Adventure Sandwich is a live-action cartoon celebrating the imagination, creative problem-solving, and collaboration, made for young people (and their grown ups). I’m really excited by the project for a couple of reasons: I think it looks like a blast to watch, I miss the shows I grew up on (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Pee-wee’s Playhouse), and I trust the people making it, to make it well. I’m a backer on kickstarter and I think you should be too.
Adventure Sandwich teaches young people:
- to use their imagination to solve problems
- that stories are the most effective way to persuade someone of an idea
- that they can do it themselves
- that collaboration used correctly can be a multiplier of great work
- that solutions to problems are often unexpected, but found in plain sight to the person looking closely
We’re seeing that these skills are more in demand than ever, and are the core competencies of the new generation flux worker. We’ve also been hearing from so many different sources that the American public education system is broken. I see Adventure Sandwich as key to how we should improve education. Not through top-down expertise, but by teaching kids that anything is possible with cardboard and imagination, and that in the same way, anything is possible with creative problem-solving and effort.
That’s why I love Adventure Sandwich‘s decision to not use special effects, but to do everything by hand. It teaches kids that the super-polished and professional work is made the same way that they make things: one step at a time, one solution at a time. It teaches kids that professional work is hackable and that they can make it too. It teaches them that these skills are necessary and important. And, as grown-ups, we can feel good about adding Adventure Sandwich to a kid’s information diet because we know the skills it’s encouraging are the ones kids will need to leverage in the future to be successful in the connection economy.
So, please help me kickstart Adventure Sandwich now.
I missed a day! I missed a day! I failed. I stopped. I quit. I didn’t make it. For one day. I ate cake. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t write. I broke my promises. I didn’t live up to my own expectations. I disappointed other people. I failed.
And now, today, I’m getting back on the horse and I’m going to do it better.
When you encounter an off day, you’ve got a choice. You can choose to keep doing the thing you’re trying to do (diet, start a business, write every day) or you can choose to keep failing, procrastinating, and playing it safe. You’re in control of which way the momentum swings.
When you’re feeling your inspiration and ideas drying up, it’s time to restock the pond. It’s time to go read a book. One that tells a gripping story, one that explains an idea you’ve never encountered, or one that you disagree with and want to rip apart. It’s time to see a movie. It’s time to watch some stand-up comedy. It’s time to take a long walk and notice things you haven’t seen before. It’s time to explore a neighborhood you’ve never visited. It’s time to talk about life with a good friend and dive deeper into the conversation than “what’d you do today?” It’s time to listen to music and daydream, or dance your face off. It’s time to sit at the window seat in a restaurant and watch the people outside.
Do anything you can that will bring you joy while also creating opportunities for you to notice and remember new things. You’ll need these observations later. When it’s time to make work again, you’ll fish the pond for ideas and inspiration. Each memory and experience will be swimming around inside of you, waiting to be pulled to the surface.
Joy is to inspiration as observations are to ideas.
So you want to be a marketer? You want to learn how to sell your artwork? Then yes, you want to learn to be a marketer. Don’t worry the basics are pretty simple: tell stories.
As an artist you’ve learned how to do this in one way or another through your work. You may not think of it that way, but art that moves people and evokes a reaction has a story in it, or a framework that the viewer builds a story out of.
Marketers tell stories. They take an idea and wrap it up in a story instead of just giving people the idea.
Have you ever tried to change someone’s beliefs about the world with facts? Have you ever tried to persuade someone to do something with facts? How’d it go? Yeah, sometimes it works, but even when it works the person usually isn’t excited about doing it.
Have you ever tried to change someone’s beliefs about the world with a story? Have you ever tried to persuade someone to do something with a story? Think about showing up to work 15 minutes late. Do you tell your boss the facts or do you tell them a story? Which works better? Think about being a kid and a time you were trying to get out of trouble with your parents: did you tell them facts or a story? Did you appeal to their intellect or to their hearts? Excuses are often our first experience trying to persuade someone with a story. Not all stories are excuses, but most excuses are stories told to persuade.
Religion isn’t spread through facts, it’s spread through story. This is one of the reasons the bible is called to as “the greatest story ever told.” You don’t gain converts by saying here are the facts: x,y,z. You gain converts by telling a story.
A story has all the facts, but it’s not usually so blunt. It has layers that appeal to our emotions. It has details that engage our senses. A good story provokes our imagination so that we start to make the it our own, and in making the story our own we internalize the facts, ideas, and worldview in the story and start to weave it all into our beliefs.
So do you want to sell your artwork? Figure out what story you can tell that will make people want to buy your art. What story will appeal to their emotions? What story will engage their senses? What story will provoke their curiosity, and leave enough to the imagination that they can fill in some of the blanks themselves? Weave into that story the ideas you want people to take away and you just might have found the best sales tool of all: a good story. A story worth telling.