How to Be a Good Artist

“To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.” – Jasper Johns

When I was seventeen years old, I kind of figured that I was better at writing than those around me. Had won a few competitions, and all my teachers were impressed by what I could write.

I wanted to be good. I wanted to be the best. I had the type of goals that one cannot utter out loud for fear of being locked away in a mental institution.

I liked to impress people, and then I would also impress myself.

I’d write short stories the day before a deadline. Soon, I became complacent. I thought that I was so good that I just had to stroll my fingers across a keyboard and magic would appear on my computer screen. Continue reading How to Be a Good Artist

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TMM: The Quest for Innovation

innovation

At one point or another every creative person must feel that everything has been done before. Everything worth writing, worth painting, worth saying. That we can’t possibly capture the essence of life without being copies of someone else.

This is an universal urge, in a way. We feel that we need to step outside certain boundaries, that we have to forget about the rules in order to innovate. We want to be original, to create something new. We want to create a big enough change in the world that’s going to last forever.

Continue reading TMM: The Quest for Innovation

Showcase: Tullio Pericoli

Tullio Pericoli was born in Colli del Tronto, near Ascoli Piceno, in 1936. The artist has created hundreds of portraits of famous writers. He also did work with Italian newspapers such as Corriere della seraL’Espresso, or Repubblica.

Continue reading Showcase: Tullio Pericoli

5 Simple Steps To Drastically Improve Your Writing

If you’ve always wanted to share your thoughts and ideas and stories with the world, then surely you’ve asked yourself this simple questions: How do I become a better writer?

Well, even though it takes years and years of practice, following these five simple steps will drastically improve your writing. Continue reading 5 Simple Steps To Drastically Improve Your Writing

The Artist’s Struggle

In an essay about Kafka, David Foster Wallace wrote the following words, “the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. […] our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.”

Now, he was talking about Kafka’s works, but I think that phrase pretty much sums up what art is all about.

As a writer, as an artist, I’m interested in people. It’s not only about empathy, but also about understanding how things work. That’s something you can’t really learn. Or read about in a book. You either have it or you don’t.

2Now, about this phrase. The journey, not the destination. Continue reading The Artist’s Struggle

TMM: Hard Work Beats Talent

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge

I know it’s not artistic, but you’ve got to work hard.

“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.”Ray Bradbury

A relentless desire to succeed is more important than talent. Being brave and perseverant to the point of madness, to the point that your work consumes a very large part of your life, to the point that you do it and do it and do it until the job gets done. You don’t even have time to think about whether or not your good… you just do.

Those who sit at their desks to work beat those who sit around, waiting for inspiration to come to them. Stop wishing for the fairy tale, and accept life as it is.

You’ve got to do the work. Your hustle must match your ambitions and dreams.

That is all.

The Writer: Episode #3

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”Richard Bach

The Writer, when he was young and naive, thought that writing was easy. One would sit down, relax, think some stuff up, and then write all that stuff down.

He did not understand what the big deal was. Why people talked about writer’s block and such and such. They were dramatizing, that was all. Continue reading The Writer: Episode #3