In 2013 the online magazine 2Paragraphs asked a group of visual artists to write about the image that had “affected them most profoundly.” The question elicited some fascinating stories, from Goya’s influence on video and conceptual artist Karen Ostrom, to […]
If there is one piece of advice I could give to artists of all disciplines, in all stages of their careers, it would be this: make art. Period.
Writer and art critic Sigrun Hodne posted this simple, but brilliant drawing on […]
One Sunday in 2007 Mason Currey was sitting alone in the office of his employer—an architecture magazine—trying (and failing) to finish an article that was due the next day. Instead of getting down to business, he compulsively tidied his cubicle, […]
“Don’t bend; water it down; or make it logical; don’t edit your soul for fashion. Follow intense obsessions mercilessly.”
Spot-on advice for all artists from the writer Franz Kafka.
Last night I came across this quote in my friend’s office in Philadelphia. Creating art that resonates or impacting the world around you isn’t the result of ambitious ideas or flawless execution. It’s the result of doing.
You can explore […]
The holidays have their bright spots: the homemade bourbon balls, the annual viewing of Charlie Brown and the Grinch, the twinkling lights, spending quality time with family and friends, the Messiah performances and sing-a-longs.
But for most of us, the holidays also mean […]
You’re curious. Open-minded. Creative. You’re an artist or arts lover who isn’t afraid to be challenged.
Gwarlingo, like the arts in general, is about seeing the world in a way we’ve never seen before. Whether it’s through poetry, film, visual art, […]
The Challenges of Motherhood
Alice Ann Laidlaw was born in the rural town of Wingham, Ontario, the daughter of a fox and mink farmer and a schoolteacher. While writing fiction and studying English at the University of Western Ontario she worked as […]
Every day we’re faced with the decision of how and where to focus our attention. Sustained attention may be the most endangered resource in our modern age. We often forget that we have a choice about how we […]
When Gwarlingo readers give me feedback, I listen. You’ve been telling me that you’d like to see more articles about process and the challenges of being an artist. I’ve appreciated your emails and comments.
Today, I’m excited to launch a new […]
Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries. — Blaise Pascal
Our day begins with good intentions. Feeling rested and focused, we set our priorities. […]
In 1965 singer Bob Dylan was burned out after a grueling tour; he was sick of reporters’ questions and tired of performing the same old songs. Dylan told his manager that he was quitting music for good and […]
Ai Weiwei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009 has been good company the past few days. Between 2006 and 2009, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei used his blog as a daily notebook where he posted thousands of photos, documented his […]
This week a reader sent me a copy of “How to Feel Miserable As An Artist.” This marvelous list was created by illustrator Keri Smith and is part of The Artist’s Survival Kit, which Keri wrote and designed.
I like Keri’s list […]
Kim Uchiyama’s studio is located on a quiet, tree-lined side-street in Lower Manhattan. On a crisp fall day in mid-November over tea and brunch, I visited Kim in her Tribeca apartment. We spent the day looking at art and discussing her […]
An Artist Gets Audited
A visual artist I know once told me about an audit she endured with the IRS. My friend is a professional artist in New York City with her own studio. Her work is shown at galleries and […]
Today is the birthday of writer Grace Paley.
Although Paley’s writing output was modest during her 84 years — some four dozen stories in three volumes: The Little Disturbances of Man (Doubleday, 1959); Enormous Changes at the Last Minute […]
Writer Nova Ren Suma has just published a new essay of mine over at “Distraction No. 99.”
Although the assigned topic was “inspiration,” my piece covers a range of subjects, from library book censorship to the financial stresses of being an […]
Because I’m surrounded by artists in both my professional and personal life, people often ask me what insights I’ve gained into the creative process.
The unromantic truth is that being an artist in any field is hard work. Because artists need a […]
Today is the birthday of jazz legend Sonny Rollins. At the age of 81, Rollins is still touring, making new music, and recording records.
The long, remarkable career of Sonny Rollins is a good example of how sustaining it can […]
You may not know graphic designer Milton Glaser by name, but you undoubtedly know his work. He is best known for the “I ♥ NY” logo, his “Bob Dylan” poster, the “DC bullet” logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005, and the “Brooklyn Brewery” logo. […]
Welcome to the first installment of “Creative Spaces,” a regular Gwarlingo series that will focus on the creative habits and work spaces of visual artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and other talented individuals.
I’m excited to kick off the series with an […]