Last fall I attended an inspirational presentation by nationally renowned graphic designer and founding partner, Ken Carbone of Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA) in New York. He spoke in front of a hundred dedicated designers, illustrators, and marketing professionals at an event given by AIGA Colorado – The Professional Association For Design.
Ken is among America’s most respected graphic designers, his work is renowned for its balance of substance and style. He has created outstanding design programs for world-class clientele, including, Musée du Louvre, W Hotels, Morgan Stanley, Christie’s, Tiffany & Co. and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
I listened intently to Ken telling the story of his career, particularly about his new creative journey that started in 2015. He honorably modified the manner in which he begins each work day.
As Ken put it, “For the first day, I decided to begin with a creative challenge. Do something creative each day.”
He started drawing an apple a day, every morning, to keep him grounded, build a foundation and to embrace a non-digital project before jumping into his client work. Away from the bright glow of the computer screen, he sits by himself, and puts his pencil to paper (or brush to canvas).
Ken’s apples range from painterly to whimsical, and within a solid fifteen minutes he is free flowing, without a care if his finished results lead to more than sitting and producing the “daily fruit” for his files. His daily commitment to this craft pushed him to keep a promise to himself, continuing to produce a new piece of art, regardless if it’s a strong representation of his skills and is marketable piece of work.
One daily creative solution. Fifteen minutes. Done.
Ken inspired me to get back to my roots and focus on my personal core of the matter. Go get my digital Canon camera out and start shooting on a daily basis, not for a client project but for the necessity of inspiration that will enhance my creativity once I begin a client project.
No matter how big or small, I will further along new creative means in my life by shooting for 15 minutes each morning. I will not worry if the images are good enough for production. What I will do is vow to make this happen to remove the gremlins in my head that tease and taunt how I do not take my needed “Artist’s Date”.
With a designated photo journal I will jot down my daily proof of “doing the work” along with the location of where the work was shot.
Here are a few photography samples from my daily dose of shooting at The Broadmoor Hotel. For more Myers Photography images, please visit, http://mmyersphotography.com/.
Author, Steven Pressfield of The War of Art affirmed, “When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
Nothing else matters during those 15 minutes except sitting down (or standing and shooting) every day and doing the work. When you do, something mysterious starts to happen. You improve your craft, tapping into found energy and inspiration.
I can stop telling myself that someday I’ll get to that special project. Instead, I’ll work in a bit of time each day, each week. I’ll discover a nice piece of work in progress that is shaping and becoming something substantial.
Graphically & Photographically Telling Your Story,
Marni is Chief Creative Officer at Marni Myers Creative, a brand strategy and graphic design studio in Denver, Colorado. With over 20 years of design experience with print and interactive programs, Marni partners with resorts and hotels, food and beverage and small businesses to help them stand out and get noticed. She also owns Myers Photography, a photography studio that creates custom digital images for business materials, social media and for display at resorts, hotels, restaurants and galleries. You can reach Marni at (303) 808-0326 and firstname.lastname@example.org.