Art and Hope

To those of you who don’t know me well enough, I say this: My name is Cristian Mihai. I’m 28 years old. And I have been writing for fourteen years.

I make art. I aspire to create beauty.

I wrote because I was broken, felt alone, different, too weak to even matter in a big and cruel world.

It made me feel less awful.

It made me feel as if I was kind of good at something.

Isn’t this what truly matters? How you’d define passion? To be kind of glad you’re kind of good at something. Continue reading Art and Hope

How to Write a First Draft

Forgive me, for I am here to destroy your insecurities. Your excuses. That thing you do when you tell yourself that your first draft must be perfect. The illusion that great writing is born in a single moment of inspiration.

I want to destroy those things so you can get down to the business of writing. And that begins with first drafts.

First drafts tend to scare the hell out of most writers. Even the greats. Kurt Vonnegut said, “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”

So when a writer of his caliber makes a statement like that … do you think you will be any different? Continue reading How to Write a First Draft

The 10 Most Famous Paintings of All Time

How many paintings do you think there are out there? In galleries and museums?

A few millions?

And out of them all, there are a handful of paintings so recognizable by people from all over the world and of all ages that they will probably be admired and talked about until the end of what we call human civilization. Continue reading The 10 Most Famous Paintings of All Time

The Most Beautiful Lines…

“The apartment below mine had the only balcony of the house. I saw a girl standing on it, completely submerged in the pool of autumn twilight. She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”J.D. Salinger

I have always considered these words to be some of the most beautiful I have ever read. The most breathtaking description. Simple, yet so effective in the way it makes you imagine someone with almost godlike characteristics into existence.

Relationship Advice From 19th Century Novels

There’s no doubt about the fact that art influences the way we experience reality. In fact, art is so influential that it affects the way we understand reality. Literature, Hollywood flicks, advertising or pop songs change our perception of love and what to expect from our partners.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was famously meant to be a parody of sorts. “These violent delights…” It is a cautionary tale as to how dangerous can be for us to idealize a romantic partner, how perilous it is to give up on everything for them. Yet people find the pair’s death as “romantic.”

Another example? The Great Gatsby. People upload quotes from this novel everywhere, as if the love story between Daisy and Gatsby is romance at its finest. It’s not. Daisy does not love him as much as he does her. Also, this so called “love” corrupts Gatsby to the point that he is nothing without her. Everything he does, it’s because of her.

Is this what we’d truly want from love? Is this what we understand by love?

But all this pales in comparison to the manner in which “love” was defined by 19th century novels. Let’s take a look at some of these novels and the way in which they define relationships. Continue reading Relationship Advice From 19th Century Novels

Famously Banned Books

Censorship. Probably the most hated word by creative individuals. Books have always been used by the oppressed as a means to fight the oppressor. Also, books have always been the weapon of choice for those who had an opinion different than that shared by the vast majority. But all this also meant that lot of books have been banned throughout history.

Here’s a list of famously banned books. Continue reading Famously Banned Books

When Too Much is Not Enough

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“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey

Many times I did not know when to stop buying furniture or kitchen appliances or any other little house objects. Many times when I cleaned, I found myself being a hoarder. When too much is simply not enough.

In  “What Makes the Difference Between a House and a Home” I talked about analyzing your own self and understanding your pleasures and hobbies in order to create a little space/nook for them. This time I am going to talk about day to day tasks, chores and the frustrations created by them. Continue reading When Too Much is Not Enough