Ikigai

 

 

December invites us to engage in introspection and set the stage for resolutions. In my role as a senior lecturer and creative professional, I frequently offer guidance on matters of career and business. My counsel is rooted in personal experience, emphasizing that life and career choices should be guided by passions, obsessions, missions, and loves. These elements form the essence, while the rest are mere details in the grand journey called life.

December invites us to engage in introspection and set the stage for resolutions. In my role as a senior lecturer and creative professional, I frequently offer guidance on matters of career and business. My counsel is rooted in personal experience, emphasizing that life and career choices should be guided by passions, obsessions, missions, and loves. These elements form the essence, while the rest are mere details in the grand journey called life.

3D and AI Photography

 

We’ve recently completed the design and construction of a corporate magazine, and during this collaborative process with our client, we recognized the need to enhance our articles focused on the future of natural beverages with captivating 3D and AI visuals.

As a photographer and art director, I initially had reservations about delving into the realm of hyper-reality and crafting “artificial” imagery. However, I must admit that my skepticism was misplaced. Guiding our talented 3D artist proved to be an immensely gratifying experience. We had the privilege of conceiving every single element within an image, unhindered by the constraints of traditional photography where reality dictates your canvas. In 3D photography, the canvas starts as a pristine, blank screen.

The journey ahead is brimming with excitement, and we’re fully prepared to tackle the challenges it may bring. As long as we continue to champion creativity, I couldn’t be more thrilled.

 

Giulio Mazzarini

We’ve recently completed the design and construction of a corporate magazine, and during this collaborative process with our client, we recognized the need to enhance our articles focused on the future of natural beverages with captivating 3D and AI visuals.

As a photographer and art director, I initially had reservations about delving into the realm of hyper-reality and crafting “artificial” imagery. However, I must admit that my skepticism was misplaced. Guiding our talented 3D artist proved to be an immensely gratifying experience. We had the privilege of conceiving every single element within an image, unhindered by the constraints of traditional photography where reality dictates your canvas. In 3D photography, the canvas starts as a pristine, blank screen.

The journey ahead is brimming with excitement, and we’re fully prepared to tackle the challenges it may bring. As long as we continue to champion creativity, I couldn’t be more thrilled.

 

Giulio Mazzarini

The power of Disruptive Thinking

In his book “The Dream Cafè”, Dr. Geoff Crook talks about Disruptive Thinking. What is it exactly? And, above all, how can we break the monotony of our thinking process and think differently?

Well, first of all we need to get into the sprit, the philosophy of the risk-taker. 

Risk-takers don’t not think about what they have to loose, but what they will gain. They will not look at details, but at the big picture. They are curious, positive, excited. They won’t care about what the others think, but what they themselves want to achieve.

Once that’s done and well absorbed, we start processing ideas and crafting products and services in alternative ways.

Quoting the Dream Cafè:”When the experimental film-maker Jean Luc Godard was asked about his apparent lack of interest in conventional narrative principle, he corrected his interviewer by pointing out that his films do have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order”.

Creativity not about creating anything new, but turning the existing upside down.

It is the ordinary that become extra-ordinary.

Creative stimuli are all around us. Can you see them?

 

Giulio Mazzarini

In his book “The Dream Cafè”, Dr. Geoff Crook talks about Disruptive Thinking. What is it exactly? And, above all, how can we break the monotony of our thinking process and think differently?

Well, first of all we need to get into the sprit, the philosophy of the risk-taker. 

Risk-takers don’t not think about what they have to loose, but what they will gain. They will not look at details, but at the big picture. They are curious, positive, excited. They won’t care about what the others think, but what they themselves want to achieve.

Once that’s done and well absorbed, we start processing ideas and crafting products and services in alternative ways.

Quoting the Dream Cafè:”When the experimental film-maker Jean Luc Godard was asked about his apparent lack of interest in conventional narrative principle, he corrected his interviewer by pointing out that his films do have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order”.

Creativity not about creating anything new, but turning the existing upside down.

It is the ordinary that become extra-ordinary.

