RISK Summit 2017 Keynote
Philadelphia, PA

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

This video shares the keynote presentation, Portrait of a Risk-Taker: An Artist’s Risk Management Journey, I delivered at the 2017 RISK Summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 18th, 2017. The theme of this year’s conference was art and they invited me to share an artist’s perspective on risk.

I started with a brief introduction to my personal journey of risk-management, explaining how I transformed from Physicist to Artist.

I then provided a historical context to the relationship of art and risk, highlighting a few Art History Risk Champions, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. In this segment I explained how, without risk, there is no art. An artist is a risk champion who both embraces and manages risk.

In the final segment I created a live portrait of an audience member, using an iPad Pro 12.9, Apple Pencil and the app Procreate. As I painted the portrait I reviewed and demonstrated the risk-management strategies I employ as an artist. They are listed here (below) as numbered in my slide show with one extra added and a couple slightly modified (as with all art, a list like this is always a work in progress!):
#1 100% Commitment
#2 Mise En Place
#3 Fill in the Blank
#4 Think Ahead
#5 Get on the Dance Floor
Start Rough
#6 See as Abstract
#7 No Undo
#8 Vive la Variété
#9 Step Away
#10 Reframe the Question
#11 Say the Most with the Least
#12 Make Marks Meaningful
#13 Less is More
#14 Fini…for Now
#15 Enjoy the Journey

If you just want to head straight for the dancing, final portrait and time-lapse replay of the portrait, then that all happens in the final two minutes!

The music featured in this video includes:
“Moten Swing” by Bennie Moten and his Kansas City Orchestra (1932)
“Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry (1956)
“Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown (1976)

The conference took place in the historic PSFS (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society) Building, now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Opened in 1932, it was the first Modernist skyscraper in the United States (and one of the first to have air-conditioning). Designed by architects George Howe and William Lescaze, the building, constructed in the midst of the Great Depression, used marbles, granites and rare woods sourced from 32 countries!

Big thanks to Melanie and her wonderful team at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center who put this conference together and inviting me to be their keynote speaker.

Thanks to Mary Ann for being such an inspiring and brave portrait subject!

It was super fun and inspiring to see your presentation.
~ Erin G.

Wonderful presentation!
~ Richard S.

I am available to be a keynote speaker at conferences, meetings, off-sites and retreats. I adapt my presentation to each event and can focus, to share a few examples, on the relationship between art and technology, how to find your creative flow, taking the creative leap, risk-taking in art process, the anatomy of a portrait, painting with purpose, intentionality in artistic process, the balance of structure and chaos in creativity, the roles of serendipity and spontaneity in painting, and so on.

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