Tag Archives: artist

The Art of Resilience : Video

At short notice, Neil Usher asked me to give a short talk at Corenet earlier this year. Neil’s a friend, so I said yes, and worried about it later! The event was filmed, and until this weekend, I’d forgotten that the audio/video team sent me an unedited copy of my session. I stumbled upon it while putting together a speaker proposal for an event taking place next Spring, and having cringed my way through it (does anyone actually like watching themselves on playback?) – I thought I’d share it with you too, I hope you find it useful. The clip clocks in at just over ten minutes, so you might want to grab a beverage of your choice before you start watching.

Footnote. This was the first time I shared a stage with some of my own original artwork.

 

People Artists

In April 2015 I received a lovely note from my friend David Zinger, asking if I would like to make a contribution to a forthcoming book, titled People Artists. With a title like that – how could I refuse? David asked me a handful of questions which I answered as follows:

How would you define a People Artist at Work in your own words?

I believe we are all born artists, so we all have the potential for people artistry. Here are a few things I practice which can help define a people artist and ensure your artistic flame can flourish.

Being open to possibilities
Accepting your own vulnerability
Showing your work

We Are All Artists

What makes you or the person you are thinking of a People Artist?

Developing a habit of awareness and presence helps make someone a people artist. A willingness to suspend judgement when new ideas are forming helps too, as does being kind. Never underestimate the artistic power of simple things.

Can you offer one or two specific examples of where and how People Artistry was demonstrated?

Follow this link. It takes you to a series of images cocreated by learning and development professionals invited to think about the future for their profession. For me – this collection represents a facet of people artistry.

What do you see as the results of the demonstration of People Artistry?

When I see people artistry at work I see smiles, I see people getting to know one another better, I see people supporting and encouraging one another and making work better, together. I see people…simply being people.

Is there anything you would like to add about the topic?

People artistry is partly about encouraging creativity, and creativity isn’t something you just switch on. It ebbs and flows according to the environment and attitude around you. I like to invite people to consider this question. What levers and dials do you need to be aware of and be able to adjust, to help bring out creativity and people artistry in yourself and those around you?

I sent my response to David and got on with my life. Yesterday morning there was a knock at the door and a large parcel was delivered. I had no idea what I was signing for…

People Artists

Inside the package is a signed copy of the new book, and a wonderful signed, framed print of the painting used for the book cover. People Artists is a beautiful collection of thoughts, feelings and ideas about how to make work better, twinned with a series of images painted by Peter W Hart.

People Artists will be available for sale very soon and I’ll update this post with more information, and share details of how to buy it on Facebook, Twitter et al. For now, thank you David and Peter for putting an excellent book together and for such a lovely way to appreciate the contributors.

 

Still Figuring It Out

Yesterday I drew six years of trading as What Goes Around to a close in readiness for the seventh, which starts today. In the past few days I’ve also accepted my first artistic commission. I’m very excited about this. When I started out on my own I never imagined the range of possibilities and opportunities that would come my way, many of which have been delightful, all of which I’ve learned from.

A Brief Reflection

Trying to make your own way in the world is simultaneously exciting, scary, joyful and desperate, satisfying and frustrating. Working in this way is not for everyone, though I’d encourage everyone to try it at some time. It’s also not for me to say that working for yourself is somehow better than working in a bigger business, but it is different, and it is that difference between big and small, which I experience and apply, and my inherent curiosity, that have become some of the greatest ways I can now contribute usefully.

If I’ve learned anything more it’s that gentle persistence matters, doing the work on yourself first is vital, trying to be kind to yourself and others helps enormously, and being curious and invitational is a great way to approach pretty much anything. Give generously, trust first, be thankful – thank you Carole, and thank you everyone who has given me work, supported me, encouraged me, let me down, and screwed me over. I’ve learned something from all of you.

A Brief Look Forward

I’m not so hot when it comes to predicting the future, but I do know I’m about to launch a new business designed to help develop the more artistic side of my work, and bring it to many more people. I’ve also recently agreed to join the LPI consultancy team – early days and this feels like a lovely place to make another home. I will continue to offer facilitation and consulting work through What Goes Around, as well as writing and some public speaking too. Lastly for now, many of you will have noticed over the years I enjoy giving stuff away. With this in mind I’m formulating a way to establish a stronger more intentional volunteer element to my work and I’m finding a way to make a regular financial contribution to some good causes too. More news soon.

Last year was a good one, and I feel like I’m due something better than good, something great. If you can help me make it great through us working together, please let me know – I’d love to explore that with you.

Thank you again. Love – Doug.