AI 2

This is a follow-up to AI (Share of Voice).

Humanistic data governance is my description of AI or:

The process of managing the availability, usability, integrity and security of data in global human societies, based on internal data standards (emotions) and policies (law) that also control data usage (science).

Effective data governance ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy and doesn’t get misused.

This is crucial. My observations from the past ten years show that misuse occurs when governing bodies are unstable, in other words, not properly equipped (mentally, socially, physically, spiritually) to manage said availability, usability, integrity, and security of data.

So, what then is data in my interpretation of AI?

It is energy or every interaction (digital and human) we make.

This energy exists on a conceptual framework or platform. In essence, it can be continually transmuted (actions and results) without much intention required from either the digital or human end.

Much like a geographic information system (GIS), energy provides us with the ability to capture and analyze spatial and non-spatial data.

Part of this data includes our insights, behaviours, and emotions. We capture energy through action and produce a result that causes a chain reaction in human evolution and thought.

There are many points for me to cover here, which demand much more time and consideration. For now, I will try to get my words and ideas down, then perhaps we can come back to it in a couple of months and reassess.

Noninterchangeable: not able to substitute with another. 

For some reason, AI is not readily accessible. It is readily available, but coming across an entity that fully understands its definition within a humanistic context is variable, if not completely unchartered and arbitrary. Still, you can, or perhaps I should mention myself in this situation, look at a person and consider them, as if reading their humanistic data governance level. Again, we come back to the same problem over and over again.

Oversimplification. Redundancy. Incorrect assessments of human error.

Why does it matter? Perhaps, I am too futuristic here? Do I even know the answer? I could have known it in a previous life, let me try to unearth my potential here.

In AI, I spoke about a physical product as a term best used to describe an outcome. I suppose this is the differentiator. We have yet to determine what the physical product will be. We are continually creating new products that utilize AI; however, we have not symphonized the ultimate result.

Oddly enough, the appearance of COVID-19 altered our progression, mostly due to isolation. Without physical interaction, we lose our common ground. We can choose to see this as intentional or casual. Again, I wrote:

In digital reality, a new power takes actionable items related to spatial and non-spatial information to influence a decision-making process, which leads to a result.

If the digital reality we create is not appropriate, lacking power or substance for the sake of laziness and against the challenges/problems we are facing like – damage prevention, protection of the environment, safety regulations, reporting, food shortage, food security, and traceability, then the laws that possibly govern us from a higher resource may have put a stop to it.

That’s the problem. We are starting from square one. 

Product direction requires a dream that can be unlocked following precise steps as if when you awoke from your goal, you could remember every vibrant detail.

As if we were previously positioned in individual dreams, with rulers and usurpers systematically working together, ‘after’ coronavirus, we are retracing our steps, back to the models we have built, starting the race yet again with our shoelaces untied.

The funny thing about being in digital marketing is that this race is entirely peer-driven. The humour is not even funny. We have come to a full-stop and truth be told, there is cooperation, albeit, indifferent. I’m just referring back to new power. As Dave Gerhardt, CEO of Privy mentions in almost all of his LinkedIn posts – how we communicate is vital, and we can’t keep talking about things so that people don’t understand what they’re reading. Well, we could, but what would be the point in that?

And I haven’t even delved into the idea of machines! This is TBC, of course…

For next time,

A conceptual framework is an analytical tool with several variations and contexts. It can be applied in different categories of work where an overall picture is needed. It is used to make conceptual distinctions and organize ideas. – Wikipedia

 

 

 

Self-Portrait 2020

Purpose

A Story About Tripping Over Bread

As things have taken a doubtful turn, I race to the corner of the intersection, moving my head to the back to check for traffic turning right. I am mighty in this sweater I proclaim, not wearing it on my run, but in my head as I write about running. I cross over a slippery yellow grid and see three bright orange pylons. There is a construction site to my right, and a small mall with a Bell store and I always seem to think a Cobs, but there isn’t. This is the fastest I’ve gone in it must be over a year, I thought. I felt impressed with my speed but knew I still had a long way to go. Will there be a huge difference once my shoes stop blinking purple? The lights were slowly changing to green, then orange, then nothing. I could see the lavender bear making its way over the crest of Gladwin Rd, heading toward Mission, where the Vedder river was, and Chilliwack. My heart was in the that town for some reason. The bread? The bread would be over on Monday, so better start relying on something else for pleasure, I thought. I was already home, wiping the rain off my make-uped brow and scanning the kitchen for my pint of water. The bear’s cries could be heard, and thunder rang in the deep blue sky. RipnDip, I thought, taking my hoodie off. The scars on my back were getting better. It just took a little temper, and ignorance for it to heal itself back to smooth, normal skin. Vanity or was it purpose? What answer do you recommend?

Being Creative in a Productive State 

Hi everyone!

First, some definitions relating to this post –

Being = Choosing / Creative = Motivated / Productive = Happy / State = Requirement

Doing = Accepting / More = Drive / Less = Realization

Emotionality = The observable behavioral and physiological component of emotion. It is a measure of a person’s emotional reactivity to a stimulus. Most of these responses can be observed by other people, while some emotional responses can only be observed by the person experiencing them. (Wikipedia)

My aim with this post is to decipher emotionality, its key drivers and relationship to day-to-day environment and circumstance, including but not limited to, home and work life.

So, let’s start!

