Categories
Arts Creativity

The great German artist Albrecht Dürer

Envious of the Italian artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, the German artist Albrecht Dürer ventured to Italy in 1496 to prove his worth as a painter. He had already gained a reputation for his woodcut prints.

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The Sea Monster (1498) © Getty

After years of hanging out in Venice and gathering the technique of oil paintings, he created one of his most notable pieces, Feast of the Rosary, In 1506.

“I also silenced all the artists who said I was good at engraving but, as a painter, I did not know how to deal with colors. Now everyone says they have never seen more beautiful colors.”

Albrecht Dürer

At first, we develop good taste and copy. With time, we originate. 

Dürer is still considered “the greatest of all German artists.”

Categories
Productivity & Work Psychology

A single holistic view

gif by Mattis Dovier

There’s a private voice and a public voice, things we say internally and keep caged out loud.

The former helps instill the external self, the latter influences our inner narrative.

Somewhere between the middle of our diary and how we act among people represents who we really are.

But there’s a third self that exists on the web.

We live an edited real life in the social media age through our avatars. Yet a curated identity can be an addictive substance, especially when the behavior is oblivious to our staring.

Life, like the weather, is something we can only try to control. At some point we’re forced to ride the wave chance has given us. Adaptability is key, per say.

We should develop our own time recorder, know it and understand it. Because the loveliest people are already at peace with themselves.

Categories
Arts Books Creativity

‘A dragon day is a day when you refill your creative well’

4. Everyone needs a dragon day. In the middle of my burned-out period of the challenge, I started sculpting little dragons out of clay, just for fun. I did this on Sundays, which is my permanent day off from painting (thirty-in-thirty challenge or not, I still wasn’t planning to paint on Sunday). When I was talking to my sister about how I was feeling so uninspired about painting, but so excited about making cute little dragons, she started calling Sundays my “dragon day.” And I liked that idea so much that I now call Sundays my dragon day, whether I’m sculpting a little dragon or putting together a photo album or baking a new yummy treat. A dragon day is a day when you refill your creative well; it’s a day to do anything creative that you want, just for fun, with no expectations that anything will come of it other than the joy you get from the act of creating.

This reminds me of the author Tim Wu’s piece in which he observes that today’s Instagrammable edited real-life era has pressured people into hobbies only where they can excel. Instead, he implores people to enjoy a hobby for the hobbies sake.

The exploration of imperfect creativity produces a raw pleasure one can’t find in meticulous planning.

Categories
Arts Books

How jumping reveals the real person

Iconic Latvian photographer Philippe Halsman shot some of the most famous portraits of all-time for every major American magazine, including credits for more than 100 Life Magazine covers. He shot the Albert Einstein photo for Time Magazine.

But he’s also renowned for one of his side projects in taking black and white images of popular faces in mid-air “jumpology.”

During a six-year period in the 1950s, he’d request an off the cuff photo of a celebrity artist, author, scientist, or film star jumping into the air. He captured nearly 200 portraits of celebrities including the Marylin Monroe, Salvador Dalí, and Aldous Huxley and published them in a book aptly titled Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book.

“When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.”

Philippe Halsman
Categories
Arts Uncategorized Writing

Why writers feel like they do nothing

gif via tumblr

As writers, we may feel like we do nothing.

No matter how much daily effort we put into it, writing doesn’t feel like a regular job.

Instead, writing feels like a blessing — whether we do it for pay, as a hobby, for therapy, or because we enjoy stitching together words as art. Or all of the above.

The process of interpreting the picture we have in our mind and converting that into words is a beautiful sensation.

Of course, the first draft is rarely any good. Writers harbor good bullshit detectors.

But the expectation is that we can tweak our words until they sound right. Revision wields the pen to our advantage and protects sentences from the erosion of complexity.

Never to be killed by comfort, the writer types on.

Categories
Arts Books

Begin with a bookshelf

Book dam by Jacek Yerka

Build a board of long-distance advocates. These can be authors, leaders or personal heroes of yours you might never meet. You’ll never share coffee, perhaps, but their books and ideas can impact your career. I’ve never met him, but author Steven Pressfield greatly impacted the hustle investment of my Career Savings Account. I never would have been able to finish my first book without the encouragement of his book The War of Art. If advocates or a table of strangers feels like too big of a stretch, begin with a bookshelf.

Jon Acuff, Do Over

Reading not only creates a theater inside your head — it can also inspire you to do the work you’ve always wanted.