Useful and Beautiful

Have nothing
in your houses
which you do not
know to be useful
or believe
to be beautiful.
William Morris

“The idea of divine inspiration and an aha moment is largely a fantasy. Anything of value comes from hard work and unwavering dedication. If you want to be a good artist you need to look at other artists, make a lot of crappy art, and just keep working.”

lines and colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts » Renato Muccillo

I don’t share enough lately, but this was too good not to. Wowwwwwww. Click on the link to see the rest.

“Another object of underpainting is the determining of the design of light and dark. All paint changes a little, lowers a little, with time ; and if a picture has no strong arrangement of light and dark, but depends for its beauty on subtle delicacies and differences of value, these are often lost in a few years through the flattening down of the paint ; while if there is a strong backbone, as it were, of light and shade beneath the colour, the picture will always be effective, and the main features remain, in spite of any little changes.”

stilllifequickheart:

Henry Willson Watrous
Still Life
Late 19th - early 20th century

I feel like this composition shouldn’t work, but I can’t stop looking at it.

stilllifequickheart:

Henry Willson Watrous

Still Life

Late 19th - early 20th century

I feel like this composition shouldn’t work, but I can’t stop looking at it.

“We speak of materialism as if it were something bad and even sinful, but sometimes I wonder if we have it all wrong. Maybe what we need isn’t less materialism, but more, to the point that we actually respect and even revere our material goods, rather than see them as disposable and constantly begging to be upgraded.”

—   

From the book Saved, quoted at the Frugal Girl - whole post worth reading:

More Materialism, Not Less

“…like an apparently submissive servant that turns out to be a subversive that ultimately gains control of your mind. The computer is such a powerful instrument that it defines, after a while, what is possible for you.”

Tea Leaves 2013 • 8 x 10″ egg tempera on panel (via Tea Leaves | Katharine Taylor)
etteette:

artdirections:

5 Ways to be a Happier CreativeWe all know the tortured artist schtick. To be honest, I can be a downer sometimes myself, but I think it would be terrible for us to all perpetuate the idea that being creative and miserable are mutually exclusive.So here’s to being creative and actually enjoying it:1. Refuse to See Your Entire Life Either as a Success or a FailureThe idea here is to never buy into the lie that your life is either successful or failing in terms of your creative output. Think of the most successful creative person you can, if you look closely you can see a series of successes and failures. The best way for me to look at the creative life is as a series of projects which can be successful in some ways and fail in other ways. For instance, some projects are really successful in the development of your skill but not financially advantageous. Also, don’t believe that there is some level of success where you have now “arrived” or attained a level of success which can never been denied to you, like being hailed a “creative genius” with endless financial gain, forever. I could tell you many examples of artists and musicians who seem like they have “arrived”  with one project and then completely fail the next. 2. Make Something EverydayWill Bryant says something like, “I make stuff because if I don’t I get sad”. A silly and profound statement. Last year I did a daily drawing project where I created a new character every weekday. I found this statement to ring very true.This practice gave me a sense of creative productivity every single day, which is a serious morale booster. Even if you don’t show anyone, it can help you feel prolific and unlimited in your creative abilities, which in turn increases your confidence.3. Be AuthenticThis is huge. Many people have done amazing things in creativity and have received many rewards, successes and prizes for them. So there is a lot of incentive for YOU to be THEM. But the trick is knowing the truth: you CAN’T be them. Trying to be something you are not will make you feel like an old sock. You already know this, but I thought I’d remind you.4. Know Your PurposeShooting aimlessly into the dark can feel like…shooting aimlessly into the dark. Your purpose doesn’t have to be mind meltingly important. I like the humble yet ambitious purpose the great Debbie Millman has taken upon herself to “try to make the supermarket more beautiful”. Try to clarify what you want to achieve overall so that everything you do has a sense of purpose. Purpose equals meaning, and to most creatives I know, a sense of meaning is why they want to make art and why they DO NOT want to work in a factory.5. Address and Defeat Your FearsThat dreadful fear is a bully that is killing your soul and it should be stood up to. Listen to it, don’t ignore it. Hear what it’s actually saying and then dismantle it. Talk to someone about it openly, if the fear is tied to reality, then face it and take it down with integrity. If it’s all lies, all smoke and mirrors then let it disappear in the cloud of smoke that it is. If you are doing super boring unadventurous work, you won’t have any fears at all…but who wants to do that?Hope this makes you a bit happier today. - Andy J. MillerP.S. To tackle the piling up questions here on this tumblr I have started taking on 1 hour video creative coaching, for more info click here.

