Welcoming the Unfamiliar & How to Become a Map Maker

“It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.” – Anais Nin

culture

Have you felt yourself seizing up when presented with something new? A reaction that pushes you to retreat within yourself rather than explore that novelty?

Anais Nin reminds us in her writing that it is very possible to silence such insecurities by opening oneself to unfamiliar terrain.

“When we totally accept a pattern not made by us, not truly our own, we wither and die. People’s conventional structure is often a façade. Under the most rigid conventionality there is often an individual, a human being with original thoughts or inventive fantasy, which he does not dare expose for fear of ridicule, and this is what the writer and artist are willing to do for us. They are guides and map makers to greater sincerity. They are useful, in fact indispensable, to the community. They keep before our eyes the variations which make human beings so interesting.”

Might just be your time to become a cartographer.

The cartographer’s song from the French musical Le Petit Prince. While this is one way to be a map maker, just remember that you have to let yourself out into the world to explore.

Especially it if you plan to map it out for others to navigate on their own one day.

Image Source

Taking Painting By Numbers To a Whole New Level

This past weekend while exploring Portland (which is an awesome, fun and foodie city), I wandered around the Saturday Market and happened upon an artist whose work is the epitome of that fascinating intersection between art and science.

Sienna Morris specializes in Numberism, a term she coined to describe the way she draws with numbers. But the numbers she chooses are anything but arbitrary. Each subject comes to life through the  repetition of equations and numbers that give that thing the ability to exist in real life.

fibsnail

“Fibonacci’s Snail” drawn with the Fibonacci’s Sequence to mathematically represent the Golden Spiral
The sequence starts in the center with “0” and continues along the shape of the spiral.
0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610…

Schrodingers

“Schrödinger’s Cat” drawn with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

uncertain

Bio“Bioluminescene” where the fireflies abdomens are drawn with a chemical formula for their Bioluminescence, C13 H12 N2 O3 S2.
The light coming off the fireflies and bouncing off the jar is drawn with the speed of light, 299792458 meters per second.

Numberism_couple

Drawn and shaded with only the numbers 1-12, marking the hours of the clock. 
Used Numberism technique to draw a moment with all four dimensions, including time
“Even if we choose to do nothing at all, we are still moving through time.”

Image Sources: Sienna Morris’ site 

How Artists Create a Sense of Home

Some keep company, others prefer solace. But what is a restorative space for some, seems like trappings for others.

For those with any fascination in where some of the most influential creative spirits play house, these photos are sure to spark interest. A short peek into the lives of artists at home:

Truman Capote and his kitsch collection
“Home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.”

Donna Tartt with Pug, Pongo
“My dog has a number of acquaintances of his own species — as do I — but it is abundantly clear to both of us that there is little company in all the world which we enjoy so much as each other’s.”

Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in Paris
 “America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”

Ernest Hemingway with his cat
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”

John Steinbeck at home in Salinas, CA
“I have lost all sense of home, having moved about so much. It means to me now–only that place where the books are kept.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico
“I can’t live where I want to, I can’t go where I want to go, I can’t do what I want to, I can’t even say what I want to. I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to.”

Anais Nin sitting down for tea
“Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. “

Sontag cozy at her desk (yes, that’s a bear suit)
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Travel Expectations Meeting Reality

How much of your travel dreams are made up of the ideas promised from advertisements,  pages ripped from the travel mags and pinned up for another day?

Recently sat down for a chat with the composer of See Rock City to talk travel and our expectations from trips we take: what we search for, hope to experience, and try to cross off of our list. We all are united in our journeys towards destinations, both real and imagined.

Have your travels always lived up to your expectations? Tell your story below.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Bite-sized Wisdom: Gershwin

Don’t let sour notes ruin the song. Use them to make something better:

“Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise. ”
– George Gershwin

You may also enjoy:

Little Mime for Your Monday

In the original production of “The Glorious Ones,” John Kassir (Dottore) got to show off his unique talent: mastery of mime. His performance has led me back to one of the great originals – the unparalleled Marcel Marceau.

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?

– Marcel Marceau

This a man who devoted more than 60 years of his life to performing. And it paid off.  He was acknowledged as the world’s greatest practitioner of mime.

In the video below, he describes how to create reality in a scene. In this case, going up and down a set of stairs.  Watch his eyes as they create a destination above him.


Translation from French:

“Going up and downstairs. It’s an exercice that Jean-Louis Barrault, a disciple of Etienne Decroux, created dramatically. I have changed it a little, it’s another way to do it. What is important is to not only to locate the ramp’s substance, its artisanale side. You also must create the place’s heaviness, distance. I’m going downstairs”

Image Source