Page 4 - Scene Magazine 45-09 September 2020
P. 4

As Scene By
  their idea with the following words... “This might be a bad idea...”
I was out in the garage here at the office the other day and stumbled upon the old cabinet that used to contain the “swipe” files. The cabinet isn’t huge (only two extra- wide drawers) but my goodness it’s heavy. It’s made of metal and labeled “Fireproof.” That was never proven to be true by the way. The metal cabinet was meticulously sectioned. Body Parts. Zoo Animals. Trees. Headline Fonts. I can’t name them all... but that’s the place I’d file the pages that I had cut out.
Now it is important to mention – just because your idea isn’t a bad idea – doesn’t mean it’s a GOOD idea. Or even the best idea. There can only be ONE best idea when problem solving... or maybe not.
Guess what? I’ve never crafted a canning jar covered in doilies. I’m not saying I never will. Because, well – there are no bad ideas. But I’d be surprised if “crafting” replaced “building” down in my workshop.
I enjoy brainstorming ideas in small groups to find the “best” idea. And if you stifle contributions by laughing at, or criticizing contributors... well... you stop getting more ideas. So, there’s no such thing as a bad idea.
The art department would use the cabinet for ideas. In those days an artist didn’t make something in Photoshop. He or she would suggest something. It was called a “layout.” Any graphic artist would never move on to final art without an approved “layout.” They didn’t have the luxury of the “delete” key.
Today I spent a few mind-healing hours down in the workshop working on my latest idea. I’ve discovered that my old metal cabinets that organize my screws, nails, and bits are sagging and the plastic drawers are terribly difficult to open and shut. So I’m building a ginormous plywood cabinet with over-sized drawers. Oh, it’ll be glorious!
What happens if you need a design idea? In the “old” days of advertising you needed “swipe.”
I’ve worked in the family advertising business since I could stand, or to have enough sense of responsibility to tend to my baby sisters. So when the office lawn had been mowed, when the paintbrush jars had been changed, when all the trashcans
Okay. I make A LOT of stuff. I renovate EVERYTHING – well, maybe – eventually,
After drawing up plans, I began cutting down the lumber for the cabinet. Then I recounted the drawers. “60 DRAWERS!” Then I said out loud... “It’s not a bad idea. Gosh I hope it’s the best one!”
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“There’s no such thing as a BAD idea.” It’s a philosophy. It’s a philosophy that I happen to be quite fond of. In fact it’s a phrase I repeat whenever someone begins telling me
had been emptied, when that unused office had finally been repainted... I got to look for SWIPE.
I renovate everything. When my wife says... “Can you make a swing set for our granddaughter?” Or my friend, Dougie, gives me a couple small slabs of walnut – I need a source for ideas. I get teased for admitting that I use this source. But the “need” comes from a place nearly 50 years ago. Holy bananas.
Good Ideas
It’s the early 1970s. No computers.
No wifi. No Google. It was just magazines, and newspapers. When I managed to clear off my regular duties, I’d get to go look through periodicals for pictures, headlines, and border ideas. I’d cut them out and file them away.
Yep, Pinterest for ideas, then YouTube to watch how to apply the ideas I’ve found. The heavy cabinet is in the garage now, and my laptop computer is sitting on the dining room table as I “thumb” through the thumbnail images.
  Have you found him in this issue?
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