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?

Who Are We Campaign – Identifying Top of Funnel Marketing Strategies

This all began at the end of the day, Friday afternoon.

I was leaving i-Open a little bit late. I was put in charge of sending out a Stablebuzz priority newsletter speaking on frameworks released by leading equestrian organizations ensuring a safe return to work for stable owners. My managers (I pretty much work with only managers) were stuck in meetings all day and I was waiting for one to review the final test newsletter. I couldn’t go without his approval. Anyway, long story short, I was finally finished and hopped into the elevator with another man standing there. I did not know who he was, but he definitely worked in the building. He moved into one corner because of COVID-19. He asked how everything was going in the office with us all being back and followed with a classic job interview question: what do you guys do there? I was quick to respond, we’re a tech company and he laughed saying that’s obvious, but what do you do there?

We are all told to have an elevator pitch prepared, but who else only reserves coming up with one for special presentations and interviews? This campaign is based on that idea. The idea that we assume our audience are experts, primed in communication and language technologies. But the truth is, this may not be the case. I’ve spoken with countless business owners, in one role trying to sell digital marketing services. As touchpoint rules say, it always took 3-5 interactions before they were really willing to talk to me. First interactions were like this –

Hey there!

My name is Chona, I work across the street at a company called VanWhistle Media. Do you have some time to speak?

Business owner: Hi. Not really. I am busy at the moment.

So, as you can imagine, not much more can be said there. I could either say no worries, and leave, or, I could provide a more basic, and general description of my goal.

Ah, no worries! I can imagine you are super busy. I have a one-pager that describes what we do with a little more detail. It’s easy to read and my card is attached, so please reach out to me if you have any questions!

Our immediate messaging must be enthusiastic, and look after our audience’s basic needs. Once a certain level of safety or security is established then perhaps, we are able to provide a little something more. Using a hook, we can then present a very basic/general value proposition. In this case, the hook is the one-pager. (I can never forget and it always works out this way – the medium is the message à la M. McLulan!) The value in that is that yes, perhaps the business owner was truly busy, but this does not mean they are not interested. The one-pager gives just enough information to get them hooked. Then once they realize they have interest the relationship begins.

So, why are we in this relationship? As Ezra Firestone, marketing maven and e-commerce guru would say: this is the game. We are all people and we are essentially communicating through various mediums. What this means is that, we are all on the same level in one way or another, however we must learn how to communicate with each other using said various mediums. As a marketer, this means not making the assumption that my audience is interested in what I have to say, but moreover is interested (subliminally) in HOW I am saying it.

I’m about halfway through a Facebook ads mastery course and in the process I have developed a creative ad campaign strategy that touches on the essence of why our group at i-Open Technologies is doing what we’re doing. I’m excited to present it to my team this Friday! Cheers!

14 – Alice

How long has it been? Alice combed through her blonde hair with a piece of honeycomb she found under a tree. There was no one else in the forest today. A deep and thick fog covered everything, except the very top of the trees. Alice peered up and saw an entranceway. It was in the shape of an eye and blue cartoon birds flew through it, looking for food. I have food here, she thought, squishing her honeycomb in her dry hands. It was rather crisp and some of it just crumbled apart. Alice squished her nose and dropped it, wiping her hands on her pinafore. So, now you think we’re talking about cartoon Alice here don’t you? Is it because no images have been shown of our true character Alice? Well, let’s take a second then to describe what she looks like. But beware. She screams when she hears people talking about her. Even if it’s nice things. But I believe her screams aren’t scary or terrifying or an indication of danger. She’s just a kid, that Alice. In fact, she’s only 3.

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!

2-Way Communication

*Featured Image by Kasimir Severinovich Malevich | Black Cross (1923)

Hi everyone!

Here’s a rant I wrote when returning from a run a little while ago. Sometimes these ideas get stirred around during physical activity, perhaps a cocktail tumbled by adrenaline, cortisol and/or endorphins. Needless to say, it doesn’t take much energy for me to produce content, as I’ve said this time and time again. What takes energy – and time – is pairing down said content, so that it makes sense to my audience and can relate to my work as a whole. Have a read (some major thesis edits were made) and tell me this: how would we A/B test to further quantify/qualify this as an experiment?

 abstract – italic (R) : Visual Transparency & Communication, what makes AI right-brained, Insight / bold (L): platforms, IT, ME, WE, US, UP sales, Currency / underlined words have DUAL meaning (typically analog vs digital

2-way communication is what we’re dealing with today. It is no longer multiple channels (which I think is still the way most dominant marketers believe it to be), but 2 separate, individually performing platforms that interact with each other, either knowingly or not.

