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Jeff de Boer: Master of Art Possibilities

Admiring these small scale magnificent creations – easy! Seeing what Jeff is creating on a larger stage – difficult. But very telling. Barrier busting. Paradigm transcender. How can an artist who can fashion such divine and fanciful articles be such? Read to the end….

This is a self-described outsider artist on fire. He has the drive to create significance. He has – and will.

This is mouse armor built painstakingly by Jeff at his studio. We were privileged to visit a few nights ago. When I first met Jeff in the 80’s, he was a young turk determined to make a difference. One of many themes Jeff was working those days? Corporate armour [dramatic ties and briefcases]- drawing parallels between modern CEOs and the knights of Arthurian times – harkening to the chivalric warrior’s code. He published a book called Articulation I was glad to contribute to – now a rarity last offered on ebay at $80.

Jeff’s artistic grounding is in metal work – often with the theme of defensive metal protection making possible bold venture. He has done rocket packs and helmets for one of the iconic Calgary cows [view at ???]. His work graces the Terminal at Westjet’s wing here. And now, large scale installations and sculpture all over the world. What a dynamo – generating affecting images that land ‘way beyond home.

You see, Jeff is a CEO. He is unafraid to marshal leverage and resources to produce work of large scale. He now manufactures some work in China and in fabrication shops in North America. He is a project manager – schooled by Art Froese no less!

That’s another – I suppose unsurprising aspect of this tiger. He LEARNS. He garners from unusual sources and puts what he gathers into immediate effect. I was amazed to hear how he had applied the coaching I gave him those many years ago.

All this – the drive off a strong family and skill base, the learning, the experimentation and willingness to extend leverage and scale – has equipped him to be an astoundingly effective entrepreneur starting from a very small base. Don’t they all, though?

Now he’s going into the stratosphere! Jeff has found himself in an art movement called Steampunk – harkening actual building of technology that harkens back to the Victorian era. Still with me? The story doesn’t stop there.

As a key assembler of a new consortium called LEXM – a continent wide accumulation of influential creators – Jeff and others are breaking down a barrier. A barrier that is critical to the regrowth of the North American economy. One with precedents – little companies called Apple, Disney.

The barrier: uniting artistic vision and design with the making of emerging technology. Building and making what can be dreamt up by the fertile imaginations of artists. They who aren’t good at effecting wide scale impact for elegant and venturesome creations.

Engineers and product makers are not of that ilk. They see things in linear sequential fashion. They’re smart – they can get things done with that scalability. But they don’t tend to see outside the box. Their innovations are constrained, usually mere extensions of what already is.

When these two are united, breakthroughs become possible. Design drove the iphone, the ipad. Their elegance meant they immediately blew by Blackberry into a new world of adoption for personal communication devices. Disney using vast new resources to bring eye-popping entertainment to us.

This new partnership is absolutely key to our prosperity. As Jeff puts it, the manufacturers know HOW to build things. They don’t have the WHAT. The source of our advantage is supplying the WHAT through greater coupling of artistic vision and design to market needs. Our intellectual capital harnessed to productive resources – that’s what makes the world turn. The rest of the world does not have that quality that way we do.

So that’s what he’s up to now. Connecting up vibrant projects to the resources needed to bring them to life through LEXM. It’s a new model of entrepreneurialism being piloted by a fiery man building mouse armour in a studio in Inglewood.

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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