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Freedom of Code VS Freedom of Drawing

I've always pursued the idea that coding should be as intuative and organic as drawing... It is not though, you can't have the same kind of freedom and choice within our current programming models of APIs and language based expression... It is very much more like poetry or writing, symbol as opposed to visual expression and understanding... I think this will eventually not be the case and many modes of programming expression will eventually be available, however for now this is what artists will work with... The kind of freedom writing code permits acts on a different level to that of visuals - you author conditions and the environment as opposed to the thing itself... In the real world this

Tools - The Shape Of Us

I consider what I am as primarily be toolmaker. What I get excited about is how the forms of these tools define their use, on what they create. I therefore think that the core of creating new kinds of work is to create new kinds of tools... It is a fasinating dichotomey - do we create tools or do they create us? And the answer is yes... Both are true... Finding the balance between positive use, empowerment, and detrimental overuse, dependence, is a line that software creatives in particular must concern themselves with... When you create not just the final product but the tool as well or the rules and conditions in which the product is made ( procedural literacy ) you enter a world of indire

Screaming Algorthms

I have always loved the kind of art and ideas that really push the boundaries and transcend their material properties... Being arrested by a JMW Turner in the London National gallery when I was about 10 was probably the first time I ever felt this sort of deep resonance... Though I did not know what it was then, later I tried to rationalize and understand this sort of feeling and why I only really felt it from real, physical things - music, paintings, events... I also loved digital art - though I could never understand the difference between these two sorts of enjoyment, why I would be looking at digial work that was incredibly skillfully made and yet not feel anything like the sort of depth

100 Blog Posts!! And I Feel Great

Inspired by Seth Godin's blog, several months ago I made a commitment to post a thought a day for a week. That soon became a month, then two - now here we are having written and published 100 blog posts. Though I have faltered once I am proud of keeping this up - looking back on the writings of the person I was yesterday is incredibly illuminating and humbling... It has taught me the importance of small efforts every day build up to massive changes over enough time. It has taught me the value of habit, the fun and depth in doing something so apparently simple and kind of boring sounding... These first 100 blog posts were really just an experiment to see if I could even persist at something t

Art Through Remixing Form

If you consider artworks as communications for ideas, transforming the form of an artwork into another by your own means is one of the simplest ways to develop your 'voice' as an artist... You take an idea in say a song and transform it into a painting - it becomes your own... It gets you to steal like an artist... Very different from if you were to use an artwork in the same medium you use as a starting pont - which, when you are beginning, often just end up as a superficial copy rather than a meaningful development of an idea... Remixing gets you in the mindset of putting the ideas first. It gets you to concentrate on the parts instead of the whole - instead of thinking ' my painting doesn

Artists: Steal Aestetics And Ideas Over the Surface

When you think of your favourite artists - what unifies them all? Their distinctive voice, singular to them... I believe that everyone has this kind of singular artistic voice, everyone has an opinion, a taste, a view - their own filter... The ones who rise to the top do so because they've learned to listen to theirs, to not let it get submerged by outsideinfluences and voices... Yet is important to grow as an artist - to know that your voice isn't the only one and you can learn from others'... Feed other artist's wisdom through your filter - steal and extract the ideas behind their work, not just the superficial surface of it... Once you learn how to take outside ideas and make them your ow

Setting Goals: The Kite and The Line

Realistic goals are the key to leveling up. Asking just enough to stretch the possibilities and demand your ... not so much that it destroys you but actually makes you stronger... How do you set goals that are both fantastic and real? How do you balance that line between today and the next? I've found it useful to use a metaphor of a kite and a line... You have your ambitions, your dream, your project deliverables - your kite. Then you have the path to get there - your line. The kite must fly close enough so that you have enough line to keep control of it yet also loose enough for the kite to fly where it needs to - rolling with the wind, rolling with the changing circumstances... The line

Realistic Goals

When you aim to be productive there is a conflict between pushing yourself and aiming for something within reach... You want to pick something that will chalenge you AND do it a challenging amount... You don't want to make it too easy or you will fail to reach you potential - on the other hand you can't ask the world from yourself or you'll explode... How do you set goals and organize your time so you are in that Goldilocks zone between what you could easily do yesterday and are capable of tomorrow? What oppertunities, at a little stretch, are present? Always keep what is realistically achievable in mind - that means setting goals that you can physically achieve right now... IF you put your

The Minimum Viable Start

Start not when you think you have everything you will need, but everything you need right now.. And by everything I mean the minimum essentials. Don't overload your reading list by buying 10 books for the rest of the year - just get one for now. Don't buy every great art tool you will ever need (or more likely prefer), just start with what you have at hand - get the rest as you come to those obstacles. We have a tendency to procrastinate and over plan - more often this is due to some imagined obstacles down the road and anticipation for them. When we are just starting however we don't actually ourselves know the issues that will crop up... But we think we do... Second guessing them at this s

Exploratory Creation

When we make something we have an intention, a destination and an aim. Something we want to say right from the outset... But there is another way of creating. One of exploration. One that puts more interest in finding out what you do not know as opposed to assuming what you already do... In exploratory creation there is a feedback loop between the artist and the media - the artist performs an action, the media responds, feeding into the artist's next action and so on. Creating something that has evolved over the session; discovering rather than stating, implicit rather than explicit... The benefit of working like this keeps expectations loose and therefore expression and potential have more

Your Ideal Day

Planning your best day - one that you will be happy with at the end, gets you to prioritize and do the most vital actions you need to do... You end up being happier than if you were to not, than if you were to spend your time on things that'd give you immediate but not long-lasting happiness; playing games, binging Netflix, partying... Why is this? Those kinds of activities hit a return limit - you only get so much joy out of them before they end up costing more than they are worth. They create breaks and distractions - vital for a calm mind, but not vital for progress... What planning your ideal day actually does is it gets you to think in terms of delayed gratification - you don't think of

What Is Your Starting Inspiration?

