Week 23: Movers and Makers

It’s been a mixed week of going to stuff, working on upcoming things, and emailing people about interesting thoughts. Loads of mutual admiration flying around this week as well. Can’t say this enough: I feel very blessed, all the time, by the people I get to see and talk to regularly. Anyway, here are some of the What Happeneds:

  • My logo and stuff is now¬†live on the portfolio page of The Beautiful Meme, a new agency that have just launched out of Stone Soup. Hoping to catch up with their chief, Tom Sharp, in person, in London, next week.
  • I have secured the issue 1 designer again, which is a coup, because he’s absolutely amazing. Now have 99% of the content for issue 2 of the paper.
  • Had a delicious, if early, breakfast meeting at W&K.
  • Heard from another agency, too, about another thing. That’s four agencies in two weeks! I’m a regular¬†Zig Ziglar.
  • Speaking of which, some portion of every day this week has been spent agonising over my Ignite talk. Is it really on Tuesday?! I have to stop looking at it, because every time I tweak it I make the content slightly more unacceptable and extreme. It’s got to the point where it sounds like the rabid ranting of a mad person. I bet The Fall started like this.
  • Russell and I have continued to conspire, in a small way, about The Thing in the summer. As usual, I have begun with a ludicrously ambitious concept.
  • I went to the press launch of the Kinetica art fair this week. It’s a big windowless room, accessible only through a car park, and it’s full of robots and imaginative moving artworks of every kind. It was an inspiring show and I came away feeling delighted about things. Sarah Angliss was exhibiting there. Sarah is one of my fave artists (and people) – always a joy to chat to. In fact, she’s going to be in the next issue. Oh, and someone took a photo of me for the Daily Telegraph.
  • I’ve decided to stop pitching for a bit (except magazine stuff). No one gets back to me quickly enough and the truth is, all I want to do at the moment is the newspaper. I enjoy it so much. Don’t wait for other people to give you permission to make the things you love, kids.
  • I had an Idea. I haven’t told anyone anything about it yet. One way or another, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve felt remotely energised and inspired, so this is good. Ideas are everything. In the end, you know, come the revolution, we’ll realise our ideas are all we ever truly had. Ah. Where is your Messiah now?

Here I am. So fear not. For I hear you, my children, as you whisper on the wind: “What thoughts do you have for us this week, oh wise one?”

1. Creative people play. Comedy is playing. It’s acting out of context and entering into a contract with the audience where you all agree that nothing has to be true, and nothing matters. I’m convinced that ideas about things to make, i.e. the place where everything starts (and ends) all come from inconsequential, playful states of mind. But it’s hard to think about what to do next when you’re thinking about your bank balance. So the more I see strategy and planning people, the more I wonder how they fit the play in – because, clearly, many of them do.

2. Ambition gets in the way. I’m going to talk about this a bit in my talk at Ignite on Tuesday. In fact, maybe I can carve out a role for myself as the motivational speaker who encourages people to give up. There’s room for a new kind of encouragement that acknowledges the unattainable expectations of working within the modern media – the frenzy of stuff we’re supposed to keep up with, the race we’re expected to run in, every day.

I feel strongly that people should be given permission to stop bothering with it all. I don’t want to change the world, or the future, or the past, or how people think or behave or look. I don’t want to have to continually monitor Twitter, click on every link that floats past me, or attend every conference with a catchy hash tag. I just want to make something cool, today, that might make someone smile.

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