Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Man in the Arena

Tonight while doing some administrivia, I listened to Brene Brown's  2nd TED talk on Vulnerability.
IN it she quotes Roosevelt and cites his quote as a lifesaver. It made me think about my nephews who are hockey players. I want to post this note on their Facebook walls next time they have a massive loss in the arena. Maybe I should even message them. Anyway, here from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 :
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

I really appreciate that part about the critic not counting. I've had a couple of finger pointers around me, and I tell you, inviting them to participate in that which they are criticizing in order to improve it sure has a way of sobering up their drunken revelry of blame. I don't feel shame for trying, nor a need to make excuses for the "do" of others. Cold and timid souls, enjoy the sidelines.

   download PDF of complete speech  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Prezi Issuu Slideshare

Recently I've been exploring how to make an interactive, narrative magazine online. Why? I can't afford to create one in print yet and a brilliant friend suggested I explore ways to use the internet to get the magazine out there.

What do I want from the online experience? Clickable links, non-linear narrative option, can translate to print (maybe), easy to view and use, fun, more exploration than passive viewing.

I've been wandering around shops in downtown Canmore Alberta,  and have found some truly beautiful, fun, intriguing things. And I'd like to write a little story to go with them.

I checked out Issuu first and it looks fantastic and intimidating. I'd need to be a real graphic designer to create something in there that looked any good. Or at least that's what it feels like to me. If we ever do a full-on print version of the magazine, you can be sure that I'll take those files and put them up on Issuu.
Check out Highline Magazine's Winter 2011-12 to see just how magazine-like the experience is. There are Issuu aps too for a better mobile experience. What I don't like is that the links aren't clickable so it's a more passive experience like reading a magazine. You are a viewer, not an explorer. It's linear.

Then I went to Slideshare thinking, "You can click on links and embed video on Slideshare." I also discovered that you can add audio too but it looks like a lot of flipping back and forth between iMovie and Slideshare, so I said, "Forgettabout it." Forget audio. Slideshare is linear too though, and while that has its advantages, I wanted to see what else was out there.

Last year I experimented with Prezi, doing meeting minutes from the Canmore Community Garden brainstorm in Prezi. It was fun to do, and a great way to organize lots of inspirational images. You can pack a lot visually into a Prezi inserting key words in text, but surround the word with pertinent images. I might have to experiment with Prezi again to create the magazine journey that I'm thinking of. The thing is, I like to do the work and leverage it a few times. As Highline does print files that can upload into Issuu, I'm pretty sure that Prezi doesn't work very well for offline experience. So the energy gone into making a Prezi doesn't translate into other media.

More research ahead...any suggestions anyone? Anyone?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Artistry and Styling

Previously I wrote about Plumage and Dazzle, and how we need to be mindful of it here in Canmore. You might say, "But Marty, Canmore is beautiful enough on its own. We don't want to take away from the view."

Looking for evidence, I stumbled on a fantastic wedding blog, Wedding Obsession, that shows how an eye for styling and artistry can contribute to creating the perfect ambiance by adding to the sense of place--celebrating the place along with the occasion. Author, Melissa Liu Gorman, really knows her stuff when it comes to the sheer entertainment and artistic merit fashioning a fabulous wedding, which, after all, is THE occasion in the life of many.

Melissa of 3 blog entries caught me:

1) I am blown away by the deft hand-eye coordination shown by Tara Whittaker, a Calgary photographer, who specializes in weddings. Her Retro Appeal Wedding photo shoot conjures whimsy and wholesome fun. As a promoter of Downtown Canmore, I'm thinking Scrabble-ads, billboards, skill-testing questions, competitions...

Who else wants to decorate their home in these colours?

2) Tara's Spring Zing Wedding which would be PERFECT situated here in Canmore. It also makes me want to meet Tara as she's clearly got a great sense of humour and an evolved aesthetic sense.

Mirror mirror on the...

3) A Burberry Styled,  winterscape wedding in a rustic setting with barn board and reddened foliage. Stunning mix of bark, burnished tones, and black iron accessories. Wow!

I love the Bride's dog "gown"!
Lovely details.

Pine cones are not just for Christmas any more.

The credits for stylists, event design, and photography are all on Wedding Obsession. Please go to Melissa's blog. You will be inspired! It's full of luscious creative juice. Pour a glass of wine, and enjoy!

Now do you get where I'm coming from? Plumage and Dazzle require creating a sense of occasion by celebrating the people and the space. Event Design pure and not so simple.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Plumage and Dazzle

At a meeting tonight for an annual event held here in Canmore, I blurted out that we needed more plumage and dazzle in the event plan. It's my way of saying, we need to dress our events up a bit to show that there's something magical happening here.

Drag queens and Diana Ross stole a page from the showgirls' playbook who sure know how to work some marabou feathers and well-placed glitter to great effect. In this town, my town, we can be a bit...um...understated. We wear fleece jackets to eat a $35 entree or go to a concert. We dress for comfort or function not fashion.  Except for the cyclists in their crazy bright and busy jerseys: they know how to attract attention.

That's all I want to do here in town, dress to attract attention, pimp our rides a bit.

When Cirque du Soleil first started out way back in the mid 80's the posters they designed to advertize their spectacles were spectacular! As INCREDIBLE as the shows themselves. They caused you to stare because they were so beautiful. They made you wonder. They were an invitation that made you want to find out what was going to happen. And people bought tickets.

Circus of the Sun poster from late 1980's Photo credit Wolfgangsvault.com

We need to show the world what it is we are becoming. To dress ourselves up for success. To put on a show before we put on the show. Why? So that we become magnetic and draw people to us.
Posters, media photos, event listings, requests for volunteers, volunteer uniforms, festival grounds...they all need to be dressed up, decorated, show there is a celebration happening here. Banners, flags, signage, dancers, drummers, lights, fireworks, chalk art, gateways, and tents are all plumage and dazzle. A table can be just a table, or it can be an invitation to linger. Let's bring more artistry to how we show ourselves to the world.