My students just finished reading I AM Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells and they LOVED it! So I decided that we’d express that love via fan art. This is what they’ve put together in just about an hour! I am a very happy author-teacher right now. ?
I want to be a writer (obviously). It’s the only job I don’t see myself getting tired of eventually and the only thing I’ve stuck with for most of my life. Still, writing is not my only creative outlet. When I’m not at one of my jobs or writing, I mostly watch movies while making things like this:
I discovered jewelry making entirely on accident, but I’ve been playing with it for about seven months now and (I think) I’m getting pretty good for an amateur. I’ve made pieces for some family members and even sold a few. I’ve also raffled off a few here on the blog. I love jewelry and being able to create something I will actually wear is fabulous, especially since I’m not a huge fan of jewelry-store pieces.
My point is that writing is an incredible career (or pastime, as the case may be) and even though you should try to write every day, there are going to be days where your brain revolts at the thought of sitting down in front of that taunting blinking curser. There may even be weeks like that. Having a second creative outlet is one way to help balance your brain out and keep those blank periods to a minimum–or at least keep them short.
Because my brain is in need of balance this week, tomorrow I’m going to attempt to make a rosebud pendent. I have an idea that might work, but I’ve never tried it before so I may fail completely. I’ll post a picture when I’m done with it and you can let me know if it actually looks like anything. 🙂
Before I get into the actual reason for this post, I’m going to gloat for a minute. Somehow I managed to cut out about 4000 words of filler from my novel Sing Sweet Nightingale yesterday! I’m still not sure how the number managed to get that high, but it needs to happen again today. I have to get the word count down to around 100,000! Not an easy task…
Anywho, a while ago I posted work by a photographer that was also a really vivid story. Stories can actually be told in a million different ways, many of which don’t involve words at all. Today I’m going to share two new stories, one a short move with no dialogue and one photographer who is chronicling the childhood of his two girls. [click on the above link to see some of his photos]
I found Jason Lee through a post on BoredPanda.com and it tells the story of photographer Jason Lee and his highly energetic, and very creative, daughters. While the actual photography and technical aspects come from Jason, according to the article a lot of the photo ideas (click here to see the article or here for his personal blog) come from the girls! Each one is its own self-contained story and they’re all a lot of fun!
Second, this video is making the rounds on Facebook. I’m not going to say much about it because I don’t think it needs explanation. Once you get to the end, I believe it’ll be pretty obvious why the director produced the project this way.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I’m off to machete my book some more.
EDITED TO ADD:
I just came across this secondary video about the team who made the video above. I found it really interesting, so I thought I’d share.
Anyone who think there’s only one answer to that questions is wrong. There is no right answer because there is no wrong answer. Just ask an artist.
Through Facebook and some friends who are geniuses at finding really cool things online, I found a post on thisiscolossal.com about the work of German artist Cornelia Konrads. Because I’m still drowned in work (and because I actually believe it’s better this way), I’m going to let her artwork speak for itself. The only other thing I want to say is, how cool is this?
When in full bloom, talent is a beautiful thing to behold. When squandered or lost, the tragedy feels almost insurmountable. Despite this, we don’t know much about how or why it occurs, which is probably why talent is one of those quirks of human nature that makes me think there might be some kind of higher power.
One of my favorite things to watch on TV is So You Think You Can Dance (and, before anyone asks, no. I do not watch Dancing With The Stars). SYTYCD is one of the most incredible things to ever appear on national television because it not only showcases some incredible dancers–some honed by years of training and some raw–it helps nurture new talents it discovers. For example, Travis Wall was a contestant on season two. He didn’t win (though he came mighty close), but now he’s an Emmy nominated choreographer because the producers at SYTYCD saw a spark of talent in him and gave him a chance to show what he could do.
What’s tragic about talent is that it’s not always discovered. How is a child going to know they can play piano by ear if their fingers never touch a keyboard? Will they go through life feeling worthless because they never found that one thing that made them special and allowed them to shine? It’s a heartbreaking prospect and one that, as current or future parents, my generation should be aware of.
In celebration of talent, I’m sharing here two YouTube videos featuring some extraordinary people. The first is a recomposition of IZ’s ukelele version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Simple Gifts written and performed by The Piano Guys. These two have a whole series of videos and you can support their efforts to bring classical music to mainstream ears by buying something from their store. The second video is clippings from the previous season of SYTYCD, specifically the solo of the season’s winner Melanie. Even if you know nothing about dance, watching her perform is like watching grace in motion. She is incredibly gifted.
Fiction–well, good fiction–is timeless. People don’t mind being transported back and forth through time when they pick up a novel. Non-fiction… well, it’s not quite so easy. Especially for books like medical books, encyclopedias, and atlases. There are thousands of these now dated books in the world serving no purpose anymore unless you’re a researcher looking to see how misguided people were on a particular topic however many years ago. Useless. Or, they used to be until Brian Dettmer got his hands on them.
I stumbled across the genius that is Brian Dettmer when a friend of mine posted a link to this article on Facebook. They explain that Brian takes outdated and “useless” illustrated reference books and turns them into amazing works of art using only sealants, tweazers, knives, and surgical tools. The artist himself has this to say about his work:
In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.
The beauty of the finished products is astonishing. It’s innovative, creative, and absolutely incredible. I want his work displayed all over my house just so I can stare at it and try to figure out how in the world he was able to process information this way.