Some of the best advice you’ll ever receive, in a handwritten illustrated essay.
Fail Safe – beautiful illustrated essay on uncertainty, bravery, and the creative life.
Attention is what creates value. Artworks are made as well by how people interact with them — and therefore by what quality of interaction they can inspire. So how do we assess an artist who we suspect is dreadful but who manages to inspire the right storm of attention, and whose audience seems to swoon in the appropriate way? We say, ‘Well done.’
The question is: ‘Is the act of getting attention a sufficient act for an artist? Or is that in fact the job description?’
Perhaps the art of the future will be indistinguishable.
If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.
Debbie Millman’s timeless advice on courage and the creative life, in a wonderful illustrated essay.
Brian Eno, born on May 15, 1948, on art.
Making of the incredible A Boy and His Atom, the world’s smallest movie made by moving actual atoms frame by frame.
Every once in a while — often when we least expect it — we encounter someone more courageous, someone who choose to strive for that which (to us) seemed unrealistically unattainable, even elusive. And we marvel. We swoon. We gape. Often , we are in awe. I think we look at these people as lucky, when in fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It is really about the strength of their imagination; it is about how they constructed the possibilities for their Life. In short, unlike me, they didn’t determine what was impossible before it was even possible.
Where do you work?
Do you work ‘inside’ or ‘outside’?
To work inside is to deal with the internal conditions of the work — the melodies, the rhythms, the textures, the lyrics, the images: all the normal day-to-day things one imagines an artist does.
To work outside is to deal with the world surrounding the work — the thoughts, assumptions, expectations, legends, histories, economic structures, critical responses, legal issues and so on and on. You might think of these things as the frame of the work.
A frame is a way of creating a little world round something.
Is there anything in a work that is not frame, actually?
Cats may be famous literary pets, but who knew the propaganda art of the anti-suffragist movement had an entire cat-centric sub-genre? As felines represented the domestic sphere and thus the feminine, they were used to portray suffragists as incompetent and unintelligent.
When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.
Make Good Art – Neil Gaiman’s timeless advice on the creative life, adapted by design legend Chip Kidd.