Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Designs for Good?

The main difficulty I have had in my creative ventures is the whole area of self promotion. I didn't realize it early on, but it was one of the reasons that I didn't finish my studies in the fine arts. I had very mixed feelings about going to art openings, meeting the right people, belonging to the right clique, bantering about talking about myself, then graduating and having to make a go of it by constantly thinking of ways to draw attention.

Yes, that's a fairly negative summary of what self promotion means, after all we all must promote ourselves in our careers no matter what the field. In my technical career as a database administrator I have no qualms about self promotion. Being out front with my technical skills is largely why I have had a good technical career.

Doing the same with my creative skills is another matter for me. I could go on to list a series of reasons why it is different. But for brevity sake Designs for Good is the resolution of my lifelong quandary regarding self promotion. My various talents become utilitarian by using them to promote a worthy cause.

My photography and graphic designs skills can become communication devices, my artwork can be sold to raise funds, my web and technical knowledge can be used to help an organization more effectively use technology.

This isn't some sort of selfless act of giving. I'm not a bleeding heart liberal. My skills are a gift to me. Some of what I do is so effortless yet the results can be at times quite exceptional. The energy flows in, and now I'm looking for it to flow out just as easily. It is not selfless because I have experienced that through the act of opening up and giving you do indeed get more than you give.

This act of giving and receiving in return is not limited to the physical exchange of some product between myself and my 'client'. As a matter of fact, that is not what I'm talking about at all. That is just the very end result. What I'm referring to is the act of receiving greater creative energy by not holding onto it, but rather letting it flow out in directions that you are not exactly controlling.

I firmly believe that our deeply creative moments are a realization or materialization or manifestation of that which is larger than ourselves. We do not know where in-spiration comes from, where conceptualization is born in us. Ideas just happen; creativity expands who you are when you suddenly see what you did not before, when you master a technique and do what you or possibly no one has done before.

Where does that come from? Surly we lay the ground work by years of practice and study, but the breakthrough moment is a gift.

Again, I could go into a lot of detail on the exact nature of what this 'flow' is and how it benefits me to give it away and not control it, but I'll keep this post short.

For me Designs for Good is my way of dealing with self promotion in a manner that frees me from being self conscious and there by not limiting or possibly disabling my creative potential.

I am not exactly sure where I am going in this venture. I have started out with the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center. Then there is this idea of a nonprofit media services company that needs a lot of work. I’m sure I will be doing smaller projects along the way.

The journey can now start now that the self promotion bugaboo is in a jar.

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