used to anchor there fleet was amazing. Never again will being surrounded by reef sharks and gorgeous fish, while inadvertently failing to control you buoyancy, floating away from the group and bashing my head on a barnacle ridden girder seem like bliss!!. We also met some awesome people in the hostel and Colin enjoyed a 5-person Birthday tent pile-on (no childish giggles here – no innuendo intended
After forcing ourselves to leave Exmouth we headed back to Perth for what turned out to be a very interesting / bizarre / fantastic night in a local Jazz club. After recovering we took an internal flight into the heart of Australia, Alice Springs. It was here we saw Uluru at sun rise before the iconic photo below was taken, it was only a 30 minutes after dodging old chinese tourists, who for some reason kept passing out, that myself and Keets (Colin) became fully fledged Aborigini Men. Granted the elders usually expect the youngster of the tribe to climb unaided but we bribed them with Manchester United shirts. This accolade now entitles us to free membership of the Rolf Harris supporters club; a complementary wobble board and the ability to carry a didgeridoo and a can of VB at all times!! – on a serious note we need to take a look at how their society and country was taken from them ! Give me the dream world and its connections to nature, over our hunger for possession driven existence any day!!
After a quality night getting to know a mental Japanese friend, we took a flight to Cairns with a couple of girls we had met in the hostel. Following more scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and a mini bus trip to Cape Tribulation (on which me and Colin dually enforced a 3 hours non-stop Oasis tribute, including vocal accompaniment), we arrived in Mission Beach.
The message I wanted to convey (although it has turned into another Dostoyevsky novel) with the post is encapsulated within the sky dive video above. The adrenalin before the jump was exhilarating, this could have been due to me being last into the plane and having my leg hanging out all the way up to 14,000 feet. The experience was AMAZING , falling through and inhaling cloud vapour while shouting lines from Point Break … I am taking you to the edge Jonny…. Was an experience I will never forget! But the freedom and happiness I felt during and after the jump don’t have to be exclusive to such events. We create our world with our thoughts and taking time to step back and re-evaluate our lives should allow us to access these feelings more readily.
On a lighter note, I must confess that Colin and myself were seen doing Sky Dives off and into anything we could for the next 2 weeks (Colin even Sky Dived a snake!!). The mad party at the instructor’s house, with people jumping 3 stories into a pool, 5ft snakes crossing the road, and the most lethal cocktails just topped it off. We also managed to acquire some Gallagher Brother hats and I pulled off the funniest joke ever invented FACT !!! .. If you look closely I am ‘A-Salting’ Colin in the photo above top right!!!
Frazer Island, the Whitsundays, awesome crown green bowling and pool performances from Brett followed and the ACTUAL Midas Touch can been seen below, as can Team Defender and Team Frazer!
If you made it this far, I thank you for staying with me as I realise this is yet another lengthy prose. Aren’t blogs supposed to be short ???
In summary though, the Midas Touch tour of 2003 was an amazing Goonie-esk jaunt through the out-back; a time of freedom; booby traps and pirates; creation; contentment and happiness!! Which is why this story is so poignant, as this is how I feel in the present moment and will increasingly feel by embracing all opportunities and challenges that come my way in the future.
On that bomb shell, I once again bid you adieu
Mr Baz Luhrmann: Summers almost here! wake up, smell the napalm in the morning...and wear sunscreen !!
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99...... please let me welcome to the stage ....MR ...... B...... A...... Z ..... Luhrmann!!!!
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen…
Take heed !!! Shammoooonnnnn muffa feckersssss
Arise Sir Phoenix & may focus be your weapon:
Well like a phoenix from the flames, I am back after 4 months of radio-blog silence. This wasn't a planned break, infact, I have penned numerous posts but alas managed to finish none! The main reason being that I have been engrossed in 2 other projects - mocking up festive greetings card illustrations for showcasing in April and a personal & corporate photography project.
Those of you who know me, will be more than aware of my tendency to keep a plethora of schemes/projects in my head and the distinct lake of focus that ensues. I am currently learning about 'Mindfulness', a technique which is all about being able to control your thoughts to allow you to block out invading ideas/concepts, in order to allow you to focus on one project at a time. To a certain extent 'Embracing the chaos' (refer a following post for more of my thoughts on this) and focusing on the important things for YOU. Not worrying about inane administrative tasks and what other people think of your actions etc.....'What you think of ME is none of MY business' !! Anyway, I will keep you updated on my progress in 'focus management' .... if I remember !
