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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Art Fuels the Brain and Helps with Managing Your Team

art-brain

By Joan Schneider, President and Creative Director, Schneider Associates

At Harvard Business School, they always talk about managing by walking around.  It’s hard to have new ideas when you are constantly sitting in the office—talking to the same people, looking at the same scenery, thinking about things in the usual way.

I’ve found that travel is one way to do this, as well as an excellent way to bring color to my work life. Recently, I attended Art Basel in Miami, the global art fair where in one tent alone were featured $2 billion of art.  Painting, sculpture, experiential works—anything you can think of was exhibited at Art Basel.

Art lovers from around the world gathered to see what’s happening in the art world and to be part of the “in crowd” attending this bi-annual event (also held in Switzerland, where the fair began).

The coverage of Art Basel in The New York Times and the Miami Herald focused as much on the fashion, shoes and people-watching at the fair as they did on the art.  It was a scene.

The biggest takeaway for me is how viewing the art inspired me to create art.  I saw this statue that I fell in love with…it was originally a garden statue that had been re-engineered to have a smooth surface in bright green. When I innocently asked how much it costs, I learned there were only two in the world and each costs $325,000—only slightly out of my price range. The good news is this wacky statue inspired me to buy a small statue (from Homegoods at $39, reduced from $100), plus some bright pink paint to create my own art.

Most importantly, I came back to work feeling energized and full of colorful ideas to launch because of three days spent looking at one of the world’s largest exhibits of first class art.  I believe the art of business can be enhanced and enlightened by the business of creating art.

But next year, I am going to spend more time ‘creating’ my outfit, since fashion is an important aspect of the visual experience at Art Basel.  The smarter your outfit, the more people talk to you—the more people that talk to you—the more you will learn and that’s why one makes the pilgrimage to Miami—to shake up the creative molecules in your brain.

Here’s a picture of the statue I created as a result of Art Basel. Her name is Artemesia and she formerly was beige, but after Art Basel, she’s hot pink.  There’s no doubt she’s way more exciting in fuscia.

Joan Schneider, President and Creative Director

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