Key Drivers

    • My location
    • Wake up time
    • Grooming time
    • Good coffee
    • Food

We moved to Abbotsford. I woke up at 6:30 AM preparing for my day. I go about the motions of getting ready – shower, makeup, hair, coffee – and in the process, I am lost. My mind is buzzing, yet it is shut off. I recognize for a brief second, but I haven’t found the reason. You could say I am slightly aware that I have not found my happy place. Too early in the morning, I suggest. Shrugging imaginary shoulders, I am okay with this, because I am just getting ready to go to work. This whole process takes time, it could probably arrive sooner (happiness) if I was paying more attention. Oh, and I should probably mention that my overnight oats make a significant difference. In making me happy. Funny, they don’t always taste so good!

Relationship to Environment

    • My car
    • My commute
    • Routines, like socializing
    • Wellness activities, like yoga
    • What’s for dinner
    • Time for bed

I’m in my car, driving my new 8 minute commute. I feel rushed, but it’s okay, it’s not really bothering me. And so, this is my experience from weekday to weekday. The urgency in the situation is that I must recollect reasons why things are going well in my life. New job, great boss, opportunities for team work, collaboration. Fun, yet challenging projects. A ton of writing, well editing really. Weekly touchpoints. My Pinterest strategy. Our marketing video. Learning, growing, the usual stuff. But then, the things that aren’t going so well surface. I haven’t established a workout schedule, I left my yoga mat at the other place, I am stressed over what we’re going to have for dinner and about sleeping early – because that’s my new thing, sleeping at 9:45 PM. I used to be a runner. I just keep thinking about the scale!

So, my day is a choice of two states – happiness or sadness. As simple as it sounds, this is a product of my environment and circumstance and something that I have to track to ensure that I’m making choices that move me closer toward happiness. Smiling, breathing, accepting. Working, writing, being. These are just a few good things.

Relationship to Circumstance

    • Busyness
    • Priorities
    • Deadlines
    • Time for evaluation
    • Energy level
    • Motivation level

At work, I am beginning to see that in an endless sea of assignments (which I am able to complete), the intention of the work becomes lost stacked upon other projects, priorities and deadlines. We should always go back, perhaps a week or so later, and evaluate the work once again. Scrap that. We need to re-evaluate more often, like every other day. What was it for? Did you enjoy working on it? If not, what element made it obtrusive? Was the project completed on time? Will it be put to greater use? Will it lead to larger successes in the near or distant future? I shake my head in disapproval as I re-read this. That’s not the point, Chona. The point is, you have to do, then do again, then do more and finally rest.

Home and Work Life

    • Choosing states
    • Selecting work
    • Writing
    • Conceptualizing
    • Analyzing
    • Generating ideas
    • Generating answers

In one example of choosing states, I’ve selected an image. Next, in pursuit of my happiest state, I decide to post it onto social media. The main two reasons being – I realize others will read my post and view my image and this makes me feel satisfied; and two, I am able to practice writing, designing and conceptualizing ideas and this makes me feel pleased.

The image will be broken down and some sort of analysis will occur. In this post, I have chosen a graphic image with text and the idea that I developed in my mind was pertaining to a milkshake. So, let’s call it The Milkshake. Magic. Something that obviously begets certain levels of pleasure, and contributes toward overall happiness, perhaps even eradicating sadness on the spot. A milkshake does that, as I’m well assured you are aware.

So, have a read and let me know what you think! I know we will all want a milkshake on a daily basis after this. Wink!

The Milkshake

Do we start with the milkshake or whittle it down to the ingredients? In my opinion, productivity starts with desire (I want a milkshake), then the identification of key components (organic strawberries and maple syrup), a timeline (this will take 3 minutes), a deadline (well, it’s 7:45 am so that gives me 2 extra minutes to get to work) and result/outcome (this tastes great, could use some spinach).

A Doing More with Less stance claims that we don’t necessarily need to examine details (should I add spinach), but instead take a bird’s eye view (look at these 30 options), using creativity to discover (strawberry banana, strawberry raspberry or strawberry pineapple), contribute (let’s add maple syrup) and further existing strategies (let’s add flax and hemp seed) that may or may not need review (is this milkshake healthy).

This is where creative direction or management comes in. I will listen or be the one to direct, but know that these roles are significant.

Also, I will always argue that creativity contributes toward success on a larger scale. We may not be marketing for the milkshake company, but the nutritiously delicious and beautiful milkshake we drank at the beginning of our day or in middle of this post contributes toward performance and our overall well being. Expectations.

If an image (content + creative) has power, does it come from the creator or within? What does that say?

This post ends with a 3. That’s my mood, not a 4, not a 5, but a 3. And I do appreciate that it’s Valentine’s Day. Perhaps the issue is just that I move too fast, so I’m actually way ahead of time. Yes, that’s what it is. Exactly. Sip, sip!

Thanks guys!

It’s Project Time – Content Writing

Hey everyone!

I was asked to put together an article for Global Solutions Inc, a marketing consulting firm based in Richmond, BC. The article touches on fibromyalgia and how dealing with the condition may impact day-to-day routines. I hope you enjoy it, please let me know if you have any questions!

Project Instructions

Topic: Fibromyalgia

You are to do the following:

a)    Generate an article idea on this topic. You can use these keywords as reference: fibromyalgia symptoms, fibromyalgia treatment, fibromyalgia causes, fibromyalgia medication, musculoskeletal pain etc.

b)    Write an interesting blog headline/title.

c)    Articulate the structure/outline of the article with subheadings.

d)    Type out one paragraph of the article.

Optional: Provide any suggestions on how you could promote this article using social media.

