Sunday, February 7, 2010

Life sucks less because you can make Lemonade

I watched a documentary the other night that wound up having a profound affect on me, it was called Lemonade. The film was about, well, I'll just rip the short version from the site:

What do people who were once paid to be creative for a living do when they’re laid off? They get creative with their own lives. Lemonade is an inspirational film about 16 advertising professionals who lost their jobs and found their calling, encouraging people to listen to that little voice inside their head that asks, “What if?”

You may not be an advertising professional or work in a creative field; and hell, you may not even be on the verge of or even close to losing your job, but it certainly gives you something to think about. With my creative life in flux as it has been the last year or so, and with my leaving BLAM! Ventures--the publishing company I co-founded--last fall, I found the stories of the sixteen people involved at turns moving, enlightening and familiar.

Lemonade creator Erik Proulx is one of those sixteen, he founded the blog Please Feed The Animals to help other advertising professionals transition to new lives. In creating Lemonade, he sought to give hope to those in a position he'd been in three times himself, on the receiving end of a pink slip.

From coffee roasting to painting to gender transitioning, the breadth of change these people have gone through is simply amazing, and demonstrates that the world doesn't end when you lose a job. In fact, it can be the beginning you never knew you needed. Here is the trailer: 


One of the best, and most often quoted lines in the film comes from Lisa Hickey, who said:

“Don’t be the person looking for a job. Be the person doing something interesting.”

You can watch the full video here on Hulu. If you've ever thought about what you'd do if you lost your job, or even if you've thought about ditching your job and following your dreams, the 35 minutes is well worth your time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

25x52: An Update

I missed yesterday's posting, but that's OK (really, it is), because I am in the process of moving 25x52 to its own blog!

After giving it some thought, I felt that what I'm trying to do with 25x52 would be better served in a place dedicated to the idea, rather than thrown in among a mix of other thoughts. I will, of course, cross-post here when I make a new donation, but the details and links will all be on the new blog. The added bonus is I will be able to expand what I cover in relation to my donations and elaborate thoughts on giving and community service in general. And where will that blog be located, you ask? Why, right here:

The link will remain private until I post next week's donation on February 12th (and I'll remind you in those handy cross-posts I mentioned a moment ago) as I'm still figuring out the layout. I found a nice template at Deluxe Templates, which is the first time I've not used a standard Blogger template, and will serve me until such a time as I learn to create one myself, or find a benefactor who would be willing to help fund that particular part of the project.

I will also be changing a couple of things. Actually, those changes have begun already in how I format the posts, and it may continue to evolve over time. For one, I've discontinued posting receipts with my personal info redacted. I have the first few up and I think that's enough. I initially put them up there to both act as proof of what I was doing and be another spur to call others to action by demonstrating the end result, and that it is not that hard to do this if you have the means. 

I also think all the links I placed were too much, so there will only be one on the image I post at the top of the post--which will go to the home page--and one directly to a place on the site where you can donate (if there is such a page, otherwise I will indicate how best to make your donation below the link).

As indicated, I will also be expanding some of the coverage for 25x52, this may include interviews, impact stories and whatever else I can think of. It is my hope the blog will grow over time, and that you will watch and hopefully participate as it does.

I will be making this week's donation during the weekend, but will post it on the new blog next week. Until then, have a great day.