Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category



Should You Rethink the Design Process?

                      I love this quick animation from Apple on design. Specially the line “we start with the question: “What do we want people to feel?” Most design projects start with a different question:” what do we want it to do?” How do you feel, practically speaking, about the line: “there are a thousand ‘no’s’ for every ‘yes’?”

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Job Advice to Young Creatives

I love artists. My parents owned an art gallery growing up in Brazil, my father is a plastic artist, and I have done a lot of graphic design in my past. My company is always looking for creatives in video, web, and print. I love meeting young talented people who bring fresh ideas and new sensitives to our portfolio. Good work from young creatives is like looking at the world through a fresh set of eyes. But often, managing creatives can be difficult and downright painful. I often get asked during the interview process at our company what I’m looking for in a creative hire. Here’s my wish list: Speak up. Don’t be afraid to bring your perspective into a project. That’s what we want from you–your youth and everything that comes with it. Be teachable. Your design video is not God-breathed and, believe it or not, it can be…

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The Wow Factor and Recharging Your Creative Batteries

No matter what you do, you need your creative batteries recharged from time to time. Creativity help us solve all kinds of problems and not just pick paint colors and furniture for the spare bedroom. There are a few experiences that have helped fill my creative tank. A few years back I took my entire family to  Cirque du Soleil’s show “Love.” It features the music of the Beatles and the cast of Cirque’s über-talented performers. It was an amazing experience–a double wow! The whole thing, from beginning to end, was just jaw-dropping. I won’t try to spoil the show and not do it justice by trying to describe something that needs to be experienced. It is intriguing to me how the creative minds at Cirque continue, after all these years, to surprise and give us the unexpected. As I was sitting in the theater waiting for the show to…

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Best Defense Against an Insult

The best defense to an insult is a greater insult, but not back to the person who slighted you, but to yourself. The inherent problem with an insult is that often we don’t know if it’s meant as a joke in poor taste, a true put down wrapped in a joke for the passive aggressive or a true ugly slight.  Before I figured out how to deal with these, I found myself in no-win situations. If it was meant as a joke and I over reacted, I would come across as an insecure jerk. If the put down was wrapped in a joke and I called the person on it, they would quickly remind me “I’m just kidding. Where’s your sense of humor?” And if it was meant as insult, it was most likely there to bait me into an argument or a fight at the wrong place and time.…

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Refueling My Creativity with Cirque du Soleil

Nothing fuels my creative juices more than experiencing creativity on steroids. I get inspired, challenged, stretched and motivated to push my creative boundaries outwardly. But one would think that after watching the same production four times over a decade would get old. In most cases I would agree, but not when it comes to a Cirque du Soleil production, and specifically, La Nouba. While this might come across as cliche, La Nouba cannot be described in words or even pictures. It must be experienced. Really. The best way I can convey some meaningful and yet deficient description is by calling it a theatrical, acrobatic, musical and multi-media show that will have your head spinning and your mouth dropping and your heart racing for a solid one and a half hours. Interestingly, the producers created the show and then built the theater to fit it. The entire experience is perhaps the…

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How I Get My Creativity Back

Creativity is not just for people in the arts. Creative people come up with all kinds of  solutions: from math problems, engineer dilemmas, financing options to book titles, video concepts and logo designs. Creatives make things happen when others can’t. I have made a career of helping my clients to think innovatively. But I get stuck from time to time–nothing fresh comes to mind. Sometimes nothing at all comes to mind, not even a bad idea. Here’s a few strategies I have used over the years to re-start my creativity. Leave. The longer I sit and stare or try to think harder the worse it gets. I just cannot will my mind to be creative when it’s tired or at an impasse. My best option is to leave the situation and find something else to do for a while. Sleep. I cannot tell you how refreshing a good night’s sleep…

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A Bedroom Intruder Christmas

Creativity finds inspiration in the most unlikely of places. A few months ago, two young men decided to set the somewhat humorous news interview with Antoine Dodson, brother to a woman who had been assaulted in her apartment by a rapist, to music creating an instant Youtube sensation. Mr. Dodson has moved away from the projects with the proceeds he’s made from the “song.” He also performed live at the BET awards last month. The “bedroom intruder song” has now made its way into the Christmas repertoire of the Liberty University singers. Below is the evolution of the original newscast, the song and finally the Christmas version. What’s your take on the “Bedroom Intruder” phenomenon?

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How Are You Wired for Creativity?

Part of my work at The A Group focus on helping leaders, speakers and authors with the creative part of their jobs. Several of my clients are pastors of large congregations and ministries and part of my work is to help them develop teaching series ideas, book topics, titles and creative concepts for their ministries. Some believe that the creative process is as mysterious as a muse who descends upon humans at her will to impart inspiration. I must say I’ve had a few inspirational moments over the years, but most of my best creative work comes through a process that is not as much magical, as it is intentional. I plan on writing more about the process in future posts, but before I can make any progress with a client, I need to understand his or her “creative style.” Usually most of my clients fit in one of or…

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Renewing Creativity

Regardless what we do for a living, creativity is part of our lives on a daily basis. From problem solving, to bringing a vision to reality, to navigating through a busy street, we use creativity to make our existence  fresh everyday. Last night I watched the Addams Family musical on Broadway. It was a fun and extremely well produced show, but beyond the entertainment value, these types of events renew my creative reservoir. They allow me to see something beautiful that lived in the minds of people before it became something I was able to experience. I’m thankful to be able to able to visit museums, shows and experience art in order to keep my creative juices flowing. How do you refill your creative reservoir?

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