You may email your response to info@globalsolutionsinc.ca

Completion time: 1 hour

Relevant keyword count: 74+

 

  1. Article idea: one of my best friends has struggled with fibromyalgia for years, but has never appeared to be visibly sick. This condition affects many people that still have to go about their day-to-day routines. My article will explore some daily challenges they face and 5 ways to cope using simple strategies
  2. Blog headline/title: Fibromyalgia & Daily Routine: HOW fibromyalgia affects your day-to-day and 5 ways to cope effectively
  3. First paragraph: INTRO use SMART Goals technique to define what it is
  4. Second to Sixth paragraph: Present 1 way to cope per paragraph including situation of daily challenge and a relevant stat or story pertaining to it
  5. Seventh paragraph: CONCLUSION wrap up topic by quickly summarizing

 

1 – INTRO I visited with my friend Emma (name has been changed for identity safekeeping) the other day. We sat down together for a coffee at JJ Bean and caught up as it’s been more than 6 months since we last met. She looked great. Amazing outfit, cascading hair of curls and rosy cheeks and lips to match her great coat. She appeared happy, as she always did. When I asked her how things were, she went about the usual way – work was good; life was amazing. I instigated a bit further as any good friend would and she began to tell me about her struggles with fibromyalgia. Statistics Canada describes fibromyalgia as a condition involving chronic musculoskeletal pain accompanied by excessive fatigue and exhaustion. They say it is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 900,000 Canadians or approximately 3% of the population. Women are estimated to be 4 – 9 times more likely to develop the disease than men. Emma went on to explain her daily challenges and the tools that she applies to cope with the condition. Take a minute to read and learn more about fibromyalgia and how its symptoms affect daily interactions and routines.

Outline of paragraphs 2-6 (data from health.com)

2 – Challenge #1 Speaking Up

The challenge: Being afraid to talk to people (even some health-care providers) about your pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms, because they will brand you a difficult patient, a complainer or a hypochondriac.

How Emma copes: I realized that there were a lot of other people out there who were just like me. I realized that I could share with other people my assertiveness and my unique talent of being able to be honest with people and to talk to my doctors honestly, as equals. And that’s when I decided to seek out opportunities to become a health advocate in my own way. I try to post helpful strategies to my Instagram account that may not speak directly about my struggles with musculoskeletal pain, but overall how I cope in my daily environment.

3 – Challenge # 2 Family Matters

The challenge: Worrying that your husband considers you a burden or that your kids question why you aren’t like other moms.

How Emma copes: I became more aware of the fact that complaining about my fibromyalgia symptoms all the time wouldn’t be a good idea. It’s not something I want to model for my kids. It’s not something I want to come between my husband and myself. I started talking about my personal pain and fibromyalgia medications less and talking about my advocacy efforts more. I began showing how a can-do attitude is more helpful than not.

4 – Challenge #3 Staying On Schedule

The challenge: Feeling that people will perceive you as unreliable because you forget or cancel appointments or engagements at the last minute.

How Emma copes: People with fibromyalgia who are in pain all the time need to know what to do with their thoughts, how to deal with all of the little disappointments and the everyday problems that we run across. We’re not born knowing what to do. Counseling, in my mind, is an extremely valuable form of fibromyalgia treatment, as is writing notes to myself either on the fridge or on my computer. It’s all about self-awareness, accountability and self-regulation.

5 – Challenge #4 Dealing With Pain In Public

The challenge: Being so uncomfortable at work, in a theater, or in public that you feel like you could explode. Not having the right fibromyalgia medications to help you get through the day or night.

How Emma copes: You have to take action and find the right combination of medications for fibromyalgia. Some pain drugs act faster than others; if you have a fast-acting medication, you can use that like an asthmatic would an inhaler. In these situations, if I can lie down, do some deep breathing, and just get myself through that crisis time, then that’s what I need to do. And my kids know that. My husband knows that. I’ve also been exploring treatment with CBD oil. *As a note (data from medicalnewstoday.com) – CBD can effectively reduce pain, improve sleep, and diminish refractory pain for people with fibromyalgia. Anecdotal data suggests that taking CBD oil may alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia in some people. It may change the way that they process pain, with beneficial effects.

6 – Challenge #5 Keeping It Together

The challenge: Never knowing when your fibromyalgia will cause you to fall apart or for how long.

How Emma copes: I do deep breathing. I do positive thinking. I work on my posture. I exercise very carefully. I research what I should do, and what I shouldn’t do. And from my own experience, I set limits for myself. I try to leave room in my life for happiness.

7 – CONCLUSION Every person is faced with challenges. When those challenges affect our daily life, it is sometimes difficult to cope. This article aims to explore the relational experiences that my friend Emma has encountered over the past few years, using her own personal voice. While this article does not touch on fibromyalgia causes, treatments or medications, it focuses on situations that are closer to us. The one thing that opened up communication channels between myself and Emma was putting effort into asking questions and showing empathy. For people dealing with fibromyalgia, challenges are often hidden. Take time out of your busy day to look at the people around you and analyze your initial perception. Then, ask yourself if that is a fair or real assessment. Someone might look angry, but perhaps they just found out they didn’t get the job they worked so hard toward. Or, someone might look sad, but perhaps they just found out a friend cancelled their dinner plans. We just need to be open-minded and helpful when we can. Facing health challenges might require even more introspection from the viewer’s side. As we were getting ready to leave, I asked Emma what helps her the best in terms of how other people perceive her condition and she said, “When I come across a person who is happy and positive, it rubs off on me and makes me feel like I can get through anything.” We hope that this article was helpful for you. Please check out more topics related to the health and medical field on our blog, ChonaBLOX.

