The Bentley was the crazy canvas, but it wasn't about the car...
Ink Wars is a battle and a party: Eight creative warriors draw in front of a crowd for 60 minutes, to a theme that gets picked seconds before the timer starts. Creative South puts the battle on a bridge, and throws in fireworks. It's a darn fine way to kick off Creative South every year.
When you're drawing spontaneously in front of a live, beer-swilling crowd of your creative peers—against a timer—it's draw or die. Think fast, draw faster. How do you get through? You draw what you know. You pull from that (hopefully) deep well of artistic muscle memory and draw objects that, in some form, have flowed from your hand in the past.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. Anything that ejects you from your creative comfort zone is good for your heart and your brain.
I've competed in two Ink Wars, my first at Creative South in 2016. It was nerve-racking—my hand was shaking when the timer started. The theme: "Faster than a speeding bullet." I drew this to win the championship belt:
At my second Ink Wars at Cleveland's Weapons of Mass Creation, I choked. Sat in front of a looming blank canvas wondering what to draw...for ten minutes. Eventually, I filled the canvas (and had fun). No championship that night, but it inspired this creation:
Last week, I traded markers for a microphone and emceed Ink Wars 2017 at Creative South. The competition and the crowd were fantastic.
The only casualty of war was me, falling between platforms while yapping my emcee flapper, and losing a chunk of flesh to a sharp metal ledge. Thankfully, dark denim hides blood.
But enough words. How 'bout some Ink Wars 2017 photos from the talented eyes of Kate Howard:
Do yourself a favor—get your butt to Creative South. And sign up for Ink Wars. You won't regret it...
Do you have 60 seconds to read this post?
The Time Check practice is so obvious it barely warrants a post. But it deserves mention because it's rarely used. And it's effective for you, your team, and your clients.
Even better, you can start using it immediately. It's this simple: At the beginning of your next meeting or call, confirm the amount of time ahead. Even if the time frame was previously determined, since a lot can happen between the meeting’s original confirmation and the actual meeting. Simply ask: How much time do you have to talk? Or, Do you still have (X) minutes? Or, if calling someone unexpectedly: Do you have (X) minutes?
A time check takes seconds to ask and answer, and sets—or resets—expectations for the minutes ahead. Most importantly, it shows your respect for everyone’s time—including your own. Give it a try. And if you have thoughts about this, positive or negative, please leave a comment (if you have time).
What follows in the 4 minute video is something of a Menges Design mantra: the most meaningful inspiration comes from real life experience. You’ve got to be able to draw on your own mind and your own experience—in life—to really fuse projects with depth and richness. All those moments are critical as they funnel down into your head and feed your imagination and your skills.
Related: See my previous journal entry for more about real life inspiration.
Thanks for watching.
Your imagination can't be fully unleashed by staring at—or sharing—someone else's creation.
Feels like we have to yell at each other to be heard these days. Especially in marketing. And in some situations, getting loud is good.
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”