Georgia O’Keeffe painting of Sky Above Clouds IV. It’s a gradient of blue and pink with imperfect oval circles: clouds.
Georgia O’Keeffe painting of Sky Above Clouds IV. It’s a gradient of blue and pink with imperfect oval circles: clouds.
Sky above Clouds IV by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1965

I’m flying in the sky above the clouds.

I’m on my way home to San Francisco after a few nights in Chicago for the 3% Conference.

To be honest, I can’t actually see the clouds in the dark beyond my airplane window. I assume they’re there since the seatbelt sign has been turned off.

I have clouds on the brain. In my short trip to Chicago, I made time for two visits to one cloud in particular.

Sky Above Clouds IV sits above a white marble staircase at the Art Institute of Chicago. The artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, began painting the…


We’ve been working on a blog post for a while about recruiting for diversity, but with the high profile scandal around rampant sexual harassment problems at Uber, it seems important and timely to address now. This problem isn’t unique to just one company. In fact, this survey reports 60% of women in Silicon Valley have experienced sexual harassment.

Other than clear company policies and a no tolerance attitude towards sexual harassment, a very simple way for your company to prevent a culture of sexual harassment is to make sure there are more women in positions of power. …


With the news that both HP and General Mills are requiring their ad agencies’ creative departments to be more gender and racially diverse, it’s time to take recruiting and retaining for diversity even more seriously. “Including women and people of color in key roles is not only a values issue, but a significant business imperative,” HP’s CMO, Antonio Lucio writes. I wrote earlier why recruiting and retaining women matters, but when your clients mandate it, it’s no longer a question.

I’ve heard hiring managers complain that there just aren’t enough good women candidates or minorities applying. It’s not their fault…


A couple weeks ago, I wrote about why empathy matters in advertising and design. Recently, with total lack of foresight or empathy, Kevin Roberts, Executive Chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi, declared that the debate on gender diversity “is all over,” in an interview with Business Insider. A well-deserved backlash erupted and he was quickly forced to resign. I could try to explain why the debate is certainly not over but quite a few people have already been covering this brilliantly.

I was going to write a few ideas on how to recruit and retain for diversity, but I think we…


Last Friday, I attended the latest Creative Mornings gathering and saw Holley Murchison, from communications consulting firm, Oratory Glory, speak about why love and empathy are important in our work. This is something I think a lot about, both in my work and when I teach students. Why does empathy matter so much as a creative? Well, a lot of reasons.

1. Empathy is understanding you’re not the audience

The most obvious answer to why empathy matters is because we’re not only making things we like, we’re making things to appeal to an audience. Attempting to understand the worldview of a homemaker or a 15-year-old YouTube enthusiast takes…

Kat Michie

Kat Michie is an Associate Creative Director at San Francisco ad agency Duncan Channon.

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