why austin kleon thinks you should make some zines

If you’re looking for some inspiration to create, I highly recommend hanging out with Austin Kleon. He is a wonderful artist and also an incredibly generous one at that. Buy his books, listen to him on podcasts and find him on YouTube. I was SUPER JAZZED as he admires cartoonist extraordinaire Lynda Barry as much as I do!

I have read his books a few years ago, but decided to listen to them this week on Audible. There are countless gems but One of the things he suggests is to create with your hands and not on the computer.

The computer is not an ideal place to create your work. It makes you anxious, gives way to distraction and basically sucking the life out of you.

He also has this great tutorial on how to make a zine from one piece of paper. When I first saw it, I felt anxious (never made a zine, but really want to but it’s too much work??!!) but after I made the first one, I got lost in the process and now have a new way of creating. Thank you, Austin!

zine #1

We had scrap paper from when my printer printed out 532 sheets of gibberish. It also crossed my mind that the gibberish of numbers and ASCII characters were actually aliens were communicating with us via the my printer.

Either way, I appreciated how it adds to the weirdness of these two.

Lesson learned: Trying new things can be a lot of fun and good for your mental well bein.

visiting the noguchi museum

These were some photos I took of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City in the summer of 2019.

the simple sign says: 

the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum.

I didn’t really know much about Noguchi except he had designed a mass produced table that some people loved.

It was so great to see his process and how his mind worked.

Even though he had many pieces where he used several different mediums, the through line and evolution of his work cohesive and in harmony.

Several pencil sketches by Noguchi.

I especially loved seeing his sketches and ideas penciled on the page before he jumps into the materials. Pushing movement with materials that we mostly associate with stability and stillness (metal, wood, glass etc.)

The form follows his imagination, not the materials.

He draws freely and playfully and occasionally adding emphasis with darker markings.

Pencil on aged paper drawings. A smooth strange structure; half human half abstract on top of a ball. (Noguchi)
The set that Noguchi and Graham created for one of her pieces. Two people kneel on the ground with their hands in prayer and their hands looking up. 
Several long sticks hold up the sparse set and there is a blanket on one of the horizontal poles. There are four women sitting on a bench by the cloth. They are wearing the same drab, long dress. 

A woman stands, holding a pole. Watching the couple praying.

I was also jazzed to see his collab with the famed modern dancer, Martha Graham.

A picture of me taking a picture of the modern dancer, Martha Graham. She sees something in the distance, her lips are dark (in a black and white photo). She is still but moving at the same time.
Look at this picture…PURE DRAMA!
Curvy and smooth sculpture made of metal on a wooden floor.

Later on I found this interesting article in the New York Times which briefly discusses how he was an apprentice under the artist Brancusi and how Brancusi was an artist under Rodin.

Apparently the article ends with saying that Brancusi did not have a pleasant relationship with Rodin, however Noguchi had a fine mentor in Brancusi:

Unlike his mentor, whose takeaway from Rodin was negative — Brancusi didn’t want to create sculptures like the great French sculptor or run a Beaux-Arts factory-studio — Noguchi’s apprenticeship provided a lifetime of lessons.

Brancusi was a tree under which an artist could grow.

exploring gouache

I’ve been taking this course with Maru Godas from Domestika and I love it!

I like how she is passionate she is about the this medium. She is passionate about gouache and sketching her surroundings and I also enjoy her playful and joyful approach to teaching. When she talks about using gouache and her techniques you get the feeling that she REALLY knows gouache and delights in the process.

She starts us off by using and observing black gouache and how it looks with more and more water.

Then we go from white to dark. My white is looking splotchy and sloppy as I try to figure how to work with it.

For my cartoons I usually work in black and white and this is a refreshing way of doing things differently. It forces me out of a comfort zone and I observe the paint’s viscosity, texture and vibrance.

I see a lot of things that I can do better (making the paint more consistent) and at the same time it’s a lot of fun.

I enjoy the fact that Maru does these exercise to see how we can manipulate the medium. If we jumped right into color, we might not have noticed the nuances.

She is joyful and knowledgeable and I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. (No sponsorship, just me working with my hands.)

Respite For the World Weary

Today I thought of the lyrics “But Not Tonight” by Martin Gore:

Oh God, it’s raining
But I’m not complaining
It’s filling me up
With new life

The stars in the sky
Bring tears to my eyes
They’re lighting my way

And I haven’t felt so alive
In years

Just for a day
On a day like today
I’ll get away from this
Constant debauchery

The wind in my hair
Makes me so aware
How good it is to live

And I haven’t felt so alive
In years

The moon
Is shining in the sky
Reminding me
Of so many other nights
But they’re not like tonight

Oh God, it’s raining
And I’m not containing
My pleasure at being
So wet

Here on my own
All on my own
How good it feels to be alone

And I haven’t felt so alive
In years

The moon
Is shining in the sky
Reminding me
Of so many other nights
When my eyes have been so red
I’ve been mistaken for dead
But not tonight