Miranda July’s Honest and silly book website

Penelope Trunk told me about an amazing website Miranda July created for her book.

It starts like this:

Photo of black text "ok, here I go. I'm going to make this whole website right now on this dry-erase board"

and keeps:
Black text on white board

Photo showing kitchen counter and text written on a fridge

I clicked through at least 20 “pages” of her site. I never do that. I’m a skimmer. I browse through a site and skim for the stuff I think I want, then perhaps bookmark it and never go back.

There is something (visceral | curious | engaging) about seeing someone’s handwriting and dirty dishes right next to each other.

I’ll admit, I’m a judger. Visiting someone’s website, I want to nitpick it. I want to find the outdated portions and secretly judge people deep down for not having an amazing proofreading staff. AH HA! You forgot to spell Guns n Roses correctly! Ha!

Actually, that isn’t true. I don’t want artists and writers to have a proofreader. I want them. I want to engage with another human being and learn about them. I want to see their silly imperfect handwritten letters and be reminded I’m imperfect and interesting. You should see my wife’s cursive lower-case letter ‘a’. It is adorable. When she writes an ‘a’, it looks like Jigglypuff ate too much and decided to go to sleep in a coma of cuteness. I mistake her letter a for o. ALL. THE. TIME. And it is adorable and human. Her letters remind me that I am adorable and human and slowly gaining weight like Jigglepuff. (JP, if you are reading this: lay off the puffs, puff.)

I want to see their silly imperfect handwritten letters and be reminded I’m imperfect and interesting.

I’m excited. I think we need more Web Brutalism. We need more top-of-the-fridge whiteboards websites. We need more people being people- softer, rounder, real-er people.

Writing Is Not Typing

Writing understandable, meaningful words is very hard.

…Remember that writing is not typing. Thinking, researching, contemplating, outlining, composing in your head and in sketches, maybe some typing, with revisions as you go, and then more revisions, deletions, emendations, additions, reflections, setting aside and returning afresh, because a good writer is always a good editor of his or her own work.  From How To Be A Writer: 10 Tips From Rebecca Solnit

Continue reading “Writing Is Not Typing”

Art & copyright: Do artists use other’s photos inappropriately?

How much do you need to change a piece of art to avoid a copyright lawsuit? Artist Richard Prince printed Instagram photos on canvas and priced them at $10,000. This sounds exactly like direct plagiarism, but is it?

The works displayed a screenshot of an Instagram post. Looking closer, Prince included his own comments below the photo. This addition of adding his own comments seems to tilt the scale towards original work, or commentary (literally) on the original work. Continue reading “Art & copyright: Do artists use other’s photos inappropriately?”

A Way to Avoid Clichés

Clichés can be difficult to avoid. So, you need to instead find something that’s yours, and work from that. Whether you appreciate this fact or not, you possess a unique viewpoint. It’s just that your world is so familiar to you that you don’t realize how unique it is.

In college, I made a painting of Mona Lisa—after she dyed her hair red. I thought this made it somewhat novel, but it wasn’t my cheeky gimmick that most viewers noticed. The part folks paid attention to was the background. I painted a silhouette of pine and spruce trees—common to where I grew up. Others in the class found this notable, because they lived in a different climate (a rainforest). To me, those trees were just trees, but they turned out to be part of my unique visual vocabulary. So, don’t mistake that which seems mundane to you, for actually being so…

Source: A Way to Avoid Clichés