I love New York but it can be way too much — and the last few months have pushed me to the limit. The streets have been too damned jammed with holiday tourists and texting millennials. The pre-dawn construction project down the block had been going on for too damned long. And winter came too damned early and frigid this year.
JJ and I concluded we had to get out of Dodge, sit in the sun and eat clementines. Now we’re in LA for a month and my sluggish brain is starting to thaw.
Continue reading “How to make your imagination work harder.”
My pal Michael Nobbs suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and yet is a creative and productive artist. We had a chat recently about how he does it and how we can all use his techniques to get more done each day.
Michael is also a teacher in the newest kourse at Sketchbook Skool. If you would like to more tips, suggestions and perspectives from him and our other new fakulty, check out Expressing at SBS.com.
Some three years ago, I taught the one and only class of my career, a 12 week program at the Open Center. I learned a lot and met a number of interesting artists over the weeks. Seth Apter was in my class and I began to visit his sumptuous website, The Altered Page , and to talk with him about drawing and art and the creative process. He interviewed me for his blog and again, the conversation broke new ground for me/
Last year, Seth began work on a book, The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed, and invited me to participate.
Now, I have been a part of a number of books that collected the work of many artists, and generally it’s a simple and painless affair. In fact, while putting together An Illustrated Life and its upcoming sequel, An Illustrated Journey, I found myself in the reverse position of having to badger other artists to join up and then send me pages from their journals and answer my questions. It’s a fair amount of work but one learns so much by shepherding this sort of book.
Anyway, being a part of Seth’s book was more than I initially thought when I signed up. That’s because Seth really demanded that I think a lot about myself and my process in answering his questions, think in ways I’d not been asked to do before, not even by myself. He’s a psychologist and he challenged me to really explain the many things I take for granted in my work, the media I use and the ways I use them, what defines my work and what does not, He asked me questions like “What three words do not describe your artistic style?” and “If you could sell one piece of art to anyone in the world, whom would you want to buy it and why?”
Seth asked these sorts of questions of me and many, many other artists. From what I’ve seen of it, the resulting book is a rich and beautiful tapestry that explores the deepest aspects of the creative process, and provokes and inspires over and again.
The Pulse of Mixed Media will be officially published at the end of this month but apparently it’s in some stores already. You can also get it direct from the publisher. Meanwhile, Seth is doing all sorts of things on his site to dimensionalize the content, with samples and peeks inside. Seth has promised me that the actual book will be in my hands any day now but my trips to the mailbox have been for naught so far. I hope to share a deeper dive between its covers in the near future.
Meanwhile, if you get a copy, do let me know what you think.