I discovered long ago that I like to make things. I like to paint some of my own t-shirts and caps. I like to build things with my hands. I never stayed with any one discipline long enough to develop expertise in it except for writing, speaking and facilitating, which mostly don’t involve creating things. That said, I enjoy all three, practicing each as an art form. I also, sometimes get to exert real artistic influence on my books.

One of my favorite books is, Building Beehives, my first. I love it because the graphic design firm I worked, Patricia Hord Graphik Design, put their heart and soul into creating a customized document with me. The visual representations that compliment the text were really satisfying for me. My next two books were published by a mainstream press, and the first one was business bestseller three times. But, my favorite was the self-published book because I was much more involved in crafting the look-and-feel.

On another front, I have had a front row seat to my wife, Laura Baron’s artistic process for 28 years. I am amazed at how much goes into a single song. She has always worked with outstanding producers, and their art blows me away. I watch songs go from an idea in her head, to a developed piece, and then into the studio where arrangements that include other instruments are created and other artists get involved with the execution, bringing their unique talents to bear on Laura’s works. All along the way the producer brings things together, helping Laura to distill the essence and bring it to life. In the final stages the producer really exerts his artistry, creating the auditory experience that ends up conveying the genius within. It’s a stunning process.

Laura and I each have new works coming out. She has a set of songs that she just completed in the studio, working with the outstanding producer, Marco Delmar. These songs were funded through a grant by Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. These are a great set of songs with her trademark lyrical style, exploring a variety of themes. And I have my newest book, Visionary Leadership, which is self-published and includes the kind of design work I describe above.

The two of us are going to do something we haven’t done before, celebrate together… and you’re invited! Sunday, June 30, at Positano’s in Bethesda, we are going to put on a show and each of us will share what we have produced. It will be an informal presentation, in one of our favorite Italian restaurants so we can all enjoy good food and drink during the show. Everyone who attends will get a copy of my book and a CD or a link to Laura’s music. The cover charge is minimal, $15 per person. Here’s the link to pick up a ticket.

What do you take joy in producing? How might you do some of it this week?

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it”
Ansel Adams