Friday, May 21, 2010

"Masterclass" on HBO

A friend just told us about this series, Masterclass, on HBO, and we watched a couple of them last night. (Don't know when they actually air, because our TV service automatically records HBO series; but they're well worth watching.) The idea is for a handful of specially talented young students to encounter a "master" for two-three days--we saw them working with Olafur Eliasson, the Danish artist who works with light, water, color, and magical space modifications, both interior and exterior--he did the "waterfalls" in New York City you might have read about; Liv Ullman, the Norwegian actress whose work with Ingmar Bergman is legendary and who is now also a director; and the Spanish-born tenor, Placido Domingo. Quite a line-up of talent for these young people to learn from.

Amongst all the great reflections on art and the creative process, this one stands out:

"Don't ever feel ready"--Placido Domingo.

It's akin to my own adage, "How do I know what I think 'til I see what I say," because the suggestion it carries, for me, is that I must always be ready for the next discovery, the next surprise.

It has, too, some relevance to our discussion of "branding." As I see it, branding assumes that I already know who I am as an artist--writer, musician, actor... If I brand myself, I become a known entity. "Being ready" implies having it all down pat, knowing who I am, where I stand, and what I have to say or do. Creativity, though, is all about discovering who I am--those parts of me, those ideas, those actions, those paths I don't already know. This is what makes it exciting, and eternally new.

Bottom line: Branding says, "This is who I am." Creativity asks, "Who am I?"

1 comment:

Greg Spalenka said...

Bottom line: Branding says, "This is who I am." Creativity asks, "Who am I?"

The word "brand" has been branded. So if perception is an act of creation then everyone is going to bring their own spin to the word. The deeper meaning of the word brand as I understand it is "purpose". The purpose of the artist's mark, the purpose of a product, is the essence of a brand. Its not necessarily an external component.

The purpose inside you aligned with your personal vision is the foundation of your creative power. When your heart is joined with your art, a vital one of kind signature is formed. This brand is unique to you and your intimate product.

So if "Who am I?" is an important facet of your personal vision it may actually be the core of your brand!

Greg Spalenka