Weekend Links

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If you caught yesterday’s post about freeing your mind by automating and outsourcing unimportant tasks, you might be looking for even more resources to build your creative habits.  From 10 rituals to 10 ways to share, you’re covered for creativity this week with these links.

1.  10 Creative Rituals You Should Steal

2.  The 10 Stages of the Creative Process

3.  Where the Fish Swim, Ideas Fly

4.  Writing the Lake Shore Limited [Amtrak writer’s residencies]

5.  How Creativity Works

6.  10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Freeing Your Creative Mind with David Kadavy and Ari Meisel

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Image via David Kadavy

Last week, David Kadavy hosted a webinar called, “Freeing Your Creative Mind,” which focused on offloading the banal and unimportant tasks we deal with in life to make more time for the creative endeavors.  He spoke with Ari Meisel from The Art of Less Doing about productivity and what holds us back, as well as what motivates us to get things done.  Their conversation surfaced so many helpful perspectives and tools that I’m sharing some highlights of what I found the most useful.

Meisel began speaking about multitasking and that it’s really just rapidly switching between tasks and not doing various things at once.  This type of work style isn’t conducive to being productive.  Creativity is something in us that is innate.  Answering emails, paying bills, and taking care of other related tasks is not in our nature so this drains and inhibits creativity.

A crucial step is to optimize, which Meisel described as finding the sources of the problem (what is inhibiting you from being productive and creative).  Then you automate if can set it and forget it.  This involves using a service to automate or outsource your tasks.  There was another part in this sequence of steps that I didn’t catch but these two are already an effective starting point.

Meisel stated that to-do lists go against productivity because you just see what hasn’t been completed, causing a Zeigarnik Effect, and creates cognitive dissonance.  They also cause the brain to be overwhelmed but not know why.  As a firm user of Todoist, I don’t completely agree this because I find to-do lists effective but the negatives are important to keep in mind when deciding what tools and approaches to use for maximum and effective productivity.

Self tracking was also something that was discussed that fits into optimizing.  Making a record of allergens, moods, the times you feel better, etc. can help you figure out what the best times to have meetings, make phone calls, and email are.  FollowUp.cc was reccommended as a service that automates email reminders.  Other helpful email tools mentioned were Boomerang and MX Hero.

At this point Kadavy asked Meisel how to get over having to pay for services and Meisel brought up a few valid points.  He said that some of these services are better and more efficient for taking care of tasks.  We should start where we are comfortable and decide from there what services work for well for us.  We should also ask ourselves if the money we’re spending on these services means we’ll be making five times the amount while working on other things.  If so, they are worth considering or trying out since many of them offer free trials.

Most of the talk in “Freeing Your Creative Mind” revolved around productivity and tools that aid in automating and outsourcing tasks that are unrelated to being creative.  Kadavy has a valuable post about how “productivity is less about time management than it is about mind management.”  Meisel has a wealth or resources on his site about mastering the art of less doing and more living.  I’ll be putting some of these recommendations to the test and reporting back once I have spent more time freeing my creative mind.

Editor’s Letter: February 2014

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Hey there, just wanted to check in with a quick note and talk about Artlux.  We’re continuing to work on site improvements and new content, most of which will take place in March.  In the meantime, there will be posts this week for a recap on a webinar about freeing your creative mind, the first of a monthly music playlist, and more weekend links.  We’re also going to be using our Tumblr page as way to document our process and progress and continue to post art from other sites and blogs.

We’re excited about the upcoming updates and growth for Artlux.  Until tomorrow…

April

Atmosphere Releases Paul Bunyan-Themed Video For “Bob Seger”

Indie rap kingpins Atmosphere released the one-off track “Bob Seger” back in July and now have visuals to accompany the moody, evocative piece, one of their strongest individual songs since 2008’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. Slug had the following to say about the Andrew Melby-directed clip:

“(The video is) about how the legend of Paul Bunyan began. Babe wasn’t really a blue ox, it was a blue axe. But the northern accent made it sound like ‘ox’. Blue from the blood of the evil Canadian soldiers. It was filmed on the northern Minnesota iron range.”

Atmosphere is currently in the middle of their annual Welcome to MN Tour alongside Toki Wright, Big Cats, No Bird Sing, deM atlaS and Jimmy2Times. Catch the remaining dates below.

