This thought provoking TED talk by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (titled: “how craving attention makes you less creative”) is well worth watching, especially for anyone working in a creative sphere. It’s so easy, in our social media crazed world, to use our creativity to get, rather than give, attention. Yet I’m personally in my best creative space when I simply pour out my energy, attention and talent into the work in front of me (focus) rather than creating from a place of needing attention from others (distraction). I’m working to shift my mindset towards using Instagram as more of an accountability tool for myself, to track my work in progress and stay focused on recording the journey of creating, rather than as a means to gain online popularity. It’s also a great way to stay visually stimulated and inspired. I’m certainly not in the camp of the social media naysayers, but neither do I want to be sucked into the misguided belief that popularity on social media is something to aspire to for personal and creative validation.
Here’s what else I’ve been reading/watching recently:
i) The Wire – over the last few months, I kept coming across cultural references to a tv show called The Wire, with several articles, such as this one from the BBC, referring to it as the greatest show of all time (yes, above Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos). This naturally piqued my interest, so I delved into watching all five seasons whilst working on my drawings. I finished the final episode last night, and can see why it has a devoted fan base. It’s intelligent, gritty, and wincingly confronting TV brilliance and more like an on-screen novel than the standard ‘resolved-in-45-minutes’ drama that I’m used to watching. Thought provoking viewing that really gets you paying attention.
ii) Currently reading Andy Warhol: His Controversial Life, Art and Colourful Times, as well as The Andy Warhol Diaries. Too soon to share my thoughts on either one of these. Maybe next week.
iii) Really enjoyed this casual interview with Jeff Bridges on Oprah’s MasterClass podcast. Jeff is one of my favourite actors, for his laid-back persona and relaxed drawl (there couldn’t have been a better person to play the role of ‘the dude’). As a new mum to a little boy, I loved hearing of the great relationship he has/had with his own mum. Also was interested to hear his thoughts on marriage, especially given his own long and happy marriage; a rarity in Hollywood!
iv) Have just finished reading Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow – Dow is credited as being one of the chief influencers on the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. His ideas on composition were foundational to O’Keeffe’s confidence in depicting her subject matter in a dynamic way. She herself said of Dow: “I had a technique with my materials, but he gave me something to do with it”.