Optional: Promoting this article on social media

    1. Post article on LinkedIn
    2. Create an article topic image on Canva and use the image to post on Instagram, twitter, Facebook etc. Add appropriate hashtags relating to topic
    3. Use appropriate keywords in your caption, meta description, meta tags
    4. Title your images
    5. Make a YouTube video of content use appropriate headers for each challenge, perhaps images relating to challenge
    6. Ensure to use blog link and logos, branded typeface, graphics etc.

Recent Works – Direct Mail Proposal

Hey everyone!

Back into the swing of things.

This project may seem simple to you, but it challenges the idea of giving and receiving. In our digital space, we give constantly. And is the return of our efforts (ROE) measured through digital collaboration (DC) enough? Think: total impact of IQ + EQ + PQ or a new notion ascertaining digital quotient (DQ) / digital equilibrium (DE) / digital aspect ROI (DAROI). *I will explore these ideas in a future post.

When my mother received letters from her suitors (a common practice in her time), she did not write back. She kept each letter as if to say, I realize you are all interested, however I will hold in my heart, the one who is right. Is this action right? Is it just? We observe a similar practice in Japanese culture. The ritual is gift-giving (action), rather than the gift itself. Huffpost.com describes it in three steps – the reveal, the denial and the recognition. Or, revelation of intelligence + denying impact of emotionality + recognition of our role and place in digital space.

Using this interpretation, I could say that this project was aimed to reveal part of my identity/intelligence (I now question its visual and linguistic legitimacy in my current digital explorations), to reflect my denial of attaching emotion to the act of giving and receiving, and finally to sustain 2-way recognition/communication (between seller and buyer in this case) of the journey (action) itself – “For the Japanese, gratitude is a battle of endurance.”

We need to evaluate the tone and style of our expressions (gratitude being relevant today) as we delve further and further into a state of digital collaboration. We are impacted and at what point are we actually bringing more clarity to situations and circumstance? This is sort of the concept of ‘niceties’ and because I aim to maintain a certain level of accuracy in my work, details are important, but should my actions impose more or less scrutiny in regards to how my audience receives my message? This ties everything back to: total impact of IQ + EQ + PQ or a new notion ascertaining digital quotient (DQ) / digital equilibrium (DE) / digital aspect ROI (DAROI).

As you make your way through the below, try to remove feelings of assumption or judgement. Art is for everyone. Despite my specific approach, there’s a core selection from each demographic (Baby Boomer to Gen Z) that relates to my work in its simplest form, in other words – the visual and the language. For this project, I give it back to them!

Abstract – slash / roboto / elephant

This project started out with a photoshoot. I was dressed as Wenda (Where’s Waldo’s girlfriend) and my friend Allegra and I captured a series of images in and around Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, Canada. There was lunch at Troll’s (fish and chips of course) and a brief introduction/chat with family business owner Ab Troll. Then, tea at another local establishment Flour Bakery and the final shot – me peering over … The Giant Hedge.

I developed the concept around a youthful, graffiti-inspired (old BLOX style) rendering of sweetness or the sweet spot/’magic’ that we often search for in our interactions with brands and art projects in general. My old style was always striking, vibrant and street culture inspired. Think – Keith Haring meets baby Andy Warhol.

The first portion centres around strategy, the next on my Social Seller & Social Buyer personas and finally, the Wenda portion (introducing myself within a specific context) finalizes the presentation. I printed the images on glossy card stock and hand-cut each one with a paper cutter. The final presentation resembled 7-inch vinyl singles and are displayed most effectively in a stack, layed out as placards on a table or mounted onto a wall with colourful binder clips (yellow, purple or stainless steel would work).

Along with my visual presentation, I designed a series of stickers that were printed on matte sticker paper and cut by hand. I then assembled the stickers, one by one, into individual, resealable plastic bags. Two of the images are BLOX identity concepts. The one with the primary color wheel represents right-brained or creative BLOX and the other with the black and white bunny mascot (and letter B branded roboto typeface mouth) represents left-brained or technical BLOX. The remainder stickers were simple and fun applications of imagery used in the presentation. To top the set off, I made a collaborative-style logo (powered by) for the agency I was presenting to.

As a fun treat and tribute to the jam jar (featured in several of the images), I filled a couple of clear canisters with bright fruit candy (I once had a banana necklace) to match the colour theme and concept of sweetness. I also included a book containing 85 pages of work samples and creative/technical resources – collateral, white papers and articles. The book was bound using the specifications below:

8.5″ x 11″
Double Sided, Colour
Colour Laser, 98 Bright, 32-lb.
Binding – Wireless Binding – Black
Standard front cover
Pastel Yellow, 90-lb. Index
Standard back cover
Pastel Yellow, 90-lb. Index

*See more supporting documentation on my Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn account.

The final products were wrapped in colourful confetti  paper and fastened with two Jelly Marketing stickers. Everything was arranged bento-style in an unobtrusive Staples box with a package of fun pastel highlighters and a final ‘hello’ letter placed on top.

I am eternally dedicated to my work and process. This project was a homage to my academic background as a printmaker and street identity as a writer. When I was practicing regularly, the art forms themselves took shape. There was no plan, just creation. I would compare it to writing and reading classical music. I can’t really compare it to anything else. But my efforts today are different. They are positioned around understanding and fully utilizing the creative + technical aspects of my brain. So, now there is a need to plan and there is a need to create, but by having a specific outcome in mind.

