Art

Television gets a bad rep.

Folks view it as a waste of time, something to be looked down on.

It’s a waste only when it’s abused.

At it’s best television (or cinema) has the power to connect in ways that theater and music can’t alone.

The keys are moderation and the pursuit of artistic substance.

Two posts today because I didn’t make the time yesterday. Sorry!

If an artist feels comfortable calling women the “b” word, they’re disrespectful and objectifying.

If an artist is comfortable promoting excessive wealth and luxury, they’re greedy and superficial and, therefore, immoral.

If an artist says in an interview that they don’t say what they really feel because they care what their fans think, they’re a hack.

If an artist is constantly promoting themselves and not being generous with their audience by sharing work that seeks to make a connection in the world or improve it, they’re selfish.

In this interview with The New Yorker, Janelle Monáe talked about how the movie Metropolis defined her artistic journey. David Remnick indicated that he was familiar with the film, so I figured this was something I should familiarize myself with.

I assumed that it would likely be on some list, so I looked. My curiosity revealed that it’s a part of Time’s 100 all-time best movies. This list will keep you busy for a while finding new, highly regarded cinematic expressions.

Have fun.

In the past 6 or so months my individuality has flourished. I feel more confident with who I am, and I’m getting more comfortable with artistic expression. I’ve started a novel, I’m taking up drawing, I’m interested in doing some painting, and I’m looking more into design and collage.

I never would have guessed that my life would take this direction. But other artistic mediums are like writing in that they help you to discover yourself, and with self-knowledge being the basis of wisdom, it’s exciting to me to be equipped to uncover identity-nuggets.

Moreover, my openness has soared. Every day I find myself trying to discover new music, new artists, and new ideas. Pardon the cliché, but I’m like a sponge, soaking in the richness of life. It’s quite literally wonderful.

With this openness comes an inclination to devour books on artistry. Today, I want to share the 4 books that have helped me the most.

The 4 books that have helped me most on my creative journey

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  3. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
  4. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

It’s not a long, impressive list, but I think these books are really helpful. I’m excited to be on this path. I look forward to reading other books about creativity. I’m currently reading Stephen King’s memoir On Writing. And I’m looking forward to checking out Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Lynda Barry’s Making Comics, Lisa Congdon’s Find Your Artistic Voice, and Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit.

I feel comfortable leaning into this work even though it has nothing to do with my vocation, local government management, because, as asserted in Adam Grant’s Originals, the most innovative people have creative hobbies.

Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs in an interview with Song Exploder taught me something that I think about almost daily: there’s beauty in the imperfection.

Some songs have a sense of perfection. The artists have gone over each element to ensure exact pitch, tone, and melody. But as Skrillex says, a lack of quality gives a sense of warmth.

Nature isn’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. They’re messy.

Art with a sense of imperfection perhaps echos their messiness – and in so doing, reflects their inherent beauty.

Next time you’re disappointed that something isn’t measuring up, you can keep this in your back pocket. Use it as a reminder that it’s often in the messiness that the best parts of the human experience are discovered.

 

 

Dear Love:

Arguments descend into trivialities. Trivialities descend into miscommunications. We are each making efforts, we are both on each other’s team, seeking earnestly for the best outcome in good faith. We want this to last. We want this to work. But we’re hurt. But we’re human, and let’s face it: criticism sucks.

So let’s stop getting worked up and get to the core of how we’re feeling: disrespected, unappreciated, or not listened to. It’s true that occasionally we won’t measure up, that our best measurements of our best expressions will pale in comparison to the expectations we’ve established for a dynamic romantic enterprise.

We will get let down. We will be unkind. We will be impatient. We will be thoughtless and act selfishly. We will forget when we shouldn’t and sometimes remember when we should forget. We will be tired and hangry and “Look, I’m just not feeling it right now, okay? Can we just go to bed?”

Together we are climbing a steep, steep mountain, with uneven rocks and uncertain outcomes, just trying to make the best of the equipment we’ve got, which isn’t a lot, and keep the faith despite the rocks, and promote the best, most gosh darn-amazing love we can imagine. Firey and deeply connected.

But our scenes are unscripted, so it’s no surprise we slip up and hurt those we love most, even with the best of intentions.

In sum, I’m sorry. I’m human. Let’s make hot chocolate, cuddle, and watch scary movies on Netflix.

Warmest regards,

K.

My artist is writerly and enjoys sophistication, hope, sincerity, solitude, and the intimacy of small, thoughtful groups.

My artist has clear influences: the vulnerability and heart of Brené Brown, the entrepreneurialism and distinction of Seth Godin, the whimsical craft of Austin Kleon, and the cultural grounding of Bo Burnham.

But my artist is not them.

My artist is unique to itself.

This uniqueness must be nourished and accepted without compromise to live the fullest, most contributing expression of my life.

Nourishment involves constant experimentation.

Its affinities manifested through this iterative process include the love found in the writing of E.B. White, the curiosity of Krista Tippett, the collective shame of adolescence, and the authenticity of Thoreau.

It is not drawn to others’ poetry because of the time it takes to decipher the abstraction, the negativity found in the writing of Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the manipulation found in books about selling and business.

I don’t know what we should be doing with our time.

If I were to guess, I’d say figuring out what it means to live a good life, advance truth, and discover what’s fulfilling.

In sum, to understand wisdom, love, and happiness.

This is antithetical to the idea of focusing on how to get ahead of others, how to take advantage of them, and how to compete.

It’s better to fail in a career and be true to yourself and kind to others than to reach the heights of institutional success by abandoning your values and being selfish and manipulative.

Work hard. Stand in your conviction. And don’t be afraid.