A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "show your work"
I’ve yet to watch the the BBC’s The Vivian Maier Mystery or Finding Vivian Maier, but, of course, since she’s an artist who didn’t show her work during her lifetime and has now been built into a kind of mythical figure, she’s of great interest to me. (I’m a little embarrassed to look and see the only thing of hers I’ve posted here are her selfies.)
Because Maier left no will or instructions on what she wanted done with her work, her intentions—and the image of her presented to the outside world—are in the hands of anyone that takes an interest in her story…
….There has never been a discovery quite like Vivian Maier and there may never be one quite like her again. Everyone who happens upon it can find a piece or an angle that appeals or that they can identify with. The kind of privacy she kept to do her work may never be possible again in our over-surveilled age. To make a lifetime’s body of work and not share it with anyone is anathema to our times and that makes it that much more attractive. Why didn’t she show someone what she spent every free waking moment doing?
Dmitry brings up lots of interesting issues. For example: her prints. Maier seemed to be less interested in printing or showing her work, than actually doing the work. (“By all accounts, she spent every spare cent on the next roll of film, chasing the next shot rather than reveling in what she already had.”) Here’s a comparison between one of her original prints and an uncropped print done posthumously:
Thanks again to Dmitry for sending me down this rabbit hole!
FIled under: show your work
The great Chilly Gonzales (“the musical genius!”) has a new book of sheet music out called Re-Introduction Etudes, which is a book of 24 pieces designed to give people with limited piano training (who gave up for whatever reason) a “re-introduction” to music theory and playing.
Here’s a video of Gonzales explaining left-hand technique:
And here’s a series he’s doing called “Pop Music Masterclass,” where he takes pop songs and explains the musical theory behind them. Here’s one for Lykke Li’s “No Rest For The Wicked”:
And here’s one for Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”:
Really brilliant ideas, and perfect examples of what I talked about in the “Teach What You Know” chapter of my book, Show Your Work!
Filed under: Chilly Gonzales
An old saying that I can’t stand is, “You don’t get if you don’t ask.” [My career really started when] I did a little reading in Chicago at a club. It was just a silly show, but Ira Glass happened to be in the audience. He introduced himself and then he called me a couple of years later and asked if I had anything Christmas-y that would work for a local radio show in Chicago. I had a story about the time I worked as an elf at Macy’s Santa Land, so I recorded the story and he put it on his radio show Morning Edition, which has an audience of 10 million. It changed my career in every way, but the difference is, I didn’t invite Ira to come and hear me, he just happened to be there. Somebody gave me a manuscript not that long ago. The note on it said, “Please Mr. Sedaris, you can become my Ira Glass.” That’s not the same! I have helped plenty of people, but I’ve helped them because they didn’t ask me to. Usually when somebody asks you, that’s a sign that their talent is for self-promotion, not writing.