Category Archives: Admiration

8 Successful People Doing Exactly What They Want

Got a good deal of late-Sunday inspiration out of this piece in Good magazine about “8 Successful People Doing Exactly What They Want.” I came across it, actually, while researching the field of ice pop entrepreneurs (more on that tangent later), and well, I just love that more and more people are finding ways to be authentic in what they do, sell, eat, and promote. Don’t you?

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No You Didn’t, Chicago!

incubateEric and I have an ongoing conversation about what to think when your *big* idea shows up in the world, with somebody’s else’s name on it. You know the situation (especially you journalists): You’ve just come up with this brilliant idea– it’s catchy, it’s fresh, it’s timely, and a quick Google search reveals that it’s…already been done. Dang. Or is that necessarily bad news?

In journalism, it probably is bad news, unless you really have a unique angle on the story. But in life, it isn’t necessarily. In the case of the Story Farm, I’ve so far been thrilled to hear about projects around the country that echo our ideas– because frankly, we’re going out on a limb here, and it’s incredibly encouraging to meet and hear about people who have gone out on other, similar limbs and survived. There’s something about having co-conspirators in this risky business… it all feels less daunting. It’s almost as if we become a voting bloc.

Anyway, I was tickled pink to learn about Chicago’s INCUBATE, “a research institute and artist residency program dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding.” Might sound sort of academic– but explore further. INCUBATE runs projects like “Sunday Soup,” a monthly meal that raises money for a different creative project each time; and the Artist Run Credit League, “a form of rotating credit and monetary practice” that I don’t entirely understand but that sounds quite interesting indeed. They’ve also introduced a video series called INCUBATE TV that documents their ongoing conversations and processes as an organization (I know, sounds a little like C-SPAN to me, but I like the concept).

Anyway, I raise my bottle of Blue Moon to the folks at this cool new project– which, by the way, is an acronym for the Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and the Everyday. Obviously.

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Admiration: Nikki McClure

NikkiMNow for a loving little shout-out to Miss Nikki McClure, the visionary papercutting artist whose image we borrowed for the programs at our wedding (one of two pairs of shoes in the blueberry bushes). I’d really wanted to use her image, and certainly could have snagged it off the internet with a little right-click action, but it felt appropriate to ask her directly. Her response: that she’d happily trade a high-res version of her image for a goodie of our choosing. So, we sent her some Wisconsin honey, which was what we distributed as wedding favors. I love wholesome interactions like that.

Anyway, I’m reminded of Nikki’s work today because I just came across an article about the new store in Olympia, WA called “Land,” where the most comprehensive collection of her work will be sold. It will be the off-line counterpart to the online store buyolympia.com, which is an admiration-worthy project in its own right, as you’ll see if you check it out.

–Andi McDaniel

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