Noteworthy Links 1.18.20 (Creative Inspiration)

Hey folks!

The weekend is here and I could not be more thrilled! Here’s a few things I hope to use down the road for creative inspiration.

An artist has been painting people from classical paintings into today’s world…

Handmade Sketchbooks Teeming with Colorful Calligraphy, Diagrams, Sketches, and Travel Ephemera by José Naranja

Found this one recently and it just made my day. I have always loved Vincent D’Onofrio’s acting, but this role still wows me to this day. One of my favorites. Here’s a great article on how to character of Edgas came to be in Men In Black.

Enjoy the weekend folks! Much love,

j

Noteworthy 1.2.20

Back after a hiatus, here’s a few interesting links this year:

A great write up of the state of our artistic economy in Wyoming. It’s incredible how resilient and resourceful the creative community is in our state. I am awed by the talent in Wyoming and inspired by their determination and spirit!

A bit of insight about Herman Melville’s later years as a poet. I had no idea!

This is a great throwback read on one of my favorite performances of all time. The great Vincent D’Onofrio’s timeless role in Men In Black. He absolutely destroys that part in the Eggar suit!

Hope you are all having a marvelous 2020! Make art, make haste!

j

Noteworthy 10.25.19

Happy Friday folks!

A few good links to help inspire and get the creative process started:

All of us David Bowie fans, rejoice! A new graphic novel chronicles the rise of Ziggy Stardust. It’s on I’m definitely looking forward to…

I’m a sucker for behind the scenes footage. One of my favorite past times growing up was watching the “second disc” of my favorite badass movies and watch how filmmakers worked as one to bring these magical set pieces to life. Watching the collective problem solving is one of the most inspiring things to me. Here’s a fascinating one about the Dark Knight epic truck flip!

This useful article about the 7 types of rest we need to recharge was a good one I found for self care. I’m always on the lookout for something that will work for me. So we’ll see if some of these can make a difference to us!

Christopher McQuarrie really nails this answer on Twitter when asked how to break into the film industry. All of us creatives, no matter the medium/form, can benefit from his poignant response.

Be well this weekend and hope you find time to make art.

j

My sister’s on Netflix! (and Noteworthy 10.19.19)

Hi folks, here we go!

First and foremost, let me begin by sharing some amazing news this week: My little sister made her film debut this weekend! Brenda, you’ve been working tirelessly and sacrificing so much over the years that it brings me so much joy to see your work pay off. I am so incredibly proud of you not just today, but every single day. You are born to make art and you are a tremendously bold, inspiring, and kind human being. I love you so much and again, congratulations! I know what I’ll be watching on Netflix tonight, check out The Laundromat!

  • The 2009 sci-fi wonder Moon turns ten this week. Here’s a neat behind the scenes look from NoFilmSchool about one of the most inventive films in recent memory.
  • This one from the New York Times covers the fascinating use of aspect ratio as another tool in the playful arsenal of film-making tools. Fun stuff!
  • Let’s leave on a good note and check out this video of a musical bear, who is also fond of breaking and entering.

Much love to you all, let keep putting the pieces together.

j

Noteworthy 9.21.19

Hi folks, how about this wonky week?! Here’s to the next one!

Recently, I heard about a group of Nigerian filmmakers making epic movies on their smartphones. There is so much hope in my heart watching these young kids doing the best with what they have. This is the definition of taking the reigns of your craft and progressing at all costs. This is talent, passion and commitment coming together. I applaud you from afar, young creatives. Keep doing your thing!

You bet your ass I watched the Raul Julia documentary this weekend. My goodness, he was astounding onstage and I would have straight up murdered to see him live. Much like any person of color who aspires or once aspired to make the theater their livelihood, watching his story unfold reminded me of the insurmountable obstacles to becoming a working and successful theater practitioner. I have learned that Raul was proud and unapologetically Puerto Rican, opened the doors for so many, and lived an incredible life. One of the great American actors of his generation and an inspiration.

Also, shout out to u/TheDeadpooliNAllofUS for sharing this gem of a cover in the Radiohead subreddit. Lots of gold there, one of my favorite communities.

Be well this weekend and make art, make haste.

Noteworthy 9.10.19

Happy Week Folks!

I had this all typed up on Saturday and forgot to hit PUBLISH. That’s never happened before. Tends to happen when life gets in the way. Loads of noteworthy content came to mind these couple of weeks, thanks to my YouTube wanderings and escapist mind frame.

  1. Working on highlights and other content for the Oyster Ridge Music Festival, so I went to one of my favorite live performance videos from the last few years: This documentary about the Largo venue in Los Angeles. To do produce a work like this, specifically for live performance arts in this segmented form, is one of my dreams. Maybe something like this is possible in Casper? We shall see! But for the time being, it serves up a fresh batch of inspiration for me to work on the videos soon to premiere online! Stay tuned…
  2. Did I mention I came to terms with my affinity for notebooks this week? I feel an eagerness to start writing when it feels immediate, rekindling my love of notebooks is to fire up that old obsession with filling a page. So much so that this week, I finally started working on a song I’ve had in mind for over three years! I have a backlog of music that need lyrics, including a collaboration with my pal Dust Jones– So I’ll need all the momentum I can get! I stumbled upon this article outlining the various types of journaling. It’s given me some ideas this week on how to start using my notebooks for something other than creative writing. I also found this one, which just gave me more notebooks to purchase. I have a problem now.
  3. Re: Working on my songs in the near future, I’ve been looking out for solid free resources to produce beats DIY style. Reddit and this guy were super helpful!
  4. And lastly, I’d like to share a track that has been the soundtrack of my daydreams and scribblings: Michael Kiwanuka’s Cold Little Heart. This song absolutely destroys and gets me to that place just beyond the horizon where I can see my characters clearly…

Enjoy and have a great week, friends.

j

Noteworthy 8.25.19

Hello Void!

