So Often We Want to Keep Special, Resonant Media to Ourselves, Even Though It Deserves a Wider Audience, and That’s So Unfortunate

So Often We Want to Keep Special, Resonant Media to Ourselves, Even Though It Deserves a Wider Audience, and That’s So Unfortunate

Case in point, so many internet things that are amazing and have criminally few eyeballs and earholes attached to them. I understand the magic of discovering treasures that are meaningful to you. I’m sad that it’s such a widespread impulse to resist sharing those things with everyone else. It’s the Daffy Duck mentality, a throwback to post-infancy, when we desired everything for ourselves, before we learned empathy.

One of the reasons I’m continuing to work on this blog is to share those things, to resist the hoarding impulse. Because it’s in the sharing that we grow, it’s in the mutual delight of discovery that we support and enhance each other. This is a better way to live.

All that to say, watch the latest BJ Rubin show. It’s full of music that’s so far out on the fringe it’s fuzz floating away on the breeze. It’s weird, it’s unique, and the world needs so much more of that right now.

You Need Distractions Today, I Can Tell, and Here Are Three Short but Amazing Things

You Need Distractions Today, I Can Tell, and Here Are Three Short but Amazing Things

J. Mascis, the (usual) singer & guitarist for Dinosaur Jr., knocked out a karaoke version of Tom Petty’s “Don’t Do Me Like That” in Provincetown.

Here’s a gallery of some physical versions of art for Magic the Gathering cards.

And, since those are relatively brief, dig this wonderful archive of present-day objects repurposed as Star Trek props in various iterations of the franchise.

I Could Rant and Despair About the World, but I’d Rather Show You the Astounding Work of Dilara Begum Jolly

I Could Rant and Despair About the World, but I’d Rather Show You the Astounding Work of Dilara Begum Jolly

She continually makes amazing, affecting, and beautiful work in  multiple mediums. Her pieces mostly examine women’s issues and feminism. Take a break from the consternation all around us and revel in it.

 


Apologies for this one coming so late, sometimes my ‘net connection is patchy.

Little Unpleasant Tasks Can Contribute to a Bigger Creative Picture If You Own Them

Little Unpleasant Tasks Can Contribute to a Bigger Creative Picture If You Own Them

It’s a part of most retail jobs that employees have to do certain chores that may be gross or filthy. Cleaning bathrooms and floors, dealing with trash, wiping down fixtures and windows. These can seem demeaning, and I’ve thought so on more than one occasion.

They aren’t, though.

I was thinking about their place in work of all kinds, and it’s not just that you have to do them, I think they contribute, weirdly, to a bigger picture.

They’re small cogs in a larger machine, just like you, if you’re one of those workers. But you have to do the same kind of maintenance at your own house, and there’s no shortage of cleanup in art, either. These tasks relate.

They also interrelate. An attitude of reverence toward your tools and tasks carries over to the important work, the art itself. Working a job is valuable training in maintaining the harmony of everything unseen in the art you make. It supports and frames it. It makes it possible to forget about everything but the art itself.

Relating Travel Experiences in the Internet Age Isn’t the Mystery It Once Was

Relating Travel Experiences in the Internet Age Isn’t the Mystery It Once Was

[…] I think the main thing is I consider it no fun at all to tell a person about something spectacular when that person has already read about it on the internet and believes they already know all about it. In other words, it’s no fun for it to go something like this: “So tell me about the black beaches!” “Tell me about the Neapolis.” “Tell me about the mud baths.” “Tell me about the temple of Zeus.” “Tell me about the piazza marconi in Agrigento where, at 1 pm, the boys parade around on their Vespas like bees circling the hive.” And I’d say, “Wait a minute, how could you possibly know about that you knob gobbler?” It’s not that I feel thunder being stolen, because that’s not possible. I’m here, and there’s no comparison between exposure to facts and experience, it’s just fun being taken out of it for me.

— Michelle Orange, The Sicily Papers

Ideas Come From All the Other Ideas We Take In

Ideas Come From All the Other Ideas We Take In

If you find yourself at a loss for ideas, fill the fuel bins. Read furiously, watch feverishly, listen in awe. Art isn’t a game of making the most unique and unreferencable thing, it’s got to have connections. The more different art is, the harder it is to find people who can relate and resonate with it. Why stay remote and removed?

You won’t be able—at least, it’ll be a vanishingly small possibility—to create anything meaningful, relevant, and new unless you’re consuming other artists’ work.

If you’re a filmmaker, the film you want to make will be informed and enlivened by the film’s you love and are watching now.

A songwriter or composer needs to be listening to lots of music if they want to make more of it themselves.

Your own work is born of and flows from what you’ve seen and heard. It doesn’t even matter if you understand how or what bits got remixed into the new thing you’re making. A lot happens below the surface, subconsciously and organically if you’re regularly—or, better, constantly—fueling your soul with works already made by others. Very little that’s any good was made in isolation from other art.

We want others to connect with the things we do. It’s eminently human, and we need more deeply human things in the world.

Sir Paul Still Charms the Pants Off Everyone

Sir Paul Still Charms the Pants Off Everyone

I finally got around to seeing the Carpool Karaoke featuring Paul McCartney, and it was typically wonderful. I really can’t get enough of Paul just being his alternately down-to-earth and godlike-famous selves—the latter of which he dubs “Him”—but this was a cut above. It must be terribly hard, sometimes, to reconcile being a person who just wants to walk around in the world as a normal human with a concept people want to worship and get a piece of, everywhere you go. I’m continually amazed by the grace he displays of such relentless recognition. I’m sure it’s hard.

So many of us think we want to be famous, and should think harder and longer about what it might mean. There’s little controlling it if it happens.

Finding Some Minutes in Any Given Day You Have to Work Is Hard

Finding Some Minutes in Any Given Day You Have to Work Is Hard

I feel your pain, if you have to run a job and work on art during your free time. Jobs are exhausting, and the last thing you want to do, oftentimes, when you get home is more work, even if it’s fun and compelling, and, let’s face it, what you said you wanted to do.

This is where doing your thing as a daily habit works the best. I can only offer encouragement in a couple small ways. Here’s a list, because, as anyone who’s followed this blog for a while knows, I love those:

  1. If you just don’t have the time to set up for your main project (maybe you’re working in, say, oil paint), do some work in the same medium. Plan another stage on paper, do a fast color sketch, write chord changes, do a test video with the script you’ve written. Little bits add up to big bits, and that includes the project minutiae.
  2. Be easy on yourself. Be gentle. Be kind. Be furiously kind, for sure, but do not beat yourself up for not enough done. Some work is still work.

This is not the easy path. I believe in you.