1. Dialing up the Empathy

Here we go! The journey to create Making Sense begins!

Thanks to a much-needed introspective analysis of my own creative practice, I have recently zeroed in on the decision to explore the creation of a card-based toolkit for multimodal creativity; a format that I strongly believe is well suited to the modular nature of creative generalism. Over the past few months, this resource has been previously defined by many terms, praxis, framework, toolkit - but to cut and seer the end of that coily-cord - Making Sense is a card-based toolkit with mixed discipline creativity in mind. But at this point, Making Sense is merely a chassis... with also perhaps at this point an * internalized* notional blueprint for the engine, but there are no two ways around it - that engine is yet to be built, or more importantly, tested.

The deck is stacked but the cards are blank...


However, it's at this very moment that I'll be jumping out from the cushy-climate-controlled-cubby that is my creative lab, and leaping both feet first into the harsher but much more exciting expanse of the wider creative ecosystem. Now, just before I flick the lights off on my way out, let's take one last look around the lab as I lock up; It's safe to say that I'm happy with my own internal reconciliation of the precepts and scope for these cards, however *checks if the oven is off* as I enter the next phase for this project I must fully acknowledge that I'm now entering product development territory - an important acknowledgment - because ultimately, I sure as hell ain't making these cards for just myself. Sure, my previous deconstructive reflection of my own practice was enough to get me started *closes windows* and I sincerely hope that I do indeed wind up with the toolkit that I deeply desire in order to sustain and scale my own multidisciplinary freelance practice - but it would be a tremendous shame for this to end up as some 'up-yours-ivory-tower' product that sits in my pocket, and my pocket only... *puts on coat* After all, what could possibly make me so special that I'm the only person that is facing the problem(s) that my cards may end up fixing?! *phone... keys... wallet...* I highly value the genetic makeup of my own creative practice, but as I've said from the very beginning of this project, it has been a somewhat wibbly-wobbly journey to design *AND* define my own creative identity. However, the development of Making Sense brings with it the opportunity for me to double down on this and contribute towards the normalisation of the role of the creative generalist - through a landmark artefact that provides a much needed structural spine into the endoplasmic and nebulous nature of modern creative freelancing. Also, throughout the groundwork process, I had begun to circle potential problems to solve. However, are any of those *THE* problem? ...or are they just *MY* problem? Or are they part of a much bigger whole? Because if they are then I need to know what this wider 'whole' is, as this is what's going to help me capture a wider audience for Making Sense and make the cards relevant to as many people as possible without them losing their focus.

Enter Design Thinking. A creative innovation process for human-centered solutions and designs. This is the process that is going to enable me to triangulate my Making Sense cards in the wider creative universe. For a large portion of this fieldwork process, I will be engaging with individuals out there in the field to inform the iterative development of the pre-launch edition of Making Sense. But I need to find out who these people are before I can approach them. As I do this I will be operating out of the already established fake door website for Making Sense, and with each phase of the design thinking journey, I'll be sculpting, hacking, and preening this portal, the core message, the core offer, and the core contents of this resource as I move closer to an eventual implementation, or launch, of the first public version of these cards;


...and this process can only start on the right foot by dialing up the empathy, enabling me to come face-to-face with my target audience, their needs, and the demands of their professional world, or should I say... OUR professional world.

*closes and locks the door to the lab, turns around, and takes a deep breath of air from the creative outdoors...*