At the end of it all, this has generated the foundation of A Brand Strategy. You will hear more about this in the coming year.

A few quick work goals for 2020 –

  • Find a job that I’m happy about
  • Develop Digital Presence business model
  • Develop A Brand Strategy

Next up: who’s down for white, black and corporate-friendly? Is it time to revisit my Digital Presence business model? Yes/No?

The question remains – To mail or not to mail? To give or not to give? To receive or not to receive? What matters most? Having or expecting? Waiting or forgetting? Are you a yes-man or a no-sayer? Check back guys!

Relentless Beauty – Directing Art in Life

Hi everyone!

This post is being published a couple of weeks late. It sides like a dialogue or script between my negative and positive conscience. It also questions the personality of reality and the role of work impacting everyday life. Have a read and let me know what you think!

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I am you.

We are masterpieces at work.

A masterpiece is considered to be a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship. I am building something great in my brain, that might take 5-10 years to materialize, but for today…it is a matter of steps.

  1. TED Talk
  2. Meet some important CEOs (Microsoft, Facebook etc.)
  3. Have an annual income>$100,000.00

Step 1 – The Wait

This past year has been a period of unparalleled accomplishment and perseverance.

  1. Being able to write well – technically (analyses) and creatively (rationale)
  2. Upping my graphic design capabilities (still supporting MART)
  3. Identifying the BLOX brand (logos for example)

Step 2 – Past Reconciliation

Bell Bird / I walked away from my desk knowing it was over. And every time I returned, I resumed my role, but thought to myself quietly and strategically: 1 – you don’t allow me to be artistic or creative in a way that would generate an income; 2 – despite all my hard work and dedication, you haven’t allowed me to move forward or upward; and 3 – down to the date I left, you gave me the belief that I could achieve something bigger, better and huge.

Step 3 – Hiding

When I say there’s a solution, here’s why. My partner is the most realistic human being that has ever existed! He tells me; I should listen. Now, I’m trying to understand, again (in this moment of gratitude), WHY I have the NEED to reveal a few big secrets, but I won’t. I think it’s going to take a long while, you guys might as well grab some food.

Step 4 – Revelation

Chona: I am not realistic.

Daisy: I am the least realistic human being that has ever existed!

Chona Fe: I am so utterly unrealistic that I presume the world in a digital fashion and to me, it all makes sense.

Seventeen: And my unrealisticness bears unbreakable confidence and this leads me to believe that people already understand it, that other people exist in a digital fashion as well and that it is all working.

Steps, I said. Steps.

Step 5 – Fighting Back

Blox Bunny / Back at my desk, I am thinking again: when I left my former job, there was something inside of me that longed to escape. I was previously trapped in the mind of a realistic person! This does not satisfy me! I want it back! I belong in there. So, I started writing this blog and finally, I have a platform to voice my concerns, however all I want to do is write and that leads to my battle with time.

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Young at heart.

Old in thought.

Step 6 – In the Past

It feels like more things have been given to me and I have spent a whole lot of time trying to decipher those things regularly. The pursuit seems futile. Is it? I experience true happiness when I am free to create, to express myself as I will. Just being is so strong.

Step 7 – Entrance

Chona begins to write feverishly on a notepad: the questions become – how does the audience receive these creations? But that is not a real question. The real question is, does it matter how they receive it? Wrong again. Once I release a creation into someone’s hands, or brain for that matter, is that it? Is that all that matters?

No, no, no!

Step 8 – The Return

We need to feel a reason to proceed with creating.

Step 9 – The End

I will get there, promise. And when all else fails, I did it for love and the beauty surrounding it.

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A very dear friend of mine, Yenukwa Kombian, is the co-owner and facilitator of King of Hearts (a collective of men helping men). He shared a few quotes with me when I was feeling down and they really helped –

About struggling as an artist/entrepreneur

…being an artist/entrepreneur, grinding it out and never being recognized for your hard work. It talks a lot about giving up, letting go and even going into a dark hole that you feel stuck in. The line ‘Lose My Air’ is directly correlated with anxiety, and depression. Feeling overwhelmed and stuck in life. I think it’s so easy nowadays to compare ourselves to everyone around us, and that can be crippling. The one thing I have learned through all of this, is that everyone is on their own path, their own chapter of life and it’s extremely unfair to compare yourself to everyone around you. – Brandon Linkewich

About hustling aligning

Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress toward a successful and ultimately happy life.

About feeling behind in life

You’re not behind in life. There’s no schedule or timetable that we all must follow. It’s all made up. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you need to be. Seven billion people can’t do everything in exactly the same scheduled order. We are all different with a variety of needs and goals. Some get married early, some get married late, while others don’t get married at all. What is early? What is late? Compared with whom? Compared with what? Some want children, others don’t. Some want a career; others enjoy taking care of a house and children. Your life is not on anyone else’s schedule. Don’t beat yourself up for where you are right now. It’s YOUR timeline, not anyone else’s, and nothing is off schedule. – Emily Maroutian

And so, it should be said…

Has anything changed since last year? Are you more ahead of the game? Do I understand being HERE and NOW? Is there something standing in my way? Is it constructed or real? What is real anyway?

Revealing my true identity…

Instead of defining it as creating, writing, being artistic, it must be redefined as working. This mantra says it best – At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best, every day. That’s it. That’s all that matters!

