designKREW diggs…

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Tim Burton @ LACMA

I dare you to not get inspired after seeing The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presentation of a major retrospective exploring the full range of Tim Burton’s creative work, both as a film director and as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer.

Tim Burton was born in Burbank in 1958. After studying at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), he worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios before breaking out on his own. Taking inspiration from popular culture, fairy tales and traditions of the gothic, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of a personal vision.

The exhibition brings together over 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, including art from a number of unrealized and little-known personal projects.

Many of these objects come from the artist’s own archive, as well as from studio archives and private collections of Burton’s collaborators. Hundreds of never-before-exhibited artworks and sketches will be joined by a selection of film posters accompanied by music composed for the exhibition by Burton’s longtime collaborator Danny Elfman.

Come on Baby Light My Fire…

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Here in the Western world we have a little affliction I like to call “do-itis” meaning, we are all a bunch of DOERS. Throughout your life you will get asked two main questions, what is your name and what DO you DO? When you answer the phone, the first thing someone asks you is usually, “What are you DOing?” Just DO it! I could go on… and sometimes I DO too much of the DO. Yes even in a creative based business there is much to DO.

But when you are in a state of doing you are primarily using your left brain. For inspiration, creativity and artistic expression we need to access our right brain. Balancing the two is the sweet spot. When we open to creative flow and support it with action, we are unstoppable.

So today, let’s take a vow to activate our brain’s creative right hemisphere to discover a whole new world of possibility.

How? You ask. Well….

One of Oprah’s favorite muses, Martha Beck, suggests something she calls the Kitchen Sink strategy to get into our right minds!

Beck noticed through her life-coaching clients that this was a skill even her “non-creative type” clients had to learn to develop in business and life! She says, “The 21st century is to content creators what the Industrial Revolution was to factory workers: In a world where information is superabundant, unique and creative ideas are hot-ticket advantages both personally and professionally. More and more people are finding more and more ways to parent, make money, find friends, and generally live well by relying on creativity.”

Here is a detailed account one of her kitchen sink days, “I read bits of eight books: four accounts of brain research, one novel about India, one study of bat behavior, one biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and one memoir of motherhood. Next I drove to my favorite Rollerblading location, listening en route to a stand-up comic, a mystery novel, and an Eckhart Tolle lecture. I yanked on my Rollerblades and skated around, squinting slack-jawed into the middle distance. After a while, a tiny light bulb went on. “Well,” I thought, “I could write about this.”

If you’re of male influence, you may need something more tangible and less ethereal. You’ll be happy to know that flow is a concept developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the University of Chicago, who has studied the phenomena his whole career.

Here are some simple tips derived from his studies:

    • Pick an enjoyable, challenging activity. The easiest way to enter flow is by doing something you love. The activity also needs to challenge you, one you are extremely passionate about, that you enjoy doing, and that causes you to grow.
    • Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, log out of twitter, switch off gmail. If you’re constantly flipping back and forth between different tasks you’ll never be able to achieve flow. A foreign distraction will quickly bring you out of the flow mindset.
    • Isolate yourself. The best way to achieve flow is alone. If you’re in a room full of people, your mind will constantly be drawn away from what you’re doing.
    • Let go. Give up any expectations that you have for yourself.
    • Give yourself a time limit. Give yourself 30 minutes of uninterrupted flow time and just go at it with everything you’ve got.
    • Keep moving. Continuous motion is key to flow, don’t give your mind a chance to start second guessing what you’re doing.
    • Don’t think. Switch off the part of your brain that observes what you’re doing. This is your self-consciousness, your ego, your sabotage.

So here’s to your journey to the land of the un-DO, where ironically, your best work usually gets done!

Notes from the Universe

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You thought the world was small, wait til you see how small the Universe gets when you sign up for Notes from the Universe at:

Written by Mike Dooley,a former PriceWaterhouseCoopers international tax consultant, turned entrepreneur, who’s founded a philosophical Adventurers Club on the Internet that’s now home to over 350,000 members from over 189 countries.

His inspirational books have been published in 23 languages and he was one of the featured teachers in the international phenomenon, The Secret. Today Mike is perhaps best known for these blessed little Notes from the Universe emailings and his New York Times bestseller Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams.

They are totally free and completely uncanny.  You will wonder if someone is secretly watching you and telling you exactly what you needed to hear!

It’s a Small World-Wide-Web After All…

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It’s a small world was written nearly 50 years ago, but it’s never been more true than it is today! Your friends and your community know you as your personality, but to the rest of the world you are your website – your web presence is what defines you to the global community.

Whether you need to build a website or give the one you have a make-over, we’ve put together a checklist to help you put your best face forward!

As a design agency with several years under our belts, we are sharing the inside scoop about:

1. What YOU should bring to the table when meeting with a designer
2. What THE DESIGNER should bring to the table

Often times, you are being billed by the hour, so here is how to most effectively utilize every minute!

Your Blueprint! The site map is a simple outline of the pages you would like to have for your website including drop downs as the second level. Here is an example

* Home

* About

o About Betty Joe

* Products
o Free Downloads
o Workshops

* Events

* Blog

* Testimonials

* Contact

What you want! The features you would like on your website. Here is a list you might want to consider:

1. Event Calendar
2. Shopping Cart
3. Opt-in form
4. Video
5. Membership capabilities
6. Rotating Testimonials
7. Slide show/picture sharing
8. Customized shopping cart

What you like! A few example sites you like for various reasons including: overall layout, features, and look and feel.

Your deadline! Know your desired time line for launching with the understanding that sites typically take 4 to 6 weeks minimum to develop.

What it’s worth? What’s your desired budget, what are you willing to sacrifice to stay within that if necessary?

Be ready to go! If you have them already, make sure you have all your up to date domain, hosting, shopping cart, email marketing, and other platform login and password credentials.

Before working with a web development company, you should ask the following questions and request information to set yourself up for success:

Show me what you’re working with! Ask them to share examples of their work. Make sure their style resonates with what you like.

Hot potato! At what point in the timeline will you need content from me to keep us on our desired schedule?

What’s your deal? How do they work, what is the agency’s typical process for developing a similar project?

How do you like it? Find out well in advance how they like to receive files and images so you can download and/or familiarize yourself with the appropriate tools and applications.

Ask anything at all that will make you the most comfortable with the whole process. You want your team to have a Vidal Sassoon attitude — If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.

Your web presence is ultimately your billboard along the information highway. People are zipping around at lightening speed and so to get their attention you need something that stands-out, spells out who you are and what you have to offer as well as demonstrates your spectacularness!

Flights of Genius…

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To celebrate the 100th birthday of David Ogilvy, one of the most influential and important figures in modern advertising, Ogilvy & Mather New York and Joshua Liner Gallery unveied a series of commissioned murals by celebrated artist Stephen Powers that reinterpret the words and quotes of agency founder David Ogilvy.

Power’s bold graphic style, reminiscent of vintage advertising illustrations puts a unique emphasis on famous Ogilvy sayings
and transforms them into actionable words designed to inspire the viewer.

As we move from mom-and-pop shops to eCommerce the creative concepts still apply! This video is a beautiful demonstration of the powerful impact of combining punchy words + great design!

Flights of Genius by Stephen Powers from Jun Lee on Vimeo.

If you see any very cool public art, graffiti art, or inspired signage of any sort that you’d like to share, please post us about it here!