Thank you Andy ! I needed these reminders today. 

The first one blew my mind. YES.

etteette:

artdirections:

5 Ways to be a Happier Creative

We all know the tortured artist schtick. To be honest, I can be a downer sometimes myself, but I think it would be terrible for us to all perpetuate the idea that being creative and miserable are mutually exclusive.

So here’s to being creative and actually enjoying it:

1. Refuse to See Your Entire Life Either as a Success or a Failure
The idea here is to never buy into the lie that your life is either successful or failing in terms of your creative output. Think of the most successful creative person you can, if you look closely you can see a series of successes and failures.

The best way for me to look at the creative life is as a series of projects which can be successful in some ways and fail in other ways. For instance, some projects are really successful in the development of your skill but not financially advantageous.

Also, don’t believe that there is some level of success where you have now “arrived” or attained a level of success which can never been denied to you, like being hailed a “creative genius” with endless financial gain, forever. I could tell you many examples of artists and musicians who seem like they have “arrived”  with one project and then completely fail the next.

2. Make Something Everyday
Will Bryant says something like, “I make stuff because if I don’t I get sad”. A silly and profound statement. Last year I did a daily drawing project where I created a new character every weekday. I found this statement to ring very true.

This practice gave me a sense of creative productivity every single day, which is a serious morale booster. Even if you don’t show anyone, it can help you feel prolific and unlimited in your creative abilities, which in turn increases your confidence.

3. Be Authentic
This is huge. Many people have done amazing things in creativity and have received many rewards, successes and prizes for them. So there is a lot of incentive for YOU to be THEM. But the trick is knowing the truth: you CAN’T be them. Trying to be something you are not will make you feel like an old sock. You already know this, but I thought I’d remind you.

4. Know Your Purpose
Shooting aimlessly into the dark can feel like…shooting aimlessly into the dark. Your purpose doesn’t have to be mind meltingly important. I like the humble yet ambitious purpose the great Debbie Millman has taken upon herself to “try to make the supermarket more beautiful”.

Try to clarify what you want to achieve overall so that everything you do has a sense of purpose. Purpose equals meaning, and to most creatives I know, a sense of meaning is why they want to make art and why they DO NOT want to work in a factory.

5. Address and Defeat Your Fears
That dreadful fear is a bully that is killing your soul and it should be stood up to. Listen to it, don’t ignore it. Hear what it’s actually saying and then dismantle it. Talk to someone about it openly, if the fear is tied to reality, then face it and take it down with integrity. If it’s all lies, all smoke and mirrors then let it disappear in the cloud of smoke that it is. If you are doing super boring unadventurous work, you won’t have any fears at all…but who wants to do that?

Hope this makes you a bit happier today.

- Andy J. Miller

P.S. To tackle the piling up questions here on this tumblr I have started taking on 1 hour video creative coaching, for more info click here.

Thank you Andy ! I needed these reminders today. 

The first one blew my mind. YES.

(Source: artdirections, via cleolinda)

thefallofkain:

Frank Dicksee, Portrait of Elsa

That is some drapery right there. Mmmm color shifts mmmmmmm.

thefallofkain:

Frank Dicksee, Portrait of Elsa

That is some drapery right there. Mmmm color shifts mmmmmmm.

(Source: whofellwiththestars, via cleolinda)

“We’ve created a culture that fetishizes the new(s), and we forget the wealth of human knowledge, wisdom, and transcendence that lives in the annals of what we call “history” – art, literature, philosophy, and so many things that are both timeless and incredibly timely. Our presentism bias – anchored in the belief that if it isn’t at the top of Google, it doesn’t matter, and if it isn’t Googleable at all, it doesn’t exist – perpetuates our arrogance that no one has ever grappled with the issues we’re grappling with. Which of course is tragically untrue.”