|“Wow, you were NOT KIDDING when you said you take a lot of pictures.”|
“Do you ever actually look at all of the pictures you’ve taken?”
“What’s the point of drawing everything in your sketchbooks if it’s all stuck in your sketchbooks?”
- I do take lots of pictures.
- I do look at them, for various reasons: to remember, as reference pictures so I can draw a view later, for enjoyment.
- I draw mostly in order to see, to record, and to be present in a moment in time than I do to hang something on the wall. (Unless I’m specifically making something for someone.)
- I also draw to share with others, because others seem to enjoy seeing things that I see, or seeing them as I record them.
During a Thanksgiving trip to New York with my parents, I took a teeny tiny sketchbook with me to record my trip. (The pages are little less than 2″ by 2″ square.)
It is now one of my most prized possessions.
This little book contains snapshots of my experience. In four days, my brain processed millions of images and sounds and smells and shapes and tastes and inputs but these arewhat I wanted to keep and what I wanted to share.
Ho Ho Hold Up
I planned to write about a $100 loaf of bread, but I decided to wait on that newsletter because I woke up with this in my head:
“He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good.”
Which are some deeply creepy lyrics to a Christmas song.
Which made me think about how many of us will (hooray!) get to see family sometime soon.
Which made me think about how when we visit our family, we’re immediately mostly viewed as and we view each other as and treat one another as the person we were when we were either a) last living together, which for some of us is our TEENAGE YEARS and for others of us is, *ahem* when we were 40 rather than the person we are now.
And whether we last lived at home when we were 18 or we were 41, we’re all in a different place now than we were two years ago.
Cue Spot 1
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could show up (to the holidays, to work, with our friends) as ourselves as we are now, rather than ourselves as we were when we were 18 or as we were in 2019?
Theaters have solved this problem.
Actors moving around on a stage are illuminated by a follow spot so that when they are standing in different places, there’s light illuminating them and we can see them.
Here’s a nifty quote from theatrecrafts.com
“A followspot is a special type of profile lantern which has been adapted to be moved around to follow a performer on stage by an operator. Although the practical operation of the lantern is simple, doing it well requires a great deal of practice.
Followspotting is hot work – make sure you’re equipped for this. If you’re not working in an air conditioned room, wear thin layers of clothing, and use a pair of biker gloves to protect your hands from the heat of the lantern. Stay hydrated, and make sure you take regular breaks.”
A spotlight that doesn’t move can be run by a computer. The problem with a static spotlight is that the thing or the person illuminated by a static spotlight can’t move or else nobody can see it or them.
A followspot requires a person to operate it.
A followspot needs a human to pay attention, follow cues, and illuminate the action.
Running a followspot requires work. You need to take breaks and stay hydrated.
But running a followspot lets people move, in all of the ways you can consider movement.
You know what they say about sunlight
“It’s the best disinfectant.”
The thing about spotlights is that they help others see what’s under the light, but they help you see what’s under the light, too.
If you hold a flashlight to illuminate a path for someone you’re with, it helps that person see the path, but it also helps you to see the path.
Light lets us see details and colors. (Color is light.)
Light keeps us alive. (Because, photosynthesis – > plants – > food. But we don’t have time to go down that rabbit hole right now.)
Light directs our attention and allows us to direct attention.
Pack a flashlight
When you travel for the holidays or in January and February for winter trade shows, pack a flashlight. (Metaphorically speaking, although I do find it useful to have one in my Ziploc bag of toiletries.)
Illuminate what’s new and different for your friends and family and colleagues and show them what’s new and different for you.
Light a path for someone.
Stay hydrated and take breaks. (A flashlight goes dim when the batteries run out of juice.)
Light a path to someone.
Let’s get Literal, Literal
I really like action steps, so now that we’ve had some spelunking in metaphor land, here’s some ways I have been and will keep trying to shine light at home and at work.
- Ask open ended questions: What is the weirdest/ coolest/ hardest/ most interesting thing that’s happened since I last saw you? How can I best support you right now?
- Text someone and ask them how their day is on a scale of 1-10. If they say “6” ask them how you can make it a 7? (I do this sometimes because it makes ME happy.)
- Share someone else’s creation on your social media, in your newsletter, on your website.
- Connect people. “Dear so and so, please meet so and so, who would be a fantastic speaker/writer/illustrator for your upcoming project.”
- Reference contributions from others in your work.
- Invite people to participate or engage.
- Encourage and push for inclusion of new faces and voices in print, as speakers, as sources, as leaders. If you run into road blocks, keep pushing.
*A brief word on performative activism (doing or saying things so people notice). If the reason you do things because you hope people will notice you doing them, you’ll be disappointed. Remember, the light is being directed at someone else, not at you.
This hysterical meme shared by Jan Johnsen.
The how-to videos on this Instagram account are hilarious and instructive.
Can you run a profitable, inclusive business? Yes! Leslie Bennett does it. Read more about her here.
Do you need help with operations? Could use an extra hand writing SOPs? Are your procedures a mess and therefore you’re losing money? She can help.
Tech Hacks: From saving Instagram posts to time tracking to zoom tips, there’s all kinds of good stuff here.
GOW will be closed December 22-27th. There will always be someone on call for emergencies, and if we work for you and you have an emergency, you can always call or text my cell phone number. (It’s 317-313-8366.)
We are scheduling new projects to start January 15. If you’re not an active client and think you might want to be, NOW is the time to schedule a discovery call so we can get ya on board and reserve time for you in 2022. Click here to schedule. Can’t find a time that works? Email Mallary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUMP UP THE JAM in 2022!
I can’t close without plugging the AmericanHort Marketing Mastery Series featuring Katie Dubow, Ryan McEnaney-Rodriguez, and me. You’ll learn how to build an effective message, build a communications plan, and then how to implement that plan. You won’t want to miss it!
Have a great week!