So, please: Keep making your art. Keep speaking the truth. We need your efforts, no matter how small and how trivial they may seem to you.
I believe that the first step towards becoming a writer is becoming a reader, but the next step is becoming a reader with a pencil.
Reading to an audience is best, because you start really judging the thing when you have to project it into a room full of people. Quentin Tarantino says he likes to read his scripts to his friends, not for their feedback, but their presence. “I don’t want input, I don’t want you to tell me if I’m doing anything wrong, heavens forbid,” he says, “But I write a scene, and I think I’ve heard it as much as I can, but then when I read it to you … I hear it through your ears, and it lets me know I’m on the right track.”
The joy and luck, for me, of writing my books, is that I’ve stumbled my way into a form (specifically: the illustrated gift book) that is not only commercial and popular, but also allows me to be as weird and as visual as I want to be. (I really do think of the books as fancy zines.) If they are shelved in self-help, so be it! All books are, in a sense, self-help: you help yourself to them.
I started Rachel Cusk’s Outline, the first in her trilogy, and I’m not completely sure what the book is up to, but the sentences are really good, so I’m gonna stick with it.
Bad health care has killed more American artists than I could list here without my fingers falling off. The midterms are coming up, so if you want to support the arts, register to vote and vote for politicians who support universal health care.
I still find value in being on Twitter (just yesterday I learned about a new-to-me artist from a follower) but it is increasingly hard to justify much time spent there and on other social media sites, like Instagram. That’s why I continue to write here every day and keep up my weekly newsletter, both of which produce better thinking and better work from me and give me a stronger, more deeper connection to my audience
Drawing gives you power over your own mental and emotional life. Like other forms of play, it allows you to explore the scarier parts of life in a safe, controlled way.
Beautiful things grow out of shit. Nobody ever believes that. Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head—they somehow appeared there and formed in his head—and all he had to do was write them down and they would be manifest to the world. But what I think is so interesting, and would really be a lesson that everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. I think this would be important for people to understand, because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that’s how things work.
If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted—they have these wonderful things in their head but and you’re not one of them, you’re just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that—then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of life where you could say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much, start from unpromising beginnings, and I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.
via Austin Kleon