[“Hamster Wheel”. Click on image to enlarge etc.]
I’ve sold or given away a lot of cartoons to my peer group over the years.
And given the choice between the two, I have generally preferred it when they hung it in their office, as opposed to in their homes.
Not that I have the slightest objection to people hanging it in their homes, of course. But ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted my place of work to be a creative environment, not an environment of slow, lingering, death-by-endless-drudgery. And when I think of my peer group, they always FELT STRONGLY the same way as well, regardless of what they actually did for a living.
Idealistic? Sure. Unrealistic? Often. But we never had a problem with that. We knew it was the price we paid for trying to be true to our guts.
And yes, I always liked making cartoons that reflected this “creative” streak we all aspired to professionally. And my peer group liked it, too. And this is basically where my office-centric cartoon shtick came from.
One of the buzzwords you hear a lot in the business world these days, is “Innovation”. Yes, it’s a genuinely worthy thing to aspire to. Genuine innovation creates lots of genuine value, every young intern knows this. Which is why people like to throw it around like confetti. It’s one of those words that sound good in meetings, regardless of how serious one is about ACTUALLY innovating ANYTHING.
Here’s some friendly advice for all you Innovation-buzzword fanboys: You don’t get to be more innovative, until you make yourself more creative FIRST.
“Innovative” is an “external” word. It can be measured. It generally talks about things that have been tested properly and found to have worked in the real world.
“Creative”, however, is more of an “internal” word. It’s subjective, it’s murkier. It’s far harder to measure, it’s far harder to define. It’s an inward journey, not outward. Which is why a lot of people in business try to keep the word out of their official lexicon, preferring instead more neutral, more externally-focused language like “Value”, “Excellence”, “Quality” and yes, “Innovation”.
The trouble is, of course, that approach doesn’t work as well any more. In this globalized, hyper-linked, internet-enabled world, “Boring” has suddenly become a very expensive luxury.
Do you REALLY think Apple is afraid to use the word, “Creative”? Do you REALLY think Steve Jobs goes around his office yakking on endlessly about “Value, Excellence, Quality and Innovation”? No, of course he doesn’t. Apple’s UTTERLY AMAZING design, business and marketing prowess comes from the UTTERLY AMAZING creative fire in their collective belly, not the other way around.
I want to make limited-edition prints that somehow, even in a small, indirect way, helps make companies and individuals less afraid, and more willing to be CREATIVE, more willing to embrace the CREATIVITY that they already have. Because economically and spiritually, that is ultimately where our future lies, even if that idea sometimes terrifies us.
There. So now you know my secret, evil plan. You have been warned.