Creative stimuli are all around us. Can you see them?

 

Giulio Mazzarini

Walking the walk

When we judge the behaviour of people we know, we are often looking for signals that they are genuine. Do they actually mean what they say? Are they acting with the best of intentions? Or do they have some kind of ulterior motive?

What’s interesting is that we make many of the same judgments about businesses and organisations. Some companies may profess to hold certain values and we want to believe them. But we have nagging suspicions. Might they be making statements that simply generate good PR? Can they prove to us that they’re not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk?

As part of my Master’s in Occupational and Business Psychology, I investigated the role of corporate values in influencing choices of prospective employees. What’s clear from the existing studies is that it’s really healthy for organisations if their values and those of their staff coincide – something referred to as ‘value congruence’. But in my focus group research, I was picking up another interesting issue. People sometimes had a sense that there was a mis-match between an organisation’s stated values and the reality on the ground.

Increasingly, as consumers and employees, we want evidence that businesses mean business when it comes to climate change or in their response to major social movements such as #metoo and Black Lives Matter. If you’re an energy company, forget the ‘greenwash’. Demonstrate what real-world steps you’re taking to reduce dependence on carbon and embrace renewables. If you’re a media company which claims to be taking racial injustice seriously, how come all your board members are white?

Thankfully, there are many businesses and organisations whose commitment to new ways of working is genuine. They understand the responsibility we all share to create a more human capitalism and that their future success and profitability is tied up with taking the leap. At GEM, we have a particular interest in partnering with these organisations and helping them to prosper through effective branding, design and communication.

If you’re walking the walk, we’re keen to walk alongside you.

 

Phil Woodford

 

 

When we judge the behaviour of people we know, we are often looking for signals that they are genuine. Do they actually mean what they say? Are they acting with the best of intentions? Or do they have some kind of ulterior motive?

What’s interesting is that we make many of the same judgments about businesses and organisations. Some companies may profess to hold certain values and we want to believe them. But we have nagging suspicions. Might they be making statements that simply generate good PR? Can they prove to us that they’re not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk?

As part of my Master’s in Occupational and Business Psychology, I investigated the role of corporate values in influencing choices of prospective employees. What’s clear from the existing studies is that it’s really healthy for organisations if their values and those of their staff coincide – something referred to as ‘value congruence’. But in my focus group research, I was picking up another interesting issue. People sometimes had a sense that there was a mis-match between an organisation’s stated values and the reality on the ground.

Increasingly, as consumers and employees, we want evidence that businesses mean business when it comes to climate change or in their response to major social movements such as #metoo and Black Lives Matter. If you’re an energy company, forget the ‘greenwash’. Demonstrate what real-world steps you’re taking to reduce dependence on carbon and embrace renewables. If you’re a media company which claims to be taking racial injustice seriously, how come all your board members are white?

Thankfully, there are many businesses and organisations whose commitment to new ways of working is genuine. They understand the responsibility we all share to create a more human capitalism and that their future success and profitability is tied up with taking the leap. At GEM, we have a particular interest in partnering with these organisations and helping them to prosper through effective branding, design and communication.

If you’re walking the walk, we’re keen to walk alongside you.

 

Phil Woodford

 

 

In every difficulty lies an opportunity

Through this hard time at home, We all are experiencing different life-stages, emotions, feelings. And how to spend our time, trying to be productive even if forced to stay home.

Among other things, last night I watched this drama movie, “Collateral Beauty”, directed by David Frankel which centers on New York advertising executive, Howard Inlet (Will Smith), who after experiencing a deep personal tragedy retreats from life entirely and slips into a severe depression. As a form of therapy, Howard begins writing letters to Time, Love and Death. His friends Whit Yardsham (Edward Norton), Claire Wilson (Kate Winslet), Simon Scott (Michael Pena) and Madeleine (Naomie Harris), grow concerned and devise a drastic plan to force him to confront his grief in a surprising and profoundly human way.

