Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Are We More or Less Creative as We Age?

In Creativity and Innovation on March 4, 2009 at 3:05 am

A 1968 study by George Land, a general systems scientist interested in the development of creative performance, revealed that we are naturally creative as children. However, as he shared in Grow or Die: the Unifying Principle of Transformation, as we grow up we learn to be increasingly uncreative.

How did George Land prove this?
Over a 15 year period he distributed among 1,600 5-year-olds a test designed to measure creativity. This test was used by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists. George Land used the test to re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. Here are his results with regards to their creativity:

5 year olds: 98%
10 year olds: 30%
15 year olds: 12%

The same test was also given to 280,000 adults with a 2% score for their creativity.

Why are adults not as creative as children?
For most, creativity has been buried by the structures we build that involve rules and regulations. Our educational system was designed during the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago, to train us to be good workers and follow instructions.

Creativity is a skill that can be developed. Learning to be creative, like most things in life, requires practice to develop the right muscles, and a supportive environment in which to flourish.

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What’s the Value of a Tag Line?

In Marketing on March 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

Gwen Moran wrote this article that appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine, March 2009. Gwen is co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans. Reach her at gwen@gwenmoran.com.
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Fly the friendly skies.” “We try harder.” “Don’t leave home without it.” That little plug after your company name or logo can give your customers more clarity about your brand and a fast-pitch sell in just a few short words. And there’s no doubt a new tag line can give your brand a boost.

If you’re an established business with a tag line that’s a bit tired, there’s hope for you yet, says Allen Weiss, founder and CEO of MarketingProfs.com, an online marketing know-how resource with approximately 320,000 subscribers. Weiss and his team recently went through a tag line change of their own for the website (the new line is “Smart thinking. Pass it on”). Here are a few tips he shares from the process:

Focus on benefits. Assuming you’ve mastered the Marketing 101 edict of “know your audience,” the next step is to determine what you want to say. “You have to understand the benefits they care about most,” Weiss says. For example, if customers care about a balance between performance and price, over-emphasizing either one could be a turn-off. They may believe that an inexpensive product won’t perform well but that superior performance is too costly.

Start from scratch. Weiss says reinventing your tag line is different from re-inventing your brand. It’s not necessary to stick to themes in your former tag, especially if your business has changed. If you started selling on price, then the business changed and customers cared more about service, changing the tag is fine. “You wouldn’t just blow up the whole brand and start over,” he explains, “but with the tag line, you can.”

You wouldn’t just blow up the whole brand and start over. But with the tag line you can.

–Allen Weiss

Get help. Weiss says it’s a good idea to consult a professional writer or branding company to help craft your tag line, especially if you struggle with words. If your budget is a little too tight for that, he suggests visiting virtual watering holes where marketers congregate. MarketingProfs, for example, offers a free membership that grants access to its forums, where an entire section is devoted to tag lines. Weiss says that marketers often answer requests for help with tag lines there–gratis. Other free forums include copywriting.com and smallbusinessbrief.com.

Test it out. Before you order a three-year supply of stationery and business cards, make sure your tag line works. Weiss says it’s difficult to apply metrics to tag lines. Success lies in whether or not people get it, so ask your customers what the new tag line idea means to them and weigh the results. At the same time, don’t panic if some don’t like it. “Some people just don’t like change,” he says. “You have to ask questions about what they don’t like to find out if they’re just reacting to change or if the tag isn’t getting across.”

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This listing of The Best Website Taglines Around the Internet was posted on DailyBlogTips.com

A tagline can make or break a website (well, maybe not, but it is cool to be dramatic). Below you will find a collection of the best taglines around the Internet. Some of them are funny, some are clever; but all of them deliver the message! Hopefully it will serve as inspiration.

The Straight Dope: Fighting Ignorance since 1973 (It’s taking longer than we thought).
Maxim Philippines: The best thing that ever happened to men … after women!
The Consumerist: Shoppers bite back.
Random Acts of Reality: Trying to kill as few people as possible…
Joshuaink: Same old shit, different day.
The Superficial: Because you’re ugly.
Smashing Magazine: We smash you with information that will make your life easier. Really.
The Best Page in the Universe: This page is about me and why everything I like is great. If you disagree with anything you find on this page, you are wrong.
Scaryduck: Not scary. Not a duck.
The Art of Rhysisms: Chronologically inept since 2060.
Needcoffee.com: We are the Internet equivalent of a triple espresso with whipped cream. Mmmm…whipped cream.
Ample Sanity: Life is short. Make fun of it.
Rathergood.com: The Lair of the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom – a load of stuff by Joel Veitch that will probably crush your will to live.
The Breakfast Blog: In search of the best eggs in town.
Dooce: Not even remotely funny.
Pink is the new blog: Everybody’s business is my business.
Shoemoney: Skills to pay the bills.
Oh No They Didnt’t!: The celebrities are disposable, the content is priceless.
YouTube: Broadcast Yourself.
Waiter Rant: Do you want Pommes Frite with that?
Newshounds: We watch FOX so you don’t have to.
Sabrina Faire: All the fun of a saucy wench, none of the overpriced beer.
Defective Yeti: A maze of twisty passages, all alike.
All About George: All about George Kelly… you know, if you go in for that sort of thing.
Go Fug Yourself: Fugly is the new pretty.
kottke.org: Home of fine hypertext products.
Slashdot: News for nerds. Stuff that matters.
Gawker: Daily Manhattan media news and gossip. Reporting live from the center of the universe.
Get Rich Slowly: Personal finance that makes cents.
hi5: Who’s in?
Fotolog: Share your world with the world.
Jezebel: Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women, Without Aribrushing.
Autoblog: We obssessibely cover the auto industry.
Boing Boing: A directory of wonderful things.
Perez Hilton: Celebrity Juice. Not from concentrate.
DumbLittleMan: So what do we do here? Well, it’s simple. 15 to 20 times per week we provide tips that will save you money, increase your productivity, or simply keep you sane.
Lifehacker: Don’t live to geek, geek to live!
Gizmodo: The gadget guide. So much in love with shiny new toys, it’s unnatural.
John Cow Dot Com: Make Moooney Online with John Cow Dot Com
WebWorkerDaily: Rebooting the workforce.
The Simple Dollar: Financial talk for the rest of us.
TrafficBunnies: Making your hits multiply like rabbits.
Mighty Girl: Famous among dozens.
The Sneeze: Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions.
Buzz Marketing: Because everyone is entitled to my opinion.
Your favorite tagline is not here? Just post a comment and I will update the list.

