Written by: Sheri Rosenberg
I'm thrilled to be writing for Boulevard and look forward to enjoying an exploring this exciting new platform with you now and next. We've come a long way in terms of how we market ourselves and with our creative landscapes constantly in flux, it's high time for change. Change can be empowering, or it can be debilitating. It all depends on how you look at the world.
Which brings me to the new and final season of "Downton Abbey", which premiered just after the ball dropped in 2016. With the dawn of our new year it somehow seemed fitting to go back to England in 1925, when the world was at the tail end of the industrial revolution and on the verge of big change, from technology to the role of women to a backing away from old traditions, the brave new world had little patience for those not willing to come along for the ride. (Not that much different from now when you think about it.)
As I watched the characters on "Downton" grapple with post Edwardian life in the first episode, it was interesting to see which characters embraced the zeitgeist and the thrill of the new while those that couldn't quite grasp life in the less than gilded age questioned everything and seemingly panicked. Much like the aristocratic characters on this Masterpiece Theater hit, if we cling too tightly to old ways of doing business and creating, we will surely be left behind in a world that has little patience for the stubborn or provincial.
Today's creative folk will succeed if they break free of old habits, embrace technology, a more democratic landscape, and "clean house" of cobwebs and dusty furnishings that no longer suit our needs. We can no longer risk being too stubborn or too rigid when it comes to how we work/live. In today's creative world, one size certainly does not fit all, so it may be time to rethink your entire wardrobe.
Much has been made in business texts and trades about transparency in the workplace, and to me, that means our work must be set in an open-minded backdrop where authenticity and collaboration go a very long way to come up with solutions to creative problems. There's a reason everyone's breakfast, lunch and dinner are on Instagram--and that's not just because we are all voyeurs. It's because this sharing (or some might say over-sharing) has allowed us to connect with friends, family and potential business partners like never before. And if you're not willing to be yourself and share that self on social, you're going to be stuck in that dusty old house with an uncertain future, much like our favorite Downton Brits. If you watch the show and are dialed in to this season, I'm a big fan of Lady Mary this season and her fabulous new fashion and well bobbed hair. She seems to be taking this whole post-Edwardian thing in stride, with an opportunity to run the business of such a grand home--most likely the first woman to do so in those parts. (See how great change can be?)
Julian Fellowes, the creator of "Downton", has described the theme of the show's final season as "resolution". And as we're perched at the opening credits of our own lives and careers in 2016, there has never been a more important notion. (Cue theme music).
So what of the "r" word and how can we interpret it for visual media and content creation in 2016?
When you hear the word resolution you may think of a new year's resolution which usually means setting a goal to ensure success in the year ahead. But I think resolution can also mean coming to terms with the past, as well as accepting that the future is a great big unknown, and all we can do is embrace these great times of change and uncertainty with heaping helpings of grace, courage, and wonder. The best artists and creatives don't fight change--they are usually one step ahead of it or find a way to plug into the collective moment and mindset that here right now. So whether you decide to dedicate more of your time to social media or create a pop up gallery you take around the country, there's never been a better or smarter time to embrace change and think forward. Incidentally, the final season of said TV show takes place in 1925-- the same year a little company called Leica marketed the 35mm camera.
And as this new season gets underway, tune in to all that change; then write (or shoot) your very own episode. I'll be your biggest fan.