Posted in sounds on November 30, 2011 by Hayley

So of course I miss you and miss you bad
But I also felt this way when I was still with you
Yes of course I miss you and miss you bad
But I also felt this way when I was still with you

-The Whitest Boy Alive, “Golden Cage”


It struck me that

Posted in my words on November 30, 2011 by Hayley

I think the most romantic thing you can say about your significant other is that he is your best friend

Today I decided that

Posted in my words on November 30, 2011 by Hayley

We are all born into a global situation that is in so many ways profoundly messed up. Who you are is defined by how you react to that situation.

Unceasing exploration

Posted in miscellaneous quotations on November 16, 2011 by Hayley

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding

Read and travel, travel and read

Posted in miscellaneous quotations, wise words, words from the greats on October 25, 2011 by Hayley

The world is a book and those who stay at home read only one page.

-Saint Augustine

The good life

Posted in miscellaneous quotations, wise words on October 25, 2011 by Hayley

The virtuous person’s life is not most worth living because it is most pleasant. It is most pleasant because it is most worth living.

Daniel Russell, Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life (126)

thoughts on creativity from austin kleon

Posted in wise words on July 19, 2011 by Hayley

Everyone, artist or not, should read Austin Kleon’s “How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 other things nobody told me).”


2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to start making things.

If I waited to know “who I was” or “what I was about” before I started “being creative”, well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things that we figure out who we are.

You’re ready. Start making stuff.

You might be scared. That’s natural.

There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

Guess what?

None of us do. I had no idea what I was doing when I started blacking out newspaper columns. All I knew was that it felt good. It didn’t feel like work. It felt like play.

Ask any real artist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.

Have you ever heard of dramaturgy? It’s a fancy sociological term for something this guy in England said about 400 years ago:

‘All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…”

Another way to say this: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.

I love this phrase. There’s two ways to read it: Fake it ‘til you make it, as in, fake it until you’re successful, until everybody sees you the way you want, etc. Or, fake it til’ you make it, as in, pretend to be making something until you actually make something. I love that idea.

I also love the book Just Kids by Patti Smith. I love it because it’s a story about how two friends moved to New York and learned to be artists. You know how they learned to be artists? They pretended to be artists. I’ll spoil the book for you and describe my favorite scene, the turning scene in the book: Patti Smith and her friend Robert Maplethorpe dress up in all their gypsy gear and they go to Washington Square, where everybody’s hanging out, and this old couple kind of gawks at them, and the woman says to her husband, “Oh, take their picture. I think they’re artists.” “Oh, go on,” he shrugged. “They’re just kids.”

The point is: all the world’s a stage. You need a stage and you need a costume and you need a script. The stage is your workspace. It can be a studio, a desk, or a sketchbook. The costume is your outfit, your painting pants, or your writing slippers, or your funny hat that gives you ideas. The script is just plain old time. An hour here, or an hour there. A script for a play is just time measured out for things to happen.

Fake it ’til you make it.

4. Use your hands.

Art that only comes from the head isn’t any good. Watch any good musician and you’ll see what I mean.

When I’m making the poems, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like play.

So my advice is to find a way to bring your body into your work. Draw on the walls. Stand up when you’re working. Spread things around the table.

Use your hands.

10. Creativity is subtraction.

It’s often what an artist chooses to leave out that makes the art interesting. What isn’t shown vs. what is.

In this age of information overload and abundance, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.

Devoting yourself to something means shutting out other things.

What makes you interesting isn’t just what you’ve experienced, but also what you haven’t experienced.

The same is true when you make art: you must embrace your limitations and keep moving.

Creativity isn’t just the things we chose to put in, it’s also the things we chose to leave out.