“None of us has really the ability to understand our path until it’s over,” the celebrated graphic designer Milton Glaser muses less than a minute into the above video.[...]
Note: There are a couple brief not-safe-for-work moments in this film.
Patronizing, ponderous, well-meaning, self-aggrandizing, incoherent… young artists are subjected to a lot of unsolicited advice, and not just from their parents.
Photo by Eric Delmar, Wikipedia Commons
Practicing for countless hours before we can be good at something seems burdensome and boring. Maybe that’s why we’re drawn to stories of instant achievement.
In elementary school, a playful teacher gave us an assignment. Everyone was to dream up some sort of amazing invention, then draw both a design and an advertisement for it.
It seemed most of my classmates were primed for a future in which sneakers would come equipped with fully operational, built-in wings.
Last summer, a rumor circulated that Cormac McCarthy, one of America’s most beloved living writers, had passed away. In the midst of a devastating year for famous artists and their fans, the announcement appeared on Twitter, but it “was, in fact, a hoax.[...]
A quick fyi: this video is a little not safe for work.
You know you want to create something, but how on Earth to get it out of your mind and into reality? Sometimes you simply can’t see the way forward, a situation in which every creator finds themselves sooner or later.
Some moments in history strike us as dramatic ruptures. Certainties are superseded, thrown into chaos by a seismic event, and we find ourselves adrift and anxious. What are artists to do? Gripped by the same fears as everyone else, the same sense of urgency, writers, musicians, filmmakers, painters, etc.[...]
Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons
I wish I’d had a teacher who framed his or her assignments as letters…
Which is really just another way of saying I wish I’d been lucky enough to have taken a class with writers Kurt Vonnegut or Lynda Barry.
Never meet your idols, they say. It can put a cramp in your appreciation of their work. There are always exceptions, but maybe Bill Murray proves the rule. On the other hand, you should always learn from your idols. There’s a reason you admire them, after all. Find out what it is and what they have to teach you.[...]