Dec 16 2008

Unique Ink Launch Party!

I know it’s been awhile since my last post, and I could give out the normal excuses of “I’ve been busy” or “’tis the holiday season” all of which are true. But more than that, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the next direction of this blog. I have some ideas and I’ll probably be asking for feedback from the few stragglers who still stop by this broken down place.

In the meantime, I would like to announce the launch of a brand new website from some good friends of mine: UniqueInk.net. Not only are Tim and Kerry incredible people, they are some of the most talented folks that I know. If you need a t-shirt design or vinyl lettering or stickers or whatever, check out Unique Ink. You won’t be sorry.

UniqueInk.net was designed by a new company that my good friend (with his massive design skillz) Stephen Emlund and I started a few months ago. You can check out our mantra at creativeimprov.com. Our new site is scheduled to launch in the next few weeks and you can learn more about us at that time. We’re scheduling new projects right now, and if you’d like us to take a look at designing a website that’s just right for you, shoot me an email: michael (at) creativeimprov (dot) com. We’d love to talk with you.

New Bucketology design coming soon…stay tuned!

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Nov 25 2008

Two to Tango

Two great posts you should read…both are challenges. Both worthy of the undertaking. Stop what you are doing on my page and go read these NOW! Then come back and share your thoughts.

Tim Stevens on “Are You Tired of the Noise?

Steven Furtick on “Gratitude Project

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Nov 23 2008

The American Dream

My five year old asked me to watch a movie with her this morning. I decided to sit with her while sipping my coffee. Little did I know I was in for more than I bargained.

The movie? Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. This seemingly auspicious movie packed a whole lot more than a “good viewing” experience. Set in the Great Depression, Kit details the human struggle while following a normal family faced with the trials of a broken economy. Sound familiar? This movie could have easily been set in 2008.

I won’t spoil the movie for you (I’d highly recommend you take time out to watch it on your own), but I wonder if we are callous to the human suffering that goes on around us today? This was new territory for those in the 20’s, but those “without” seem to be more prevalent today. Hobos may have turned into homeless by today’s definition, but the struggle to survive is no different than it was nearly 100 years ago.

We have “more” resources than ever before in our great country but seem to have “less” of a desire to help those in need. Didn’t we learn anything the first time around?

They say that history repeats itself. I for one, hope that this time they’re wrong.

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Nov 21 2008

An American Creed

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday, here is a great commentary with much wisdom…

I DO NOT CHOOSE TO BE A COMMON MAN

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

By Dean Alfange [courtesy of Dave Ramsey]

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Nov 20 2008

Out With the Old…In With the New

I had the opportunity to visit “Theology at the Bottleworks” in St. Louis last night. This event is hosted by The Journey Church and is held at the Bottleworks portion of Schlafly. According to Journey’s website, “In older, simpler times, a pub or ‘public house’ was often the focal point of the community, playing a similar role to the local church, where people gathered to openly discuss significant issues of the day.”

First of all, it was a VERY interesting night. Second, the topic was one close to my heart:

“What is the role of art in today’s culture?”

At it’s surface, this topic may appear to be quite mundane, but I can assure you that the dialogue was quite animated. I won’t go into great detail and to be honest, it’s a bit hard to describe the process. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

Here are a few things that I took away from the evening:

  • There is a definite generational gap in our society – those that have been there and done that, and those who are still trying to get there
  • Those who have experience are typically more cynical than those without
  • The older generation is still trying to convince the younger one that the past is much better then the future
  • Despite the circumstances, younger people are still trying to make a difference in the world
  • The older generation think first and feel later…the younger feel first and think later
  • Typically the older generation tend to be more conservative; the younger more liberal

These are just a few observations from one particular event at one particular moment in time. That doesn’t necessarily make them accurate. What I found interesting is that the younger generation is still trying to dream big. They invite change, not discourage it. They feel emotions at a deeper level and are trying to express themselves in as many ways as they can.

At my age, I find myself in the middle of both camps. My experiences have given me wisdom (at times!) but I still feel that passion burning inside of me that I MUST make a difference. I still want to dream and create and scream and fight and to let everyone know that we can embrace change. It won’t be perfect (and neither are we) and sometimes it will get messy. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it. That doesn’t invalidate the idea.

Sometimes opening up a discussion about a topic as simple (and complex) as art can stimulate a whole new world of thinking. And that is not a bad place to be.

What has stimulated your thinking lately?

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