Eye Sightings

The Consumer Eyes Blog

Learning to Embrace Your Doubts

For Advertising Week 2011, Consumer Eyes attended an inspiring talk by Paul Lavoie, co-founder & chairman of TAXI Advertising, on his philosophy of doubting conventional thought – thinking outside of the box, so to speak. The talk was tied to the agency's recently published book, DOUBT: Unconventional Wisdom from the World's Greatest Shit Disturber, the "shit disturber" being Doubt, itself – personified as a cocky and witty, but nonetheless charming character, responsible for positive progression in the world and the creation of some of the greatest modern innovations including Napster, Skype, and even the Sports Bra.

Throughout the talk (and the book) Lavoie touched upon various stories and examples of unconventional thinking throughout time, and how it has been a catalyst for positive change. Just a day after the passing of Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, Lavoie dedicated the talk to Jobs, with his main point coincidentally being "think different"-- a notion that Jobs prided himself and Apple on.

Lavoie later welcomed artist and unconventional thinker, Brian Bomeisler, as he spoke of the "right-brain drawing" workshops he teaches for a living. In his intensive 5-day classes, he teaches his students not only to draw, but also to enhance their own creativity by making a "mental shift" from left to right brain thinking. The students are asked to do a self-portrait on the first and last days of class. The examples that Bomeisler shared with the audience yielded stunning results – from amateur, even childlike images, to beautiful life-like portraits. His classes are based upon the principles that his mother, Betty Edwards, outlined in her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Published in 1979, and with over 2.5 million copies sold, it stands as the world's most widely used drawing instruction book.

Lavoie further explained that in today's fast-paced and ever changing landscape, there are benefits to cultivating creativity from doubt. In the philosophy of doubt, optimism can arise from skepticism and the term "no" does not always mean "bad." So, rather than going with the flow today, try to think just a little "different" than you normally would; doubt something and you may get unexpected results!