Congratulations to Marcia Carlson for being recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association as the 2011 Caregiver of the Year for her creation of the book Simple Talk for Tough Times. This book, already in its second printing, is being distributed throughout the Allina Health System. Marcia’s background in social work and long experience with healing environments among other things helped guide her authorship of a simple book that helps adults diagnosed with cancer talk to the children in their lives about “the elephant in the room” in a way that kids can understand and learn to accept. Kudos to the rest of the team as well: Sandy Herrala, Connie Fiebiger, Melissa Berggren, Adrian Lewis and John Dailey. I am very pleased to have been included on the team as the illustrator.
I just finished reading Rework by the founders of 37 signals Jason Fried and David Hansson. The authors’ brilliance is in making all the advice sound intuitively spot on, straightforward and achievable. It’s a reassuring book to read if you are starting out on your own. It was written to give you the confidence to work in ways that make sense to you rather than trying to recreate in miniature the bureaucratic, wasteful and often self-destructive habits many large companies develop over time. Jason and David lambaste growth, workaholism, meetings, delegation and many other tenets cherished by large companies.
If you’ve spent time in a traditional advertising agency were the lion’s share of a project’s time-line is lavished on the search for “the big idea” the authors fire a shot across that bow as well saying: “Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The real question is how well you execute.” If you are considering or have already started out on your own even this particular heresy will ring true. You are full of ideas. What you need are freedom and clients to partner with so your ideas can take flight.
Thanks to the recession the 1099 workforce is full of top level talent that may never return to the big agency world. Smaller scale projects seem plentiful and now is an amazing time to take your ideas and your inspiration for a ride. But as the authors say “…it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”
Speaking of South Africa (which is currently on the lips of every soccer fan on the planet) photographers Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler are trying to publish a book called Bicycle Portraits chronicling their travels across South Africa. It’s tough to get a book published so in an effort to make it to print they are looking for pledges. Check out this fascinating and new (to me at any rate) approach at Kickstarter. Great portrait photography is a really challenging art form requiring both technical and social expertise. Get a preview of these wonderful portraits on the day one publications website and you’ll see what I mean. Then drop by Kickstarter and pledge your support or post an encouraging comment.