Leonardo da Vinci might not like the reshuffling of his name into DaVinci -- hey, with a last name like Lindeboom, I can sympathize -- but I'm sure he'd enjoy seeing that his inspiration still lives today, nearly 500 years after his death in 1519. All of us at Creative COW were truly inspired as we watched the DaVinci forum grow into one of the COW's Top 5 forums, often sitting in the Number 3 position overall. Yes, you read that right: DaVinci is regularly our 3rd most trafficked forum. Sorta flies in the face of those who say that Creative COW is all newbies, don't it?
Tim Wilson and I regularly read posts in the DaVinci forum that address issues being discussed by noted colorists working on major films and television shows. There is a level of expertise in the DaVinci forum that would inspire even old Leonardo. That said, are we somehow against newer users now? Heaven forbid. We are indeed happy to be of service to our newer members, but as Tim Wilson pointed out in a column a number of issues back: today, even the most experienced experts in one area can be (and often are) complete newbies in another area now being dropped into their dutiful laps. Oddly enough, while compiling reports for Creative COW, I ran the latest statistics regarding which Creative COW Magazine PDFs were the most trafficked. No one on the COW Team picked the winner. None of us got it right. The answer came as a total surprise. Which issue came in first place? It was our Non-Linear Creativity Issue.
Non-Linear Creativity's theme was inspired by a conversation that Tim had with Tony Hudson, 20 year supervisor and team leader at ILM, who was asking what many would consider to be newbie questions on our Final Cut forum. Tony, a newbie? Not really. But like many, he was learning new tools to assist him in his duties of functioning within his company. The whole focus of our Non-Linear Creativity issue addressed how people are flowing through jobs and applications, often sliding into new markets and processes as their careers develop. None of us function in a vacuum and as tools change, workflows evolve, techniques and processes change or die, we all find ourselves having to adjust in today's rapidly changing world.
It's that bumper sticker that you see from time to time, the one that says "Get In, Shut Up, and Hold On." And for some, the vehicle they've chosen to get into, is Creative COW. Why? Because many have learned that you can learn a lot by being around those who are not too proud to ask questions.
I get asked from time to time to close out somebody's account because "I don't want my clients to see me on Google and know that I ask questions." So, we remove them. But it is funny that I have never had a single one of the many Oscar® or Emmy® winners, or other industry experts that frequent the site, ask to have their posts removed.
Most experts in any field of endeavor, know that one person cannot possibly know everything. A smart person knows that if you don't have the answer for a client that day, the best thing you can tell them is "I don't have the answer just this minute but I know who to ask, and I will get right back to you." And for many, "I know who to ask" is their peers interacting online in the Creative COW forums.
Many years ago I remember bumping into the "mastermind principle." It basically states something like if one creative mind joins with another creative mind, they create an übermind, a 'mastermind' that is greater than the sum of the two together." The Creative COW forums are a place where many creative minds come together, and like old Leonardo, they never seem to stop asking questions. The smart ones never do, and in doing so they create a unique da Vinci-like mastermind of a community.