I’m putting this up because I really loved it and you might too:
If you love the ocean, I hope you Take 3 for the Sea every time you’re down at the beach. If you haven’t heard of that before, it’s simple: pick up three pieces of rubbish each time you leave. But don’t just stop there. If you’re not already aware of their activities: the Surfrider Foundation have a new website up. It’s very easy and inexpensive to become a member, and to show your support. To me, one of their most important initiatives is Rise Above Plastics. I am trying really hard to do this in my own life, and Surfrider have compiled a great list that gives me a place to start:
Ten Ways To Rise Above Plastics
Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:
If you’re making things, you might find this interesting. I wrote to Chris after I’d watched it to tell him how it had helped me and I got a lovely email back in response (wasn’t expecting one, I really did just want him to know, but it was a nice surprise, that’s for sure). (I should also say, I found it via Coastalwatch who do a top ten things in surfing every week, which is always great).
Back to Chris. He says a couple of things here that really resonated with me:
Anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer, just a little bit.
Pain is a shortcut to mindfulness (I’m actually thinking about giving birth when I bounce off this one).
And he talks about, Something you are forced to earn.
Also there, somewhere, he says, I gave a piece of myself.
They’re all things that made me think of writing, although I’m sure they could be applied to just about anything, if you’re doing it for the process, the doing not the getting (which isn’t to say that getting goals aren’t important, because they have a place, too).
Of course, the risks in writing are less dramatic than getting hypothermia, they’re usually more internal. But for some reason, recognising you’ve given a piece of yourself helps take away some of the fear involved. Really, what more can you do than that? You’ve done your best, so at some point you also have to say fuq it and just let it go.
Which leads me to the other thing that Chris talks about, the part I loved the most: the JOY he gains from doing something. Goes around, comes around :) You learn from the doing, and also from the connections you make.
Anyway. See what you think.
Okay, so weird random fact that is necessary as set-up: I was the kid who used to shush people during commercial breaks. Always been fascinated by ads. Ads and music video clips. So I wanted to share an ad that’s been on TV lately. For anyone who’s engaged in telling stories, take a look at this. See how much they compress in 30 seconds? It’s truly impressive. I don’t know if it will sell dog food, but it certainly hit some key emotional notes for me. I was riveted. Thoughts?
… I’m definitely appreciative for any fucking glimmer of validation that I’m actually doing it and that I’m doing it right.
That’s Sia talking there, but doesn’t it apply for just about all of us? Read this interview if you are trying to make things. Read it if you love Sia and/or Kristen Wiig. (I still love Kristen Wiig most of all because she made the best Flight of the Conchords episode ever – The Girl With The Epileptic Dog. Bra-bra.) Read it if you have ever, at any time, had an Olivia Newton-John thing – (Gen Xers will appreciate that. Grease heads will appreciate that – that’s why the song above … because I can …) (No idea what I did just then punctuation-wise, but anyway.) Read it if you’re finding yourself doing things you don’t want to do, because you think you have to. Or just read it if you appreciate the fact that someone who wears a wig is being interviewed by someone called ‘Wiig’. Smiley face.
Australian author, Kate Forsyth, has put a great post up on her blog about notebooks and how she uses them when she writes. As someone who goes through bazillions of notebooks a year, I found it really interesting, and thought you might, too. I definitely need to start using the whole page and stop being so wasteful, and I love the idea of pasting pictures in there. (Usually stick mine on a wall, but this way you’d have them forever, waiting for you like old friends if ever you referred back.)
If you saw that title and answered, “Quickly fax judge Pat”, then you are a winner, because you knew I was about to talk about FONTS. If you’re not into fonts and are simply a rabid Walking Dead fan like me (no pun intended) you probably said something like, “Kill them through the head”. But guess what? You’re STILL a winner because you’ll always have The Walking Dead.
Lately I’ve become a little obsessed with fonts. (Is there a word for that? And don’t say Graphic Designer because I would say, Ha ha, very funny, and also, That’s two words.) Why? I have no idea. It’s not like I have a tremendous call for varying my writing. But Portlandish sites like Creative Market get me going, they really do. Here are my current favourites:
All of them kind of soft and flowy. But I also like:
I can tell you the exact moment I appreciated a font for the first time. It was when I saw a Paris Metro sign, one of the Art Nouveau ones, and I bet I’m not alone in that. But that said, as in most things, I’m utterly ignorant about them really. (When I first got published, someone had to very nicely explain the difference between serif and sans-serif to me.) Even so, had I still been IMPERVIOUS to them, this excellent ARTICLE: 27 fonts give or take that explain your world, would have opened my eyes.
What about you guys? Seen any nice fontage recently?
So I went to see the Ben Brown exhibition at Manly Gallery. So bright. So bold. So awesome. When I’m rich and famous *(which is what replaces ‘When I grow up’, once you actually grow up) I’ll surely get him to customize a board for me. There was a wall full of portraits like these:
Famous dead people. Also included Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix – you get the gist. In his notes for the exhibition, Ben Brown said:
Since I was a young boy, I have been fascinated by skulls, both as a motif and as an object. The skull is a symbol of outlaw escapism and at the same time a beautiful natural form.
Which made me think of how skulls used to be used in art, say in the 1500s, as a reminder of mortality (that link is to The Ambassadors, painted in 1533, in which the skull is also considered to be an example of anamorphic perspective, which is a whole other fascinating thing).
Funny how skull’s have morphed into something else now – more like a motif of Live Fast Die Young, or Live Fast Don’t Die At All (I’m thinking of the way that EVERYBODY is throwing those cool Mexican influenced skulls into EVERY design element they can possibly think of).
But getting back on track, he also said:
I like thick black lines, bright colours and simple composition; images that deliver a message simply and quickly.
They do. They do! You should go see this if you’re in Sydney. Take the ferry, have a day out at Manly. Treat yourself, you deserve it.
The idea of the process section of this blog is to talk to people who are doing things – making music videos, editing books, dancing, designing – which will hopefully provide you with inspiration for whatever it is that you’re doing (or want to do). Emma Lincoln-Smith does the skeleton – a sport where you slide head-first down a track at speeds of up to 143 km/hour and most runs are over in under a minute. What sort of work goes into something like that? Read below and find out …
(If you missed Emma’s intro, go back a few posts, or clickhere …)
What’s your process? Can you talk us through your training regime?
My training regime is very demanding. I base my training around a four-year cycle to make sure I peak at the Olympics and during that final world cup season. For the last two years leading into the games, my training has to be my absolute priority. I train 6 days a week, 2-3 times a day. More