I think somewhere on this blog I talk about losing my identity, then regaining it. It just isn’t as easy as that. As an artist, you can create a wonderful masterpiece and use it to build yourself up. But when you are done, you have to start all over again and this is a problem. It’s a similar thing building a social media presence. You can really use what’s out there to help support your vision or you can get lost in the confusion of trying to fit in (or out) with a trillion other ‘things’, plus being an open book for everyone one to read. The role of work is to harness these conditions. To take the experience and quantify or qualify it. To have a goal and to accomplish it, then to move on to the next task. Bell provided me with this motion, it just lacked the artistic/creative portion. This past year I have learned how to objectify my work and I am ready to apply these skills.

4

Please bring your trays to a tray return station. We’ll take care of the sorting, recycling and trash. To lower our environmental impact, nearly 90% of waste in the IKEA stores is sent for recycling or used for energy production. And we’re working hard to get to 100%.

IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad thought along these lines, “To do business with a clear conscience is an attitude that pays. We have to find more time for ourselves and to regain respect for the environment in which we live.”

I agree and what if the sign instead read –

Please bring your brains to a brain return station. We’ll take care of the sorting, recycling and trash. To lower our environmental impact, nearly 90% of waste in the BLOX stores is sent for recycling or used for energy production. And we’re working hard to get to 100%.

The idea that the brain requires an actual vacation – with pay – connotes the modern (we’ve been modern for much too long) notion of a retreat. The IKEA restaurant works just great.

Conclusion – Digital Detox Works

Leave your devices at the door and have a seat with us in our cafe, er…restaurant. You really have to plow deep to comprehend your body visiting versus your mind walking in. That is how I think. Typically the thoughts are in motion, in my head and do not leave it. Case in point, there’s power in environment, yet I am denied, time and time again.

Hyper Conclusion – The Drive of Your Mind

It is incessant. Must be more positive. Must be HERE and NOW. Must trust, believe, have faith and most importantly, love.

It causes turbulence. Must convert to renewable energy. Big breakfasts. Netflix. Naps. Running.

1 day left until Halloween!

Yay!

Project Future – Can Something Become Practical in Theory?

Hey gang!

I am futuristic and that’s final. My mind lives in the future. Theoretically, I train envisioning that we can live in an entirely digital space. Practically, we live in this space doing regular things, but we also fend for ourselves using our brains. Oh, so this is life! Let’s put a couple of examples into perspective. Note: this post is starting to examine the concept of ‘internet of things’.

Abstract – thing / being / human / agreeance / motion

We live on a physical planet where issues like climate change are just beginning to surface. This a real and serious thing. A 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg is fighting with global politicians pleading, “How dare you!” Her statement is full of impatience. Does this quantify or qualify the time it has taken to have a crisis like climate change in focus? Now envision, in an utmost technologically advanced society, affecting the outcome of global issues via thought. Think about this – do Thunberg’s words permeate:

an action / integrity / longevity (experience) *creativity +strength

or

a brand / transparency / visuality (capability) *productivity -weakness

In certain applications that are already in place, we could debate the efficacy of an activist’s approach. However, would there be more power in advertising or marketing a cause if the objective considered certain design elements or art attributes? How do we implicate values like belief, trust and faith into a balanced and harmonious solution? And what would be the outcome of such an act? More opportunities? Less threats?

Think ads, television, movies, radio, books.

If those in charge of operating the goods either 1 – don’t fully comprehend new technologies due to incumbent roles and desires of maintaining diplomatic consensus or 2 – need to allocate funds to get everything in place, this does not mean they’re not participating in or understanding at all. And I’m talking highly established and evolved grey matter here! Executives of all sorts know, but the argument could be that we may potentially lack tacit knowledge and this is required to engage with younger generations or for that matter, older ones too. Throes of people that might already comprehend digitization (including all levels of being – thing, human etc.) are waiting for two things – a revolution and massive change. How is it going to pan out?

An example of Global Comprehension at work –

Do you remember when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg endured a 2-day congressional inquisition on the possibility that his company helped to fix Trump’s election campaign by intentionally (or unintentionally) releasing Facebook user data?

  • What was that all about?
  • How would you explain it to a Baby Boomer, Millennial or Digital Native?
  • How did this issue affect us in terms of technology?
  • How did this issue affect us in terms of marketing and advertising?
  • How did this issue affect us in relation to design?
  • Does it bear any importance?
  • How do we begin to explain these types of situations without being merely journalistic or too afraid to elaborate in a caption?
  • Should it matter and why?

We are honourably asking, what does Facebook incentivize and why? Personally, I think they are doing something amazing and are truly planning for our future.

In spite of everything, both Thunberg and Zuckerberg bear weight and responsibility representing modern dilemmas that many people don’t want to talk about. Or perhaps won’t or can’t.

Q: So, what are these dilemmas that require Global Comprehension?

A: Critical mass (Thunberg example) and artificial intelligence (Zuckerberg example)

Hypothetical Solution: recognizing power in unanimity (Thunberg example/things in agreeance) and leading with a ‘Productive Creative’ brain (Zuckerberg example/things in motion)

Note: the term Productive Creative is explored in Hustle & Float, a book by Rahaf Harfoush, a strategist, digital anthropologist, best-selling author and Executive Director of the Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture. She also teaches “Innovation & Emerging Business Models” at SciencesPo in Paris. This quote explains Productive Creative further –

But what happens when the product or service we are providing becomes more intangible in nature? The economy’s gradual shift to include more knowledge work meant that creativity was suddenly a highly desirable trait. That’s where the Productive Creatives came in: to stay relevant and profitable in a rapidly evolving economy, companies desperately needed problem solvers, strategic thinkers, and idea generators. This new type of work created a ripple within traditional workplaces, which now struggled to apply the same clear-cut approach to the creative class. Organizations had to adapt the decades-old systems that developed standardized organizational capabilities to ones that cultivated individual experts who could respond to market conditions with agility.

