Wednesday, 23 February 2011

10 Lessons for young designers...

I'm a designer but I'm certainly not young anymore. When I was though I would have really appreciated these top ten tips when I started, rather than learning them the hard way as I progressed.

These are some insightful and thought-provoking lessons from Wieden+Kennedy’s Executive Creative Director, John C Jay: 10 Lessons for young designers.

1: Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It’s time to stop listening to others on what you should do.
2: Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.
3: Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral.
4: Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough.
5: Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you don’t know.
6: Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world.
7: Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them.
8: Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.
9: The Golden Rule actually works. Do good.
10: If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.


h/t - Swiss Miss

Sunday, 20 February 2011


The third in a Trio of Travels saw me set off on Friday afternoon for Steel City. I was in the company of Lia and John, with Lia driving and 'Jane' manning the SatNav. The occasion was the gathering of Northern Forum, a collection of folk from a number of churches in the Pioneer Network, of which Bren and me are a part. Last minute grandson duties meant that Bren missed out on the trip though.Baz and Lynda had pulled out all the stops in terms of welcome and hospitality, and we were soon around a table creaking under the weight of Chinese food and bottles of wine. These 24 hour gatherings are a good opportunity for leaders of churches in the network and others, to get together and encourage, pray and support one another. The stories flowed as well as the wine and the good conversation continued the next morning, along with with a number of issues discussed and resolved along the way. They say good friends are hard to find... and these are surely among the best. Here's to the next time!


On Tuesday I took myself off up the Tyne Valley to Hexham to meet up with ministers and church leaders of the group 'Together Northumberland'. This is an occasional gathering for those involved in various denominations (and none) throughout the County. As usual it was great meeting up again and discovering what was happening around the region in individual contexts, and contribute prayer, support and encouragement for one another in our very different situations.
As I walked up through the town I noticed a plaque on a wall which intrigued me....

It was attributed to 'The Methodist Ranters'....! Well, I don't believe I fall into either of these categories but I couldn't wait to find out more when I got home via the wonders of the interweb... here's what I found out... Turns out this group was a breakaway from the 'Orthodox' Methodists (themselves of course a breakaway from the Church of England) in Hexham, and were marked out by their 'hellfire' style of preaching throughout the region.

As far as I know there are no such ranters among the Together Northumberland group (no doubt I'll be corrected on this score, and severely ranted at, if this is the case!) Our focus is more gentle hopefully, and more concerned with the journey of faith, the removal of religious barriers and the recognition of God-given individual freedoms, which should surely more closely be hallmarks of followers of Christ.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Bren had a singing gig up at Paxton House, near Berwick upon Tweed, so I took the role of roadie for the trip and off we set through the beautiful Northumbrian countryside. In a little over an hour I had deposited Bren at the venue and me and Gracie set off for a lovely walk through the woods that led down to the river.What a beautifully quiet and peaceful spot... apart from the occasional blast of the locals discharging their shotguns at the local wildlife!... and a bend in the river revealed that we weren't too far off the famous local landmark Union Chain Bridge.Bren and me had stayed in a cottage along this stretch of the river some years ago. These cottages were used for years by the salmon fisherman for which the Tweed is mostly famous.
Gracie loved all the smells in the nooks and crannies as we walked through the woods, and also stopped to admire the architecture from time to time.Lovely signs appeared along the path to give an exciting indication that Spring is not too far away!

Bacon Buttie with The Boss

On Friday I took a trip out to Newbiggin by the Sea to see my friend and erstwhile collaborator Jason. Before any talk of projects, web sites and the like ensued we embarked on the serious business of scoffing a couple of nice bacon sarnies made by The Boss himself. He's one helluva cook that guy... brown sauce and everything!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Communitas - discovering future church and mission

Albert Einstein once said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Doesn’t church feel like that sometimes?

We do church like we have always done it; we expect revival but wonder why it never happens.

Maybe it’s time to look a fresh at what it means to be church in twenty first century Britain; to consider again how to be a witness for Jesus in a culture that increasingly considers our faith irrelevant.


Then come and join the conversation at the Communitas conference taking place on Saturday 12 March 2011 at Storey Park Community Centre in Morpeth.
Its purpose is to question the status quo and explore what church could and maybe needs to look like in the future in order to survive and thrive, and transform our communities for Jesus.

Confirmed speakers on the day will be Roy Searle (Northumbria Community), Phil Togwell (24/7 Prayer) and Peter Farmer (UK Simple Church Network).

Come along and explore newer expressions of church and communities of faith with an emphasis on prayer and mission.
Invites are by word of mouth. If you are interested then come along. If you know someone who you think would want to come with you then invite them as well.

Everything kicks off at 10 AM - finishing by 5 PM latest. Bring something for lunch that you can share.
Unfortunately, space restrictions at the venue mean that we are not able to provide child care.

The cost for attending the event will be £10 per person. Let us know if you are coming, and pay in advance if you want to - but paying on the day is fine with us.
If you want to know more then ring Martin Luff on 0773 8866679 or Tim Sokell on 0794 0388610

Looking forward to seeing you there!