So, say there’s Platform A and Platform B. An example of this idea is when I sat down to use Markeko’s FB Blueprint Exam Study Guide YouTube video. As platform A, I intentionally participated in communication. Markeko was Platform B and he simply took my need and fulfilled it. Now, the way this works as a 2-way communication experience is what I take from him is fed back in his direction. He may not know this, or need it, however, the point of the ‘internet of things’, is this interaction in existence.

IT (internet of things) is a thing in the air, in our system, online that is being dispersed, received, re-dispersed and transmuted into other forms. These forms utilize adaptive learning or my exploration of AI as a right-brained system. IT will impact our economy and the poverty line, because we will be able to apply it to everything (Visual Transparency/Communication). WE can begin (as marketers, social media specialists, art/creative directors) to imbue all of our work with this element.

IT is not a new element. Marshall McLuhan’s explorations of ‘medium as the message’ were done in the late 50s. But our society has changed, and we have not figured out a way to apply his concept to our new technologies. IT has been explored by many (think movies, books), but we (apparently) have a small percentage of geniuses, intellectuals and educated individuals with high IQ+EQ+PQ (Global Comprehension), so we have an enormous remainder of people left out externally.

We are all internally capable, but the ‘alone ability’ to read or decipher content and context using right-brained AI in today’s digital circumstance deserves more recognition.

The amazing proposition (GC) is that, again, we as marketers and social media specialists have both the ability and avenue to distribute this new form of technology, as we are catering to clients, businesses large and small, that require some form of interpretation for their business needs. We are developing their projects, campaigns and overall the content of their identity with purposeful motivation. Therefore, behind the scenes, each project or campaign where we can apply the maximum effects of visuality (Visual Transparency/Communication) will cause massive changes in branding, marketing and sales applications. This holistic approach will impact the general stream of Insight (Insight Selling – right-brained) and paired with Solution Selling (left-brained), we are fully realizing AI and what it can do, for society, culture and most importantly …

Humankind.

This is my notion of XE (Currency). High-quality work that only a true and talented artist can create, combined with that person’s ability to make the most abstract concepts and ideas, will turn them into (Visual Transparency/Communication) money. I say money (interchangeable with Currency/Insight), because we know WHAT this is – customers, clients, target audiences are accustomed to a high-level customer experience.

According to my findings – this service is enjoyable. They want to deal with us. They want to see our results. The whole experience, for both the Seller & Buyer is productive.

And then, it just turns into a pay-it-forward type of system. Pay me, I will pay you back, well now, let’s pay them, and finally, why not just pay the whole existing world? I am scaling the most minute, Critical Mass to create a huge tidal wave effect. Again, this effect is imbued, may or may not be intentional, but the point is, it will snowball toward to right direction, UP.

This is the way I built it. More equality, happier business owners, more enticing and vibrant ads, campaigns that focus on world change and not simply on reach vs influence.

I would love to present this idea to the CEO of Microsoft and see what he would have to say. The most brilliant thing I have experienced, just in the last week, is while studying for the FB Blueprint exam (September 2019), I’ve begun to learn these new terms, almost 100% analytical and in turn I am funneling my right-brained ideas into beautiful left-sided friction. Highly needed as my conscience purports many individuals disagree with anything termed right-brained. So then, let’s get measuring!

The below is more abstract, but perhaps you want to read it –

The strength of application lies in between ability (to develop sound) and our ability to apply (these concepts) to solutions (sight) that would impact our interaction with customers. I often develop concepts in sets of 2. I believe DUALITY is a great way to present information (internally and externally), because it provides CHOICE (to see and/or hear). And everyone likes to choose what they think is BEST for them. This is where my Seller & Buyer persona study began – choosing a WAY to communicate, to tell a story, to sell/buy a TALENT, that’s IT/ME/WE/US/UP!

And so, can you see how we hear things together?

#blocks Project

Hi everyone!

One of my favorite creator’s is David Airey. He recently put out a large book titled, ID which explores his previous projects down to the nitty gritty of project management, managing expectations and design decisions. I love how it encapsulates important ideas from page to page, in bold black typeface. I’m pretty sure it’s the same one I used in my Previous Documents Presentation (more on that later).

