Tag Archive: art


Sunday’s recommended read

I’m “implementing” a new feature in my blog. I have mulled upon it for a long while, and it is likely that I will keep it running if you find value in it.

I may even suggest CDs in the future ( I’ve been CD reviewer for musesmuse.com long enough). Perhaps be an Amazon affiliate, too.

So, here is my recommended read for this weekend:

INSIDE APPLE

http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Apple-Americas-Admired—Secretive–Company/dp/145551215X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333873887&sr=1-1

(Sorry, it seems that the link doesn’t display as planned)!

I’m now in the middle of reading Lashinsky‘s revealing book “Inside Apple” (to be coupled with Steve Jobs’s bio by Isaacson, if you want the whole package)!

I don’t care about the naysayers. There is some value in this book you’ll find nowhere else. Really.

Tell me what you think, if you’ve read it. (Of course, not if you use it to fire start a BBQ)!

The book is available in Kindle format, audiobook, hardcover and paperback. iPad owners can read it with the Kindle app.

It isn’t expensive and, if you are like me, puzzled by how much rumors, bullsh’ and hype rule the social world… This is certainly a book you’ll like.

Yes, I love Apple, but I am not OK with everything they do. There is some scary sh*t in this book. It is not for the faint of heart! You’re warned!

What REALLY upsets me is…no more iDisk in June? Are you nuts, guys? (This is just a “sample rant”).

One more thing:

Happy Easter, folks, and thanks to all of my subscribers for following one of the most whimsical and uncompromising blog out there (shameless plug)!

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Starting is never enough

Seth Godin would exhort us to “do something”, to make a ruckus, to innovate, etc. Each one of his blog posts is a kick where you know.

While I wholeheartedly agree, I still think that it’s not enough.

We need to persist.That’s hard. Even harder than to start.

We sometimes don’t even start because we are lazy, but because we have to commit.

Here comes the big, frightening term:

Follow-through.

That is what fear is. Not only failure in a vague sense. Failure to follow through.

20120404-161032.jpg

What I mean by a “borrowed parallel paradigm” is that a paradigm out of my field of study or biz can help me shape – or reshape- my thinking and my doing.
It broadens my vision, or help me see the world through new lenses.

If I use Apple’s biz paradigm (mainly, a platform, to be studied) to improve my creative musician skills, it’s a win. However, it is not easy to draw parallel lines with those unrelated areas.

To create, to innovate, to shape, call it what you want, you need to borrow or shamelessly steal from unrelated industries, areas, businesses -even if the models are outdated- to make your very own product, be it a symphony or a startup.

That’s what Google does, what Amazon does, what a schmazillion of other successful people do. They succeed at what they aim for.
Success is not a one-size-fits-all word!

A pattern can be transposed successfully if applied in a clever way. If you stay in your area, you are likely to learn nothing. If you go where everyone else goes, you end up doing what everyone does. Is it what you want?

Picasso famously said that great artists steal. Is Picasso a great artist? This up to you to judge. The statement is true, though.

Today, the word artist has a broader meaning. A VP or a CEO can be artists, not because they are hobbyist painters or musicians, but because they -the succesful ones- totally pour themselves into what they do. Stravinsky used to say that a succesful piece of art is 99% work!

As far as I am concerned: I come from a very complex background.

I am a musician. That is the core of my being. 26 years of mayhem, and counting!

I sing, I play snare drum, timpani, vibraphone, drums, cello, viola da gamba, guitar, harpsichord, piano, organ… All those instruments have one thing in common: they require the use of fingers (in this case, parallels are drawn quite easily. Starting small is not a bad thing), and demand a very high degree of commitment.
I also produce, edit, mix and master. I started as a FOH engineer, but moved on to my comfy studio more as my back pain increased with FOH muck work. I am now settled.

However, I read business books, blogs about education, biographies, I love CDs and LPs artwork and do my own, I hang around with TED speakers, I study iOS programming and programming abstractions (courtesy of Stanford University). I read other people Ph.Ds’ stuff, too, no matter the subject.

How does all that relate? How does one model applies to the other to foster creativity? I’m diligently working on it.

Easy is not a word I can use to describe that task. I have to learn critical thinking, which is not taught at school/college.

I have to ask for mentorship, sometimes. I have to ask myself the right questions. It’s exhausting, and I already wanted to throw the towel many times. I didn’t, because I’m passionate about what I do.

Of course, it is easy to get lost into all those unrelated areas. Focus on your primary one and look around. How can you improve or change your existing model?

