INTRODUCTION

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The Shoemaker's Story

THE STARTING POINT FOR THIS BOOK CAME A COUPLE OF YEARS ago, when after a 30-year absence, I reengaged with my love of fine art and sculpture. As a young man I had studied fine arts and intended to pursue a career as a sculptor. Since it was the late 1970s, I went off to the local library (definitely pre-Internet) to look for a school in Italy to explore my creative aspirations. I discovered the Istituto Europeo di Disegno in Rome, Italy. So off I flew to Rome to apply, gain acceptance, and become a fine artist.

It wasn't quite what I expected. On the expected side, my studies exposed me to classical approaches to design and form, and enabled me, as a sculptor, to look at an object that has no form and see the form within it. I think that foresight has given me the ability to get to solutions more quickly. The unexpected was the practical side of creating fine art. You had to consider how the materials and installation affected the final viewer experience, so I studied industrial and architectural design, plus materials handling in order to work with the physical realities of the installation space. In hindsight, this combination of creative thinking and fact-based analysis established the basic framework for my future marketing mind-set.

INSPIRATION WHERE YOU'D LEAST EXPECT IT

While in Italy, I had a second and probably more profound experience ...

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