Contestant #1 Mary Farmilant

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Artist Contest Contestants on March 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm

mary-1I finally allowed myself to devote all of my attention to making art after a 26-year career in nursing. My evolution as an artist has been as excruciating as watching a butterfly attempt to struggle out of a cocoon, especially since the “left brain” skills required in nursing are the antithesis of the “right brain” skills demanded by the creation of art. A lifelong organizer, I distressed at the impossible amount of work required to manage a household, a marriage, a family, a job, and a career in the arts. I finally realized that the overwhelming chaos was best left to sort itself out while I attended primarily to making pictures. As it turns out, letting the mess take care of itself was the key to letting my right brain express itself.

Photography has been a passion of mine since I was very young. My very first camera was a Brownie camera given to me when I was in first grade. It was love at first sight. In fact, I was the photographer of many of our old family photographs. As much as I loved taking photographs, I never considered photography as a profession. It was never offered as a career choice. In the 1970’s, the girls in my high school class were either getting married or becoming teachers. I only knew I wasn’t interested in either of those options.

The career I eventually chose was nursing, which enabled me to travel, be useful to others, earn a living and be a caregiver for my children without relying on others. In 2001, I finally completed an undergraduate degree in photography that took me 17 years to complete. I am 54 years old and the mother of three children, ages 20, 15 and 13. My education was delayed by the birth of my three children and a decision to wait while my husband pursued his doctorate degree. I completed my MFA in 2005.

The women in my family have always embraced change and are open to learning new things. My Aunt, who had a Masters in Social Work, decided at the age 60 to return to school and obtain a Masters Degree in Music. She proceeded to tour abroad with a group of organists who traveled for the sole purpose of playing music in the cathedrals of Europe. My mother finally decided to “retire” at 78 and went back to school to learn Adobe Photoshop and calligraphy as forms of artistic expression. I want to model for my children the importance of having the courage to take on new tasks at any time in the life cycle, as the women in my family have demonstrated for me.

The examination of objects and the spaces they occupy is a predominant theme of my work. My photographs explore the liminal moment that hovers between perception and recognition. I am fascinated by “found still-life” and become engrossed in recording and studying them. These scenes have a forensic quality to them, as though the scene ultimately contains enough evidence to allow the viewer to reconstruct, recreate, remember, the fullness of what occurred when people were there leaving their social thumbprints on the space. An attentive viewer, fully open to this evidence, may notice a small detail that reveals an emotion, an automatic response to a moment.

For over six years my work has addressed the fragile nature of living institutions by examining abandoned hospital spaces. My background as a registered nurse is the catalyst for this interest. These images explore the idea that the human presence remains a part of the history and narrative of these now uninhabited places. The jetsam left in the wake of the departing staff recalls a past when the space was integral to the lifeblood of the community. The images are an historic record of a moment, a place, a community and service that no longer exists.

Coming to fine art photography later in life, I have a sense of urgency about my work. I think about my art all the time and am always looking for different ways to showcase it. I have determined 2009 will be a pivotal time for my career. I meet with a well-known photography consultant in a few weeks to prepare for a five-day photo portfolio review at the end of April. I am currently scheduling a three-year traveling exhibition of the Hospital series. I have also started a new body of work that combines text and image, looking at how they inform each other and create larger ideas.

In addition to working on my art, I teach beginning photography classes part time. Just recently, I started some freelance consultant work to local artists who are too busy to market their work. I develop strategies and target potential venues to showcase their art. I am studying web design and marketing communications to enhance this consultant work.

Giving back to the community is also important to me. For the last two years, I have worked with an inner-city high school, where 60% of the students live below the poverty level. I help fundraise monies to support the school’s visual and performing art activities. I am developing a six-week photography program starting this summer and hope to expand it year round.

I believe the artist records current trends and realities to educate people, change perception and influence behavior to make the world a more humane, cooperative place.

Written by Mary Farmilant
Mary Farmilant’s Website: http://www.maryfarmilant.com/