Starry Blue Brilliance

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Brilliance@Work: Brian Robinson Tells a Great Story at Universal Pictures

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar people and their best practices at work. We’re kicking off 2017 by featuring brand, design and marketing strategy experts to help you “thrive in the new brand reality.”

Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson

FUSE 2017 presenter, Brian Robinson, Executive Vice President of Creative, Design and Development at Universal Pictures, spent 10 years in retail, leading brand strategy and new partnership ventures. Over the last four years, he’s been a brand leader in the entertainment world, building and cultivating brand and creative teams at DreamWorks Animation and now Universal Pictures.

As a preview to his presentation “DO NOT OPEN: A Tale of Resiliency, Imagination, and the Power of Curiosity,” Brian shares his insights on how unbridled imagination is at the heart of innovation.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your previous work in retail and brand strategy translate into success in the entertainment world?
Brian Robinson:
Have a seat and let me tell you a story, a great, grand story. But first, tell me yours.

Listen to the rhythm of culture, hear the dreams, ideas and aspirations of your fans and build an undeniable empathy for those that love what you do. This understanding, this empathy, will allow you to tell great stories, and great stories are the great connector. Whether campaigns, design, product development or innovation, the combination of empathy and great storytelling will always deliver success.

PB: How do your leadership values support your creative work and the work of your team?
BR:
The culmination of my leadership values – courage, authenticity, resiliency, respect –are intended to unlock the most exciting and purest forms of creativity, while encouraging individuality.

PB: What is the creative process you follow to bring your ideas to life?
BR:
The most unadulterated form of my personal creativity is free-form writing and is always the beginning of my creative process. Followed by editing, challenging, story-arching, and ultimately, pitching the idea.

PB: How do resiliency, courage and imagination drive your quest for innovation?
BR:
Life is a quest and trying to innovate within my own life journey means I’m living. I’m failing, I’m learning, I’m living, I’m failing, and in this cycle, it is my own personal resiliency, courage and imagination that continually drive me forward.

PB: What do you see as the next phase in the movie entertainment industry?
BR:
Phases no longer exist. The speed at which change takes hold is breathtaking. In the great renaissance of storytelling, one’s relevancy is the single most important idea in the entertainment industry and dare I say all industries. You must have compelling, empathetic stories that connect to culture, but unless you can make your stories relevant, they don’t exist.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
BR:
They’ll experience the amazing, courageous art of getting knocked out and the resiliency and determination to get back up and keep on fighting.

Want to hear more from Brian? Join us at FUSE 2017. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in brand, design and marketing. Stay connected at #FUSEdesign.

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Hope is in the Stars and on YouTube

Meteor showerPhoto: Looking for the Perseids meteor shower in Luhasoo bog in Estonia. In the photo there is one Perseid, Milky Way and Andromega galaxy and light pollution on the horizon. By Martin Mark. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Vincent van Gogh said that “Hope is in the stars.” Looking at the stars and featuring them in his work was a way to help give him comfort and hope. He wanted to bring that feeling to others too.

That’s what inspired me to create Starry Blue Brilliance in 2013. Through my work in communication (also an art), I want to bring hope and success to others. In turn, I receive hope and success through the work and inspiration of others, through you, my followers and future followers.

Most recently, I began a new adventure of building a whole new Starry Blue World, based on collaboration, the foundation of hope and success. See what I mean in my new video, “Collaboration Begins Here.”

Collaboration begins here. With all of us. Together.

Thank you for continuing to inspire me, and most of all, giving me hope. 🙂


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Where Was I?

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For the past three weeks, I’ve thought of what I could write about next.

In “Looking Inwards: How Self-Reflection Strengthens Leaders” by leadership development advisor Beth Armknecht Miller, CMC, I learned that “self-awareness gives you the ability to understand your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals, and recognize their impact on others.”

By taking some time off of writing my blog, I discovered that writing is truly my passion. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but didn’t know where to start, until I read Write Your Book Now! An A to Z Guide to Unleashing Your Creativity, Writing Your Book Fast, And Finishing Strong by Lynda McDaniel and Virginia McCullough.

In their book, Lynda and Virginia encourage writers to “jump in where they find their greatest passion.” My greatest passion is writing to help my readers feel inspired, solve a problem or reach their goals.

Self-reflection helps you realize your passion in life, and that is what I wanted to share with you.

Thank you for helping me realize my passion.

“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” – Indian Proverb (also included in Lynda and Virginia’s book)


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Never Underestimate the Long and Winding Road

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Photo: Dawn in the Ai-Petri Yaila nature reserve (zakaznik) by Krasnickaja Katya, http://commons.wikimedia.org

My son Chris is graduating from high school today. I want to let him know how proud I am of him for this huge accomplishment, yet it’s hard to put into words my feelings of joy and excitement.

Just five months ago, we were celebrating his 18th birthday, and like now, I was struggling to find some inspirational words of wisdom to pass along to him. Thank goodness for Hallmark, as I found the perfect card for him and shared it with you on my December 23, 2013 post.

Are you or your family or friends celebrating a graduation? If so, congratulations! Here is some graduation advice to pass along or to inspire yourself for this grand and joyous occasion:

I’d also like to share with you the words from Chris’ graduation card, courtesy of Hallmark:

“Never underestimate all the wonderful things you’re capable of, the impact of your dreams and ideas, your uniqueness, and all you have to offer the world. Never underestimate the special person you are now and the one you have the power to become.”

Congratulations Chris! You are my inspiration as we continue to travel on the long and winding road together.


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You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

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Today is my son Chris’ 18th birthday. I’m so proud of who he is and all that he will become. He enjoys music by The Beatles, so in honor of his milestone birthday, I titled this post after John Lennon’s famous quote from his song “Imagine.” Chris and I are dreamers!

Chris painted this beautiful picture when he was in preschool. It’s matted and framed and hangs in a prominent place in our home. It’s my absolute favorite picture because it projects optimism and joy. I look at it all the time as a reminder of how fortunate I am to have him in my life.

About 10 years ago, I found the perfect card for his 18th birthday. I’d like to share with you those inspirational words of wisdom (Greeting card created by Hallmark, www.hallmark.com.):

Someday, Son,

you will become a “sir” –

the world will expect you

to wear ties and pay taxes

and take care of your lawn.

People will try to sell you insurance

and major appliances.

You may feel the urge

to carry an umbrella “just in case”

and to go to bed early on Saturdays.

You’ll hear your favorite songs

on the elevator.

So take it from someone who knows,

someone who loves you –

there’ll never be another time

in your life like this.

Be happy.

Laugh until it hurts.

Dance.

Dream.

Do good stuff.

Ask questions.

Stop for pizza.

Order extra-large . . .

Play ball.

Hang out with friends.

Find something that matters

and be a part of it.

The world is full of “sirs.”

But there’s only one you,

only one now.

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Love always and forever,

Mom