Many of you will remember my old logo which included a gremlin drawn by Alex Tiani with a call out declaring an imperative: Grow or Die! It is simple. If we stop growing, we die. We must continue to learn, to make a difference, to pioneer, to live life fully as a creative person by manifesting what we love.
The process for artists is different than in industries that are selling packaged goods. I recall being given an assignment from a company that produced bubble wrap. They were searching to expand their market by finding new applications for their product. My think tank started looking at onerous household chores such as cleaning walls or polishing shoes. We said, “What if we were to fill the bubbles with some kind of solvent for cleaning walls? What if we were to fill the bubbles with liquid show polish? What if we created a laminate with cotton wadding? What if a house person was able to squeeze a bubble releasing the right amount of cleaner into the wadding and was able to simply rub the wall clean. It would eliminate carrying pails, bottles, rags, etc. It would be easy to carry. My client was searching for new uses for their products. We found a need and filled it.
This is one way that smart businesses think. They are aware that growth demands change. They do it by innovation and invention; not through cloning.
With creators the approach is different. We create first and find a market for it second. It is essential for photographers to search inside for passion and to express it through their art. Many photographers spend more time re-packaging old work rather than creating something new. Some photographers have come to believe that younger art directors and designers are not open to new images. Speak with some of them — the most innovatives ones. You will discover they are always looking for something new no matter who it is coming from.
What’s New and Different?
One of the first things that I ask acquaintances and prospects when I run into them at Photo Plus is, “What’s new and different!” The standard answer is, “Same old. Same old.” Over the past few years some blame outside sources like the entire advertising agency world for rejecting them. Phew! It is time to re-focus on some unexpected and unexplored passions.
Creating new products does not necessarily require giving up what you have. It is not a this OR that change. It may mean offering this AND that AND…
So I invite you to ask yourself what is new and different? Look inside. What is yearning to be expressed?