Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Action Required - Protect Current Copyright Law

Take a look at this post from Illustration Friday and then read the comments for more links that explain the Orphan Works bill and how devastating it will be to everyone, especially those of us who make a living in the visual arts. Here's some good info from the Illustrators' Partnership:

Orphan Works - No Myth
Orphan Works Resource Page for Artists

You can also download copies of the House and Senate versions of the bill right from their homepage.

We need as many people as possible to take action on this. Please email or write to your representatives and senators asap to let them know you're opposed to this bill. You can find contact info for them here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard

I'm a little late to the party on this one (tons of people blogged about it when it first came out, which is why I've always had it in the back of my mind that I needed to read it when I got a chance) but you never know when a book or an article might hit you just right and give you some inspiration just when you need it. So I'm going to go ahead and tell you about Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life and hopefully someone else will find it as helpful as I have.

Here's one of my favorite parts of the whole book. She writes this under the heading of How to Be Lucky:

"Be generous. I don't use that word lightly. Generosity is luck going in the opposite direction, away from you. If you're generous to someone, if you do something to help him out, you are in effect making him lucky. This is important. It's like inviting yourself into a community of good fortune."

Now, of course we all try to help people whenever and wherever possible. But to frame it in this way, by pointing out that generosity is really luck going in the opposite direction, somehow puts it in a new light. There's a lot of power in the realization that you can positively affect someone's situation, make them "lucky", just by being generous.

Tharp goes on to say that whenever she's "....working in a groove it's invariably because I feel I am being the benefactor in the situation rather than the beneficiary. I am sharing my art with others, lending my craft to theirs, interest-free with no IOU. I want the dancers to look great, so I try to give them great steps. In return, they live up to the potential I see in them. Then I am the one who feels lucky. In the luck equation, who is the winner here?"

Isn't that a great way to put it? I checked this book from the library but I'm definitely going to get my own copy because a) it's the kind of book that you could pick up at any time just for a mini-dose of inspiration and b) there are a lot of good creative exercises that don't necessarily need to be done all at once. Again, you could pick it up and do one of the exercises when you need to shake things up a bit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat

I was very excited to see these Knife Wall Hooks because they go nicely with my Voodoo Knife Block. They're a little pricey (they are a limited edition after all) so I started searching around to see if anyone else was making something similar. This led me to the Stuck On You hook which looks like a saucepan sticking out of the wall:
I also found these arrow hooks and hand hooks :

And then, I found Lightbulb hooks! Made from concrete! I just love these. In fact, I'd like a bunch of them (minus the lag bolt of course) to display in a bowl as a centerpiece. Beautiful!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Internet Don't Fail Me Now

I've been surfing around looking for inspiration lately so I thought I'd share some fun things I've run across:

Book By Its Cover - amazing peek into the sketchbooks of some artists and illustrators you might recognize including Ashley G, Takashi Iwasaki, and Meg Hunt
via five and a half

TED talk by Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art

You can never go wrong with Dru Struzan's work, check out these drawings

Nice little interview with Lisa of U Handbag. Lisa's blog is chock full of inspiration and will make you stop whatever you're doing and go sew a bag

What's inspiring you lately? I'd love to hear about it!