Spoiler alert. There is a happy-end: Howard learns to live again and begins to put his life back together. That is a bit predictable for a movie but that helps me to underline something important. It fit so well this time we are passing through. No matter how life can be hard and tragic. We are all connected, we all face the same difficulties and we don’t have to give up. Let’s hold on.

 

We are not alone. Even if now everything seems so surreal, we will start to live again and hopefully with much more consciousness, that there are no boundaries on this earth and we can grow together respectfully of each other and of our environment.

Because in the end, we all share and care about the same things after all. And we need to be more sympathetic and trust humanity.

Moreover, that’s could be a great opportunity to grab the “collateral beauty”, to grow our passions, to spend more time taking care of us and to think about our future.

 

Let’s stay creative. Everything has its beauty.

#everythingwillbefine

 

Arianna Di Giacinto

Through this hard time at home, We all are experiencing different life-stages, emotions, feelings. And how to spend our time, trying to be productive even if forced to stay home.

Among other things, last night I watched this drama movie, “Collateral Beauty”, directed by David Frankel which centers on New York advertising executive, Howard Inlet (Will Smith), who after experiencing a deep personal tragedy retreats from life entirely and slips into a severe depression. As a form of therapy, Howard begins writing letters to Time, Love and Death. His friends Whit Yardsham (Edward Norton), Claire Wilson (Kate Winslet), Simon Scott (Michael Pena) and Madeleine (Naomie Harris), grow concerned and devise a drastic plan to force him to confront his grief in a surprising and profoundly human way.

Spoiler alert. There is a happy-end: Howard learns to live again and begins to put his life back together. That is a bit predictable for a movie but that helps me to underline something important. It fit so well this time we are passing through. No matter how life can be hard and tragic. We are all connected, we all face the same difficulties and we don’t have to give up. Let’s hold on.

 

We are not alone. Even if now everything seems so surreal, we will start to live again and hopefully with much more consciousness, that there are no boundaries on this earth and we can grow together respectfully of each other and of our environment.

Because in the end, we all share and care about the same things after all. And we need to be more sympathetic and trust humanity.

Moreover, that’s could be a great opportunity to grab the “collateral beauty”, to grow our passions, to spend more time taking care of us and to think about our future.

 

Let’s stay creative. Everything has its beauty.

#everythingwillbefine

 

Arianna Di Giacinto

On Changing Your Perspective Of Failure

One thing in common throughout all the myths and legends since the beginning of time is the story of a hero jumping into an unknown adventure, facing obstacles on the journey, failing, and eventually overcoming all odds which leads to a new perspective, this transformation.

This notion of “the hero’s journey” made famous by Joseph Campbell stretching from Ulysses and the Bible to the plot of many Netflix shows, seems to always include the element of failure. Perhaps because it is the most basic human struggle, a part of life and a necessity for growth and change. Easier said than felt, why do we struggle so much with the feeling of failure?

In Think Like An Artist, the author Will Gompertz who interviewed artists for years as BBC’s Arts Editor questions what it is that prominent creatives do that make them so great and ever-inspired and whether we can do the same by adopting their mindset.

Gompertz separates the concept of failure and the feeling of failure. The concept of failure he argues is ambiguous, subjective, temporary and meaningless.

History is abundant with these examples. Were Monet and Matisse failures when Salon of Paris rejected them or was the Salon a failure when these painters achieved immense success shortly after? Or neither?

Is every single version of a painting before it is finished a failure then? Or is every brushstroke another step on the path to the final masterpiece? Why can’t we see real-life events in the same light? Considering the failures as not the opposite of achievement, but merely a stepping stone on the way to progress.

Whether you are a writer or an investment banker, it is constructive to shift your perspective to view failure in the artist way: as an opportunity to make you better. Artists do not brush off failing simply due to arrogance or insensitivity, it is because of their total commitment to their craft. As Gompertz suggests “what sets artists apart is that they are still out there gnawing away, long after most of us would have given up and gone home”.

 

One thing in common throughout all the myths and legends since the beginning of time is the story of a hero jumping into an unknown adventure, facing obstacles on the journey, failing, and eventually overcoming all odds which leads to a new perspective, this transformation.