As I was thinking what to post on next, I read from a glance –

It’s important to show how the identity will perform in a variety of contexts.

This quote quickly reminded me of some logos I designed for my social media project Blocks. So, I’ve put them together here for you, along with some other showstoppers (in my opinion).

Each image has been categorized based on identity type (e.g.: logo, label, magazine cover) and context (e.g.: exercise, influence, mission). These categories will help you to understand my focuses and interests in digital marketing, branding and design (BTW BC stands for Blox. Communications, if that wasn’t already obvious!) –

  • BC Vision
  • BC Mission
  • BC Value
  • BC Mantra
  • BC Symbol
  • BC Perception
  • BC Stock Image
  • BC Logo
  • BC Quote
  • BC Label
  • BC Photograph
  • BC Influence
  • BC Panel
  • BC Grid
  • BC Magazine Cover
  • BC Digital Collaboration
  • BC Text
  • BC Album Cover

Note: can you guess which image belongs to what category?

Let me know what you think, cheers guys! Oh, and you can check out the entire project (which ran for about 2 months) on my Instagram account chona_canlas.

#brand Campaign

Hey all!

Do we all love Grinch green? The original green colouring of the Grinch was inspired by a rental car. This reminds us that inspiration can strike from anything, that’s how easy it is to come up with new and innovative ideas. Just look, see & apply!

Started a new project focused on communicating some mainstay ideas relating to my business entity Blox. Communications. My aim is to further develop my use of transparent, accurate and responsible language. Hope you like this content, let me know what you think!

collage.png

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!

1

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.

2

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.

3

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!

#impromptus

Hey everyone!

Hope your weekends were fun!

I’ve started a third campaign called #impromptus. It’s focus is to develop and deliver brief commentary on interesting research I’ve come across relating to art + digital marketing + social media.

My goal with this campaign is to disseminate any relevant literature, then to relate researchers’ messages to my own studies on ‘global comprehension’. I’m still enraptured by the idea of defining the digital condition of human life, so I will use my blog ChonaBLOX and my articles on LinkedIn as an educational platform to inspire my vision – exploring the right-brained application of artificial intelligence.

Most of us don’t have time to read through pages and pages of research and sometimes content becomes too complex, so I will use simpler, more modern language in my interpretations while linking back to the original idea at hand.

To get us started here’s a great quote about gratitude –

“I looked around and thought about my life. I felt grateful. I noticed every detail. That is the key to time travel. You can only move if you are actually in the moment. You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.” – Amy Poehler

Takeaway: one must perform self-talk to quantify positive life events. For example, you could say – in one month’s time, I completed an intensive course, I received 3 valuable certifications, I took less naps during the day and I ramped up my workout routine. A grateful outcome would be an instance where you could tell yourself positively – I can tell the difference! I did this within this time frame! And then, reiterate the reason WHY this is of value. It really is all in the details. The details of putting the work into practicing self-worth. Time travel is just another way to say, I can live in the past to qualify my present. Then, these actions together, can bring about my future. Our future is really about seeing the path and the steps that were taken to get HERE. And Amy is entirely correct, to be able to move (with joy or intention) means you live in the NOW, you are HERE and able to evaluate everything around you, by placing measurable objectives around significant topics. For example, you could say – that test was comprised of 53 questions, they were challenging as they presented theoretical and/or fundamental situations that required analysis which uses thinking and my brain. This is significant because one year ago, I didn’t even know what marketing was. I didn’t even know that you could run Facebook Ads. I didn’t even know that I had the ability to study or the capacity to learn complex subject matter. On my own. With barely any additional help. This subjectification (or my attitude/viewpoint) classifies (makes relevant or arranges) each and every action in (my) life and like the #impromptus post below comments, this is the continual motion, the framework, the mechanism that guides our work on social media platforms like Instagram. As creators, we can make it right and pass that feeling along to our audience. And they can respond or reply by way of digital collaboration. And this example of gratitude is tough. It is very difficult to break down unity through creative + messaging. I hope you can make that connection!

So without further ado, here’s my first #impromptus post – Gratitude Via Social Media

#impromptus graphic/template - gratitude via social media

I hope you like this new project, any feedback is more than welcome!

The power is in us to incite wonder and change!

Cheers!