Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Creativity Conundrum

  Years ago I read "The Stones of Venice" in an English class, which celebrates the beauty of hand chiseled architecture during the Gothic era.  Ruskin was making the point that turn-of-the-century industrialization and mechanization was missing the soul of the artist.  He was saying it lacked the humility of its maker.  I wrote a paper entitled "The Noble and the Ignoble in Gothic Architecture" wherein my thesis was that the turn of the century industrialization and mechanization was killing the soul of creativity that can only be attained through the hands of an imperfect human being.

Fast forward 2013.  We have automated well beyond the imagination of Ruskin.  We create things literally at the touch of a button.  Within seconds we can share absolutely anything with absolutely anyone. We can say anything we want, unaware of the impact or the consequences of our actions.

I use all the tools of our time, but I am old school when it comes to creativity. To me there is one simple truth:  creativity without social responsibility and the ability to execute is useless.

I publish SKY magazine.   I create a place for people in business to be seen and to tell their story so that our readers can become their customers. I promise to get people into 30,000 mailboxes, and I do that, on time, every time.

Creating SKY is a process that combines business strategy, photography, storytelling, design, production, printing, packaging and mailing.  It takes a team of business people who are creative, committed to excellence and who deliver every single time, on time.

When something breaks in the chain, the chain is broken. It's that simple. I always say in my world there is "good enough".  There is "good" or "not good enough."

Genius is defined by making the complex simple so that the reader can immediately engage. That's what "good" means to me.