It would be time to show people – from all walks of life – what is actually going on. There is no need to be livid or paranoid or just plain complacent; if we just had Global Comprehension in place!

So let us say that today, we have the power, we have the goods, and we most definitely have the stage to set our differences aside and come up with new and inventive ways to approach our problems. So, the question becomes – can we altruistically and artificially fix problems like climate change? Could all the world’s brains come together and compute a solution that’s entirely technical (it could just be code of us walking around – engineering a practical application of semantics and proxemics really), but that would emote a creative shift in the planet’s thought processes, all things included? Without the desire to push our creative and technical limits, we will not progress. We will not move forward with fundamental ideas like artificial intelligence or critical mass.

If we can understand the essential framework of these new systems, future generations can develop and implement changes. Gen Y will test and research, then together, all generations can draw some very much needed transparent, accurate and responsible conclusions. The funny thing is, when the revolution (arguably renaissance even) is over and done with, what will be left? In other words, if there is no dilemma, did the dilemma even exist in the first place? This is my theory on Practicality – one planet, 1 human!

Uh-oh!

Today, let’s be practical (according to http://www.dictionary.com):

  • relating to practice or action
  • consisting of, involving, or resulting from practice or action
  • of, relating to, or concerned with ordinary activities, business, or work
  • adapted or designed for actual use; useful
  • engaged or experienced in actual practice or work
  • inclined toward or fitted for actual work or useful activities 

This is a timely discussion and we are all a part of it. How does this make you feel? Worried, scared, unusual? Would you be interested in exploring these ideas further if they were presented differently? As a note, I am always speaking to a mainstream audience. I think connections need to be made for each and every one of us, not only for those residing in an academic pool.

Great work, talk soon!

 

 

Lost in Translation

Hey all,

Here’s a creative poem for your ears. Listen, don’t interpret. Let’s all take a break.

Do you think my life is perfect?

It’s not, it’s hard.

For all the time and energy I put into everything, and to have barely anything come back to me, that’s frightening.

It leaves me in a state of incredulity.

What did I do wrong?

Which turn didn’t work?

Can I move forward?

Everyone struggles with something, but we barely talk about it, because we’re supposed to be resilient, we’re supposed to be invincible to change.

How many more quotes do I need to read?

To feel strong?

To feel right?

To feel better?

What’s the difference these days?

And at the end of my scrutiny, I tell myself over and over again, it doesn’t matter.

Then what’s the point of it?

As long as you have family, she said. As long as you have friends, they rant.

But I’m tired.

That’s it?

That’s everything.

Is it possible that my brain might explode?

do you think my life is perfecy

Boom!

Dreams splayed everywhere.

Still. Contribute. BE.

Cheers guys!

 

 

 

10 – The Final End

So, who do we got here? Filburt quipped – Stan’s over there. Shady from S and L pronounced, I seen Cherry standing to the right with her sister. So, who else is missing? Um, I think Seventeen and Each Other were caught making out in their cache car. Cache car? Yeah. Like you know. Invisible transportation to Life Space. And who’s leaving Life Space right now? A Tree. And I saw A Day go to. Okay, well…we are close to arranging the final tribune.

We were that close.

“He came in and interrupted me!”

“Ya so. Why didn’t you just tell him to leave?”

Daisy was walking down the sidewalk. Again. It was raining. The weather never changed here. It was consistently blue-gray and purple. Wet and bleak. The sunshine rays were hidden by Indigo; the pupils of Elevententeen did not deserve Paradise Colours.

We were that.

“Filburt, can you please pass me my tea?”

“Ya sure. Here you go, do you have enough cream?”

Daisy’s milk was a nice colour of baby lime chartreuse. She didn’t even want to stir it, because then it would change into something orange and forceful. She was deciding on a Dream for the day, to carry with her in the front pocket of her Levi’s. She had another note in there from Baby Bear, who was said to be related to Seventeen and Other of Each Other. The wall at the Nike outlet now included various options for Dreams in colours ranging from green to teal to yellow. Unfortunately, that was the only colour palette available, because the others were worth too much due to their high wavelength interval. “Man, I miss orange! This blue just won’t do!”, Daisy exclaimed as she clearly had too much of a muddled mind frame to understand the meaning of that statement today.

Okay, okay, so back to The Tree. His name was Paul and instead of having a bright orange-red beard, his was blue inserted with tiny, little firs which themselves housed tiny, little owls. He was out hunting between the three primary states and had business to do across all of them. Life Space was his first stop. He was looking for Alice and her dreadful creations from God. Then, it was onto Chon where he could take a break. Eat a cherry scone and perhaps accompany it with a hot drink of lemonade. And final resting place – Elevententeen. He was supposed to bring back some girl named Daisy. Apparently, she held a key to something. His bosses were still trying to figure it out.

We were.

“In about 5 minutes, I am going to explode!”

“Let it happen, man. Things don’t get better than that.”

