Recently, for work, I’ve been added to this weekly meeting of the minds. There are 8 of us from different disciplines within the agency who will now gather on Tuesdays for creative sharing and internal communications. Anyway, we were given three prompts, one of which was to bring something along that really inspired you, then show-and-tell about it. I found this goldmine by Fly Art, after the meeting. Ancient masterful pieces that adorn the likes of the Louvre serve as the conduit for lyrics that were written centuries later. It’s kind of like graffiti but a lot less destructive. Some enthusiasts might be offended by the people at Fly Art’s embellishments to the works of the Greats, but I think it’s pretty incredible. So incredible, in fact, that I was inspired to make one of my own. I’m not that into hip hop, so I featured one of my favorites from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs instead.
Benjamin West (American, 1738–1820). Omnia Vincit Amor, or The Power of Love in the Three Elements, 1809. Featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gold Lion, from Show Your Bones.
Today marks the one year anniversary of my succulent plant’s life. This is no ordinary feat. Unlike my grandmother who has always had the most beautifully lush gardens–no matter how hardy the plant, its death has been eminent in my care. Peppers, tomatoes, scallions and copious amounts of basil have been a staple in her menagerie. Delicate and fickle, edible or not, whatever the plant, it would surely thrive under my grandmother’s green-thumbed care. Despite my best efforts; orchids, herbs, a small tree, rosemary plants…may they rest in peace, have all perished under my supervision. I imagine plants in nurseries tremble when I walk by. Leaves likely start to turn brown and fall off…But not anymore! Over the last year, I have discovered that succulents are virtually indestructible. These guys retain water so well, allowing for minimal attention and sort-of bulbous squishy looking features. Considering they often live (and I might add thrive) in desert like climates, I’ve only had to water them once every 3 weeks. They even once survived a watering of day-old green tea. Any way, if like me, you want the soothing benefits of seeing greenery in your office but are tragically inept when it comes to plant care, opt for succulents.
With the advent of eReaders, I rarely come across books (apart from the leather-bound variety) that I find the need to have physically. The convenient act of one-click purchases and the associated instant gratification usually wins out. But not always. “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be” by Paul Arden absolutely must be held and paged through in person. I am not one for the self-help genre, but this book inspires. When my brain feels like an extra porous sieve, I find that the simple and elegantly packaged words that quietly reside inside 127 pages serve as a continuous source of encouragement. You need only leaf through the pages, letting your eyes scan at random because each page stands just as well on its very own. Best of all, in this relatively tiny book, Arden marries two things I love: the art of simplicity and the command of a Helvetica-type font.
Patience is a virtue–and it is one that has been totally lost on me. I have lived my life constantly wondering “are we there yet?” So many sentences have begun with I can’t wait until…or, it will be great when…I fancy myself a forward thinker–a girl of the future, who needs the now? After this book, I’ll read this one–I’ve found this thing, now all I need is that one (and possibly that one as well). The list goes on (pretty much indefinitely). I have sat through yoga classes where I am meant to be in some meditative “present” state, only to find myself in no way present at all–except for the obvious physical one, of course. Distracted by my list of plans circulating through my brain, being asked to breathe in and out is an unwelcome interruption to my inner dialogue. Get groceries on the way home. Breathe out. How much longer of this? 20 minutes. Pick up dry cleaning for work. Breathe in. What will I wear to dinner…and so on. My natural “are we there yet?” state sometimes makes me feel like I live on the inside of a clock, always hearing the rhythmic tapping of second and minute hands as a reminder to hurry. Even so, the harsh truth is, whether or not I’d like to be a patient person really doesn’t matter. It is a theme that keeps cropping up in my life with infallible precision. I read somewhere that we’re all where we’re meant to be at the very moment in time in which we’re there…I guess it might be time to start embracing that sentimental idea. (Or not.)
Like you actually needed another one.
Does quantity create quality? Many of the greats thought so. It seems logical enough, the more you do something the better you become. Artist Megan Matsuoka puts the theory to test with a personal project that is sure to inspire: 100 poster in 100 days and only an hour to make each one. Check out the evolution of her work over the 100 day period by clicking on her Mark Twain poster (shown below).