Monday, April 23, 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

Here's our April 2012 Newsletter. Right click on any of the pics below and choose "save link as..." to download the pdf.


QR code scanning info -
* What is a QR code? It's kind of like a bar code but it can contain much more data, contact info, web addresses, etc.

* How do I scan this on my device?
  • Windows 7 Phones with 7.5 (mango) update can use the bing vision search. [if you don't have this update try PhraseMeme Scanner (found on the windows marketplace)].
  • Android phones/tablets try QR Droid (found on the Android marketplace).
  • iPhone/iPad try QR-Reader (not tested personally).
  • Blackberry try QR Code Scanner Pro (not tested personally).
* How do I read it on my device? You'll need a reader with pdf support (PDF reader).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Studio/Office Open House

This Saturday is the Open House of my Office and Studio. It's the place where many of my projects come to life. I wanted to take an opportunity to show our family, friends, supporters and prayer partners the inner workings of what I do. Angie and I are getting excited as we finish preparing it. We talked about h'orderves last night, which is just another aspect of creating! And in one corner of the office there will be a prayer station. There you will be able to look over a list of prayer needs, spin a globe and pray for various missionaries and people groups around the world.  It's on the campus of Highland Park Christian Church in the 2:20 Center. It will last from 2-4PM and you can come and go as you please. Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Hello Organizational Project Idea Tracking!

Ever since I started doing artistic projects, long before that became my job/mission, I have searched for a good visual tool for tracking the projects that I'm working on. I think I may have found it. It's portable, completely customize-able, at-a-glance-functional and works as a funnel of the idea process.

I looked and looked and finally figured out I was going to have to make something. The really ironic thing is that I am deep into technological wizardry. I have a laptop, desktop, smartphone (since 2004 or so), mp3 player, tablet computer and graphics tablet, among other things. Usually, the more advanced futuristic, the more I like/use it. However, I came to the conclusion that I needed something more organic, something analog.

So what does this homemade organizer look like? Here's some pics of the tools and how it turned out.

First I bought some Moleskin volant notebooks, 3M bright colorful post-it notes and 3M post-it durable tabs. Of course, you could use any small notebook, but after living in Italy and filling several Moleskin journals, I am a little partial to the brand. Besides they have some new very colorful soft cover styles in the volant line. 
Then I took a tab and placed it on each subsequent page starting with the second. I purposefully skipped the first one, because the cover didn't naturally open to it, it opened to the second page. Every time I placed a tab, I wrote on it the title of a different project that I am working on. After placing a tab and title on each page (I indented the tabs as I went, to make them easier to see at a glance), I put a post-it note on each page.

Then I can write notes on the post-its referencing the project. If I fill those up with ideas, I can place new post-its on top of the originals.

The concept is that when a project is completed, I can take it out, tab and post-its. Then if I want to archive them, and most I do, I bought a couple extra volant matching notebooks (each color actually comes with a second notebook with the same color cover, just darker).

Voila! This does not replace, Evernote, Dropbox and the myriad apps and devices I use, but it does make it so I can quickly and easily scan across all the projects I am working on and determine what needs attention next.

Book Read - Imagine: How Creativity Works

I just finished a book last week that has made me think so intently that I am ready to pick it back up again.

Here's a description from the book - 
Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration, and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective.

You’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move. You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion, and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animation.
Collapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony, Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind, and its essential role in our increasingly complex world. 

Disclaimer: It's got a few curse words, but the principles are great, if that helps you make a more informed decision.