Tag Archives: artist

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.

Lust for Life

Iggy Pop

The radio was tuned to BBC 6 Music a few nights ago and so I was fortunate to hear Iggy Pop deliver the 2014 John Peel lecture, he chose to speak about ‘Free Music in a Capitalist Society’. His talk is an engaging interesting piece of work and it’s available to replay and download here for a short while yet. I also recorded the session on TV and sat down to watch it yesterday. Although Mr Pop (we are not on first name terms yet) was addressing the music/entertainment industry – I got a lot from what he said and wanted to share a few things with you. These aren’t direct quotes as such – I was just enjoying watching the talk and at the same time, trying to pick up a few interesting threads.

On being yourself: If you are who you are, that is really hard to steal, and being you takes you in interesting directions when the road gets blocked, and it will. You are better off with your own identity.

On getting ripped off: I loved my vinyl bootlegs – they did a lot for me. The packaging was often way more creative than the official stuff. Bootlegs moved beyond both the industry and the artist. But now – everyone’s a bootlegger – we are swapping the corporate ripoff for a public ripoff. Devices estrange people from their morals. Thieving is bad, but so many people are broke and abandoned, who am I to say you can’t watch some shitty movie for free after you’ve worked yourself hard all day for almost no money?

On not getting stuck: Diversify – streams dry up. Don’t complain about it, survive it.

On getting paid: So how do you engage society as an artist and get paid? It’s a matter of art, endurance and study. Be curious, find smarter people to learn from. I don’t worry too much about what I get paid for any given thing – I never expected much in the first place.

On the little guy: Youtube, Spotify, they have the numbers. And the indies have the guns.

On giving: Give freely, not in the hope of reciprocal profit, but out of self respect.

On life: Dream – be generous, pursuit is better than arrival. Diversify, stay away from drugs (pause for laughs) and talent judges. Get organised, do better than me. Hang on to hopes, hang on to who you are.

If you can find the time – please check the talk out and let me know what you think, and what you take away from it too.

photo credit