Showing all posts tagged #philosophy:


An Indication of Success

Posted on February 19th, 2017

A friend recently messaged me on my thoughts of how we evaluate our product after each event. I voice texted the following:

An indication of success is the observation of team celebrating that they had the privilege of experiencing the events together. That members of the team would offer self critique of the things that they individually remember missing and proposing their plan for how to improve it because they want to improve the overall win. That they would encourage the others in their successes in a posture of gratefulness to serve alongside such talent and attitude.

The greatest single indicator is joy. Do people like being part of the team? Do they celebrate that? Do they celebrate one another, even if they weren't part of the element? Is it a privilege to be part of the same team? Are they thinking about people that they want to invite along to the experience?

Another is adaptability. Are they willing to follow the leadership on a last-minute course correction without gripe or grumble or stressful freakout; but rather peace and even excitement.

Finally, and this is certainly more of a long-term evaluation: Are people working themselves out of a job? If the true culture is discipleship, then it will play out in the entire context of the persons life. Even to the point of training others to replace you in task and responsibility. The body of Christ is always evolving. Are we openhanded to however the spirit will move people and grow people?



Leadership no no

Posted on July 18th, 2016

My goal as a leader is to never say "no." Rather even if I know with certainty that "no" is the correct choice, I prefer lead through the situation by considering the possibility of a yes. I try to lay out the best few options that we can see and what the benefits and consequences are from each.

Most choices to try an enhance a plan requires a choice to abandon another part of it. If someone does pose a truly good idea, we'll all probably agree that it's an improvement. If the culture is created that all ideas are considered, then there will be a better chance of good ideas being offered.

If change is always squashed, then ideas for improvement will never be revealed and we will die in status quo…

If an idea is suggested that I know (either because of intuition or previous experience) is a poor choice, I am a better leader if I steer them (be they a subordinate, a peer, or a superior) toward realizing the choice on their own.

Summarized, I'm the best leader when I am optimistic and disciplined enough to choose not to say "no."

My Production Design Algorithm

Posted on May 17th, 2015

A stream of thought listing things I consider with every design:

  • Context of organization
  • Context of event
  • What are the “budget" parameters?
    • Cost for the event?
    • Budget for series? for year?
  • Who is on stage?
    • who’s the teacher
    • who’s the worship leader
    • play to their style
  • Topic of the day…series
  • Branding...
    • How do the visuals identify with the mission?
    • Achieve continuity with the rest of communication
  • What are my resources?
    • existing materials?
    • budget for new?
      • I suppose I ought to ask about rental budget; however I’m rarely a fan of such...
    • lighting inventory?
  • What is the rep plot?
    • How do we play to the strengths of the lighting system?
    • A good rep plot is arguably the most important asset to your venue.
    • Certainly right up there with a good PA.
    • The good news is that that it costs way less...
  • What are video requirements?
    • IMAG
    • broadcast
    • camera positions
  • What are audio’s needs? What will help them succeed?
  • who is the producer?
    • What are their visual preferences?
    • what “lens" is the story told?
  • Who is on lights? Maximize their strengths...
  • What is the timeline for setup? for strike?
    • Is it a stage turn situation? If so, what is the design that precedes and follows?
    • How do you design in the timeline of multiple turns?
      • Hang the rig points 2 weeks out
      • hang the truss 1.5 weeks out
      • hang the lights 1 week out and use as backlight for the Midweek stage
      • Finally, hang hard goods and refocus lights in the turn for the target event
      • then hang a screen and soft goods from the same truss in an upcoming design.
  • What are transportation and storage logistical considerations?
  • Who is the crew? What are their strengths and experiences?
    • Artists vs. engineers
  • Materials
    • What materials have been used recently?
    • What materials will the upcoming holiday be using?
    • Use something different than either of these.
  • Mood
    • Honestly more important than materials is the mood.
    • It’s possible to create multiple moods with the same materials.
      • That’s what we do in a series: I brand a series with a palette of materials, and then craft the set for each day to support the unique story of that specific event...
  • Inspiration
    • What is inspiring me recently?
      • Architecture
      • Nature
      • Window displays
      • Trade magazines
      • Cinema
      • Renaissance paintings
      • Industrial dumpster
      • Pinterest
    • What's an archived idea that I might finally have the chance to try?
      • Evernote
        • Anything that inspires me tends to end up in Evernote
        • I use tags such as “design ideas"
    • I hate copying (plagiarism) and go to great lengths to make sure my art is authenticity mine. However, I think being inspired by other designers is completely appropriate.
    • Who can you connect with to bounce ideas off of one another? #ctln
  • Passion
    • I want people to pull their phones out.
    • I take pride in my discipline - the pursuit of creating something beautiful.
    • A design certainly should look good
      • Visual interest, shapes, patterns, textures, Layers, Depth behind every camera angle, etc.
      • However I suggest there are transcendent considerations that can be woven into the scene - metaphor, symbols, numerology, etc. Hide "Easter eggs" - it's fun and it will inspire someone, I promise.
        • break the 4th wall - immerse them in the story
        • target people’s subconscious

