As most of you know, “Thinking outside of the vase” is a play on “thinking outside of the box” which is a metaphor that encourages unconventional thinking, fresh perspectives and new approaches. As a designer, I love to come up with that “new” idea for a client, and as a business owner, I love when my staff interjects an idea I had not thought of into a meeting. There’s a freshness and vibrancy allowed in a room where expression and brainstorming is allowed, and though some personalities can be more enthusiastic with their presentations, I would always rather support that kind of environment than stifle it.
I write this today after I witnessed an interesting exchange between a designer and a new employee in which the designer scolded his new staff member for being “too modern” with his thinking. While I can agree the idea was not right for the design, I was interested in his way of letting him know. There was almost a sense of being threatened by the thoughts of an up-and-coming designer and it made me very sad. One of the things I love so much about my PB Protege course is that I get the chance to meet and speak with so many new artists. I love to see my students take the mechanics we teach them and do something new and innovative with them and I truly expect every artist I meet to offer something unique to the conversation. That’s why we are in this business, isn’t it? To offer our own perspective and use our talents to create variety and bring the industry to a higher level?
I want to ask all of you to really think about how open you are to having your mind changed. Think about how welcoming you are to other opinions and fresh perspectives. By being committed to creating a culture of expression and encouraging of the exchange of ideas, I believe that our business won’t be the only thing that will grow: we will and so will the people we work with.