Thursday, May 16, 2013

Inspired by a book

This morning, I wrote this in my notebook:

All forms of human communication
All forms of expression
I strive to master
But what do I want to say?

I got out of class early today (my last day of classes! Hooray!) and decided to go to the book store in Penn Station where I once found a book that I fell in love with, whose title I did not remember. I hoped and hoped and hoped some more that a copy would be there. I went straight to where I had found it last time, and there it was on the shelf, sitting there all lonely, waiting for me: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.

On the train ride home, I read part of it. And I happened to find the answer to the question I had posed to myself earlier in the day.

I should say whatever I would like to say. I must steal ideas that inspire me and transform them into my very own.

On that note, here are some "makers" who inspire me. I have to ask myself, what about their work captivates me? What didn't they make? If they are dead, what would they be making today if they were still alive? If I could take several of these makers and assemble them into a team, with me as the leader, what would we create together?

The (non-exhaustive and ever-expansive) list:

Pipilotti Rist, goddess of glitch art:

Alex Grey:

Brian Eno:

Andrea Gibson:

Allie Brosh, author of Hyperbole and a Half:

Do Ho Suh:

Frida Kahlo:

Jayson Musson:

Paul Klee:

David Foster Wallace
Shelley Jackson: My Body
Salvador Dali
Jiddu Krishnamurti 
Land of Talk
Apostle of Hustle
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tom Wolfe
Hunter S. Thompson
Joan Didion
Dana Gingras (choreographer of "I Am A Chain Reaction")

In terms of visual art, I've noticed that I really like contrasting/complementary colors. Like, really, really like them. All of the visual art I've created lately has incorporated complementary colors to a certain degree. Often, it's the focal point of the work.

Also, all of the above examples involve visual representations of human beings (except for the Brian Eno album and maybe the Klee painting, although the subject has human-like features.) All of the pictures and things hanging up in my room right now, with one exception, feature a human being as the focal point of the piece.


This summer I want to focus more attention and effort on creative endeavors, and I want to actively start searching for things to "steal" and transform. I've created a morgue file on my computer that I would like to actually put to use. I also want to read more, and my lack of classwork will free up considerable amounts of time to do so.

When I engage with works that interest me, I become extremely motivated to create my own things.

I want to write things I would read.
I want to make music I would listen to.
I want to make art that would captivate me.

I get lost in time when I'm being creative. It's like all of my concerns melt away. A problem (which is actually not a problem at all) which has been nagging me all day is still nagging me, but right now it's less of a concern. Right now, nothing is more important than what I am doing. For a little while, I am not living in my head. I am living here.

There's something so beautiful about a well-balanced paragraph. Balanced in that there aren't too many long sentences, nor too many short ones. There's this happy middle-ground of sentence length that can be quite difficult to arrive at. But when you do, the effect is magical.

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