a journey in pursuit of the higher standard

Posted on February 27th, 2015

Sometimes the best path is nonlinear. Process matters. Effective is more important than efficient.

Life is too short to allow people to cherish the lesser. Break paradigms. Call people to the higher standard.

The filtering process of creating

Posted on February 21st, 2015

I've been pondering creativity recently. I suggest that creativity is more than an act: Creativity is a process.

That statement made, creativity is more than useless imagination, it is something tangible. Something is new that was not realized before! Creativity is turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. It is the ability to perceive, the vision to find hidden patterns, the action of making connections between seemingly unrelated phenomenon, the capacity to generate solutions.

It is not a single magical moment (though there are wonderfully encouraging moments of revelation along the journey) but rather the commitment to the process that is what defines the genius of the artisan who gifts us with her prose, his construction, their song, etc.

The creative doesn't start with nothing however. Usually (speaking for myself and for many of my friends) "writer's block" is the cause of to much "cluster" and a lack of focus for where to begin. Narrowing down the perameters is often the best way to begin. What are the core themes to be played with?

The process of creativity is a "filtering process" that begins with everything. Whittle away at the whole to focus in on the core beauty to be revealed. Then, when the creation begins to take shape, refine, refine, refine...

Remember the I Am

Posted on November 4th, 2014

Pray about it.
Write about it.
Share about it.

I like the idea in these thoughts that my friend shared from a book he has been reading. It talks about how we can find success in breaking through the old patterns that we want freedom from...


I die to self by the act of belonging to Christ.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
-Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭24‬ (ESV)


What is my identity?


...all will sing out hallelujah, all will cry out hallelujah


Remember the I Am:

By resisting the beginner’s mind, you make yourself more prone to repeat yourself than to create something new. The attempt to avoid failure, in other words, makes failure more likely. Paying attention to the present moment without letting your thoughts and ideas about the past and the future get in the way is essential.
-Ed Catmull


While we strive for a sinless life, we know we will never be those who need no repentance. We stumble, we fall, but your love and grace helps us to know that our sins may be forgiven. May we know your warm forgiveness and heaven’s joy. Amen.
-Unknown


Light reveals/creates something beautiful; while darkness breeds destruction. May we confess to one another so we might magnify God's beauty. I will lift high Jesus' name by my surrender to Him.

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
-‭Jesus of Nazareth (John‬ ‭12‬:‭32‬ ESV)

If a person attracts through his personality, that becomes his appeal. If, however, he is identified with the Lord Himself, then the appeal becomes what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to glory in men, yet Jesus says we are to lift up only Him.

-Oswald Chambers

I commit to carrying this thought with me today.




Hands Head and Heart

Posted on October 27th, 2014

He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
-St. Francis of Assisi

Why I don't intend to get an iPhone6

Posted on September 17th, 2014

I have fielded texts and DMs asking my opinion. I copy/pasted the following from one such reply.

