How are you Leaping?

Inspired by Seth Godin, I am burying my disappointment with February and turning my thoughts to leaping through wonder and the exciting road ahead.

It’s not just Leap Day – an extension to  the brutal month of February.  It’s Leap Year and it can celebrate those great steps towards innovation and new adventures.

The existing power structure wants to maintain the status quo, and is generally opposed to the concept of leaping. In fact, if you want to make change happen, if you want to give others a chance to truly make a difference and to feel alive, it’s essential that you encourage, cajole and otherwise spread the word about what it means to leap.

An opportunity to help the people around you level up. It’s an obligation, an opportunity and a chance that I hope you’ll accept. Tell the others.

Leaping is a part of what we celebrate at Icarus.  Through our repeated efforts at making art, at connecting others, at innovating in the face of today’s challenges, we are crossing the globe – leap after leap, bound after bound.  To find out more about the Icarus Sessions in Rochester, check out our Facebook page – everyone is welcome, anyone can share!


So, how am I leaping today?  I have some leaps ready – knees bent, butt wiggling like a cat ready to pounce – that I can’t discuss quite yet, but which I think will have awesome impact.  Others?

  • Rochester Stories – the FOOD show – will be April 14th at Writers & Books!  It’s a pot luck event – bring a dish, hear and share stories of food – which so shapes our lives, traditions, and relationships.
  • The story beading class went well and I hope to carry that model forward into other programs.
  • I’m working on more ways to get Storychick out into the community.  If you have a group that would like to get its message heard or learn how to better understand each other through story, let me know – I’d be happy to work something out!
  • ROC Soup radio is rolling forward with great success.  I’m having a blast matching stories and music and sharing time and stories with great guests doing good work.

I’ll be posting more on all of these leaps soon.

Now it’s your turn!  How do you plan to level up?  What innovations, what art, are you making to change your world?  How are you LEAPING?  Comment below!


“I make connections”

One of the things I’ve been working on lately is organizing the local version of the Icarus sessions (#Icarus).  These have been set up by Seth Godin as a way to move the message from The Icarus Deception forward.  As he puts it:

The Icarus Sessions are a challenging new way to bring your art forward. Not to make a sales pitch, not to get customers or patrons, but to find the courage to stand up and say, “here, I made this.”

… The assignment: Tell the group about your art. What have you created? What frightened you? What matters?

Not a pitch. An act of brave vulnerability.

I made this.
It scared me.
This might not work.
Here’s how it changed me.
What do you think?

The February session was awesome – we had 19 people show and 9 of them shared their art.  We had great creative minds – as showcased both in their work and how they chose to share it.  It was inspiring and encouraging – as we realized we shared a lot of the same fears.

I shared a bit about my beads and the questions I’m asking myself about the jewelry.  More to come on the prototypes!

The best part, by far, were the connections that we made! I loved that people stayed long after the presentations were over to chat about all sorts of things, but often coming back to art and creating and connecting more.  The group from this session is excited to bring others in, to grow and strengthen the community, and to share more.

2/3 of those who shared this time were photographers, but we expect to see people from the other visual arts, dancers, musicians, coders, and more as we grow. We’ll be adding some feature speakers and time for Q&A between those who share.

We all saw how our art enables connections – each in our own way.  By sharing the stories of our art and the connections it makes, we made more connections.  Rochester has an awesome creative community and I can’t wait to hear more stories and to connect with more people.  Most of all, I am so psyched to be a part of this community of support! Many of us tend to doubt that we are artists, as I’ve noted before, and becoming part of this community can help people to realize that they do make art, that it matters, and that there’s more to be done.

A big thank you to Teri and Mike at Hanlon-Fiske Studios for hosting and helping to promote and organize the event from my seed of an idea!

Making art

I just finished reading Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception and I can’t recommend it enough.  The title comes from the fact that, for so long, society focuses on Icarus’ disastrous flight too close to the sun – and that we’ve forgotten the second half of his father’s warning: Flying too close to the water will interfere with the wings’ lift.  We’ve become too cautious and standardized and need more creativity in our lives.   For me, it said a lot of things that I needed to hear related to heading out on this adventure – but there are also a two key points that Seth makes that I think are important for the entire Storychick audience:

  • The economy is shifting from an industrialized beast fueled by making stuff to a creative one focused on making connections.  Connecting with customers, employees, vendors.  Connecting with neighbors, family, and old and new friends near and far away.  These connections are what will be valuable in the economy today and moving forward.  And all of these connections can be made and strengthened via story.
  • Everyone can make art.  As Godin puts it: “An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo.”  Ultimately this challenge also produces new connections.  I have a crafty friend who gets bothered when people start a request by saying they aren’t creative.  Creativity takes many forms and sometimes it’s organizational processes, leadership techniques, or finding a way to break through to a client who had been tough to crack.  Of course, same applies to stories…. everyone can tell them.