Ideas from the Hotel Breakfast Bar

Ink on Japanese Rice Paper – Words: Douglas Adams

I was rearranging my studio work space and found a pad of Japanese rice paper I bought in Tokyo. It was like a patient friend waiting for me to come and visit. I pulled out a couple pages and began to play with ink. I then opened one of my many quote books and found this fun quote, which made me wonder how I would draw a grapefruit half with ink that bleeds and spreads. I had fun experimenting and renewed my love for really good rice paper.

I must admit I am not a fan of grapefruits, too something for my taste buds. However I could giggle when I read the quote as I thought about all the people I have watched eat half a grapefruit for breakfast. Be it a family vacation or a business trip in one of those obsequious hotel breakfast buffets, everyone eats them differently. Some people dust them with sugar, some add salt. Some dig out the insides carefully with a spoon, and others add it to something else. I had one colleague who cut it up and ate it like a peeled orange. How people eat breakfast tells us a lot about them if we are patient enough to observe.

Give people the same tools, challenge or project then let them run wild and you will be amazed at what they are able to produce. Sort of like eating a grapefruit. Sure there are the traditional methods and of course we can imagine the expected outcome. It is the person who squeezes out all the juice, puts it in their cereal and then eats the entire bowl. THAT person is unique. THAT is the person I want to know more about. THAT is the person who will bring me results I was not able to produce myself. And that is the person who is lactose intolerant (I found that out later that day) and has never known anything but grapefruit juice on cereal. They think and have lived a different life than me. Who knew?

Life is too short to only use a spoon to eat a grapefruit. Next time you are served half a grapefruit try doing something different with it. Take the time to enjoy the challenge and observe the others around you. You may be surprised by the great ideas and the people you can get to know at that hotel breakfast bar.

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