It was such a privilege today to hear one of the most inspirational leaders of non-traditional education speak on the topic of Arts Education. Randy Nelson, director of Apple University and former Dean of Pixar University spoke to a group of Arts educators in Orange County and had a room of over 300 captivated for nearly 2 hours. His presentation covered everything from how to create happy, creative employees, to ways to conduct an effective critique to what he calls  “required skills for failure.”

As Randy moved from side to side on the stage I sat entranced listening to his patient, calming voice. Everything he said resonated so deeply with me as a creator, leader, and educator. I was among my tribe. At one point he walked towards my front row seat and said “you’ve got to be that person to drive yourself towards that next thing you do. You have to be evolving and dynamic.” He then continued  “You have to be selfish, that’s what you were put on here to do. You are the creator’s local representative for that spot,” looking directly at me now “and that point of view on earth and God bless you for being here.”


Randy shared so much today that touched me, I could literally write a book on it. No doubt he has that in the works and I’ll be the first in line to buy it. The last message from today’s presentation I want to leave with is the ability to discern and critique the difference between “No Good” (NG), “Could Be Better” (CBB) and “Keep Going” (KG). You see at Pixar, work was critiqued along these terms. You didn‘t want to get an NG, but KG was a flickering light. It said “it still needs work, but we trust you. You’re on the right path and worth investing more time and resources to, so get back in the chair and make it great. All you need is a little more time.” That, in essence is our job as creators. Like Dori says in Nemo “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

So when up to 60% of the human body is comprised of water, and the brain is composed of nearly 70% today I used every ounce to soak up fuel and just “keep going.” This is my creation today.