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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Nice photos by Ho Fan. More here.

898a22a5997c59fde17376fc3195b35e  2

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Tips from Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes. 

My comic strip was the way that I explored the world and my own perceptions and thoughts. So to switch off the job I would have had to switch off my head. So, yes, the work was insanely intense, but that was the whole point of doing it.

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Quite honestly I tried to forget that there was an audience. I wanted to keep the strip feeling small and intimate as I did it, so my goal was just to make my wife laugh. After that, I’d put it out, and the public can take it or leave it.

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My advice has always been to draw cartoons for the love of it, and concentrate on the quality and be true to yourself. Also try to remember that people have better things to do than read your work. So for heaven’s sake, try to entice them with some beauty and fun.

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A comic strip takes just a few seconds to read, but over the years, it creates a surprisingly deep connection with readers. I think that incremental aspect, that unpretentious daily aspect, is a source of power.

Interview with Austin Kleon

But I think there’s a way in which you can think about your creative process itself—the real work—and break that down into shareable bits. And if you share a little piece of your process every day, it’s a very sustainable way of promoting your work. Not promoting yourself, but promoting your work.

There’s this great story about the writer Christopher Hitchens. He said that writing a book is like getting a free education that lasts a lifetime. He was talking about how the people who read his books would email him and write him letters or he would meet them at events, and they were constantly feeding him stuff. He wasn’t just learning from writing the book, he was also learning from people’s reactions to the book.

And I think that’s the way to think about self-promotion: Think about it as opening the door to learning. In the simple act of sharing your creative process, sharing the stuff that you make, and sharing your ideas, you will get responses that feed back into your work.

And then the trick becomes how to let that feedback in without letting it hurt you. And that’s the dance of the artistic life, isn’t it? Separating what’s helpful from what’s destructive.

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I think people seriously underestimate what 15 minutes a day for 10 years will do versus 10 hours a day for a year. If you do little bits and pieces every day, after a while, you have this body of work.

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We all get 24 hours. No one gets more time. Sure, you might have your job, you might have a kid, you might have a family—I had all of those things when I was writing my first book—but when you get ruthless about what you really want to do, there are so many gaps. So many little spaces in the day where you can find the time. I know a lot of writers that just straight up steal time from work. It’s just a matter of prioritizing. Are you going to watch five episodes of Duck Dynasty in a row? Or are you going to write a novel?

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It happens a lot of in creative work that you finish a project and you don’t know what to do next. It can be a bit disconcerting. And I think that’s why it’s so important to have a daily practice that you do no matter what you are working on.

My thing is that I make one of these blackout poems every day. I just do it every day, no matter what. It gets me in the zone. Then, from there, I can work on different things.

It’s all about staying in motion. Inertia is the antithesis of creativity.

Joshua Rothman on Knausgaard

Knausgaard has found his own way of understanding it: as a struggle. It’s the struggling that gives life its texture—constant, absorbing, and unending, the same whether you’re nine, nineteen, or thirty-nine. Like many struggles, this one is simultaneously tormenting and rewarding, heroic and pathetic, dynamic and static, purposeful and a waste of time. The main thing is that you can’t stop struggling. You’re a creature of struggle. You desperately want to win each battle but you never want the war to end.

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Reading “My Struggle,” you’re pulled inside these rhythms; at the same time, you’re surprised by the subjects out of which they emerge. It makes sense for big, important experiences to be understood in this way: the consummation of a romance, the death of a father, the birth of a child, writing a book. It makes less sense for lesser experiences. And yet Knausgaard finds this same rhythm everywhere: in a long drive to see his grandparents; in a swimming lesson; in grocery shopping; in playing guitar; in making tea; in cleaning a bathroom.

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These are events he anticipates, fears, and relishes, and in which he understands himself as performing well or badly. He takes them seriously. But it’s not that these events matter—they don’t. It’s that this is life, and life is a struggle; to live is to care. “Indifference is one of the seven deadly sins, actually the greatest of them all, because it is the only one that sins against life,” he writes, at the end of the second volume.

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風立ちぬ – Another beautiful anime by Hayao Miyazaki.  It portrays an ideal that I like. The protagonist Jiro is talented, erudite, and dedicated to making his dreams come true. He has a good personality that attracted the heroine. Like most movies, the anime is a simplified abstraction of life. Some people might call it escapist but I see it as a beautiful illusion (like most dreams/aspirations in life). The music reminds me of 天空の城ラピュタ.

thewindrises_poster2

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7-11

Sun shines during the day
Moon smiles in the night
With light in our hearts
And dreams in our hands
We bridge all the gaps.

PS: Added color version (31 May)

 

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Dreams

Dreams

Regardless how old we are, or what we do
Anyone, anytime, anywhere
 
Gaze at the sky
And Imagine a future that’s ours
 
It’s all up to us
To go after our dreams
And live the life we want

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Distance

 

Are we looking at the same sky

Sharing the same dream?

Are we hearing the same sound

Feeling the same breeze?

If we were in the same room

Would I recognize you?

If we talk

Would our words reach each other?

Even if we’re world apart

We might still be able to connect

The farthest distance is in the mind

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Moment

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