This notion of “the hero’s journey” made famous by Joseph Campbell stretching from Ulysses and the Bible to the plot of many Netflix shows, seems to always include the element of failure. Perhaps because it is the most basic human struggle, a part of life and a necessity for growth and change. Easier said than felt, why do we struggle so much with the feeling of failure?

In Think Like An Artist, the author Will Gompertz who interviewed artists for years as BBC’s Arts Editor questions what it is that prominent creatives do that make them so great and ever-inspired and whether we can do the same by adopting their mindset.

Gompertz separates the concept of failure and the feeling of failure. The concept of failure he argues is ambiguous, subjective, temporary and meaningless.

History is abundant with these examples. Were Monet and Matisse failures when Salon of Paris rejected them or was the Salon a failure when these painters achieved immense success shortly after? Or neither?

Is every single version of a painting before it is finished a failure then? Or is every brushstroke another step on the path to the final masterpiece? Why can’t we see real-life events in the same light? Considering the failures as not the opposite of achievement, but merely a stepping stone on the way to progress.

Whether you are a writer or an investment banker, it is constructive to shift your perspective to view failure in the artist way: as an opportunity to make you better. Artists do not brush off failing simply due to arrogance or insensitivity, it is because of their total commitment to their craft. As Gompertz suggests “what sets artists apart is that they are still out there gnawing away, long after most of us would have given up and gone home”.

 

Who is not guilty of late-night Googling stories of famous successful people who have failed in the past? (Desperate times, desperate measures!) Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling. The guy who started KFC at the age of 65, the international singer who came to New York with 15 dollars in her pocket. Thousands of films with the premise of someone overcoming adversity.

Everyone loves a despair-to-success tale because it makes us realize we are not alone in feeling like we have failed. And that there is yet hope which is harder to remember in times of difficulty, while we are still feeling the pain.

The most successful people in life are the ones who endured failures and simply refused to quit. Obstacles, big or small, are a reality of life and the sooner you learn to ride the waves as calmly as possible, making it a habit to take time to reflect and learn from them, the easier it gets.

Mistakes or setbacks don’t necessarily have to be the things that motivate you to hustle harder if you are not built that way. But they also don’t need to drag you down or get you off track no matter how pivotal they seem in the moment. Just go through the feeling of failure, without denying it, but knowing that it is not permanent and not a reflection of your entire being.

Failure will allow you to gain a new perspective whether on work, love or life. And if you gain a new perspective, it leads to new behaviors, habits, and attitudes. It is the door to improvement. View obstacles and failures as opportunities in your life’s plot to transform you. If you allow it, go through it, reflect upon it and learn from it, it will make you better. Let it enhance your life.

Next time you feel like you have failed, think of when you will look back, years from this moment. How much will this matter then only depends on what you choose to do in the aftermath? So choose to let it be the thing that made you who you are, and not what made you give up.

 

Defne Sarıçetin

Who is not guilty of late-night Googling stories of famous successful people who have failed in the past? (Desperate times, desperate measures!) Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling. The guy who started KFC at the age of 65, the international singer who came to New York with 15 dollars in her pocket. Thousands of films with the premise of someone overcoming adversity.

Everyone loves a despair-to-success tale because it makes us realize we are not alone in feeling like we have failed. And that there is yet hope which is harder to remember in times of difficulty, while we are still feeling the pain.

The most successful people in life are the ones who endured failures and simply refused to quit. Obstacles, big or small, are a reality of life and the sooner you learn to ride the waves as calmly as possible, making it a habit to take time to reflect and learn from them, the easier it gets.

Mistakes or setbacks don’t necessarily have to be the things that motivate you to hustle harder if you are not built that way. But they also don’t need to drag you down or get you off track no matter how pivotal they seem in the moment. Just go through the feeling of failure, without denying it, but knowing that it is not permanent and not a reflection of your entire being.

