Saturday, January 24, 2015

Get Inspired -- bonne annee, interview tips, and how to "be ready"

The New Year is launched .. and after the festivals comes the hard work required to keep resolutions. With so much news in the world that is uncertain ... from the events in Paris to the rounds of layoffs in animation ... artists must always find new inspiration and be brave. Sometimes we are forced to "re-boot" our direction by circumstances. Sometimes we need to refresh our own view of ourselves or our art. Here are some links with some helpful tips.

(Backstage ballet photo below by Benjamin Millepied)

The first link is intended for dancers who wish to audition for a ballet company .. but the advice here is useful for everyone going to an interview or meeting with a colleague or mentor. Use the tips here to help yourself make the most of these encounters. 

("modern Degas" photo by Helena Buckler)

You won't get every job you interview for. However, every meeting is a chance to practice your listening skills. Confidence in the process comes with experience. Talent is only one part of the equation. It also takes training. And time.... 

(Ballerina Irina Dvorovenko..).

The next links concern the story of  singer Sarah Horn -- 

who found herself selected from the audience of a concert at the Hollywood Bowl to perform a duet with her idol, Kristin Chenoweth. This chance encounter became a viral video sensation.

If you haven't seen the duet, here's the version uploaded by rghurst. This combines the original Mike Kestler version (with 3 Million + views) and the close-ups captured by Holly Choe and a 3rd camera person Karolina..It includes Kristen's tribute to teachers at the end of the clip...

A "dream come true" moment .. how did it happen?? Was it just luck.. or fate ... or practice???

Learn the "behind the scenes" story in this link to Sarah Horn's 2014 TED talk on how that moment happened... because in art, and in life, you often have to "be ready".

And here's an interview with Sarah Horn

Make the most of your New Year's hopes. Draw every day. Practice makes things possible...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Get Inspired --- Everyday objects come alive with design...

Overwhelming circumstances can sometimes make us introspective.

Looking for inspiration? Trying looking at old things in a new way. So refreshing to see how the creative prism of a designer can open us to a world of charm in practical items.

Enjoy this new version of a soup ladle by Ototo design...

More inspiring examples of re-imaged everyday things on their website:

and here are some other creative examples of re-purposed items...

Turn your trip to the market into a study in color....
Study the shapes in driftwoood.... and build your own sea horse...
Explore how you see what's around you ....

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Paris -- the city of light -- post updated

Paris -- the City of Light. The city of love and romance. These qualities have strength for these challenging days. (Updates/ New Links at end of this post)

The tragic events in Paris continue to unfold. For our artist friends in the city .. in France .. and across the world --- your courage is inspiring. For anyone who thought that cartoons and drawing don't matter, we've all learned just how much they do. Art, creativity and self-expression have always come with an element of risk. These activities have a history riddled with danger, and even death. We've been shockingly reminded of this. The internet is brimming with images full of the raw emotion of these days ...

  New Yorker cover art by Ana Juan.

Paris has a reputation for illumination -- from its leading role in the Age of Enlightenment, to its early adoption of electric street lights. 

Paris sunrise photo by designer Christian Siriano.

The stark contrast of the Eiffel Tower, known for its charm and twinkling lights, gone dark resonates across the world because images transcend language and culture. When we can't read the signs, we find our way with landmarks...

Art and hope are not here to be hijacked by selfish interests, despair and ignorance. Art celebrates our connection with each other. You don't have to speak a foreign language or know a different culture to "get" an image from their art. We have faith in the potential to understand each other with pictures.

Paris street photo by Benjamin Millepied
Let's take a lesson from responses to the California earthquakes --- first, there's "damage assessment", where we begin to repair the architecture around us. The longer recovery is the emotional and physical impact.. along with our sense of safety and well-being. Regaining our sense of self takes patience.. along with easy-to-overlook, but vital components like rest, good nutrition and exercise. 

 Paris at sunset photo below by author Pam Houston..

How do we get better?? The best artists draw every day. It takes that level of commitment to improve -- doing something every day, especially on the days when it all seems too hard and nothing seems to be going right. Let all the images of pencils in response to these events also remind us that every day starts as a blank page. What will we write on it?

Here are some links about the events that have been making the rounds with my artist friends:

OP-ED Posts (links added 1/18/15) --

Perspective on events from Paris resident, American born writer Heather Stimmler-Hall, from her blog "the Secrets of Paris" (link added 1/21/15)