2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Turning a Blank Page into a Winning Idea

#sxsw #whiteboard

At the beginning of almost any creative venture -- whether it's a New Yorker cartoon or a Fortune-500 product launch -- sits a blank page and a person holding a pen.

This panel brings together two masters of the art of scribbling on a blank page long enough to spawn a killer idea.

One, New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee, starts each weekday with a blank sheet of paper. He writes hundreds of words, permutating for hours before eventually drawing one of the ten cartoons he submits each week to the magazine.

The other, JB Hopkins, leads ideation sessions for Edelman PR's clients and staff. Over hours, JB’s scribbling and coaxing eventually coax ideas from participants into a single blueprint for creative action.

Moderated by Blogads CEO Henry Copeland, these two shamans of creativity will recount their personal paths. They’ll dig into how creativity works for groups versus individuals. And they’ll share their personal mantras for jumpstarting creativity with a blank page.


Henry Copeland


Pressflex LLC


JB Hopkins

Sr Strategic & Creative Facilitator


JB Hopkins is senior strategic and creative facilitator with the Edelman Strategic & Creative Guild. He is an award winning creative director and facilitator who brings more than 25 years of experience in branding, design and strategic communication. JB has frequently been called upon by Edelman to lead clients through brainstorming and ideation sessions, where he employs techniques to help the group(s) think creatively and collaboratively, about their business challenges. Prior to joining Edelman, JB had the opportunity to work with, among others, Target, Disney, BMW, General Mills, TBS, JP Morgan Chase and Virgin Pulse in areas ranging from product development and launch, to messaging campaigns and innovation workshops in adapting to trend and culture shifts.


Matthew Diffee

The New Yorker

Diffee has a background in art and stand-up comedy which he still performs from time to time. As a struggling artist he took various day jobs, including road work, construction, and as a convenience store cashier.
Diffee moved from Boston, Massachusetts to New York and began contributing to the New Yorker in 1999, after winning a cartoon contest the magazine and the Algonquin Hotel sponsored.
Diffee's first book, The Rejection Collection, was a compilation of cartoons by various artists that had been Diffee's first book, The Rejection Collection, was a compilation of cartoons by various artists that had been rejected from the magazine along with questionnaires and portraits of each artist. The New Yorker has published more than 100 of Diffee's cartoons.

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