Patchwork Pants (CATALOG 4/10/2022)

My latest list of recent likes and favorite links…

  1. I see a lot of ripped up or patched together pants among my middle-school students. These Dolce Gabbana jeans—and their price tag—caught my eye. The question is… What came first, the patches or the pants?

  2. Super creepy, super cool, or a little bit of both? If Stephen King is looking for his next muse, the “American Decay” photography collection by Bryan Sansivero may be it.

  3. Figure out what makes you tick—and enjoy some great art in the process—with Lisa Congdon‘s “Values Deck.”

  4. Let’s save today’s youth from becoming even more device dependent—let’s engage their brains! Learn more through the “Raising Problem Solvers” podcast, a new production by the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS).

  5. So many people changed careers during the pandemic, including yours truly. Still thinking about your next move? Fast Company offers “6 things to consider…

  6. Get a load of Charlie Puth’s creative process for writing and recording “Light Switch“—plus his bouncy curls are amazing!

  7. To think that my sleek silver MacBook Pro all began with the quaint wood stylings of the Apple 1 computer, which now fetches $400,000 at auction!

  8. A friend recently treated me to Susie Larson‘s latest book, May His Face Shine Upon You. Such a beautiful collection of little blessings for both parent and child!

  9. Another great resource for mothers with lots of creative ideas and ambitions: try “An Artist Residency in Motherhood.”

  10. What a cool marriage of music and visual art, presented by children’s author Mo Willems of Piggie, Gerald, and Pigeon fame. His “Beethoven Exhibits Extracted” recently wrapped up at the Kennedy Center, but I intend to visit all nine pieces online and listen to the corresponding symphonies from the comfort of my own home.

I love to collect cool resources on writing, learning, and creativity—so please send me yours! Thanks for reading!

An Artist’s Bookshelf – February 2018

IMG_0729Procrastination… The struggle is real.

My kind of procrastination is often disguised as “research” or “inspiration”—after all, “Learner” is my number one strength according to StrengthsFinder 2.0. Despite my ill motives, the practice of reading does bear its fruit. As a result, I’m exposed to some great books and many thought-provoking ideas and philosophies as I slide other endeavors to the backburner. Here’s what I’m reading right now:

Letters to a Young Artist: Building a Life in Art by Julia Cameron
Yep, this is the same person who wrote the bestselling The Artist’s Way, which also makes its home on my bookshelves. In Letters, Cameron responds to a fictitious but relatable young artist “full of turbulent self-doubt”—relatable in the sense of apprehension, but rather annoying when it comes to the extent of his/her resistance to Cameron’s insight and advice (remember, the mentee is fictitious, so who should I really blame for this flaw in character?). I’m “young” in the sense of this new adventure as an artist, so I’m digging the read.

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren
Photographer friend Tami Sojka recommended this book to me, and I finished it this morning. In less than 100 pages, Koren tries to put words and pictures to “the quintessential Japanese aesthetic.” He describes wabi-sabi as “a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete… modest and humble… unconventional.” Such a definition of art, then, gives a rookie like me some hope.

This insight in particular continues to play in the corners of my consciousness: “While the universe destructs it also constructs. New things emerge out of nothingness. But we can’t really determine by cursory observation whether something is in the evolving or devolving mode. If we didn’t know differently we might mistake the newborn baby boy—small, wrinkled, bent, a little grotesque looking—for the very old man on the brink of death… In metaphysical terms, wabi-sabi suggests that the universe is in constant motion toward or away from potential.”

A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon
I discovered Lisa Congdon a couple years ago through an online art class she teaches through CreativeBug. Talk about someone who embraces the beauty of imperfection—she really encourages me in my attempts at art by speaking this truth over and over again. When it comes to her work, I so admire her playful use of pattern and color, as well as her whimsical approach to everyday objects.

Her signature style graces the pages of A Glorious Freedom, a biographical delight about women who found or are finding new identity or purpose as “late bloomers.” I feel a certain kinship with these women as I discover the glorious freedom that comes with age and some long overdue self-acceptance and celebration.

If you feel so inclined, I’d love to receive your recommendations of authors and books who have made a difference in your creative life. Please share in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!