Dream digital

We take the screen for granted, assuming it reveals the real world. But the phone only offers an exterior point of view. Our screens fool us.

We take the screen for granted, assuming it reveals the real world. But the phone only offers an exterior point of view. Our screens fool us.

On the inside, we know our own internal-compass preaches practicality. We can only dunk a basketball in Second Life.

There is no way to replicate the digital and physical worlds, toggling between them to gain second sight.

But we can, as only humans do, continue to project ourselves into the future. 

gif via Popsicle Illusion

The language of art

Poems are made of sound. Photos conjure up words. Creators, like linguists, endeavor to translate their work into narratives that make sense.

Artists are storytellers just as much as they are makers. They spend some time consuming content but more time recreating it, recasting their influences, inspirations, and identity into their work.

To be in a spot where curiosity overlaps with the fungi of creativity is the ultimate siren song. With a little effort, art can renew your heart and change your life.

If you too want to make something, don’t want another minute. You are the supreme fashion designer of your life.

gif by William Redgrove

Relic of the past

Some carry on, clinging to the optimism of 1994. For many others, 1984 is just getting started.

A combination of elements, a mere idea transforms into something new.

From Polaroid to Instagram, railroad to internet, snail mail to email, what is the future but a remix of stems mashed up and built on top of extant systems.

We introduce new things and promptly forget that they already existed, in the guise of an outdated format.

What is new are the experiences and artifacts. We cultivate a new culture from upgrades in medium. But novelty is not always benevolent.

For instance, once a beacon of hope, the internet went from green fields of opportunity to havens of extreme darkness.

But just as trying to escape demons gives them power, finding little pockets of light sprinkle elements of hope.

Some carry on, clinging to the optimism of 1994. For many others, 1984 is just getting started.

gif via jamopi

Regression in time

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance./ Regression in time

You’re part of an idea. So is every variety of human.

One idea is that democracy is the best form of government. But we can’t hide its flaws. It still allows for bombastic celebrities to take charge.

Humans are also part of nature. We are to climate change what the asteroid was to the dinosaur.

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance.

gif via annasalmi

Paper = slow food for thought

So time keeps on slipping, as technology speeds it up into the future. If you want to slow down time, write a letter. Consider paper.  #amwriting #letters

Like a scarce piece of snail mail, it gets our attention. A story lies within the envelope and thus we feel compelled to spend more time with it. 

But another email augurs the birthing of threads, as it speeds up the time it was suppossed to save. 

In his book Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity (Amazon), German sociologist Hartmut Rosa writes: “We don’t have any time although we’ve gained far more than we needed before.”

So time keeps on slipping, as technology speeds it up into the future. If you want to slow down time, write a letter. Consider paper

gif by lironrash

The adult impulse

It draws us after it, the immediate impact of that sensational rectangular glow. Even without it in our thumbs, we go shoulder surfing looking at the screen of another.

The adult impulse is voyeuristic. We look externally, to see ourselves portrayed in other people. We are good replicas of ourselves.

It’s no wonder we fall victim to other peoples’s dreams, racing to the bottom of conformity rather than pushing the edges. If the self is woke, don’t fix it.

gif via taxipictures

When originality fails

We discover our uniqueness through failed conformity. We’re not here to follow. We’re meant to bend standard practices in strange and wonderful directions.

Thinking different is the ultimate motivator. It carves us into individuals. We just have to remember that that’s who we are, purple cows instead of mindless little robots.

“Originality consists of trying to be like everybody else and failing.”

Raymond Radiguet (view books)

When we wield the paintbrush, our imaginative grip never dies. It is then the masses want to steal chunks from us.

Textbook wisdom

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

Take the theory of evolution. The topic itself lends to all types of discussions around race, identity, brain and body development. Aren’t we all just pond scum who lucked out on terra firma?

This is not to say we should believe in half-truths. Textbook wisdom says that we know only what we know as of right now.

But there is still no substitute for thinking through new possibilities even if it’s separate from our own palette of experience.

art via giphy

The invisible wall

Work grinds the dreams of many. The cycle of boring jobs begs the question: What should we do with our life?

Yet we run into the next occupation, thinking that it could be the defining one. But it too fails to shape us.

If a job shapes our identity, we damn well should make sure we take on something we care about. Otherwise, the invisible wall is always there, wanting, waiting, to frustrate the dreamer into a perpetual struggle.

Cultural differences between East vs West, illustrated

In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures.

In her new book East Meets West (Amazon), graphic artist Yang Liu illustrates the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. From the way people confront a problem, deal with the boss, approach a queue, self-perceive, or talk in restaurants, it’s quite obvious that behaviors range between the two hemispheres. As they say, a picture is a thousand words.

‘Chaos always defeats order’

“Chaos always defeats order, because it is better organized.”

Terry Pratchett (see books)

art by Anna Firth

When in doubt…

  • Let your art make the rounds. Don’t hide it.
  • Don’t try to be everywhere. Pick a place and be consistent.
  • Rules are recommendations. Feel free to break them, recast, and remix them.
  • Rest when you’re underperforming. Don’t quit.
  • The muse is nonexistent. Inspiration is bunk. Habit is a bicep curl for the brain.

I hope the above helps you push through CRAP (criticism, rejection assholes, pressure). Bonus points for embracing the messy middle

Art via maorisaki