make

I want to be exhibited! if only…..

Brooklyn Art Library keeps a collection of sketchbooks submitted by drawers/painters like yourself.  You, yes you.  They take them and exhibit them for you.  Yes, you.

Sign up by January 5th, 2018 for next year’s challenge.

Send a sum of money to get a sketchbook sent to you, fill it, return.

2018 themes to choose from are: Underwater, This is now that it seems, Textures, Lines and Graphics, Long stories with short endings, A Comic Book ending, Connections, People I wish I knew, No Worries, Tacos.

What does it even look like?

Here are a couple of books sent by one illustrator, Clare Hemingsley

who enjoyed it so much, she did the project challenge again the following year:

Looking for a challenge in 2018?  This could be it.

Fancy an unusual line on your artistic cv?

Just want someone to see what you make, because you think it’s actually good?

This could be IT.  Apply.

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BBC 13 October 2017

Today’s favourite quote…. Success is:

Nile Rogers said it:

Success is a by-product of hard work, consistency and luck.

Nile has 4 decades of success as innovative bassist and record producer/music arranger.

If you want to hear more of his insights – and music – then there is a new documentary series (3 programmes) by the BBC.  If you live in the UK and are a licence-player, it’s on BBC i-player here.

If you live outside the UK, keep an eye on your national TV channel, because this programme has such high quality footage on an international music performer, that it’s bound to feature on stations across the world, in due course.

 

Cold? Try garlic mushroom macaroni cheese

Today’s creative prompt is “cold” – my creative response is cooking a garlic mushroom macaroni cheese, recipe courtesy of the fantastically named food blog “Amuse Your Bouche”.

garlicmushroommacaronicheese4

As made by “Amuse Your Bouche” on her blog

Here’s the story….. today being a crisp, autumnal day, I visited my favourite cafe at an art gallery (what’s not to like).  However, today I had no lunchtime companion – and I’ve discovered that the number one rule of an enjoyable eating experience, as laid down by food critic Jay Rayner in an earlier post is true….. i.e. have a good eating companion to hand.

So, I dashed home with the aim to recreate the cafe’s glorious smell and sight of plates piled high with “garlic mushroom ‘n’ mac”.  A google search later, right off the bat, a new to me blog popped up “Amuse Your Bouche”.  I know that mine won’t taste so well as the creator’s – I accidentally tipped too much unweighed pasta twirls into the saucepan of hot water – so the sauce to pasta ratio is very low.  (I comfort myself that the fat content is lower).  All in all, best to use the blog cook’s own photo.

Why I love the blog’s name is that it’s a play on words – in very expensive restaurants, there is an extra course called an “amuse bouche” – literally something to amuse your mouth/tastebuds.  (it’s in French).  But this down to earth blog is cheery and declares that is is all about “simple vegetarian recipes”.

And my dining companion?

Jan-Michel Basquiat.  I’m watching the end of a recent BBC documentary on him, called “Rage to Riches”.  If you live in the UK you can catch it on BBC i-player.  I recommend this documentary – I have seen others and this is the best – it draws widely on primary sources – Basquiat’s sisters, his early galleryist, the girlfriend he was with when he changed from very poor to very rich and several other key friends – and there’s the video he was in with Blondie (Debbie Harry importantly bought his first painting – wonder where that is now).

 

Creative workspace: Roz Chast – cartoonist

In the recent post by New Yorker cartoon editor, he mentioned a cartoon by Roz Chast, very much part of the magazine for decades. Here are a few more of her creations:

 

 

 

Viewable on her website

You can also find her cartoons in her many books.

Her creative environment I find fascinating – there is such a range of interests and a strong love of craft.  Her personality comes across: angsty but finding comfort in drawing as a way to remember, a way to process – possibly a response to the fact that her parents didn’t talk about important things in life.  The actual workspace is quite simple: 2 filing cabinets full of drawings, plenty of paper, a well-lit desk space with drawing tools ready to hand.

Getting in Creative Flow – Stephan Pastis

Cartoonist Stephan Pastis tells us (in under 3 minutes) how he gets in the creative flow for his work:

He noticed that when he writes emails, he can’t do it when there’s music playing – so worked out that his reasoning mind is shut off by the music.  So, to use the other side of the brain, the imaginative, he can close off the logical by playing that same music.

He reckons he writes his cartoon strip in an odd way – but lists the elements:

Creative Process

  1.  I put on headphones, I listen to music very loud and I dance around for an hour
  2. I draw on the walls
  3. I make a lot of coffee
  4. and incense
  5. there’s a mirror on a door and I look at myself a lot

Creative Flow

Stephan compares it to balancing or floating – it’s a state you get into – not something you tense up and push your way into.  He doesn’t try to think his way into what is funny – in fact, he does the opposite by switching off the logical part of his brain through the loud music.

 

Incentive

In a separate video, he says that he has no Plan B if being a cartoonist doesn’t work out.  Previously, he was a lawyer, but hated his work.  Perhaps that thought helps him concentrate.

He genuinely enjoys the writing process – it’s like fishing, he says, you’re looking for that bite, that great idea.

 

Creative Takeaway for us:

Look at Stephan’s creative process, try and find what is healthy and yet works to free up your/my creative minds.

 

 

 

Another incentive to Write That Book

If you’re aiming to dive into writing That Novel in November – here’s yet another incentive: a £10,000 prize for previously unpublished writer: the Deborah Roger’s Foundation.

Deborah was a literary agent, and so this prize continues her life work of supporting new, emerging writers.  The entry level isn’t too strict about not having published before – the odd short story in a magazine or even poetry does not exclude you.

Read the rules.  Thank you, Deborah Rogers.  As someone commented, even if you don’t win the award, you will have written most of a book, to qualify.  Win-win!