Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smartness in Action

Last Saturday I had the privilege to talk to illustrator Doug Hansen while he was sitting at a table during the Fresno Arts Festival at the MET. He recently released the book, Mother Goose in California. It took him five years to do all of the illustrations (they are amazing, btw) and when he started he did not have a publisher. He was doing it as a project that HE believed in.

This is a continuation of the thoughts I presented in my previous post. How are we applying our smartness? I mean, I was able to work with my buddy, Suzanne Bertz-Rosa to help shape the Fresno Brand. That was hella cool. Brenda Carrasco invited me to be a guest instructor during her workshop for creative-types (I think the series begins again next week). All around us people are doing smart things. Kiel Famellos-Schmidt is raising the IQ in the area of the built environment with his Archop project. Katrina Neufeld is trying to get a local chapter of the AIGA going. James Collier and Nick Gundry are even trying to get people to think about food differently. These are all incremental efforts.

People talk about transformational change as if it will never happen in Fresno. What folks need to understand is that transformational change is usually the result of several transactional changes. We each have at least one transactional change in us.

Here's an opportunity...this one will cost about $20. When I talked to Doug about his book, I asked if it was going to make it into our local classrooms. He said that schools are not buying a lot of books these days. The solution: we can each buy a book and donate it to a school. Put it in a school's library. Many of us have fond memories of Mother Goose. Will Doug's book move Fresno up from its spot as #55? I don't know or really care. I do know that if we focus on doing smart things, the collective intelligence will increase.

What are you doing with your smartness?

1 comment:

  1. As creatives it is our charge to contribute to our world by taking the risks and sharing our talents with others. We make things happen. There are times as a visual artist I might wonder if it is all worth it. Well it is to me, I believe in what I do and only hope that others can take something from my art as well. Many do, some buy, and others speak well of it. Am I changing the world? Oh, I don't know, but I'm definitely changing mine and how others see me. In the end, the best we can really hope for is that this causes a ripple effect and our individual risk taking encourages others to do the same.