Creativity requires courage

SuperFly images

Ever have a great idea and someone pips you to the post?

I once pitched an idea to a web developer friend which got us both quite excited for a while. Soon after it became clear that the people we thought would benefit from this idea just weren’t ready for it! Three years later I discovered ‘Etsy’ for the first time and gave myself a bit of a kicking! Such is life for ‘the ideas man’!

I was involved in a project recently and and someone suggested we get a ‘thank you’ present for the organiser, although they were a bit concerned that we might upset the person who originated the idea (they had to pass on managing the project for personal reasons). My response was that there is a million miles between having an idea and actually seeing it through.

And “Here”, as the man said, “…endeth the lesson”.

Besides being creative you have to be courageous. Sometimes it financial. Sometimes it’s confidence. Either way, If you get pipped to the post then you’ve no one to blame but yourself.

So, my ‘Etsy’-ish idea passed me by, but I delivered elsewhere..!

SuperFly Flyer

This other idea I sat on for about five years before getting a wave of confidence in 2009. In the Dundee, where I worked, there was a legal fly-posting system managed by Street Advertising Services (SAS). I always saw fly-posting as ‘exhibition space’, and being averse to traditional gallery spaces I saw the need for an alternative.

I established SuperFly as a creative platform and exhibition for artists and designers of all disciplines, founded on two key criteria:

1.    No submission fees
2.    No traditional gallery spaces

Having gathered in over 150 submissions from almost 70 artists, 7 pieces were chosen, each having 5 posters across the City of Dundee. It was a success! Off the back of this show I collaborated with Glasgow creative collective ‘Central Station’ who were organising a pop-up event in Dundee. Consequently I curated an exhibition for them of five Dundee artists. The street poster sites were part exhibition, part advertising space for the event.

Back to 2013 and I have a sense of deja-vu!’
Art Everywhere’ is an initiative to put ‘classic’ artwork on billboard sites across the UK (read more on Creative Review’s blog here) . To be fair, this project is “Gone With The Wind” to my “Local Hero” but I wouldn’t hav it any other way. All involved contributed their time, print and space for free and all of the artists were pretty much unknown (My first show even had a ‘Burt Lancaster’ equivalent in Scotland’s Johanna Basford).

Painful TV appearance:

So SuperFly may not have had the ‘national’ impact of ‘Art Everywhere’ but I’m sure as far as some people are concerned it had the ‘personal’ impact. SuperFly kicked of a whole string of projects and collaborations, for me and it’s artists, that are continuing today; and if nothing else, I’m just relieved that I’m not sitting here writing about ‘another idea’ that I should have done something with! Creativity requires courage!

So, this time four years ago I was about to launch the inaugural SuperFly. Do you have any memories of SuperFly? If so please post them here. You’ll find out more about SuperFly here; and while nothing is planned for the future, we never say never!




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