Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Please don't celebrate the other guys sorrow.

I'm writing this here because I can. I could have just made a comment on a Facebook post and let go of  my thoughts. Problem is, it probably would have just provoked an argument. I'm not looking for one.  Thomas Kinkade screwed up. He will receive the punishment for his crime. DUI is a serious problem across the country. Alcoholism is a serious problem. Those things are true statements. They aren't why I'm typing. I'm typing because when I originally read the news story the comments were " Awesome, Made my day, best news I've heard today."  And attacks on the artists work.
Thomas Kinkade is known as the painter of light. You have seen his artwork probably more than you realize.
He is a fairly successful contemporary artist painter.
     I can remember back to my college days when I was taught that the works of Norman Rockwell and Currier and Ives weren't art. I can remember that the works of M.C. Escher were frowned upon during their time as being illustration and not art. It doesn't come as a surprise to me when the art world turns it's back on art work the public appreciates.  It took a few year to recover from my education. My mother helped me recover by honestly liking the paintings all of the above.
    I've learned not to put people on pedestals, not to try to build one for myself and not to be all that surprised when artists that I admire screw up. There is nothing awesome or wonderful about the other guys misfortune
People will after all, be people.
    I worked in a prison once on a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It's not an easy place to try to bring some Christmas joy. I'll tell you the hardest part for those kids, inmates. They felt as if they had nothing to give. I had a friend in prison ministries he was very involved in a project called Angle Tree,  (Google it) The project gives inmates an opportunity to give gifts to their children. 
    In so many ways Mr. Kinkade is just one more of the thousands of people that will spend Christmas in prison. I hope he finds something to give, again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gorilla Marketing Tips

     Here's a few gorilla marketing tips for you. This tip is good for some free exposure and perhaps a free lunch!Take a look at your community from the standpoint of how many community service clubs it has.I'm betting your community has a chapter of the Lions, Elks, Rotary, Junior Chamber of Commerce, BPW, Kiwanis, maybe even an Izaak Walton League. The list can be expanded to include Masonic Temples, Shriners,  Red Hatters. Your community has such groups, right?  Here's something to think about, most of these groups meet at least monthly. That means they are looking for this months program or speaker!  That might be an opportunity for you to gain some exposure next year.
    A good many libraries are also looking for next months display or exhibit. Combine that with a speaking opportunity and the publicity they will provide for the event and you have a win win situation.
   Empty store fronts still dot many retail communities. Some of these empty store fronts still have high traffic and great visibility. They might present an opportunity for you to set up a passive display. They might also be an opportunity for you to offer to build such displays for other people. Such places can also be bargain locations for an event, say an invitation show of your work.  At the least these locations present a possible place for some bizarre signage.
    Remember Burma Shave?  These small in the field, along a roadway signs were cheap advertising that captured peoples attention and built brand name recognition.  Works for Wall Drug.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


     I received an invitation this morning from one of my Facebook friends to attend an on going event called "Pay it Forward." This story I'm about to tell will give you a way to anonymously pay it forward, really help someone in critical need, and do so through out the year to come.  This might become a bit long, so refresh your coffee get comfortable, here goes.
    This story actually begins with an invitation to join a mens Bible study group. Two deacons from a local church invited me to attend services at their church. At the time that was about the last thing in the world I would have ever wanted to do. I remember them sitting in my living room as one of them began criticizing my bow hunting. I found her technique to be an interesting approach to evangelism. The gentleman began telling me about the mens bible study group he belonged to. Seems the dozen of them met every Saturday morning at 8:00. I laughed inside as I said I'd give the mens group a visit. I'd made a promise to myself, "If ever there weren't a dozen guys there I didn't have to ever go again, in fact I intended to never go again". The cynical side of me would catch that guy in a lie. There was no way a dozen guys would ever get together on a Saturday morning to study the Bible. So armed with my personal promise I went. I went for two and a half years!
     One of those cold snowy Saturday mornings ( I was sure a dozen guys wouldn't show up that morning, I was kinda looking forward to sleeping in.) I found myself to be the twelfth guy. Our pre-study conversation found itself to how nasty the weather had been yesterday morning. I related how I had given some kid a ride and a pair of gloves yesterday in the snow storm.
     The story begins. Six of us in the room had helped that kid that morning totally unaware of the others. Here's what happened as best as I can piece it together. One gave the kid a scraper to scrape his windshield before the kid left his driveway, no big deal he gave him an extra one. One gave him a ride to the closest gas station. He found out the kid was on his way to a new job and had run out of gas. My friend was also on his way to work he did what he could to help the kid. Another bought the kid a cup of coffee and a roll at the gas station. Another had purchased a gas can for the kid, another filled it up. I gave the kid a ride back to his car,
a stocking cap, a scarf, and a pair of gloves, just extra stuff from my truck. The sixth guy smiled. He had heard the story told from a different perspective. He thought he had seen that ridiculous scarf somewhere before. He had provided the job the kid was trying to get to that morning.
     Here's the real cool part. The other six guys in the room had heard the story. After study group here's what they did. They agreed to purchase three gas cans, tape an envelope containing ten dollar bill and a note to each and place them at three gas stations in the area. The note just says,  "You're welcome. Repay us, by helping the next guy you can. 12 "
     To get twelve to attend regularly really took a larger group. So it wasn't always the same guys each week.
Those twelve guys, from that morning,  know the story. I share the story occasionally as do the others. I can't remember which 12 guys were involved exactly. It wasn't a big deal, it wasn't a burden, it wasn't a large sacrifice. Anybody could have done what they did. They will tell you that. It's just that they each did what they could.