Check out what I drew with the help of Julian Opie and the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) this weekend!
Yes, you’re right. It’s a self-portrait. I’m feeling pretty chuffed considering I’m no artist.
But I do love to remember to play. I had to drag my adult companions to the kids section of the exhibition. Where else could you do something as playful as this?
It reminds me of the late, great Gordon MacKenzie. He spent most of his career at Hallmark Cards and wrote the wonderful book: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace.
In case you’re wondering:
Orbiting is responsible creativity: vigorously exploring and operating beyond the Hairball of the corporate mindset, beyond “accepted models, patterns, or standards”—all the while remaining connected to the spirit of the corporate mission.
You’ll always be an artist
When Gordon spoke in schools, he’d start with the kindies and, grade by grade, work his way through to the sixth graders later in the day.
He’d always begin by asking:
“Look, I’m an artist and I love to be around other artists. I look at your walls and you’ve got art on them so there must be artists here. Anybody an artist?”
All the kindies would jump up enthusiastically and say they’re an artist. Yet slowly but surely, with each advancing grade, fewer and fewer kids would raise their hands, and with less and less enthusiasm. So Gordon said to sixth graders:
“Hey! What happened to all the artists in this school? Did all the artists transfer out? Did all the artists go to art school? I don’t think so. I think something much worse. I think someone or something has told you it’s not OK to be an artist. If you don’t remember anything else I say today I want you to go home and remember it’s OK to be an artist.”
You don’t want to kill your creativity (or playfulness) for fear of being judged.
As Gordon also said:
“If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.”
PS. The Julian Opie exhibition is on in Melbourne until 17 February 2019. If you go, head on over to the Studio for Kids and email me your self portrait. I’d love to see it! (Be prepared to line up with people way younger than you. Don’t mind the snarky looks from some parents. They’ve simply forgotten it’s OK to be an artist.)
PPS. And if you’re ready to up-level your leadership, I can help. Click on the Let’s Talk button on the bottom right hand corner of this page to schedule a time to find out more.