April 3, 2011

"How to Steal Like an Artist."

"(And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me.)"

(Via email from Reader_i_am.)

I liked:
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.”
It's funny, I picked up "Just Kids" just today as the next part-finished book in the house to finish. I'm on a finishing unfinished books kick.

Speaking of books: "Write the book you want to read." That's #3 of the things nobody told Austin Kleon. (Austin Kleon is the guy this post links to.) Hey, I'm writing the blog I want to read.

29 comments:

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Somebody still thinks Patti Smith is an artist?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Speaking of books: "Write the book you want to read."

Pretty much the advice I got from somebody (I forget who) a couple years ago. I was frustrated nobody was publishing the sort of near-future, near-space hard science fiction that appeals to me; and I wish I could remember who told me, "Then write it yourself."

So I did. Not that I've gotten any publications out of it yet. (I do have an ongoing discussion with one pretty major editor; but chickens, hatched, you know the cliche...) But even if I never see publication...

The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s write what you *like*.

Write the kind of story you like best.

We make art because we like art.

All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.

The best way to find the work you should be doing is to think about the work you want to see done that isn’t being done, and then go do it.

Draw the art you want to see, make the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read.


wv: mates. Write the book you want to read, mates!

edutcher said...

Something you ought to consider, Madame, along with a book of your photography, is a book about how blogging changed your life.

I'd be willing to bet it's moved you in directions you never contemplated when you started.

Titus said...

I read it. I found their relationship very interesting.

I enjoyed their early years together.

By the times the 80's came along though it made me depressed. I don't like reading books about the 80's and the plaque. I have read too many and don't care to read anymore. The drugs and sex and dying are really too much.

Palladian said...

"I don't like reading books about the 80's and the plaque."

Hmm, I never thought of the 80s as the nadir of oral hygiene.

Titus said...

Sorry, funny I am stupid Palladian.

You know what I meant.

Plaque-hilarious.

Titus said...

Although I heard the 80's were bad years for plaque.

Palladian said...

Everyone used Close-Up in the 80s.

John Lynch said...

Writing is work, not a lifestyle.

William said...

Interesting article. One quibble: While I recognize the need to be kind among my carbon based compatriots in the sub lunar world, the great good thing about the internet is that it is nearly impossible to be unkind. Here in the empyrean one can hurl pixels forever and no matter how many barbs and spins you add, you will never draw blood....In the real world you can shrug your shoulder at the wrong moment and make an enemy for life. Here you can hurl the most foul insults, and they pass by like the evening breeze. In fact, some gratuitous insults are rather fun, even flattering: you care enough about me to insult me.....Maybe that's what heaven is like. A place where everyone is ethereal, and no one can hurt another even if he wanted to.

reader_iam said...

Writing is work, not a lifestyle.

:

Living freely through writing.

gadfly said...

So --is this the way that artists steal?

reader_iam said...

Palladian: You and I think plaque, you think dental hygiene. You and I think plaque, I think arteries.

More to the point: You and I think plaque, you go do art. You and I think plaque, I just do what I can, trying to clap for the young kids everyone is encouraging to compete for plaques.

---

wv: risounds

I hope this does, Palladian.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Although I heard the 80's were bad years for plaque."

True. We were all to much into cocaine (sex, drugs and rock and roll) to worry about flossing.

bagoh20 said...

"In the real world you can shrug your shoulder at the wrong moment and make an enemy for life."

Or burn some paper with precisely the right ink pattern and kill 22 people. What if the Korans were not really Korans? Oops?

Sorry for the OT. Hope it doesn't lead to yuppie rage.

bagoh20 said...

I wasn't criticizing your point William - it's a good one, which I had not thought of before. The ease with which insults fly in cyberspace is something that I think will either jump the shark soon or become a common edgy indulgence like alcoholism - or are we already there?

reader_iam said...

bagoh20: No need for sorry, and it won't. It's no different than any other misdirection.

(You don't want to discuss this topic. You want to discuss the koran-burning asshole and more specifically all of the muslim assholes in the world, which is too high of a percentage therein w/r/t to population and, far far far more important, influence w/r/t various POVs. Got it.

That said, can't we at least, at least every once in while, take a walk even as we keep chewing gum?)

reader_iam said...

Writing is work, not a lifestyle.

:

Living freely through writing.


I'm repeating this, just in case there are people here who skipped over or didn't get the reference in the latter quote.

wv: throill

Thrill, spoken in various argots, including, for example, those from Brooklyn, Queens and etc.

John Lynch said...

You can live freely through any work that you love. Writing isn't fundamentally different.

reader_iam said...

or are we already there?

See, at bare minimum, 3 years ago (depending, of course, on your benchmarks; could be less, could be more).

reader_iam said...

Here you can hurl the most foul insults, and they pass by like the evening breeze.

If you say so ...

... that's certainly the context in which I took things, as to intent, back in much earlier days...

...and then I started paying more attention (for good and for ill) to the intended schooling.

Revelation!

MamaM said...

Today the thought of finding a poem by blackening out the extraneous
seemed more invigorating than thoughts of spring.

The Concrete Dog said...

Today
finding a poem

blackening the extraneous
seemed invigorating

thoughts of spring

The Concrete Dog said...

How to steal?

Like an artist.

t-man said...

the extraneous
seemed of spring

peter hoh said...

Advice to an aspiring artist.

MamaM said...

How to steal? Like an artist.

How to listen?

Like a dog.

With ears

soft and keen

beneath

concrete

encasement

It felt wonderful to look out the door this morning and find the Concrete Dog sitting with on the porch with his ears perked, as if he'd been there all along, instead of missing for days.

A mix of feelings really,
relief,
joy
exasperation
and wonder.

Oh there you are!
Where have you been?
Look at you!
What have you been doing?
I thought you were gone for good!
Are you going to stick around?
Come'ere, let me feel those ears!
Didn't you hear me calling?
I missed you!
I thought you were lost!
Yes I did, Yes I did, Yes I did!

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

MamaM, that's really pretty good! Thanks.

reader_iam said...

You can live freely through any work that you love. Writing isn't fundamentally different.

True dat.