Failure will allow you to gain a new perspective whether on work, love or life. And if you gain a new perspective, it leads to new behaviors, habits, and attitudes. It is the door to improvement. View obstacles and failures as opportunities in your life’s plot to transform you. If you allow it, go through it, reflect upon it and learn from it, it will make you better. Let it enhance your life.

Next time you feel like you have failed, think of when you will look back, years from this moment. How much will this matter then only depends on what you choose to do in the aftermath? So choose to let it be the thing that made you who you are, and not what made you give up.

 

Defne Sarıçetin

Get Lost

Travelling is a state of mind not only a phisical experience. We usually use it to escape from our ordinary life just for a little time.

But some people make a living out of travel. That’s what vlogger Christian LeBlanc, also known by his stage name Lost LeBlanc, done when he quit his 9 to 5 job and now follows his dreams with every adventure. He started filming his trips and posted them on YouTube which earned him more than 500,000 subscribers.

Life is about taking risks and that is exactly what LeBlanc done to achieve happiness and is now able to follow his passion of traveling and share it with the world.

Travelling is also a great way to experience new cultures and learn amazing new things. Steve McCurry does this through photography and shows the amazing cultures a country possesses. His use of striking colors shows how bold a tradition could be and makes the viewer feel like they’re in the photograph.

Inspiration for creation is right around the corner so go out there and have fun!

We are not telling you to quit your job and have no plan of what you’re doing or where you are going but taking small steps towards your dream life is necessary to make your dreams, reality.

Get inspired with Lost LeBlanc.

Get inspired with Steve McCurry.

We are always hearing more and more talking about mindfulness and its secret of happiness, but what is really it and how can improve our life? What is that really matter in being mindful?

We of GEM are approaching this state of mind collaborating with great organisations like The Macrobiotic Association and The Feng Shui Society. The philosophy on their both are based has its roots from the thousand-year old asiatic tradition, bringing us to knowledge a different perspective of living our life in connection with a deeper universal order.

Mindfulness is a natural human quality and we all have a natural capacity for awareness. With practice, mindful awareness can be developed more helpfully in everyday life, allowing us to live more fully and clearly in the present moment where life is really available, without worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.

This is the way to get more in touch with what is going on in our thoughts, emotions, physical and sensory experiences. Through Mindfulness we can recognise the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives and improve our well-being.

Then we can experience the richness and joy of life, but also strengthens our ability to respond to difficulties more skilfully. It helps us to develop greater patience, curiosity, kindness and perspective.

“Walking with me” is a beautiful and touching movie we want to suggest to discover and become more interested in what we are talking. Take a look www.walkwithmefilm.com

London Museums

Whenever we have friends, clients or colleagues coming to London we are asked to recommend the latest exhibitions. As easy as that can seem, we are always unsure where to recommend.

We have finally created a list of where we think are places worth a visit this Summer:

1) Design Museum

Stanley Kubrick Exhibition, until 15 September 2019

224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG

https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/stanley-kubrick-the-exhibition

Stanley Kubrick is without question one of the greatest film directors. His masterpieces include Eyes Wide Shut and Clockwork Orange.

The exhibition goes through the life of this meticulous genius, exploring his unique command of the creative design process of film-making, from storytelling to film direction to editing.

2) Victoria & Albert Museum

Queen Victoria & Prince Albert’s Bicentenary, from 24 June to 26 August 2019

Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

https://www.vam.ac.uk/season/2019/queen-victoria-prince-alberts-bicentenary

Being the birth anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this collection presents a new exhibition of jewellery,  featuring the impressive sapphire and diamond crown of Queen Victoria.

3) Brand Museum

Your Favourite Brand, from 16 May to 31 September 2019

111-117 Lancaster Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 1QT

https://www.museumofbrands.com/your-favourite-brand/

 

What is your favourite brand? Our lives and loyalties to brands are shaped by the memories and experiences we’ve all had over the years. This museum invites you to share these memories and find out just how much we all have in common.

7) Science Museum

Top Secret: from Ciphers to Cyber Security, from 10 July to 23 February 2020

Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/top-secret

This show explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through handwritten documents, declassified files and previously unseen artifacts.