Cogs begin turning once again:
So what prompted the phoenix's ascendance? Well it was actually a company training module on 'Diversity & Inclusion', stay with me..., which I took only this fine morn! Although primarily aimed at promoting diversity in the workplace (e.g. high-lighting various bias) it also had 2 psychometric tests around behavioural habits and ability to flex personality traits to different situations. I have a keen interest in all things related to personal behaviours and interaction and this started the cogs turning once again. Such a reaction to internal communications is unheard of and infact I usually run them in the background and afford them little attention. But this one was engaging, as the message it was trying to get across was to challenge your bias and stereotypes, to try and view the world in a different way, and to show there are hidden stories about places and people you have yet to discover - so don't prejudge through conditioning that you developed through your childhood nurturing, past experiences and the media.
Included in the course was a link to a video clip of the novelist Chimamanda Adichie. She talks about her experiences as a Nigerian writer, of being judged as an African women and her attempts to start changing the global images of the African nation and it's people. She spoke about stepping back, challenging your view and seeing things through different eyes '...when we reject the single story (bias), when we realise there is never a single story about a place or person, we gain a kind of paradise!'
Can art change the world?:
After watching the clip above, I was drawn to watch further clips on the TED website. I watched one with John Maeda on design and was astounded by what he had accomplished in his field and how he had progressed from a mathematical background in MIT, to Art & Design. Then I stumbled on a spell bounding presentation by a French street artist called JR, who won the 2011 TED prize.
Everything in this post is about vision and seeing things in new ways ! The work JR has been doing across the world is amazing (see the first 3 images below). He challenged the Israeli conflict in a project called 'Face to Face', by photographing both Palestinian's and an Israeli's, who do the same job, and pasting them next to each other on either side of the wall and around the major cities. He also explained how working in a drug cartels backyard brought the community together. Art is a form of expresssion that seems to have a neutral platform to promote and empower people through debate. I believe this is true as long as it is built on genuine empassioned beliefs and has no form of branding or political associations attached, freeing it from any propoganda in the viewers eyes!
I would also like to draw your attention to two photographic projects that also challenge what we see; 'Infra' by Richard Mosse, and 'Afghan Police on Opium - The best view of heaven is from hell' by Bran Symondson. The former explores how we view the Congolese Civil war (last two images above), by using a film format design by the US for Vietnam he playes with 'Invisible Light' to show us a different view of the conflict. The latter challenges the publics view of the Afghan police:
Beyond Sport / Play31 - every child has a right to play:
I have recently been introduced, through my current employers, to a charity called 'Beyond Sport', who are utilising sport to overcome social issues across the world. I am hoping to utilise some of the thoughts above to assist them where I can. One of the projects Play31 (which spreads joy and peace through football) is a charity run by a fantastic Danish chap called Jakob Lund (http://play31.org/?p=608) based on the UN directive 31 - Every child has a right to play. Jakob is currently working on a project in Sierra Leone. I would love to contribute to these initiatives and if at all possible emulate JR (not of Dallas fame) !!
Thanks for your time, I hope you found this post in someway thought provoking.
Edge .... over and out.........
Child = paradox ?
Sweeping generalisation but hit the spot for me. I have a few irons in the fire at the minute, one of which led me to do some in-depth research on the effects of the working environment on different generations of employees!
For those interested there are four generation categories used for such studies:
Baby Boomers (1950-1968)
Generation X (1969-1979 = Me)
Generation Y (1980- 1999 = Edge Junior)
Generation Z (2000+)
Reading a summary of the traits of a generation X individual, made me think, for a moment, that the prior post about non-conformity was more a paradoxical child of my own making!! Rather than a profound call to arms against formality (Rage Against the Machine BABY!!)….. its due to seeing your parents work hard ... as after the war they were forced to buckle down in what ever job they had to and their mentality meant the neglected their children slightly.
I have attached the document below for anyone who is interested in reading the 4 generation groups in more detail. I wouldn't advise reading any further than the methodology as it gets very technical:
Workplace Fun - the moderating effects of generational differences
Fact of the day - I recently received my first blog review!!! Although, it was very informal and conveyed after a few beverages, the chap in question (my cricket team captain to be precise) stated he..open quote... 'really likes it, especially the way it is written as you think it'...close quote. By this, I believe he meant that the posts read well in a cathartic, brain dump way and he is able to connect with the content. But he may also have been saying it was poorly structured and unedited!! ha.. All feedback is encouraged for continued development, so feel free to add comments where you deem appropriate.
I am conscious I need to develop some structure going forward, but for now I see the brain dump as the best way to capture and provide a slight glimpse into my inner thoughts. It would be too dangerous for the reader(s) for me to divulge more (think Jacob’s Ladder meets Mulholland Drive)…. And on that bomb shell, I bid you adieu.
The cathartic musings of a CRE8IV mind, living at the EDGE of chaos.