The things we think about are deeply influenced by the state of the art around us: the conversations taking place among educated folk, the shared information, tools, and technologies at hand.
What if you stopped thinking about your ideas as things you need to let out of you, but things you need to let in to you? Things you need to be ready to receive?
“You can’t direct a 4-year-old…” Truer words never spoken! All you can do is set them up and hit record. And hang on for the ride…
On holding onto your curiosity as you age.
John Waters is what I call a Curious Elder — someone who manages to retain their curiosity as they age and stays interested in what young people are up to. The curious elder isn’t interested in judging youth, they’re interested in learning from them.
As a parent and an educator, I think that there is a danger of understanding, rather than “revelling in the mystification”.
I remember when I taught music I would start each weekly lesson with a listening diary where we would reflect upon a different piece of music chosen by a student. It was a fascinating opportunity.
Austin Kleon doesn’t glamorize creative work. It’s hard. (Hence, the “work.”) But the bestselling author has found ways to stay the course in the face of burnout, self-doubt, and yes, even raising children. He shares his wisdom in his new book Keep Going, which comes out tomorrow. Today, he talks to us about how he parents.
This week: tour dates, reading recommendations, and more…
Karl Lagerfield died this week, and he said: “Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books.” If books are drugs, then maybe my books are just gateway drugs that lead to better ones. I’m more than okay with that!
Want your kids to read more? Let them see you reading every day.
Want your kids to practice an instrument? Let them see you practicing an instrument.
Want your kids to spend more time outside? Let them see you without your phone.
There’s no guarantee that your kids will copy your modeling, but they’ll get a glimpse of an engaged human.
It’s been said a million times — it’s one of the main points of my books Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work! — and yet, it still seems to be controversial or confusing to young people who are starting out: If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader first.
As we read we compose, without thinking about it, a kind of running commentary or marginal jotting that adds more words to the words on the page. There is always already writing as the accompaniment to reading.
A recent study showed the median pay for full-time writers is stupidly low, surprising no full-time writer alive.
One afternoon a few years ago when we were bored, I showed my son Owen (now 6) how to make simple tracks on his little iPad mini, and ever since then, he’s been completely obsessed with the program. He spends, on average, at least an hour a day in Garageband. (He would spend way more if we didn’t limit his screen time, and we have to, because if we don’t he gets that weird zombie recording glaze in his eyes. [Musicians will know what I’m talking about.])
Though I didn’t become a professional musician or producer or recording engineer, I like to think that this kind of exercise — studying something you love in depth — is valuable no matter what the field or the genre. The results don’t matter. When you study something so closely, in so much depth, you learn what it is to really pay attention. And paying attention is the art that builds a more meaningful and creative life.
Don’t disappear on us. Don’t cancel your own subscription. Stick around. Keep going. The world is more interesting with you in it.
Everything is connected, but the connections only matter if you make them!
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.