Short answer is SIZE and stewardship of resources. What's the purpose you want to accomplish with a "pocketable" device? It should be a tool for you to be a good friend. It should remind you to be where you want to be and it should keep you connected to your extended circles. It should take good photos. It should not be a barrier between you and your loved ones. It should also not cause you to spend more for a phone bill than is prudent. A larger screen will only lure you into looking at it more. At the expense of who you might be across the table from. At the expense of your data bill. I also question how well the camera lens will fare as it squeezes in and out of pockets and countertops when it sticks out so obnoxiously. I also use my phone instead of my DSLR whenI want to travel light - the big phone seems counterintuitive... One more issue, if you're going to spend $700 (and you do spend that entire cost with the initial fee and *monthly charges for the next two years; you better make sure it is worth abandoning what you currently have in your hand…

*We save $25/month on each of our phones that are out of contract. $300/year is a steep cost for something that’s not going to truly be beneficial.

What do you think? Am I missing something crucial to the decision of what to do with this choice?

A Challenge to Myself

Posted on July 23rd, 2014

We artists are responsible for being the spark of hope that will change futures.

Eliminate everything that makes you less than the best reflection of your humanity. It is your responsibility is to be a good steward of every opportunity.

Own your contribution. Do not allow cynicism to “protect" you from having to try. Cynicism and hope cannot coexist. Embrace the new present and pursue the future without fear.

If you complain about something (especially more than once) you’re allowing it to continue. Instead, look for how you can solve the “problem" and lead into a new future… Future based language changes present results.

Do not be lulled into accepting the good. Instead, search out the hidden potential for greatness. Greatness is revealed by the discipline of whittling away at the idea and not settling for the first draft.

Tell a story. Be an artisan. Craft the magical.

Give good notes; be a good coach. Do not "play small." Give the gift of honest and constructive criticism - it is a real gift if your team trusts that you are for them.

Strive to do what only you can do. Gather and invest in great teammates. They too are creative and uniquely gifted. Be intentional and mine it out of them.

Being full of hope, bring your full self to any and every situation. Know your unique talents and steward them well.

Use your creative mind as a gift to the team. When at your best, you'll ask helpful, focusing questions that will guide us toward a better future.

Always take a chance on better, even if it seems threatening. Break paradigms - dare to bend the implications of what people think they know.

Ideate where we might go as we consider "hopeful, unknown, future possibilities."

Tomorrow is not rooted in the past unless you are lazy in your vision. May we call each other to the higher standard. Let us reach for the stars.

May we be known by love. May ours be a collective voice of hope. May we realize our potential to create a beautiful future.

Do not hesitate to step up where others shrink in fear. Charge as a warrior in the service of joy. Never cease speaking up and offering your very best work. Be relentless in generously sharing the gift you uniquely can be - to your ecclesial community and the world beyond.

You are designed to imagine and create the future.

You are not your idea. Be openhanded with everything. You are not what you do. Do not forget that the Work of God is to believe in the one who was sent.

As a creative who seeks to live life to the fullest, you must always pay attention to the world. See the big picture. Never cease to to be awestruck at the beauty of nature. Practice gratefulness; recognize gifts even and especially in the midst of chaos. Share in the celtic tradition as you journey.

Be not prideful; be courageous. Live unhindered. Your life is art.

Continue dying to yourself and live every new day in a posture of surrender.

Keep your integrity bounded and your imagination boundless. May your dreams be big - rooted in not in your past but in the One who was and is and most importantly who is to come.

Love with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.



*The above is curated from my various journal entries, notebooks, and underlined passages from books I've been reading. Along with a few "original" thoughts of my own, much of the above is derived with paraphrasing (and a few direct quotes) from some people who have been inspiring me over the past few months. Thanks in particular to Oswald Chambers, Seth Godin, Erwin McManus, Ann Voscamp, Ed Catmull, Aaron Sorkin, Marcus Buckingham, Michael Dauphinee, Jason Jaggard, Jessica Wolfe, and Jesus of Nazareth.


Perspective of life is revealed in beauty of nature and people

Posted on July 11th, 2014

I read this prayer this morning and have found encouragement in it. I've been contemplating it as my morning moves along.

"Heavenly Father, our lives are full of distractions and our focus on you is sometimes lost. Today, let us stop to behold your majesty, revealed in the beauty of nature an in your children. Amen."

Here are a few photos (that help me consider those thoughts and remember perspective) from last week's camping trip with some dear friends of ours.



Eric Wolfe

Visual Artist. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. Catch Eric’s sporadic musings at egwolfe.com or follow him on social media platforms as @egwolfe