How to Work (and Play) Well With “The Others” to Succeed

I ATTENDED A GRADUATE SCHOOL WHERE ARTS & BUSINESS STUDENTS WERE BROUGHT TOGETHER–on purpose–to propose, create and apply communications technology solutions as a team to problems. As graduate students of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), we were encouraged to face our distrust of “the others'” approaches to problem-solving (creative arts vs. business) and collaborate in playful and experimental ways to meet the needs of individuals, groups; local, national, and global communities–artistic, nonprofit and commercial–who we were learning to serve as a workforce. Otherwise, we could not succeed in our studies, projects, or current and future employment.

How Can I Trust You?

WE HAD TO FIND WAYS TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND, TRUST, AND SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER (even if one’s primary incentive might only be to get a good grade). Sometimes trusting simply meant investing in the belief that we would do whatever we could to help each other succeed for the sake of that project. Those who couldn’t or wouldn’t commit, who gave up, failed: they either left the program or flunked out. For those of us who did commit, paths always eventually opened, and some of those solutions we accomplished together were simply astounding. Those collaborations and solutions led to our Information Age and what’s coming beyond it.

NOTE: The Interactive Telecommunications Masters Program in Tisch School of the Arts at New York University is going strong. Check out some of the pioneering and innovative courses.

Artwork © Gavin Aung Than 2017

Column Inspiration:
Akira Jurosawa: The Note Taker

 

How Not To Give Up Before The Miracle Happens

I READ SOME LITERATURE TODAY TO HELP INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE ME NOT TO GIVE UP in areas that I want and need to change in my life (personal and professional). I get tired and discouraged at times. I can’t afford “keeping up appearances” (like Hyacinth, the character in the British BBC program) because I’ve learned the hard way that doing so is incredibly stressful and hurts my health. One quote I read is from an article (AKIRA KUROSAWA: The Note Taker) included in the Creativity & Storytelling ‘Zine, Sunday, February 12, 2017 edition is just the right medicine:

“Kurosawa was determined to become a better screenwriter and set about writing one page a day, despite how busy he was as an AD, ‘There was nothing I could do about the nights I had to work till dawn, but when I had time to sleep, even after crawling into bed I would turn out two or three pages.’ Writing didn’t come easy, but over time the daily struggle became a habit and Kurosawa found that like most creative endeavors, just showing up was the key.At some point in the writing of every script I feel like giving the whole thing up. From my many experiences of writing screenplays however, I have learned something: If I hold fast in the face of this blankness and despair, adopting the tactic of Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect, who glared at the wall that stood in his way until his legs became useless, a path will open up.'”

      

Column Inspiration:
“Keeping Up Appearances”

SOMETIMES I THINK THAT WE HUMANS SUFFER FROM CHRONIC FORGETFULNESS: we work hard on something, complete it, and then lose our confidence in what we’ve learned and know: we start from the beginning again–over and over–in uncertainty (a creative-specific conflict forgetting like in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–though they choose to forget!). We stick to our endeavors, come through again, and hope we will remember in the future.

THE HEALING ARTIST STUDIO PROJECT BLOG, THE CREATIVITY & STORYTELLING ‘ZINE, and all the writing, content curating, posting and tweeting I do is my way of remembering, of continuing the open-mindedness, trust, and collaboration I learned as a high school student at The Team School, and as a graduate student at ITP.

WE ARE NOT IN A PHYSICAL CLASS TOGETHER, AND MAY NEVER MEET, but I choose to believe that I am investing in our creative and business problem-solving success to benefit our world through the practical and miraculous solution we are every day.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future).

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver explores the art and architecture of creativity and storytelling in imaginative, innovative, playful and award-winning ways. Tisch School of the Arts (New York University) and The Mystery School (Sacred Center for the Healing Arts) graduate. | Imagine, innovate, create, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.

