Social Riddles

I’ve been having a few thoughts recently on things like attachment to things or people. And currently I’m not so sure where I stand, because I have some objections towards this attitude of letting go of everything that doesn’t do what you want it to do. An example: Everyone (around me) seems to be singing the same song, and it goes like “If XYZ makes you unhappy / is toxic / drags you down / doesn’t inspire you, then let XYZ go”. So far so good.

Let (almost) everything go.

I used to be 100% pro this thing. Whenever I’d see someone complain about their environment, I’d recommend them to leave it (but not before suggesting to deal with it somehow). Sure, if someone is just constantly dragging you down, none of you will be having any fun or anything good out of your interaction. That other person might be externalizing their own struggle outwards, but your own struggle is there as well. It kind of makes sense to focus on your own life, or to try to be happy, so you can make your environment happy.*

However: Since everyone has something to struggle with, and you had already built that certain relationship with that person, dumping them because they don’t adhere to your standard of cheerfulness (or whatever) can be wrong. There is something like a social responsibility or commitment that you install whenever you make friends with someone or start a relationship. That’s what we all have to rely on.

Bottom line: With all that “let go of what’s dragging you down” it’s very easy to step into a self-centered zone. That’s when it’s not just innocent care about your own wellbeing, but rather putting yourself first as in not caring about others. That’s when other people don’t count, and that’s when other people become objects. And then suddenly you are the problem.

Maybe there is no clear statement to be made here and we need to decide individually what to do. There is a big gap between, say, violence within a family and a friend who is at a negative or pessimistic point in their life. I will be happy to discuss this topic, so let me know what you think. If comments are deactivated at the time you’re reading this, head to my Instagram and DM me.

* What’s the point of being “in shape” to make your environment happy, if you can’t deal with an unhappy person? There’s a growing hole in this logic.

My Current Thing

Let’s talk monetizable hobbies! So I’ve been drawing a lot recently. Since I got the iPad (and the Apple pencil), I’m pretty happy with the overall feeling, but more importantly: with the quality of the outcomes. Those also have to do with skills, and I think I have improved mine a little bit.

Links: Lionel Richie / Cell / Miss Understanding

Looking back on my progress, I’d say a lot has happened since I started (a few months ago). Not only has my “portfolio” grown to become several folders with probably hundreds of drawings (all of them transparent .pngs with a super high resolution). It’s also actually paying off in terms of money.

The Moneys: I’ve earned a 3-figure sum so far, and I think it’s increasing.

I’m basically dumping my iPad drawings into the internet, and they sell. I must admit, it’s a weird feeling. Weird in a positive way, obviously. I had already sold some photos and illustrations in the past, but what’s happening now is blowing my mind.

Example: One fine evening I felt silly and just wrote “I Love My Bed” onto my iPad surface. Like in my handwriting and all. I uploaded it, just for the hell of it, and then sometime few days back I saw that someone had bought it. Needless to say, it felt nice like magic.

Another example: I found out that for some reason, cricket (the sport, not the insect) seems to be a popular topic. So I made a few silly cricket designs, and they are selling. Never thought I would end up in my kitchen drawing cricket player silhouettes for $.

POD (Print-On-Demand) is quite an adventure. It all starts with the upload: I’m uploading everything on RedBubble, and the upload process here reminds me of the Amazon form for self-published books. It’s kind of laborious.

In case of POD it’s not just the pictures, but also title, description and tags. But I don’t want to bore you with the details, so then: Before the upload, you have to have a picture, of course. Make sure it looks good. Also make pretty damn sure that it “sits” well on the tshirt. Many people out there just leave the print on the belly area, which is too low.

Leaving you with a motivational spark: Try getting some of the stuff you make out there! A capitalist person would say: Turn it into a product. I think it’s a good idea to try.

PS: This new version of WordPress backend is truly, truly horrible. WordPress, this is not intuitive… Like where do I change the color of the text? :/

On Hardware

 

I used to love physical keyboards in phones

And, what’s wrong with their user interfaces? Well, the problem with them is really sort of in the bottom 40 there. It’s, it’s this stuff right here.
They all have these keyboards that are there whether you need them or not to be there.

And they all have these control buttons that are fixed in plastic and are the same for every application. Well, every application wants a slightly different user interface, a slightly optimized set of buttons, just for it. And what happens if you think of a great idea six months from now? You can’t run around and add a button to these things. They’re already shipped.

– Steve Jobs, 2007, first iPhone presentation

(Transcript / Video)

Next Level

Unrelated language fun fact

I have a weird habit of sleep eating sometimes. I tend to get up at night, go to the kitchen and eat whatever I find. While this sounds funny to most people, my stomach is having a hard time dealing with the late night eating. I wish I could stop, but I don’t seem to have any control over this part of my behavior.

Last night sh*t got even more real. Upon waking up this Sunday morning, I entered the kitchen and remembered that I must have made a coffee at night, at around 3 or 4 AM. I only drank half of the cup and went back to sleep. If there is a God out there, please make me stop.

