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Pixel & Creativity
By Renae Turner
Thursday, March 29th, 2018
Photo by Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash
For me, Pixel Together embodies our commitment to ideas and invention and generally a fondness for tinkering. I think that creativity leads to diversity and diversity leads to healthy and thriving ecosystems. And I feel that this is the way of the future just as much as it’s always been part of our evolving past. Today we launch our 2018 blog series - where we’ll ponder and showcase some of the new ideas kicking around the globe right now that are giving us inspiration for the future of doing business as well as how we’ll lead our lives.
My name is Renae Turner and I’m co-founder of Pixel Together. I’ve always been into experimenting and over the years I’ve come to see CREATIVITY as the sum total of three things; 1) it’s available to everyone (thanks Julia Cameron), 2) it’s just as much about living and working as it is about making (thanks Seth Godin) and 3) it’s messy in the way it delivers, it’s not just about the final painting, or the film, it includes the incremental pieces of life’s puzzle that generates a wild and varied harvest alongside ‘the masterpiece’.
One of the best things about creating Pixel is seeing the vastly different kinds of websites built and projects launched on this platform. We love the diversity! From global corporates to podcasts run by LBGT activists to creative agencies from London to Miami, the range of people getting their good work out there never ceases to inspire me.
So with this aesthetic in mind, I’m sharing some of my numerous creative influences over the past years. I’ll take a look at what’s inspired my work in the past before we head over to the future, because as a team, we’ve always been buoyed along by our local and global community, playing off the zeitgeist and responding with new inventions and/or creations. It’s an eclectic mix and it shows how inspiration can really come from anywhere. So without further ado …
He started coding in Turbo Pascal at 8, by 13 was hacking pirate bulletin boards and by 25 was running teams of 100 engineers for Infosys in Bangalore. He then went on to run his own agency. Combined we have 16 years experience running design-driven agencies.
As a teen of the 90s I did love my grunge and BritPop, there's no doubt about that... but there's no way I'm going to be one of 'those people' saying there's no good new music anymore. I get goosbumps listening to these young legends. When I was a kid, my tribe was making great music here in Melbourne, but essentially we were always looking to the UK or US for approval. These bright stars are just owning it here and now and these voices are ready to be heard. Welcome to the future!
Mirka will turn 90 years old this year and I'll always be grateful to her for opening my young suburban eyes up to a whole world of art created right here in Australia. And, she's possibly responsible for Melbourne's obsession with coffee, opening The Mirka Cafe in 1954 and promptly getting our cafe culture up and running with aplomb and fabulousness!
When I'm designing something and stuck for a colour palette, I always go to nature. And there's something about our nature here in Australia that is saturated in contrast and slightly iridescent. Saying that, I've been immensley inspired by the mossy lush greens of the magical Lakes District in the UK or the endless shades of red and orange in the Southwestern USA so nature anywhere in this world always has me coming up with ideas.
Again another wildly proflific artist. Seth sends a blog to mine and presumably thousands or millions of people's inbox every day and has become somewhat of a benchmark to many on how to give it your all when you're running a business. It's Seth's work on the Lizard Brain though, which really captured my attention and gave me a signpost for what's really going on when I start procrastinating.
Guns, Germs and Steel is one of those books that I've never forgotten. Aside from being the book that crystallized my place in the world as frustrated-anthropologist, I think the way Jared Diamond bridges lessons from past histories and cultures into modern life is both astounding and humbling. It's an exceptionally good read and I still think about it today when I do business, some 8 years on after reading it.
If I had to choose one tech giant hero, it'd have to be Elon. Because he sorted out South Australia's move to renewable energy with one tweet and within 100 days. But also because Rockets (see above).
PAUL GRAHAM & JESSICA LIVINGSTON
Simon and I like hearing from Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston. Aside from being role models for partners mad enough to work with one another, I do dig their work with Y Combinator. This video in particular though has always resonated with the team at Pixel for the way they talk about focusing on customers and product and not getting too caught up in future projections. It's a method we've stuck by and one that's allowed us to scale while truly knowing who our peeps are and what they're looking for. It's the whole customer-service-as-marketing-thing and thus far, it's fitted.
Ok, there's a theme coming in here... another prolific artist! I love Bjork because she's so intensely bold and prolific. She said 'there's something that drives me to create something that comes close to how gorgeous nature is'. She never stops experimenting with either the form of her song or her videos. I particularly loved the Medulla album and how she used voices as instruments for every music track to accompany her voice.
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