Borrow paradigms. Shamelessly. The more unrelated, the better.
Get the broadest scope you can get, yet keep in mind that you want to raise the bar of your primary activity, foster creativity and get smarter at what you do.

One last thing: don’t lose sight of your own goals.

I’d love to hear from you. You are encouraged to share your experiences and thoughts. Your personal info will never be shared.

Not your best week?

Well, it’s not mine either.

Before we go on: are you an artist (everyday art, not Moz-art)? If not, don’t read this post, it will bore you.

Any artist has to get a deep understanding of the world around. Observation is key.

Then, there must be execution. What’s the point of understanding the world if it is of no practical use?

The point I’m trying to make is that in understanding the world through your own eyes, your art will, perhaps slowly, grow more confident, as you’ll know yourself better (you’re part of the world, afterall), and you’ll be able to put to good use tools relevant to you only.

Your technique, your craft, your art… All of that is relevant to you only, and you are the only one to understand it well enough to make something out of it.

I never studied Bach’s mass in B minor to write my songs. His advice would be nice to hear, but totally irrelevant to me.

I never asked Pollock about his paintings, never asked Adams about his photos, never asked Steve Jobs about entrepreneurship.

Not only because I can’t, but because their art is theirs and mine… Is mine!

Ask yourself good questions, you’ll get good answers. Ask again.

You know how to answer all your questions.

Picasso said: “Computers are useless. All they can give is answers”.

Fun how he put it, as he was intensely fighting with uncertainty, which is, according to me, the most comfortable position.

Paradoxical? Not really.
Think about it: if you had no doubts but only virtues, would you make art?

That’s it for today about artmaking, which is not the same as art, nor craft.

Can you dig it? I hope you can!

If you needed more time, where would you take from?

If you needed more time, where would you take from?.

There are clear time-wasters in our daily lives:

•Facebook
•Twitter
•Checking e-mails 30 times a day

Just 3 of them. I’ll gladly drop any of.

Actually, I dropped everything but Twitter.

I freed at least 5 hours a day.

However, I’ll never give up on reading Seth Godin’s blog and books about art and artmaking.

Creative Visuals coming your way!

Since my last post, I’ve been discussing the pros and cons of the video résumé.

People from very diverse fields gave their insight and opinion.

Before going further…

Consider this: the way you look, the way you talk, care about your kids, are all parts of your résumé. Please don’t forget that.

What matters is WHO you are as an individual. Forget about endless lists of what you did. It really doesn’t matter.

The past is gone. Do not try to replicate it, too. It is the “safest path to frustration and failure”. This is a weird sentence I coined during a discussion.

So, we gathered, discussed and came to several conclusions and ideas:

-Your résumé has to be thought. You cannot throw out a total improvisation.
You will be lost if you have no clue where you are, where you want to be and how to follow the roadmap YOU create.

Be creative and realistic.

Do you remember when I wrote that honest signals cannot be faked?

-A video résumé is not easy to do, but easier than you may think (the old model is awkward and totally supreme mega boring.)

You have to come to the highest level of clarity about yourself.

You’re not hiding behind a page, you’re in front of the video camera and there is where magic can happen! It’s your chance to get what you deserve: being seen and heard! It’s like public speaking.

Do not hesitate to “practice”. I highly recommend it. Record as many videos as possible… Compare. What’s cool? What sucks?

Do not worry about editing your video.
Worrying can cripple your work (which is actually your ART!)

-Imagine that you are asked to answer a questionnaire. Just that. Better than the old stuff, eh?

Now imagine that you have to reply to it with a video… And that you have 120 seconds. (120 seconds = 6 questions. Don’t fret, it’s OK.)

Words: 7%
Intonation: 38%
Gesture: 55%

Those are the % of the message you send.

The % of what matters the most to a employer/biz owner (they are not all greedy morons…) are different, and there is no rule for it!

Do not forget this. Never.

-What about something so compelling that you will astound everyone with how much of your (true) self you’ve put in?

Make a “whole package”. A résumé and a portfolio!

Sounds good to you?

It sounds fabulous to me.

Think about this. Think deeply.
Don’t feel like shit if you don’t come up with your best piece of art ever in the first place. It never happens overnight!

Discussions are still going on, and more is brought to the table everyday.

I believe that time is the father of all truth. We’ll see what happens next!

It always happens for a reason.

In this case, it’s because we’ve made a conscious choice of making it happen!

I promise you all the inside scoop and the juicy details in the next post. Stay tuned.