Design Observer has a great eye for the convergence of design and culture. The site takes an enlightening, historical perspective on how design evolves around us. We commend Michael, William, and Jessica for their work developing such a great spark every few days for our creative minds.
Garr Reynold keeps a helpful blog about all-things presentation, Presentation Zen. As we are entering the creative professional era, we need to start thinking about how creative professionals present themselves and their work professionally (see one Behance article on a similar topic here).
Garr has a great article on Ben Zander, legendary performer, that makes the case for taking risk, empowering others, etc…but all in a creative context.
Behance was featured this morning on Sirius Radio’s LIME talk show with Karen Salmansohn. Behance founder Scott Belsky spoke about the need for more productivity in the creative community along with some of the research Behance has conducted on the topic. He also went through some best practices based on the Action Method. We love what Karen is up to and encourage you to check out her website…you might even sign up for her “Want to be Happy, Dammit” newsletter.
One topic that came up was the connection between passion and groundbreaking creativity. Widely-known author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced chicks-send-me-high, seriously) writes about the state of “flow” as the prime zone for creative output. Of course, there are risks associated with becoming overly immersed in such a state: you may fail to keep track of the overall project’s goals! Nevertheless, passion-driven creativity is the fuel for the greatest breakthroughs and most forward-thinking design.
One designer we came across, thanks to the powers of Technorati, is Bryan Rees, based in South Carolina. Brian’s front page features “Branding : Design : Passion.” And it seems that Bryan has a history of executing ideas.
So, key take-away: Be passionate, and exercise the discipline to channel it to make ideas happen.
Italian trendwatching site Elmanco, a popular European blog document beauty, innovation, and good design, has launched “A Blog List.” This directory of creative blogs (still developing) is a great resource and means for inspiration. We also like this list because it is truly global.
Marc Andreessen has an insightful post on productivity that can certainly be extended to personalize the Action Method.
A few highlights:
- Don’t keep a schedule: Andreessen cites Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story, as told in the book A Perfect Mess, that emphasizes the importance of focusing on whatever is most important at any given time, rather than keeping a schedule that ultimately gets in the way of making progress.
- “Keep three and only three lists: a Todo List, a Watch List, and a Later List.”
- “Each night before you go to bed, prepare a 3×5 index card with a short list of 3 to 5 things that you will do the next day.”
I encourage you to check out the full post, as it is full of useful insights on managing email (rather than letting it manage you), using the ipod as a tool to ward OFF distraction, and other helpful goodies…
Jonathan Keats wrote an interesting article in Wired Magazine about the notion of celebrity going open source.
“Forget Hollywood, Big Music, and Broadway. The unruly crowd now auditions its own stars, wiki-style, helping to decide who will enter the world stage and how long they’ll stay in the public eye.”
…Makes you reconsider the platforms that are currently out there for creative professionals to “be discovered.” While MySpace is a leading contender, it is the equivalent of a flea market; certainly not the ideal platform for reputable professional talent.
Time’s “Person of the Year” this year was you. While Time dwelled on the wide-open access to content provided by the likes of YouTube and others, the most exciting realization is the destruction of barriers for creative professionals. Your creative energy has more opportunity to be discovered, harnessed, and valued than ever before.
Of course, the new challenge will be separating the credible creative professional energy from the deluge of other stuff (mostly noise). Our bet is on the creative professional community finding new ways to collaborate and present themselves in a readily accessible (yet professional) way.
The Behance team will be working with Creativity Portal to provide tips and insights for the broader creative community. Creativity Portal has developed a great database of content on all-things-creativity that serves as a resource for creative people across industries. You can keep an eye on Behance’s “Author Page” at Creativity Portal for further updates.
You may recognize the image on the right as a cut-out from the article Our Action Addiction. It displays many of our lovely Action Steps completed during the creation of Behance.com. A great debate has come up regarding the completion of an Action Step: How do you designate completed actions on a to-do list? I personally prefer using X’s when I complete an Action Step. Meanwhile, Matias believes that my beloved X’s are ugly and would much rather use a check. He is the designer so he may be correct as to which one looks better. On the other hand, he also thinks X’s are more “negative”. But doesn’t X Mark the Spot on a treasure map? Which one do you prefer really? Please take a vote, leave a comment, or both.