The Joy Is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible)

 
 

ONE OF MY FAVORITE TELEVISION SERIES OF ALL TIME IS Mission Impossible that is also a successful film franchise starring Tom Cruise. If you’re unfamiliar with it, basically, it revolves around a team of special covert agents who are given an extremely dangerous mission to accomplish within a tight time frame.

WHAT REALLY KEPT ME ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT WASN’T the mission getting accomplished or the end (though I was happy to get the payoff): it was everything that occurred prior to actually accomplishing it.  In effect, the joy for me was in the journey–that was the story! Or as David Byrne of Talking Heads sings in the song, Once In A Lifetime: Well, how did I get here?

 

 

David Byrnes of Talking Heads

 

WELL, HOW DID I GET HERE?

 
THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE TEAM WERE MASTERS OF CREATIVITY serving a practical purpose; who were constantly aware, alert, mindful, paying intensive attention, and had to be extremely close to perfect timing, synchronicity in order to make the impossible possible. How about you and I? Aren’t we all in the same or similar story in one way or another?

Things are only impossible until they are not. –Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation

ARE WE OPEN-MINDED ENOUGH TO EXPERIMENT WITH NEW ways to create art,
content, ideas, marketing strategy, content strategy through mindfulness, intuitive knowing, spiritual synchronicity, or some channel we can’t fully comprehend or explain as part of our story?

I WAS HIRED TO DESIGN THE ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, and was researching legal images, symbols, colors, sounds, words; and had two rough compositions based upon them to share at my first meeting. In the course of that week, I had been noticing windows over and over again. They kept drawing my attention. Why?  


 

John Steinbeck & His Children

THE NEXT TIME I SAT DOWN TO WORK, I DREW WINDOWS AND EXPLORED HOW WE USE THEM and what they represent. They allow those of us on the outside to look at what is occurring on the inside. Eyes have been described as windows to the soul. There’s an intimacy associated with looking in on the activity of others. Windows are related to opportunities.

SO, I CREATED ONE MORE COMPOSITION WITH WINDOWS FLOATING AROUND a central window in which a man is having an intimate conversation with a young boy. The floating windows were colorful (like Microsoft Windows), and the central window was framed with legal columns. I decided to trust what was being visually communicated to me.

Spirituality means stepping back and clearing that channel you believe in. –Gabby Bernstein

I PRESENTED THE THREE COMPOSITIONS TO THE DECISION-MAKERS (THREE OF THEM), who immediately chose the one with the windows while exclaiming how well it fit the message content of and intention for that year’s report: it focused on all the pro bono work they do (immigrants, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.), and they needed to attract lawyers to participate in their pro bono program (offering them opportunities to be of service). We had not conversed before the meeting about the theme of the annual report. It truly caused me to pause and begin opening up to more of these experiences.

WOW, WHAT STORIES WE HAVE TO TELL WHEN OUR EXPERIMENTS LEAD TO SUCCESS (the happy ending). No success? Sure there is in that we have opened ourselves up to more possibilities that may lead to more opportunities for something extraordinary to occur through that channel in which you may come to believe and experience the impossible as possible.

1) Content Inspiration: 3 Unthinkable Behaviors Behind Content Marketing

2) Content Inspiration: Creativity As Devotion

3) Content Inspiration: John Steinbeck on Writing, The Crucible of Creativity, and The Mobilizing Power of the Impossible

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future).

What
if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the
revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative
expression?” – See more at:
http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf

 

What
if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the
revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative
expression?” – See more at:
http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf

 

What
if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the
revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative
expression?” – See more at:
http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf

 

What
if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the
revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative
expression?” – See more at:
http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf

 

What
if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the
revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative
expression?” – See more at:
http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf

Valerie

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Make it so.”
Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

************

Valerie Mich’El Oliver explores the art and architecture of creativity and storytelling in imaginative, innovative, playful and award-winning ways. Tisch School of the Arts (New York University) and The Mystery School (Sacred Center for the Healing Arts) graduate. | Imagine, innovate, create, be generous, love this life, and dare to shine.