Hope the weekend is treating you well. We’ve gone and had a good time so that means less time in the household to write up a new batch of noteworthy links. But better late than never!

Ben Folds was a staple of my college playlists. Some songs of his still take me to that special time. He recently came out with a new book and he’s started to share some of his songwriting wisdom. Here’s a little segment from earlier this week on morning television.

I’m considering taking some of my blog posts every now and then and turning them into something tangible, like a little zine. I would do this often as a kid, but the practice fell out of favor in my mind over recording like a madman. I’m thinking it would be good for me to step away from the computer more often and use my hands to create something. I long for the organic and tactile more than ever. In my research, I found this great issue in the great Reddit community of zines, by u/thecorndogbaron, entitled: Cookies as an Allegory for the Loneliness of a Human Heart.

Need a pickmeup to get the week started? Check out this old clip of Buddy Rich dueling Animal on Sesame Street. Hard to keep a smile off your face!

I leave you with one of my favorite songs growing up. Included in the superb Mission Impossible cash grab “Inspired by the Motion Picture Soundtrack,” Powderfinger came into my life at an impressionable time and their track guided years of uncertainty as I began my teenage years. It rings with so much melancholy for me it’s insane, but it’s a hell of a song nonetheless.

Be well and make art, friends. Have a great week,

j

Noteworthy 8.16.19

Hello Void,

Yes, I’m talking to you, that elusive folks in this realm where our digital thoughts and media and memories go float until someone stumbles into them. At first, the notion of calling the internet a Void is to deem it a dark and cold place, but I don’t think that, really. I go back and forth, but mostly, my overall opinion is that the internet is a place where the positive connections will outweigh the negative. This is why I’m here, taking the time to share a few links and things, in hopes that it will spark something to us back to our creative ways.

  1. My wife gifted me a couple of books for our anniversary and I couldn’t be happier to get started on them. I just wrapped up Austin Kleon’s superb reference for artists Steal Like an Artist. If you need a kick up the rear to get going, this is as good as it’s going to get. What a playful, inspiring read!
  2. I love comedians. I love them as practitioners, bohemians, and all of their flawed, weird hilarity. Here’s an interesting conversation between Ricky Gervais and Sam Harris, discussing the nature of all things comedy, social media, and the state of the world.
  3. I’ve shared this before, but it makes my heart soar. My brother-in-law introduced us to this Shakey Graves song when our son was a baby, and I recall playing it on those late nights when scant sleep and long days turned life upside down. My baby would dance and sway back and forth clumsily and gift us a smile. And nothing made me smile a deep smile of pride from my bones and belly and heart than that little memory.

I kind of like sharing three things. It’s short and sweet, and I’m all about saving time. Madd and I will get to podcasting this weekend, hangout with our dear friends who are here from out of town, and of course, the quest to write the latest project is underway. Using Austin Kleon’s calendar advice, I’m going to continue working on my short stories, as well as the children’s play due at the end of September for the Casper Children’s Theater. I’ll keep you posted.

It’s Friday, and burnout is our refrain as we welcome the weekend. Take care of yourself. I’ll try too.

j

Noteworthy 8.10.19

Hello folks,

I have been trying to get this out for the last few days and I finally made it to the blog! Get to your recliner, relax, and enjoy some of the latest web findings to get us back to our creativity!

  1. We lost Toni Morrison this week. In her honor, let’s take a look at this superb advice on failure.
  2. Elliott Smith’s birthday was on August 6th. A light we lost much too soon but will leave behind some incomparable songs. I leave you with one of my favorite moments captured on video: Elliot as the first guest on the ill-fated Jon Brion Show, what a timeless artifact for us to enjoy now. Thank you Elliott.
  3. This week in Mississippi, an image of a little girl broke my heart. Hundreds of illegal immigrants now detained, have no idea what is to happen to their children or who will care for them. I saw my child in that photo and I simply could not bear it anymore. May our children never know this trauma and suffering this helpless little girl is going through. I never thought I would see this cruelty in our country. We cannot continue to do this. We are better than this.
  4. Yes it’s been a shitty week, but for the time being, let’s bask in the wholesome awesomeness that is Gullermo being a badass mentor for all of us.

Please take care of yourselves tonight. Embraced your loved ones. Be well, friends.

j

If you don’t feel so good about this entire week, just enjoy your cumbia! Happy Weekend!

Noteworthy 8.2.19

Hi there! Here’s a few awesome links to wind down this hectic week:

  1. I caught this one long ago when I was in one of my editing late nights, so I thought I would share this now. This is a lovely conversation between George Saunders and Jeff Tweedy that inspires like no other. It made me want to pick up a pen and start unraveling story. Great wisdom from two masters.
  2. The Working Songwriter is a podcast from musician Joe Pug. I had the great pleasure of seeing him live at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival and he just blew me away. His craft and presence as he delivered such beautiful songs left a good dent in my heart. A truly memorable time was had! I’ll be checking the backlog of his podcast episodes, in which he interviews fellow songwriters and discuss the craft of songwriting.
  3. Regarding the Steppenwolf revival of True West, the most influential play of my playwriting life. I would have killed to see this play in the flesh on that Chicago stage in 1982.
  4. This year, working on getting my poetry back on track has been a priority. Starting with the basics as I get to know how I can work in the medium and what I can do to get better, and more resilient. Here’s a little recap I found of Pablo Neruda I liked.

And I leave you with a great tune that hit VH1 when I was growing up, obsessed with music videos. Also, a 90s RDJ starring in a peculiar, one shot video. Have a great weekend, friends.

j