Uncover spy-craft from 1960’s Cold War spy and challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in the interactive puzzle zone.

8) Lisson Gallery

Painters Reply:Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now, from 27 June to 9 August 2019

67 Lisson St, Marylebone, London NW1 5DA

https://www.lissongallery.com/exhibitions/painters-reply-experimental-painting-in-the-1970s-and-now

The exhibition brings together a diverse group of original artists such as Joan Snyder, Dona Nelson, Polly Apfelbaum, Lynda Benglis, Sadie Benning, Roy Colmer, Matt Connors and many others.

9) National Portrait Gallery

Cindy Sherman, from 27 June to 15 September 2019

St. Martin’s Pl, Charing Cross, London WC2H 0HE

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/cindy-sherman/exhibition/

This major new retrospective will explore the development of Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to the present day, and will feature around 150 works from international public and private collections, as well as new work never before displayed in a public gallery.

10)Photographers’ Gallery

Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography From 1959 To 2016, from 14 June to 6 October 2019

16-18 Ramillies St, Soho, London W1F 7LW

https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition/urban-impulses-latin-american-photography-1959-2016 

Featuring the work of over seventy photographers and artists, such as Alberto Korda, Graciela Iturbide and Sergio Larrain, Urban Impulses embraces half a century of Latin American photography, from 1959 to 2016.

1) Design Museum

Stanley Kubrick Exhibition, until 15 September 2019

224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG

https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/stanley-kubrick-the-exhibition

Stanley Kubrick is without question one of the greatest film directors. His masterpieces include Eyes Wide Shut and Clockwork Orange.

The exhibition goes through the life of this meticulous genius, exploring his unique command of the creative design process of film-making, from storytelling to film direction to editing.

2) Victoria & Albert Museum

Queen Victoria & Prince Albert’s Bicentenary, from 24 June to 26 August 2019

Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

https://www.vam.ac.uk/season/2019/queen-victoria-prince-alberts-bicentenary

Being the birth anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this collection presents a new exhibition of jewellery,  featuring the impressive sapphire and diamond crown of Queen Victoria.

3) Brand Museum

Your Favourite Brand, from 16 May to 31 September 2019

111-117 Lancaster Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 1QT

https://www.museumofbrands.com/your-favourite-brand/

 What is your favourite brand? Our lives and loyalties to brands are shaped by the memories and experiences we’ve all had over the years. This museum invites you to share these memories and find out just how much we all have in common.

7) Science Museum

Top Secret: from Ciphers to Cyber Security, from 10 July to 23 February 2020

Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/top-secret

This show explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through handwritten documents, declassified files and previously unseen artifacts.

Uncover spy-craft from 1960’s Cold War spy and challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in the interactive puzzle zone.

8) Lisson Gallery

Painters Reply:Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now, from 27 June to 9 August 2019

67 Lisson St, Marylebone, London NW1 5DA

https://www.lissongallery.com/exhibitions/painters-reply-experimental-painting-in-the-1970s-and-now

The exhibition brings together a diverse group of original artists such as Joan Snyder, Dona Nelson, Polly Apfelbaum, Lynda Benglis, Sadie Benning, Roy Colmer, Matt Connors and many others.

9) National Portrait Gallery

Cindy Sherman, from 27 June to 15 September 2019

St. Martin’s Pl, Charing Cross, London WC2H 0HE

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/cindy-sherman/exhibition/

This major new retrospective will explore the development of Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to the present day, and will feature around 150 works from international public and private collections, as well as new work never before displayed in a public gallery.

10)Photographers’ Gallery

Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography From 1959 To 2016, from 14 June to 6 October 2019

16-18 Ramillies St, Soho, London W1F 7LW

https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition/urban-impulses-latin-american-photography-1959-2016 

Featuring the work of over seventy photographers and artists, such as Alberto Korda, Graciela Iturbide and Sergio Larrain, Urban Impulses embraces half a century of Latin American photography, from 1959 to 2016.

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