I’ve got to walk faster now. Where the fuck did I go? Daisy picked up her pace, the sound of her soles squeaking becoming more intense. Finally, she arrived. She looked up and read the sign – Judge Judy. It was an imposing wooden structure that looked distorted when you peered up towards the roof. She was analyzing it a little bit, because it wasn’t from here. She could tell, its proportions were all wrong and the perspective of its facade was vibrating like a green on red channel. She actually wasn’t sure now if she should enter. But before she could decide further, the gigantic brass door opened and a dark, teal gray smoke began to generate from the bottom slants.

We.

“Pssst. Come in this way. I’ll leave the door open for you.”

Daisy knew who that was. It was darn Alice! How did she get in here? She knew better that Paul and Jared were looking for her. Her heart rate grew and it was becoming one of those distant Dreamsicles. She didn’t want any more of it. She was beginning to lose her originality and she wouldn’t be able to pick up a new set from Linz anytime soon. Daisy was heartbroken.

“If I can just get my mind past the pretense of it all, I might be able to recall something worthwhile.”

“You won’t do it. You don’t have the balls.”

The judge tore a sheet of paper out of her book and it made a long and terribly loud hissing sound – pppssssssssssssssssssssssssss! Was that really necessary, asked Alice. Judy replied with a hiss of her own, yes, yes it was. Daisy has come. Now what are we supposed to say? She will notice the difference. She can tell that we’re lying.

Daisy turned a sharp corner and again, cranked her neck upwards to preview the alarmingly high walls. Somewhere up top, there was a ceiling. It was all written in code. She wanted to read it so bad, but she slipped on the onyx glass floor, fumbling her belongings, of which a bright, green granny smith apple came flying out of her purse. Filburt ran ahead to catch it. Ugh, why are we even here, Daisy thought. Filburt answered her in his mind – Daisy, we are here because you are supposed to be here. We are trying to find the reason for Being. And, we need to present our findings to the tribune by December!

Alice sat affirmatively on a cushy yellow Dream. She took a bite and sighed. Judy followed by adjusting her large bottom on an orange one. They both sat in silence, chewing their gum.

On the left side wall, as soon as she turned the corner, Daisy saw two prints framed in gilded gold. One said Life, the other said Free. She wondered if she was supposed to be doing something with them. She tried lifting the frames off the wall, but they were drilled to it with solid steel jelly beans. Those things don’t move. She then placed her hand on their screens. The words flashed in different colours, but nothing else happened. Out of nowhere, two flashy young men appeared. She knew instantly who they were. It was The Need and The Pause. Chasing after her, of course.

The Writing she was doing was combining with Training. This was not supposed to happen. She was going to be in a lot of trouble. She just knew it. As an artist, she works. As a specialist, she writes. Ugh, this was not going to help her at the tribune. Just then, a booming voice entered the space, “Alice! Come forth to room 1!”

Daisy, she meant.

And that was that. She took off as fast as she could, carefully watching her step on the slippery glass stage. Blinking, Daisy looked around. “Class! It’s glass! Please pay attention!” Her forehead wrinkled. Again, she thought. When was it going to end? When was it the final end? “But today, my dear. Were you sleeping again?” Her teacher prompted as she handed her an exam. “Write this first. Then, we will determine what’s next.” Daisy shrugged. She had no choice anyway. So, she might as well participate. She squinted. At the corner of her eye, she saw them. She whipped her head around to see. But nothing. Just two barren doors. Totally uninteresting. Not brass even. She could have swore Tom Need and Tim Pause were there. Was she still asleep?

 

Launching #bloxbooks Sept. 17/19

Hey gang!

I’m starting a new regular topic called #bloxbooks.

It will showcase any recent books I’ve read and extracted elements that I believe are relevant to changing career paths or approaching life in a more creative + technical way.

My first book for this campaign is, Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown.

Photo of book Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown

The quote below is actually taken from the author’s blog. I find it ultra relevant as I search for the right company culture to work with.

Company culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals. – Definition from www.thebalancecareers.com

Brown’s post resonates with me, because it is primarily focused on trust and in my interpretation, what we should experience as Sellers & Buyers in the marketing, advertising and public relations industry.

Have a read and please let me know what you think!

trust the people who move towards you and already feel like home.

trust the people to let you rest.

trust the people to do everything better than you could have imagined.

trust the people and they become trustworthy.

trust that the people are doing their work to trust themselves.

trust that each breach of trust can deepen trust or clarify boundaries.

trust the people who revel in pleasure after hard work.

trust the people who let children teach/remind us how to emote, be still, and laugh.

trust the people who see and hold your heart.

trust the people who listen to the whales.

trust the people and you will become trustworthy.

trust the people and show them your love.

trust the people.

My favorite is: Trust the people who listen to the whales.

Psychology Today says, “Creativity comes through personal ecstatic experience, play, and a kind of osmosis: “Research conducted at the University of Kansas concludes that people from all walks of life show startling cognitive improvement — for instance, a 50 percent boost in creativity — after living for a few days steeped in nature.”

Do YOU believe in this? Why don’t we try?!

Organize a nature retreat for your team, or implement weekly yoga classes set outdoors. I remember when things got tough at my previous corporate job, I would schedule 5K runs at lunch to clear my brain and reset my mind to returning to a high performance environment (my job was that demanding).

I can usually say, if my body demands more exercise, it may be a sign of burnout, so it is imperative to carve out physical, mental and spiritual time to take care of yourself.

Do you feel this way when you’re overworked? Books can help, no?

The power is in us to incite wonder and change! 

Talk soon!