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I seem to be surrounded these days with men and women who are fighting a feeling of being obsolete.

A very good friend of mine was recently told he was “un-hireable”. His immediate translation for this was to believe he was obsolete.

The truth is that no human being is obsolete. it’s been a bit of a journey, but I’m finally ready to announce my new venture: The Luddite Screen Smash.

Check it out here:  http://thescreensmash.com/

Working Life’s G. P. S.

I get lost a LOT!  It’s not something I’m proud of, but I can actually get lost between the bedroom and the bathroom.

I love my GPS a LOT!  I call her Flo and she’s gotten me where I want to be on many occasions.

Flo needs two pieces of information in order to do her job.  She needs to know where I want to go and she needs to know where I am now.

Years ago my life was a bit off track…OK I was lost in the dark and no happy about where my lack of direction had left me.

My life needed the same two pieces of information:

Where did I want to be?

Where was I now?

Getting clear answers to these questions wasn’t easy; there was a lot of denial, low self-esteem, bad habits and WAY too many choices, but when I finally got clear and honest my life started moving in good positive directions.

There have been road blocks, detours, potholes and more than a few rough roads, but I’m loving the ride…most of the time. J

It’s time to get clear about where you are and where you want to go.

Check out the fit on these pants.

Check out the fit on these pants.

I like the colour, the material and the colour, but they were way too long.  The pants needed to be shortened if I was going to be able to wear them without tripping.

But…they weren’t getting shortened until I bought them.

Did you get that?

You can’t change anything you don’t own.

Take that out of your pants and apply it to your life…it works there too.

If there’s something in your life you’re not happy with CHANGE it, but that can’t happen as long as the problem is someone else’s.

This is why we can’t change other people – because we don’t own them.  Changing ourselves can sometimes cause them to make changes in themselves, but don’t count on it.

YES! There are nasty people out there and they will do nasty things to you and NO! it’s often not your fault, but (and it’s a big but) at some point, you have to grab your problem by the pants and say “This is MY problem and I’M going to do something about it.”

  • Stop being a victim (or acknowledge that you like the role).
  • Stop complaining about what “THEY” did.
  • Own your pants and get them hemmed so you can stop tripping on them.
Betty Boop before and after the production code

Betty Boop before and after the production code

I was watching some early Betty Boop with my kids this week.  This was before 1934 when the production code made her cover up her cleavage, lower her hems and lose both her garter and her wiggle.  She’s saucy, sexy and awesome.

After the code went into effect, she lost more than the garter – she got watered down and became a little (I hate to say it) bland.

Betty was a product of the Fleischer Studios, but they weren’t the only animation studio to have problems with the production code.  Disney’s biggest star – Mickey Mouse – did not pass the code’s strict moral standards; he drank, smoked, abused other animals and forced kisses from a reluctant Minnie – WHAT A CAD.

Where the Fleischers grumbled and robbed Ms. Boop of her spark, Disney used the opportunity to reinvent Mickey.  He became the happy-go-silly, optimistic innocent we know and love today.  He also jumped from being a star to being an icon.

Life is going to throw you some problems – sorry, but it’s true – you can grumble about them and give up or you can muster all your creativity and do a Disney, use new limitations to create a work of genius.  Turn your star into a legend.

One of Kimball's most loved characters

One of Kimball’s most loved characters

Ward Kimball's creation.

Ward Kimball’s creation.

Last July I was working at the opening ceremonies of TAAFI 2013 (Toronto Animation Arts Festival International).  David Silverman was the Keynote Speaker. Silverman, Director and principle creative genius behind The Simpsons, was everything you’d expect him to be: Creative, Funny, Knowledgeable, Personable and a little Irreverent; I loved it.

My favourite anecdote was hearing that as a student at UCLA Ward Kimball came to lecture.  Kimball was one of Disney’s original Nine Old Men, an Academy Award winning animator who Walt Disney himself referred to as a genius.

Kimball told them “Walt’s dead, and you missed him.” The message to these young, animation students was clear…’the Golden age is over’.

Kimball lived to see the later Disney masterpieces including, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Lion King, Toy Story and Monsters Inc., not to mention The Simpsons and the birth of DreamWorks.  I wonder if he changed his mind about it all being over.

EVEN A GENIUS CAN BE WRONG.

You’re going to run into a LOT of people trying to tell you it’s over, you missed it, you’re too late, the boat has sailed.

THEY’RE ALL WRONG.

If David Silverman had listened to Kimball, he wouldn’t have bothered creating anything new and wonderful.  Don’t EVER let someone tell you it’s too late.  It’s only too late when you believe it is and give up.

GO CREATE A NEW GOLDEN AGE for you, the people you love and the rest of us; we’re all richer when you do. 

 

Check out the TAAFI website here http://taafi.com

Soooo, I’m on Astoria Blvd. in Queens NYC waiting for the bus to LaGuardia when I notice this bronze plaque cemented into the sidewalk.

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“On this site will be erected a monument to Christopher Columbus.

This tablet dedicated on October 12 1937”

 Now THAT’s putting it out there.  We’re gonna do something and we’re going public with it.  Hard to forget about a bronze plaque cemented into a sidewalk beside a busy train station.

Then stuff happened.  Before they could get the statue commissioned, cast, transported and up on his pedestal, they found themselves smack dab in the middle of WWII, there was a shortage of EVERYTHING especially money, man power and metal…that plaque sat in the cement reminding them of the intention.

After the war, in 1945 – SEVEN YEARS LATER, Columbus finally got planted on Astoria Blvd. where he’s still hanging out…looking rather dashing I must say.

It’s easy to make plans, and it’s easy to break them…especially when something gets in the way…like a war.  Get your intentions out there, cast them in Bronze and cement them into the sidewalk where you’re going to be reminded of them every day…or at least stick a note on your mirror.

Tornado Warnings

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She’s one of my favourite living artists.  I’ve known Lynne McIlvride for decades and am honoured to own one of her originals.

I was at the opening of her new show last night http://www.davidkayegallery.com/ and once again I’m struck with the beauty of her work.  As always, I start to wonder why. What is it about this art that hits me so profoundly and more importantly, what is it trying to teach me.

Apart from her being one of the best people I know, her work speaks to me of balance and beauty – often in the midst of chaos.  She mixes found objects with fresh painting, her life 0 the good and the bad is recorded in her work with a courageous honesty that I marvel at, but it mixes with metaphor and symbols, whimsy and heartache.

This is what I love the most; she explores her art and her passions with specific and clear emotional detail while using metaphors that make her work universal.

Her latest series, Stormy weather (seriously, check it out) is all about tornadoes.  She’s put them in their sturdy glass doored boxes so we can view them and their destruction from a safe place, and then she tucks in some supplies to help with the healing after.  My favorite is the one pictured.  It’s a nasty little tornado (in spite of its colors) and Lynne’s given us thread to sew it all back together when the tornado’s done its worst.  No Band-Aids, sturdy and colourful thread.  It’s gonna leave a scar, it will never look the same, but we’re gonna hold it altogether. Another piece has the tornado coming through fabric that’s already patched together…here it comes again.

Sometimes life gets ripped apart, if we face it with integrity and creativity, we can make something beautiful.

Thanks again Lynne.

Check out her web site, she’s great.

http://www.mcilvride-evans.com/

 

Her current show runs to August 25th at the David Kaye Gallery – 1092 Queen St. W. Toronto.   http://www.davidkayegallery.com/

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