How To Fill A Blank Slate

There is nothing more invigorating than the opportunity to start anew with a clean slate and a blank canvas. That moment the creative spirit dreams and yearns for most, is when the mind is engulfed with endless possibilities, the heart is filled with hopeful wonder, and the soul is electric with vibrant energy.

That same moment is also the most intimidating.

Staring alone at wide open nothingness, not knowing where to start amidst the swirl of ideas, the fear of misstep, and the sound of the ever-ticking clock can be both daunting and paralyzing. What starts as a dream can quickly become the fuel for a nightmare!

I write this first blog entry as the new Innovation Director at Upstream 360, and I am currently swirling with that excitement, fear, hope, and intimidation of the blank canvas. Just two months ago, I chose to jump out of the comfort zone of my 17-year career in R&D and Marketing at Procter & Gamble and into this brave, new landscape. A big part of this new role is to build off of Upstream 360’s already impressive capabilities for ideation, conceptualization, and production and to help write some new and exciting pages into the stories of our company, our partners, and our clients. Invigorating for sure… even with that small dash of intimidation!

Taking this blank canvas and turning it into a masterpiece is at the heart of what Upstream 360 does each and every day.  A team might come to us trying to discover a new insight or to escape an old way of thinking… and we help chart the course to some new and exciting ideas. Sometimes organizations may already have their cubicles filled with shards of ideas and sparks of inspiration… and we help transform those into visual and compelling new concepts. Or maybe there is a breakthrough technology invented in the labs that is amazing but seemingly impossible to explain… so we help find the words for the “wow” and produce a video for the launch. The magic of what Upstream 360 brings to its clients and partners is that ability to take the chaos, no matter what stage of the innovation process a team is in, and transform it into clarity.

Writing this first blog entry represents the filling of the first of many blank pages over the coming weeks and months. Mark Smith (our Chief Creative Officer) and I will be crafting bi-weekly entries to share some stories, laughs, parables, and case studies to discover some new nuggets of insight along the way. These entries will go wherever the muse takes us, and will likely see many diversions through science fiction, jaw-dropping puns, and current events (which are often now stranger than science fiction), all with the goal of providing a spark of insight and generating conversation. We would be honored if you follow us on this crazy ride, and help us to paint this new canvas together. Onward and upward!