Inspiration is vital for beginning a creative piece. Some kind of impetus. External or Internal. From a client's brief or your own ideas... Finding good sources for the latter is something us creatives must figure out. You can't just demand new ideas of yourself - they have to come from somewhere, grow from some kind of seed... Knowing what kind of thing gives you that spark and where to get it from is probably the most important thing you must figure out for your art practice... Everything else is really a byproduct of it. It determines your interest and continued enjoyment of your work. And when you enjoy something, you get that much better at it... Is it from your sketchbook? From movies

Try, Then Learn. In That Order.

There are a million ways to do any one thing in the modern world. Leaning to paint? there are 100's of teachers on YouTube that can show you how. Want to code? There are multitudes of repos out there to read through. So many 'right' ways, so many truths. So how to pick? The answer is to tailor to your situation, your level, your best way of understanding.. And that first starts with trying. When you try, you basically create the questions you need to answer through online tutorials: Tried to code a program, I understand loops but what is this pointer thing? Finished a painting, my colours are fine but the anatomy is off... From these problems, from your conscious and targeted practice, the q

Keep The Wheel Turning

Being an artist is also a business. One which involves admin; finances, emails, scheduling, logistics, socializing and promotion.... When starting down this path, this is a daunting and alien concept. When you actually get the motivation to step into this other world, and you really should if you want to be successful as an artist, it can take a very long time to find your rythm with it... Where do you start? How much time and energy should I spend? How many events do I need to go to and how many people do I need to meet? Honestly you only find out the answers to these by doing them enough you figure out what is best for you - there's almost as many business models for being an artist as the

Hydro-Powered Workflow

Though you want to continuously ship, continuously push yourself, the human bodily cycles are not continuous; your ideas, moods, productivity and success ebb and flow, rise and fall... So how do you maintain a constant rate of work while wresting with the highs and lows of life, how do you put order to chaos? Hydro plants store energy from crests of waves and ocean currents. They harness fluctuating power levels and output it consistently... They turn chaotic waves into a steady stream. You must be like water my friend... Know that it is natural to have the highs and lows, create more when you can so when you can't you can still deliver consistently... Maintain a routine to cradle you in the

High Energy With Low Expectations

When you have low expectations you are expecting to fail. Anything above that is a bonus What this teaches you to do is to come face to face with the results in front of you, you become more humble, more realistic and more objective... You shelf your ego in favor of the truth - knowing it is the quickest way to succeed... When you pair this objective and nurturing view with high energy, the willingness to push above what you can do, of persisting, of working hard towards your goal - you get incredible gains in progress and are happy while doing it... Macro patience with micro action.

On Perfection

Perfection is an ideal. An abstract idea never really actually achieved... I've always preferred the chaos, nuance and intimacy of the imperfect - I feel like many times when I have strove for some kind of ideal I've always found something better along the way... I think there are really 2 ways people mean perfect. Either it is 'perfect' in the sense that it needs to be exactly what was planned for. Or 'perfect' can mean it is great despite it's flaws - like an old tree or a messy but heart-warming best-man's speech and so on. One embraces the imperfect and the other doesn't permit it at all. I think that to be a successful artist you must use both. You must be bullish and vivid enough of yo

Intertwined Disciplines

Being a mixed media or hybrid artist, it is easy to get overwhelmed. You have to master multiple disciplines - dedicate time to one but also the other. A kind of juggling act, making sure they are all kept in the air, that they don't fall behind.. If you think like this then you limit the real opportunity combining several mediums has - the complete freedom between them... You're still thinking of them as discrete, separate entities rather than a cohesive whole... Remember - you are the synthesis of your chosen disciplines, and in doing that they are intertwined... Studying one actually makes you better at the other, and vice versa. Teaching you divergent thought processes and ideas, enabli

Don't Pick The Destination, Pick The Road

The future is unknown. The process of art relies on unknown outcomes - if you are too vivid at the beginning of your career, when you know the least and have little experience or control, you can fall into the trap of missing your potential - instead attempting to leap to someone else's or some arbitrary goal... The most we can ever really have control of is our immediate next actions, by taking it one step at a time, rolling with the punches and adapting to inevitably changing circumstances, we can build a more natural and tranquil relationship with the challenges we face. Be flexible as opposed to stubborn. Be consistent in intention, not rigid in practice. Start with an impetus, an idea,

When You Don't Feel Creative

When your art is also your business, it can sometimes feel like a labor to start that next piece... You have a quota of works to finish in a space of time and that requirement, instead of spurring you on, feels like a massive burden. Your creative routine should be something that enables creativity, not suffocates it - you know there is something wrong Let's diagnose it... 1. You Haven't Started The most common problem I personally face is that black canvas - How do you begin? How does it end? The amount of possibility and the long road of work ahead cripple you... These moments are full of pressure and muddied by your thoughts - you've dwelt too long on it and now are inventing stories of d

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