April 17, 2011

steal like an artist

I hesitated to post this since it's been making the rounds so heavily, but there are some gems in here. Austin Kleon's "how to steal like an artist and 9 other things nobody told me" can be found here. I really like most of his observations with the exception of "fake it til you make it". I've always hated that expression. Of course most of us, especially artists, walk around feeling like phonies. That's part and parcel of the human condition. I'd argue, if you don't feel like a phony at least part of the time, then you need to have a good long talk with yourself. But the idea of deliberately putting on a big fake face and pretending to be somebody you aren't or to know something you don't is really unappealing to me.

Here's #9 and #10 stolen from the artist himself. Check it out in its entirety.Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done

9. Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done.

As Flaubert said, “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

I’m a boring guy with a 9-5 job who lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife and his dog.

That whole romantic image of the bohemian artist doing drugs and running around and sleeping with everyone is played out. It’s for the superhuman and the people who want to die young.

The thing is: art takes a lot of energy to make. You don’t have that energy if you waste it on other stuff.

Some things that have worked for me:

Take care of yourself.

Eat breakfast, do some pushups, get some sleep. Remember what I said earlier about good art coming from the body?

Stay out of debt.

Live on the cheap. Pinch pennies. Freedom from monetary stress means freedom in your art.

Get a day job and keep it.

A day job gives you money, a connection to the world, and a routine. Parkinson’s law: work expands to fill the time allotted. I work a 9-5 and I get about as as much art done now as I did when I worked part-time.

Marry well.

It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make.

And marry well doesn’t just mean your life partner — it also means who you do business with, who you befriend, who you choose to be around.

creativity is subtraction

10. Creativity is subtraction.

It’s often what an artist chooses to leave out that makes the art interesting. What isn’t shown vs. what is.

In this age of information overload and abundance, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.

Devoting yourself to something means shutting out other things.

What makes you interesting isn’t just what you’ve experienced, but also what you haven’t experienced.

The same is true when you make art: you must embrace your limitations and keep moving.

Creativity isn’t just the things we chose to put in, it’s also the things we chose to leave out. Or black out.

April 8, 2011

Iggy Peck, Architect

The perfect marriage of style and rhyme - Iggy Peck, Architect is a must have for art and design enthusiasts of any age.

Things are going pretty well for Iggy Peck, young architect until he hits the 2nd grade where teacher Miss Lila Greer makes it known:
"Gothic or Romanesque, I couldn't care less
about buildings - ancient or new."
She said in her lecture about architecture
that it had no place in grade two.
Miss Greer has her reasons as we soon learn but she comes around in the end after Iggy's skills save the class from certain doom when a field trip picnic goes terribly terribly awry. Clever clever clever story by Andrea Beaty and super cool illustrations by David Roberts. More please!