The Real People Behind the Fake Chatacters

I’m a sucker for blooper reels and missed takes. It lets me see a bit of the actual person who’s performing a role, but if they’re good I don’t think about who they are or the absurdity of pretending to be someone else for storytelling purposes.

It’s always a good thing to remind yourself other artists are human and fallible, just like everyone. No one is perfect, everyone has to practice, we all fail sometimes.

Party On, Dudes

Humans are social creatures. We have advanced knowledge and achievement collectively by being able to interact. Humans don’t do well in solitary confinement, and we need some measure of contact with others to stay healthy and sane. To this end, we have parties.

Long story short: we had a party tonight. Friends came, some were shy, they engaged in the end and made a new experience for everyone by doing so.

Parties exist to lubricate networking and enhance acquaintanceship. They’re the place to let loose and freely express yourself. Hm. Sound familiar?

Well, of course, these metaphors applied to creation are what we expect to find when we work on projects, when we practice our craft. But you can’t force it. The stuff happens or it doesn’t. The piece comes together or you spend the evening in the corner watching the tv. The cool thing is, there’s always another party. And another day to work on a thing. Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t happen the first time.

Inside a Foundry That Brings Ideas to Reality

Detail of a photo by Ricky Rhodes

Casey Lesser posted an article on Artsy highlighting the craftspersons who work at Pollich Tallix Foundry, which does work for many high end and famous fine artists, as well as things like memorial sculptures.

It’s a beautiful look at some rarely discussed but essential members of the fine art world, people who solve the problems and put together ideas for artists who mostly hand over their concepts to produce in physical form.

Making Art Is a Kind of Maze

You know the paper mazes on every child activity placemat and cereal box? And also the ones in big books of them made of tiny lines barely big enough to fit a pencil point?

The little ones are easy, you can usually see the way to the end by sight, without ever putting pen to paper. They practically solve themselves. The big ones seem like they’ll take a week, testing out pathways, backtracking, trying a new opening.

The metaphor speaks for itself. The only thing is that you don’t necessarily know which kind you’re working through when you start. You just have to trust that there really is an end, somewhere, and start working it.

Enjoying the View, for Personal and Creative Purposes

It’s a nice view from our apartment, mostly of the buildings next to ours, but the west Portland hills rise up behind everything and it looks like a diorama. It’s inspiring and uplifting. I’ve wanted to live in a downtown apartment since I was little.

It’s also a different sketching perspective. Since I’ve never lived this high up before, I have a new set of angles to discover and try to capture. Both these aspects are fulfilling and fun, and it’s a big change from many years near the ground in L.A.

Simple things feed into our feelings and our creativity. We shouldn’t undervalue a change in view.

Sometimes You Trick Yourself Into Doing It

I went to church this morning for the first time in many years. I wanted to hear the Easter music program at a place whose choir has a fabulous reputation.

The night before came. I didn’t want to go.

I was tired, just off work, and knew I wouldn’t have a day off for a while. And it was a big social gathering I’ve grown more reluctant to join the last few years. I thought about just staying in bed. But then I just treated it like I was going to work.

Not steeling myself, not begrudgingly thinking I’d better go. I stopped thinking about it and planned the trip and when I needed to get up. It was a weird trick I hadn’t planned or thought to implement. But treating it like a familiar routine I often use changed my mind about it, from something optional to an appointment.

The music was amazing and beautifully performed, and I was glad to have gone. If I’d left the decision until morning, I probably would have talked myself out of it.

The Full Meaning of Your Work May Never Be Known to You

It seems to me there’s no shortage of advice to imbue your work with meaning, and to understand what your work is about. Some say because if you don’t know what it’s about, joe will other people know?

The better advice, I think, comes from those who say you don’t have to know what your work means, and I say, further, you may never know fully what it means.

That’s mostly because we’re only half the equation of art. The audience or public in general are the other half, and everyone brings their own experience and insight to what you make. Art is open to interpretation by its nature. Even if you purposefully craft a particular meaning, there will be different ways to understand it.

It’s fine, even good, to have a subtext. As long as we aren’t to attached to it or dogmatic about it when we send it into the world. Part of the wonder of art is in that relationship with the ones who take in the things we make.