2.13 – Duluth, MN @ Clyde Iron Works (sold out)

2.14 – Rochester, MN @ Mayo Civic Center Auditorium

2.15 – Fargo, MN @ The Venue at the Hub

2.17 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (sold out)

El-P and The Bots Celebrate CONS Project: Brooklyn with Intimate Performance

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CONS Project: Brooklyn came to a close Friday night with performances by El-P and The Bots at Converse Rubber Tracks. The three-month creative workshop offered emerging artists the opportunity to learn from the best in the fields of audiovisual, production and recording.

Hailing from Los Angeles, the young punk-blues duo known as The Bots rocked the Williamsburg performance space for the better part of an hour. Their gritty, wise-beyond-its-years repertoire included a song about a girl from their school that used to cut her feet and put her blood in the cupcakes she sold on campus.

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Weekend Links

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Friday is here again!  If you’re looking for inspiration and advice on creativity, here are some more weekend links.  Next week a couple of new features will be introduced, namely a music playlist.  Until then, keep the creative energy going!

1.  The Art of Famous Book Covers

2.  Artists We Love React to Spike Jonze’s Her 

3.  The Postcard is a Public Work of Art

4.  In Praise of the Creative Support

5.  The Secret Phrase That Sparks Creative Solutions

6.  Animated Classical Paintings

The Body as a Canvas, Process, and What is Art?

The human body has been used as art many times before; sometimes in the form of performances, prints, or installations.  In the TED Talk above, Alexa Meade discusses how she came to use the body as her canvas.  After painting on food objects, such as fried eggs and toast, she eventually moved on to her own body and then the bodies of friends and strangers.  Meade paints live human bodies and the areas around them so that they look like paintings.  She captures her works in the form of photographs and videos, transforming a 3D work into a 2D one.  There are hardly any traces of any 3-dimensionality in the photos of her work, mainly because of the nature of the medium and because the intention of the final product is for it to look like a painting.

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Photos via Alexa Meade

My initial response to Meade’s work was that it was impressive but after reflecting on it further, I thought of some questions.  Unless the audience of her work sees or understands some of the details of how the work came to be, what they see is a flattened version of what was a live 3D painting or a photograph of one.  Then process comes in.  Is it important for the viewer to know about the process of the work?  Is it only important for the artist on a personal level?  There is a school of thought that believes everything a viewer needs to know about a piece of art lies in the artwork itself.  These questions and issues can also be applied to hyperrealistic works of art, such as paintings that appear to be photographs. [Read more…]

Weekend Links

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Are you ready for a three day weekend?  Even if you’re not, here are some links to explore throught out the weekend while we come back on Monday.  In the meantime, we’ll be on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.  As always, stay creative!

1.  10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People

2.  Breathing In vs. Spacing Out

3.  Take Four Minutes to Reflect on Your Place in the Cosmos

4.  Expensive Cities are Killing Creativity

5.  Jay Shell’s “Rap Quotes” project hits L.A. (NYC Edition here)

6.  Alain de Botton Shows How Art Can Answers Life’s Big Questions in Art as Therapy

The Prison Poetry of Ceschi Ramos

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Drawing by Ceschi Ramos

In December 2010, rapper, singer and multi-instrumentalist Ceschi Ramos was arrested when a vehicle carrying 100 pounds of marijuana wrapped up like Christmas presents parked outside of his New Haven home and an informant pinned Ceschi as its intended recipient. Police tackled Ceschi to the snow and drew guns to his head, refused to allow his 98-year-old grandfather to contact a lawyer, threatened to arrest his entire family and seize their home and ultimately coerced Ceschi into signing a confession. Following three years of legal battles, he accepted a plea deal for an 18-month sentence. There was no evidence suggesting he was anything more than a scapegoat aside from the signed confession and by the time his sentence began in September 2013, marijuana was no longer illegal in Connecticut.

To keep the record label he co-founded with his brother David in 2008 afloat, Ceschi and Fake Four, Inc. launched an indiegogo campaign in the fall. Their modest initial goal of $15,000 was met within 24 hours and the final tally sat north of 52 grand. Approximately four months into his sentence, Ceschi was released on parole over the holidays.

“We’re pretty confident that the noise everyone made helped put me on the fast track for release,” says Ceschi. “It was even hard for me to believe but the public nature of my case had every C.O. in prison pointing and talking about me, they seemed utterly annoyed by the amount of mail and books and visits and overall attention I was getting – and that really helped push me out into the program faster.”

One of the many perks offered by Fake Four’s indiegogo campaign included the opportunity to receive original poetry penned by the artist behind bars. My girlfriend, one of the 1,046 individuals who donated to the Free Ceschi campaign, received one of his pieces last week, entitled “Bori, Niantic”, which Artlux is proud to share with you below.

Click each image for a larger version

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