The Complete Creative

Daily Rituals: How Artists Create (And Avoid Creating) Their Art

"In my personal life, if I don't have a project, I don't have any discipline," says performance artist Marina Abramovic. Discipline and daily ritual were one of the subjects of her 2002 piece The House with the Ocean View. Abramovic spent 12 straight days living on three open platforms in [...]

The Complete Creative Part 4 : Christian McEwen on the Art of Happiness

  "What has been planted is the I want! I want! of advertising, which thrives on envy and dissatisfaction. Advertising tells us that happiness can be bought if we will only put our minds to it." (William Blake, "I Want! I Want!" from For Children: The Gates of Paradise, 1793. [...]

The Complete Creative Part 1 : How “If-Only Syndrome” Derails Us As Artists

  A ballerina by British street artist Banksy (Photo courtesy banksy.co.uk)   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 [...]

Jonah Lehrer on How Creativity Works : 5 Insights from Julia Child, Dylan, & Picasso

  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 proceeded to disappear. He squirreled himself away in a cabin in Woodstock. [...]

Grace Paley: “Write What Will Stop Your Breath If You Don’t Write”

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 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974); and Later the Same Day [...]

The Dow of Art: Why Art Still Matters in Our Market-Driven Society

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 artist. But the central theme concerns the value [...]

Sol LeWitt’s Advice to Eva Hesse: Don’t Worry About Cool, Make Your Own Uncool

Sol LeWitt, "Horizontal Brushstrokes (More or Less)," 2002. Gouache on paper, 22-3⁄8 x 22-3⁄8 inches (Photo courtesy Craig F. Starr Gallery. Art © 2011 The LeWitt Estate /Artists Rights Society, New York)     "Metronomic Irregularity I" by Eva Hesse, 1966. (Image courtesy the Brooklyn Museum. Art © 2011 [...]

Designer Milton Glaser on Creativity and the Fear of Failure

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. He also founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968 and was [...]

MacArthur Fellow Anna Schuleit & the Whole Sweep of Trying

Anna Schuleit creating Room for Five, a collaborative project for the Eastman School of Music (Photo courtesy the artist) 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 [...]

Gwarlingo’s Guide to Residency Programs

Leonard Bernstein working in a studio at The MacDowell Colony (Photo courtesy The MacDowell Colony)   What do Quentin Tarantino's Resevoir Dogs, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and the musical Grey Gardens have in common? All of these works were created during a residency at [...]