Saturday, February 6, 2010

A day with Kent McCuddin — Thursday, February 25

Kent McCuddin considers himself to be problem solver.

As a guest speaker and presenter, he encourages others to use creative intelligence and divergent thinking to solve problems and find better ways to accomplish bigger and better things.

On Thursday, February 25, he’ll be sharing insights with students and guests at Dordt College, hosted by Dordt’s AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) student group.

“The Creative Process to Developing Ideas” will be presented by McCuddin at 9:25 a.m. on Thursday in the Science and Technology Center, classroom SB108. At 2 p.m. he’ll explain methods of tapping into creative intelligence with the topic, “Divergent Thinking,” in lecture hall SB101. The public is welcome to attend both of these lectures.

Kent McCuddin is marketing manager in the Consumer Communications division of Wells’ Dairy Inc., Blue Bunny, based in Le Mars. He has extensive management experience in retail marketing communications, with expertise in art direction and as director of creative services. He serves the company in branding, advertising, SBU (Strategic Business Unit) communications, customer marketing, social and interactive media.

McCuddin will also speak to graphic design and marketing management classes during his day as guest speaker at the college.

Itinerary for Thursday, February 25:

8:00 am.
Marketing Management Class (including e-marketing students) in room CA 319
Topic: Social Media and how it applies to business.

9:25 am.
AIGA student group open event in room SB 108
Topic: The creative process to developing ideas.

11:00 am.
Lunch with students

12:25 p.m.
Graphic Design II in room CL 1310
Topic: History of graphic design.

2:00 p.m.
AIGA student group open event in room SB 101
Topic: Divergent thinking (tapping into Creative Intelligence to make ideas bigger and better).

McCuddin writes the following:
The magic is in the field philosophy.

Creativity is a matter of preparation and experience over genetically produced ideas. Creativity falls in the same category that Thomas Edison talked about when he said, “Genius is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” 90 percent of the creative process is done before you start to generate ideas. Many times the only part of the creative process anyone ever notices is the final product and they assume you just thought it up. Short and sweet, wham, you’re a genius. The reality is it takes hard work to be that creative genius.

If you were to draw a line on a piece of paper to visualize the creative process timeline, you would need to draw a long line not a short line. The first 90 percent is prep time and the last 10 percent is idea generation.

Gordon MacKenzie best illustrated this process with a story about dairy cows. “Imagine dairy cows in a field eating grass. It may not look like much, but that field is where the magic happens, turning grass into milk. Not until the cows get in the barn do you ever see the product, milk. You can’t continually milk the cows and expect to get the same quantity and quality of milk with each milking. That cow needs to spend 90 percent of their time in the field hanging around eating grass before they can deliver their milk.”

The creative person needs time in the field before they can make their magic happen. They must first fill their brains with information, have time to process that information then they can start generating creative ideas. This information gathering may come from years of experience or one meeting to review a creative brief. But it must happen.
So the next time you see a glass of milk, remember, the magic happened in the field not the barn.

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