Friday, June 28, 2013

The Mandela Project

I recently did a spur-of-the-moment project for The Mandela Project, a project developed "to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and his life’s contribution to humanity" by spurring artists to create "95 exceptional posters from around the world and collate them into an online publication and travelling exhibition."

The Mandela Project

No, there is no "prize" for the 95 artists selected, and there is no payment, but even if I am not chosen as one of the 95 I still felt it was a worthy project to try my hand at. Plus I had the idea to do the poster in quite a different style than I am used to working in these days, and a rare opportunity to do a close-up portrait, so it was a nice break for routine.

Without further ado, here is the final finished image:

Happy birthday, Nelson Mandela.

The Things That Move You: Focus

I believe my #3 skill, according to Gallup's "Strengths Finder 2.0", is closely behind my #1 and #2 slots. The name of this theme is "Focus". "People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act."

I think this description nicely complements the traits I've already gone through, strategically focusing my efforts on getting s**t done. These could be the new buzzwords for my resume. Well, maybe I could leave one of those words out.

"You are driven to accomplish a great deal each day. Instinctively, you have little difficulty giving intense effort to projects, problems, or opportunities that capture and keep your attention. By nature, you may have an actual blueprint — that is, a detailed outline — for what you want to accomplish in the coming weeks, months, years, or decades."

And that explains all the post-it "to do" lists cluttering my desk.

"Your Focus is powerful because it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward your goal. Those that don't are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the flip side of this is that it causes you to be impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member. You keep everyone on point."

As I said, 100% efficient. I'm like the Terminator. And that explains why I get so aggravated when you don't put your laundry away immediately! You know who you are!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Things That Move You: Achievement

Up next on my list of strengths (according to the brains at Gallup) is that I am an "Achiever". "People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive." I have always said I am an accomplishment junkie. Some people indulge on drugs, food, or adrenaline. I like to get s**t done.

"Your acheiver theme helps explain your drive. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by 'every day' you mean every single day- workdays, weekends, vacation. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you."

Doesn't everyone? I swear, I thought everyone felt that way.

"It’s very likely that you periodically document goals that can lead you to a future of your own choosing. Perhaps you leave less to chance when you outline your aims and push yourself to reach each one. Because of your strengths, you channel your energy into your work or studies. You seldom count the hours you work. Feeling fully engaged in what you do is a major source of satisfaction. You believe there is always something more challenging you can pursue. Given your ability to withstand hardship, adversity, and stress, it is no surprise you love what you do. You strive to do more and more of it each day."

And I plan on never retiring, because I do love what I do. As long as I can continue to paint, to create, to make images and stories appear out of thin air, I'll be happy. I can only imagine I'd be horribly bored without the ability and drive to create.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Things That Move You: Strategy

My coworkers and I recently took a "strengths" assessment to find the 5 strongest qualities that influence the way we work. These, for the most part, seem spot-on, and also influence my freelance work. I thought I'd post the rundown here.

My #1 trait was found to be "strategic". This theme "enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, 'What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?' This recurring question helps you see around the next corner.

You entertain ideas about the best ways to reach a goal, increase productivity, or solve a problem. First, you think of alternatives. Then you choose the best option. Driven by your talents, you may see solutions before other people know there is a problem. You might start formulating answers before your teammates, coworkers, or classmates understand the question. Sometimes you generate numerous ideas before sorting to the one that makes the most sense in a particular situation. Instinctively, you are a self-reliant person who needs time alone to think and work. You generate innovative ideas and propose systematic programs of action."

I'm 100% efficient, folks!