Monday, April 13, 2015


No, not kind of vision. This is not a post about squinting. It's a post about thinking. Or knowing what someone is thinking. And if you think you know what they are thinking. Sort of


Let me explain

I've written here many times about inspiration, that initial spark that could be the beginning of some creative endeavour. But that endeavour will never happen without another component: Vision

I think every successful project, be it creative or purely commercial or anything more prosaic, is successful due to someone's vision. It's what drives them, it's what gives them the energy to keep moving ahead when faced with obstacles. That vision, and the strength to believe in it, is what can get you to the end with most of your project intact

The person with that vision understands it. But so must those around him, the people working with them and the people who will be receiving that final project

I have seen many works of art that perhaps I did not thoroughly enjoy or totally understand yet I appreciated them, because in them, I sensed the creator's vision. In an earlier post I compiled a list of space opera movies that included the Vin Diesel film The Riddick Chronicles. In some respects it is not a great movie but I appreciate it because the creators had a vision and they went for that vision and I always have to respect that

Myself, I've created projects of a non commercial nature where the "success" of said project may be difficult to quantify. Even to myself. You get caught up in the process of making something, you sometimes forget what the intent of the whole thing was. In my pro background there was always the client and the bottom line, those were definable margins of success

With a purely creative project, that "success" is more difficult to define. For me, it always comes down to "did this project carry through on the original vision" If I can say that it did, then I honestly don't care what other measures may be applied to it. You may be able to say, in some objective fashion that it was good bad or indifferent but I need to look at it and say "yeh, that's as close to my original vision as I can get" And that's really all I need

This video I created for a Moby music video contest is a prime examples of this. I've had a variety of reactions to this video but I consider it one of my more successful "amateur movies" in that it came very close to matching my original vision

But someone's vision is not always easy to recognize. Sometimes I barely recognize it in myself. I've met and worked with some people where it's "hell yes, I totally get where you are coming from" and off we go, I need no further guidance, I know exactly what they are doing. A meeting of the minds if you will

Then there are those instances where I really don't get where the person is going. I've bowed out of projects, both professional and amateur, simply because what the person wanted to do made no sense to me and I found no inspiration in it

Then there are those cases where I may not understand the vision but I see that the person has one, that they are on to something, that it means something to me Sometimes that's all I need to see. If you can define my role I don't necessarily need to understand that vision. It's a question of faith

This inspiration for all this comes from Brendan, the guy who owns the dogwalking company for whom I work. Brendan owns a fenced in lot on the Lakeshore where we run the dogs. It's a reformed industrial waste area where he planted a few trees, rolled in some soil and generally cleaned up. It's a nice space but years of hundreds of dogs pounding around it has made it into a mud pet whenever it gets wet

Last year Brendan had the idea of bringing in wood chips and spreading them across the lot. It would keep the mud at bay and make it easier for us to keep clean. I got all that But then these huge loads of wood chips began to come in, one after another, stacked in huge hills, well into the winter when everything got frozen and could not be handled.

At one point the landscaping company who was donating the chips came in and flattened out some of these hills. Brendan went ballistic. He was extremely upset. He yelled that these assholes had ruined his vision

I didn't get it; wasn't rolling out the chips what he wanted?

I kept out of it. I had made it clear that my job was managing the dogs not spreading out the chips so I had no say in it. I just didn't get what Brendan was seeing

Now that spring has come, things have warmed up and the chips once again can be worked with, I come in every day and see how the work has been progressing. And it's progressing extremely well. Brendan is not just dumping in piles of chips and flattening them out, he is landscaping. I'm seeing some nicely sculpted hills that the dogs love to play on, some nice little vallies where they can keep cool, some nice rounded shapes that makes it all look very organic

Brendan had a vision. I did not see it. But I saw his passion and knew that this vision was real.

Sometimes you have to have a little faith

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