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Books Creativity Productivity & Work

Famous artists and their recipes for good luck

Creatives obsess with how other successful creators do their work. Witness the 2013 bestseller Daily Rituals by Mason Currey.

But instead of focusing on the productive habits of successful artists, author Ellen Weinstein highlights their oddities.

Her book Recipes for Good Luck: The Superstitions, Rituals, and Practices of Extraordinary People contains some fascinating and funny habits.

  • Thom Yorke prepares for live concerts with a headstand ritual
  • NASA engineers eat peanuts before every launch as a lucky charm
  • Picasso held on to his fingernail clippings to maintain his spiritual “essence”
  • Frida Kahlo painted plants and flowers from her desk, looking over her garden

Creative people can be a bit superstitious, to say the least. As Seth Godin likes to say, “we’re all weird.”

Whatever you do to keep your edge, do it.

All images courtesy Chronicle Books

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Creativity Social Media Tech

Giphy and the art of the Gif

By artist Phyllis Ma/Giphy

Whether you pronounce GIF with a soft or hard “G,” GIF can be described as a type of format, just like the Jpeg or MP3. With the likes of Apple’s Live feature, Instagram’s Boomerang and Google’s Motion Stills app, making GIFs is easier than ever, turning them into their own respectable, artful medium.

Giphy is the new home of the GIFs, dethroning Tumblr and taking them to the next level, even to real life. Giphy recently hosted an exhibition in New York called ‘Loop Dreams,’ showcasing the GIF works of 25 artists “brought to life through holographic posters, projections, VR, and interactive installations.”

What is a GIF?

In short, GIFs are animated photo files, stitched together to look like a looping video that changes states. Ari Spool, the community coordinator at Giphy, tells Wired “A lot of what we think of as GIF art starts out as what we might have thought of 10 years ago as video art.”

GIFs are instantly recognizable, not just because they move but because they’re typically fun and more digestible than videos. As you can see in the epic Thom Yorke and Flying Lotus one below, the future of the medium is bright.

Categories
Arts Creativity

Start before you’re ready 

Inspiration is not a prerequisite for creativity. In fact, it confounds what making things is all about—a dedication to the craft. If you only work when you’re inspired, you’ll get nothing done. Inspiration doesn’t strike all day, nor should you have to build it up to get started.

Do the work

Inspiration can be a distraction. Seeking motivation becomes an excuse to avoid the hard work. Producing something original requires concentration and distance. Roger Smith is a watchmaker at Hodinkee on the remote Isle of Man, far away from Switzerland and Cupertino.

“The influences just aren’t around, and I can just get on with my days work and just make what I want to make.” — Roger W. Smith

In an interview with Benji B, Thom Yorke of Radiohead said he doesn’t listen to anything else while making an album—he’s completely engaged in the creative process. Focusing on producing his own music distances himself from the temptation of finding the next interesting sound.

Making is an accumulation of what you already know. If you have good taste, you should be able to pull from outside influences and recast them in your own style. Taste finds a way of making it into your craft.

A professional doesn’t need more fire in their belly to get to work. Rather, art is a discipline that flows with a creative habit. The question is: what are you going to do with all that inspiration? The short answer is to start before you’re ready.

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” — Chuck Close

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Uncategorized

Some newness from the Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes

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Uncategorized

Thom Yorke pulls albums from Spotify

“Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will no[t] get paid. Meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples.”

Back to downloads, copies. It’s the only way to respectfully pay for music.

Or this:

iTunes Radio is also going to help drive incremental download sales, which is of course, as Apple tries to extend the life of download sales as long as they can: this affords them the opportunity to do that.

Categories
Arts Business Creativity Quotes

Oscar Wilde on bankers and artists

“When bankers get together they talk about art. When artists get together, they talk about money.” – Oscar Wilde (via Thom Yorke)”