It’s the quiet ones who surprise you the most.

The early morning sun shines down directly on me in the morning. I really can’t imagine a better way to wake up. Saturday… the one day we all look forward and has so much potential to ‘be more’. For my family and I, we get to pack up for a night and drive out west to Banff, AB and attend my husband’s cousin’s wedding at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – just over 10 years from the same place we said our vows. Not a bad way to escape the ‘Calgary Stampede’ craze happening right now.

Last night… funny story: Made plans to take in a movie with my mother-in-law. A little ‘Magic Mike’ action for a Friday night. Though a hiccup in the plans – I will blame a real good friend who is in town this week from Florida whom I HAD to talk to – made us late to get to the theatre. As I walked up to the ticket desk – it was announced loudly that Magic Mike was sold out! Well what is a girl to do in a situation with that? Roll with it – find out what was else was playing at the same time and got a ticket. Ended up watching a movie that I would have been fine waiting for to make the playlist on the Movie Channel at home, Katy Perry. I figured fellow HOWie, Julie Goldsberry, loved it so WTH. I wasn’t dissapointed – though inspiring in a different way. Ms. Perry’s story from then to now is ‘authentic‘. Through all her challenges in the end she has remained true to herself.

This authenticity theme is being talked about everywhere, especially in the creative profession. People look past the pretty to the real meaning of things, and in a day when the people’s voice have more power than the largest corporation’s media buy – you need to be aware. This brings me round circle BACK to another amazing person I have been lucky to have met on the HOWie circuit – David Ashcraft.

David and I and a couple pictures he sent me to include in the upcoming HOW followup project. I thought this was a great visual into a look at his design perspective.

I first met David as he chimed in on my weekly HOWie hangout on google + this past year. He was a newbie to the team and forgive my memory, either he knew someone else online or heard about the hangout via social media and dropped in to say hi. All I can say, is today – we are so HAPPY that he did. He was never much for talking – always the quiet one in the corner whom like myself usually had bedtime to contend with at that time – though he has 3 kids to my 2 – and he keeps smiling. He has been an in-house designer with the Montana State University and his plans at this point is to remain there so he can put all 3 of his kids through university, a benefit of being a staff member. That I wonder about – this man has potential to be more.

My first introduction to David in person, we were heading out to the the Red Sox baseball game where the three of us (me, David & Julie) tried out the Pedi-Cab – it was a snug fit but super fun. It was great to hang with David, he still didn’t say too much in the beginning, quiet as always but around. I had to laugh at the number of photos I have of him. Throughout the conference I kept hearing comments on what a great/amazing/surprising guy Mr. Ashcraft was. His sincerity and probably because he didn’t say so much, lent himself to be an amazing listener. And who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? Find a guy who let’s you roll with it – score!

How does this all tie-in to Katy Perry and authenticity? Well I got a message from David on my flight home:

As I rode home on the plane, I began to leaf though the iNote and recap the week. In doing that I came across the Meandering Thoughts (Everybody’s Free). At first I chuckled as I remembered the song and how fun it was, and that I hadn’t heard it in a long time. Then as I began to read the lyrics. I had a wave of emotion: from pride to near tears. It is truly a great list of thoughts and I wanted to thank you for adding that. Over the past few weeks I have been trying to be more present and honest. Which is partly why I found it odd that it was also an underlying theme at HOW.

To respond for starters… the fact that that because of something I included which really connected with me (Everybody’s Free lyrics), that someone else was affected by it in their own way is well – COOL. Seriously the idea of writing a publication that helps others see something in themselves and be inspired to be more is pretty awesome.

So to comment on the end of his message about being present and honest you should check out his blog post Jell-O. He garnered a great respect and drive towards authenticity. To quote:

…if it’s not authentic to me then it’s no better than a template off the internet. — David Ashecraft

I am loving the idea that the work we do should be representative of our own unique style and values. And in so – we should all be working with companies and individuals that align with these. It is because of that I truly believe that there shouldn’t be a competitive nature against fellow creative professionals. In fact, the competitiveness should relate more to pushing us on a more personal level to be more of what WE ARE, not a mimic of some other apparently successful creative company or individual.

So I want to thank David for affirming for me the importance of being present and honest. Be YOU, since everyone else is taken.

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