I have a favourite saying: Agreeing isn't thinking - it's voting.
Can't remember who I'm quoting, but it doesn't matter.
This weekend has been instructive. Bumped into a chap who once rented space from me when I ran a company with the late Paul Jeffreys (Probably better known as 'Squeeze'). It was immediately after he graduated from the design school at AUT (then ATI). We briefly spoke about Idealog. He suggested he'd have done a better job of designing the mag.
Then I got a letter from a reader who was disappointed in what we had delivered with issue one. Really disappointed. I genuinely appreciated her feedback. In my reply I made the point that every issue is a prototype for the next. But there is something else that is important. We're not a magazine.
Creativity has two parts. The first is concept - the idea. The second is execution. Both are crucial to success. Nature and nurture. Much of the feedback we have received has been about the execution. Bear in mind that the expression of the idea is it's skin. The bone, muscle and viscera is the idea itself.
There will be times when you love the stories we tell. Some you will feel short-changed by.
And one of the risks I personally run in communicating with the graphic arts community is that some people will think their children could execute better than I have. For what it's worth, I look back at what I've done sometimes and feel the same (my 13 year old son is very talented). The result is that we all have to keep swimming forward, keeping the oxygen flowing over our gills. That is the creative process.
It's worth it.
It's crucial– for all of us.
Finally. I watched the Martin Scorcese Biopic on Bob Dylan and I'm startled. At the first height of his career the crowd booed him. He was iconoclastic. Just did his own thing. As I write I am listening to Desolation Road from Highway 61 Revisited. The guy was a freakin genius. One part of the movie moved me. His liaison with Joan Baez fell away like booster rockets on a shuttle when he didn't invite her to perform onstage with him during an early english tour. She was devastated. He had moved on. Fame had caught up with him and he didn't want to share.
He says, in hindsight,
"It's hard to be wise when you're in love."
In a funny sort of way that's instructive for us all here at Idealog. We can never fall in love with what we have done, or believe our press. Oxygen has to flow over our gills. We need to push forward and explore new ideas. We have to keep the big idea in front of our minds:
New Zealand's Economy must become a creative economy with emphasis on creativity, innovation and a drive to make our number 1 export intellectual property.
How we express that idea will always be moot.
And my one true hope is that you can do it better than me.