You Are Not A Storyteller

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This two minute interview with Austrian graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister is absolutely right on.  However I hesitated posting it because of the profanity.  But the subject is so good and so timely I decided to post it anyway.  If you’re fed up like me with all the people calling themselves “storytellers” out there, then this is for you.  He doesn’t mince words, and hence the profanity.  If you’re offended, don’t watch. But if you’re not, it’s well worth two minutes:

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Great Art Doesn’t Tell – It Shows

The following are the remarks by Wall Street Journal drama critic and columnist Terry Teachout when he received the Bradley Prize in Washington, D.C..  When I read them, I immediately thought of writers, filmmakers, musicians, and artists who are driven by their faith.  All of us need to be reminded of what Terry says is the key to creating great art: 

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The Problem With Surrounding Yourself With Smart People

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I grew up in the South and spent my early years watching buddies hang out their entire lives. Usually these buddies were picked because they wouldn’t challenge each other, push each other, or inspire each other. You probably know some people like this. They’re buddies that do nothing but “hang out.” So I decided early on that I wanted to do the opposite – to surround myself with smarter, more talented, and more driven people than me.  And for most of my life, my friends have done some amazing things. They produce 

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Would You Give 5 Hours a Day to Achieve Greatness?

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One of my favorite books from last year was Mason Curry’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.  In the book he details the daily schedule of 161 artists, writers painters, thinkers, inventors, and all-around creative people. It features their quirks (Ben Franklin liked to be naked, Maya Angelou can only write in motels, and more). It’s a fascinating read, and will definitely impact your own daily creative schedule. While there’s a wealth of information in the book (I highly recommend it), here’s two critically important things I learned:

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Artists and Creatives: Should You Quit Your Day Job?

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Most creative people dream of the day they can quit their day job and focus on their real passion. Writers want to write, painters paint, designers design, filmmakers make movies – all full time without having to work somewhere else to pay the bills. You have no idea how often I’ve dreamed of having the financial resources just to write books. But my banker and mortgage company don’t agree. They want me to keep doing my day job as well. But then, I started seeing plenty of evidence that

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If You’re Creative, Read This Next Time You Feel Like Complaining

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If you’re like me, chances are you’re a creative professional who complains too much. In pursuit of creating my projects, I’d like a better computer, I’d like a bigger office, I could use more employees, or I’d like bigger budgets. At least I used to think that way – until I attended a church in Jakarta, Indonesia made up of Iranian refugees. I was in Indonesia helping produce a major outreach event for Dr. Michael Youssef and Leading the Way ministries. Indonesia is a long way from Iran, but many of these refugees are

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Who Exactly Is Your Audience?

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In one chapter of the fascinating new book by Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet – “Jesus: A Theography,” they raise some interesting points concerning Jesus’ audience. Even though He engaged the Rabbis on a regular basis, they make it clear His main audience wasn’t religious leaders. He wasn’t trying to persuade or convert the Jewish establishment because they didn’t respect his credentials or authority. Jesus focused on the common people. That’s why he spent so much time in villages, rather than the major towns of the region.  In fact, Viola and Sweet point out that

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When it Comes to Your Career, Stop Complaining About What’s Unfair

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Over the years I’ve worked with many artists and leaders who are frustrated because of the attention someone similar to them receives. Perhaps the other person got a better book deal, or has a more successful TV show. Perhaps their nonprofit organization raises more money – even though it’s work isn’t as important. The truth is – many times these clients are right. The world isn’t fair. Books that aren’t very good often reach the bestseller lists. There are some horrible TV programs that generate a lot of support. Bad movies often do well at the box office. Whatever the case, I can sympathize with their frustration that others are doing better. My advice?

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