Steal Like an Artist

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:06 pm
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

I’ve been struggling a lot to keep writing, to keep creating, to find the inspiration and the focus I need to do my job. A lot of it is related to my Depression, but there comes a point when the difference between being a professional and a hobbyist is actually doing the work, even — especially — when it’s hard.

So this weekend, Anne and I took the kids up to Santa Barbara to celebrate our birthdays (which are all in the next two weeks), and to get a change of scenery for a couple of days. It was a gorgeous trip, emotionally and spiritually, and while it didn’t give me the magic bullet to suddenly break through the struggle I’ve been having, I made a ton of progress, because I read a book that I took with me. Here’s my review that I posted to my Goodreads thingy:

Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon, is essential reading for all artists.

It’s a quick read that you can finish in one sitting, but the ideas and advice it contains will stay with you long after you’ve put it down. Some of Austin’s suggestions will validate what you’re already doing, some will challenge you to fundamentally change a creative practice, others will inspire you to grab a notebook and get to work immediately.

Because it’s such a small and accessible book, you’ll want to go back to it from time to time. Just like Stephen King’s On Writing, as you change and grow as an artist, it reveals new ideas and inspirations to you that you may have missed on a previous read.

This is a fantastic addition to your library, and a wonderful gift for any creative person in your life.

I’ve been profoundly inspired by Austin’s book, because he reaffirmed things I’ve already been doing as an artist, but mostly because he gave me permission to think about the entire creative process differently.

For a long time, I have felt like a travel writer who never leaves the house, and Steal Like An Artist helped me find the door so I can get back on the road.

Universal nasty

Jul. 25th, 2017 08:03 am
supergee: (bucky)
[personal profile] supergee
How South Park helped raise a generation of trolls

The new astrology

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:07 am
supergee: (Foster)
[personal profile] supergee
Of course it’s science! Look at all those equations!

Thanx to [personal profile] andrewducker

The M word

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:53 am
supergee: (thinking)
[personal profile] supergee
Elitism has come to mean “rule by rich people who went to Ivy League schools.” Now, meritocracy is coming to mean “rule by rich people who went to Ivy League schools.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a word for “having things done by people who are good at them”?

Thanx to Slate Star Codex

Kid Killers

Jul. 24th, 2017 05:58 am
supergee: (noose)
[personal profile] supergee
Nine toys my generation* survived.
*Well, most of us, anyway.

Thanx to File 770

I have a tool for that, too

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:32 am
supergee: (kangaroo)
[personal profile] supergee
Massachusetts wants to put you in jail and steal your car for having a secret compartment you might use for ritually unclean substances.

Thanx to Avedon's Sideshow.

Facing Away

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:55 am
supergee: (facebook)
[personal profile] supergee
K. Tempest Bradford tries to find a modus vivendi with Facebook.

Cushlamochree!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:23 am
supergee: (math prowess)
[personal profile] supergee
Crockett Johnson, the cartoonist who did the Barnaby comics and Harold and the Purple Crayon, also created mathematical paintings.

Thanx to Metafilter

Hate vs. hate

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:24 am
supergee: (spy)
[personal profile] supergee
The Middle East really brings out the worst in us. The Chicago Dyke March refused to let people march under the traditional symbol of Judaism because it has Zio* cooties, and now Congress (including some people who should know better) is trying to take First Amendment rights away from Israel boycotters.
*If you hate something enough, you don’t have to say the whole word: Zio, Antifa

Thanx to Charles P. Pierce.

Automation

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:37 pm
[syndicated profile] questionable_content_feed




Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad could be here, right now.

Alice Grove is finished. I'm going to take some time to just do QC for a while and then start another side project sometime in the fall. Patreon subscribers will get sneak peeks, advance previews, and other stuff as it develops. Thank you for reading my comics.

making space to be creative

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:32 pm
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

One week and about ten hours ago, I decided to step away from Twitter for a little bit. The specific details aren’t important, and I suspect that many of you reading this now are already nodding in agreement because you grok why. But I took it off my phone, and I haven’t been to the website on my desktop since. For the first 48 hours, I spent a lot of time wondering if I was making a choice that mattered, and thinking about how I wasn’t habitually looking at Twitter every few minutes to see if I’d missed anything funny, or to see the latest bullshit spewing forth from President Fuckface’s mouthanus. I was, ironically, spending more time thinking about Twitter since I wasn’t using it than I spent thinking about it when I was.

It started out as a 24 hour break, then it was a 48 hour break, then it was the weekend, and here we are one week later and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything important. I feel like I’ve given myself more time to be quiet and alone, more time to reflect on things, and I’ve created space in my life to let my mind wander and get creative.

I’m not creating as much as I want to, and I’m starting to feel like maybe I’ll never be able to create as much as I want to, but I’ve gotten some stuff done this week that probably wouldn’t have gotten done if Twitter had been filling up the space that I needed.

Here’s a little bit from my blog post that became a short story that grew into a novella that is now a novel, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything:

My mother was leaning against her car, talking with one of the other moms, when we arrived. My sister was throwing a Strawberry Shortcake doll into the air and catching it while they watched. I walked out of the bus and across the blazing hot blacktop to meet her.

Willow, catch!” My sister cried, sending Strawberry Shortcake in a low arc toward me. I caught her without enthusiasm and handed her back. “You’re supposed to throw her to me!” Amanda said, demonstrating. Her doll floated in a lazy circle, arms and legs pinwheeling, before falling back down into my sister’s waiting arms. The writer in me wants to make a clever reference to how I was feeling at that moment, about how I could relate to Strawberry Fucking Shortcake, spinning out of control in the air above us, but it feels hacky, so I’ll just talk about how I wanted to make the reference without actually making the reference, thereby giving myself permission to do a hacky writer’s trick without actually doing it. See, there’s nothing tricky about writing, it’s just a little trick!

It’s still in the first draft, and I may not keep all or even any of it, but after putting it aside for months while I was depressed about too many things to look at it, it feels so good to be back into this story.

Oh, speaking of writing, I got notes back from the editors on my Star Wars 40th anthology submission. I thought that, for sure, they’d want me to rework a ton of it, but all they asked me to do is change a name! And they told me it was beautiful! So I’ve been feeling like a Capital-W Writer for a few days.

And speaking of feeling happy for a change, Hasbro and Machinima announced that I’m a voice in the next installment of the Transformers animated series, Titans Return. And it feels silly to care about this particular thing, but Daily Variety put my name in the headline, which made me feel really, really good.I’ve always felt like the only thing that should matter is the work, and that the work should be able to stand on its own … but that’s not the reality even a little bit. Daily Variety is the industry’s paper of record, so when it chooses to put you in the headline of a story, people pay attention and it matters in the way that can make the difference between getting called for a meeting, or the last ten years of my life as an actor.

It’s also a good reminder that, even if I’m not getting the opportunities I want to be an on-camera actor, it is entirely within my power to create the space I need to be a writer.

 

Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 02:30 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios