Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For What It's Worth 26

First of all, Happy New Year! What's nice about this time of year for me is the week vacation I take at the end of the year—this year it was two weeks! I try to get out of New York and am lucky enough to find an inexpensive rental outside of Rhinebeck with a wonderful fireplace, great light and just close enough to town that the trip is not stressful.

I take all the reading material I've collected over the past six months and cull through it, read as much as I can—things that interest me and even things that don't. I sometimes learn more from reading subjects I was not originally interested in as in boning-up on subjects that have my interest.

With two weeks I was able to read quite a bit and make my way through a considerable amount of magazines and books. And some of what I read I would like to share with you as I think it applies to the freelance world of artists and designers. And these words, while not from artists or designers are from related fields that still make sense.

It wasn't all books, I highly recommend two documentaries one on Chuck Close and the other on Jean-Michel Basquiat. Click the links for the trailers.

I was thinking over the break about other artists and designers and whether when they look at their completed work do they always regret something.

As we passed by the Frank Gehry IAC building on the Westside Highway I wondered aloud did Frank really like the way his building turned out. I'd like to think he had some regrets as I think we all do, no matter how well-received our work is. It could always be better somehow. Did Frank's mockup look better than the real thing? Did it look better at night than in the daytime—I personally think so, but what does Frank think?

When I got up to our place I happened upon the January issue of Esquire, I do enjoy reading the What I've Learned section and this one was no exception, here are a few excerpts:

Robert DeNiro-
Those who say don't know. Those who know don't say. That holds up over time.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer-
A lesson taught with humor is a lesson retained.

Fred Willard-
There was ABC, CBS, and NBC when I was a kid. That was it. How difficult it must've been to be successful back then. Now I look up and notice I'm watching Channel 504. Everyone is a star of some show.

A great director is someone who makes you feel like you're moving forward.

It seems to me you're always retired in this business. You know, after your last job.

Albert Brooks-
In the beginning of any career, in every job, people are always forcing you to the middle.

Art and resistance are great together. That's what art's made for. Look at Vincent van Gogh: He didn't cut off his ear because he was selling well.

The biggest waste of brainpower is to want to change something that's not changeable.

I got so good at writing to a budget, my brain was restricting myself. I'd write, "It's a stormy night." Then I'd cross out stormy. I'd write: "It's a calm night." Then I'd cross out night. It's noon. Because you know how much night costs. You know how much rain costs. Nothing comes free in movies.
Danny Devito-
Yeah, I've been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It's a tower, and it's leaning. You look at it, but nothing happens, so then you look for someplace to get a sandwich.
James L. Brooks-
There's a reason there's a reason.

I always fight hard to push a movie to the point where it pulls me.

I have a rule in research: The third time you hear something, it's generally true.

Nothing is a matter of course when you get to do your own thing. It's always a gift that can stop giving and probably will.

Am I constantly surprised when things work out differently than I'd expect? Sometimes. Sometimes the surprise isn't pleasant and you want to blow your head off.

Ferran Adrià-
Risk is to do something that 99 percent of the time would be a failure.

One person's creative references won't necessarily be useful for another person. Each moment, each person, each situation is different and important. I am married, and very happily married, but we don't have children. If I had children, this interview would be different. I don't know how it would be different, but I know that it would be different.

Robert Redford-
Life is essentially sad. Happiness is sporadic. It comes in moments and that's it. Extract the blood from every moment.

Speak out for what you believe and what you feel. Or don't. You have to live with yourself.

Humor. Skill. Wit. Sex appeal. That order.


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