Shock

Definition of shock (Entry 1 of 6)

  • 1a(1) : a sudden or violent mental or emotional disturbance
  • (2) : a disturbance in the equilibrium or permanence of something
    • b : something that causes such disturbance // the loss came as a shock
    • c : a state of being so disturbed // were in shock after they heard the news
  • 2 : a state of profound depression of the vital processes associated with reduced blood volume and pressure and caused usually by severe especially crushing injuries, hemorrhage, or burns
  • 3 : sudden stimulation of the nerves and convulsive contraction of the muscles caused by the discharge of electricity through the animal body

Source: Merriam-Webster

My book “Modern Sculptures”

Please allow for some nonintrusive advertising. I present: My book! It already has a one star review. Here’s my press release:

***

Modern art* is difficult. Modern art is controversial. A lot of people say modern art is bad. Look up “modern art” on YouTube, and you’ll see a significant amount of people who disapprove of it. Maybe you do, too. I argue that modern art is an important part of our culture, and that art education at schools should include modern forms of making art.

Yeah, uhm.

When I was a school student, I loved my art classes. We were taught to draw or paint buildings, animals, landscapes and people. The main premise was, at least during my first years of school, to get the perspective and the proportions right. Basically, I was taught to draw as realistically as possible. But mimicking reality is not what art is about. It’s about reflecting reality. This can be done via a lot of methods, including (but not limited to) visual art.

This book will show you how you can create modern artworks without a giant budget. This book is full of rather sloppy drawings instead of polished Photoshop stuff: I intentionally chose to publish the ideas in the raw state. This book is about ideas, not about products or existing artworks. This book is a mess. At the same time it’s a practical guide, with included explanations as to why this specific idea works as a modern artwork. It’s supposed to inspire you to make your own artworks and exhibit them. You may use these ideas for your installations. Whether you’re a new aspiring artist, an art teacher or someone who likes thinking about art – you will be able to follow my thoughts, and get your own value out of it.

Since this book is not a novel, there is no need to read it in a linear way. It’s made for browsing and thinking.

*I’m using the term Modern Art when referring to modern in general, as opposed to modernism as the time period extending from the 1860s to the 1970s.

On Brands

Manager Woman: Our store managers report customers entering the premises.
Gianni Versace: Can you speak louder, please?
Manager Woman: I’m sorry. Uh I was saying, customers are discussing the dresses, but not buying them.
Gianni Versace: Even after all that publicity? They celebrate my sister, but they don’t buy the dress? I don’t understand.
Manager Woman: We are in the midst of a global downturn. Customers are turning away from grandeur and showmanship. They want simplicity and practicality.
Gianni Versace: Who wouldn’t want the dress that made my sister a star?
Manager Woman: I can only comment on the numbers, and the numbers are bad.
Donatella Versace: Hmm, perhaps the dress is perfect for the red carpet, but we need a simpler version for the customer.
Gianni Versace: One design, two dresses?
Donatella Versace:  Yes, one dress to catch the headlines, to get the attention, and another one to be worn.
Gianni Versace: Okay.
(BOX SLAMS)
Donatella Versace: Gianni, please don’t start. I’m only reacting to the sales.
Gianni Versace: I’m reacting to the sales as well. Tell me, what do you want to remove?
Donatella Versace:  Do you want to sell nothing? Is that acceptable for a business?
Gianni Versace: Tell me what do you want me to remove from the dress that you and I made. Tell me.
Donatella Versace:  You want me to wear the dress and talk about female empowerment, and then keep my mouth shut when we are in the studio.
Gianni Versace: No, Donatella, a design is a design. It has a heart. It has a soul. It is whole.
Donatella Versace:  And there is a place for that, on the runway. But there also has to be a place for a woman to be able to wear a dress and not feel uncomfortable.
Gianni Versace:  Feel uncomfortable?
Donatella Versace:  Not every woman wants to be the center of attention.
Gianni Versace: Well, then this is not the dress for them!
Donatella Versace:  Why does everything have to be so extreme?
Gianni Versace:  Why are you whispering?!
Donatella Versace:  Why are you shouting?
Gianni Versace: Am I being patronized?
Donatella Versace:  All I’m saying is that we are a fashion house, and we have to make clothes that people want to wear. That’s all I’m saying.
Gianni Versace: Madame, what are you wearing? That-that-that neat little suit? – Armani, yes?
Manager Woman: Well, you cannot expect me to give a sales presentation wearing this.
Gianni Versace: Huh? Wearing this?
Donatella Versace: What?
Gianni Versace: Okay.
Donatella Versace: What are you doing? Gianni. (MUTTERING) Stop. Gianni.
Gianni Versace: Now. Now. Now it sells? Now it’s gonna sell? It’s gonna sell more, this little black dress? Is it normal enough? – Is it normal enough? – (CLATTERING) (HUFFS)
Donatella Versace:  Gianni.
Gianni Versace: What is it?
Donatella Versace:  Gianni, you are too tired.
Gianni Versace: I can’t, I can’t hear you. I can’t Do you hear her?
Antonio D’Amico: I can hear her perfectly.
Gianni Versace: I can’t hear you either. I can’t I can’t hear. I can’t hear.
Donatella Versace:  Call a doctor.
Manager Woman: I’m gonna get a doctor.
(CRYING): Donatella, I can’t hear.
Gianni Versace:  Donatella, I can’t hear, I can’t hear.
Donatella Versace:  It’s okay.


Scene


Transcript from American Crime Story Season 2 Episode 7 (Ascent)

Wants and Standards

Tony Robbins has many jobs, but he’s mostly a motivational coach. Unlike thousands of other motivational coaches he has a direct and immediate wisdom, without any bullshit. I’m grateful I found him. Not that I need coaching.

What he’s saying: If you want to achieve something, you should know that wanting is not enough (and at the same time too much). Wanting to get in shape by going to the gym won’t get you far. You’ll need willpower to go on with your New Year’s resolutions, and willpower never lasts. Most people ditch their resolutions by January 16th.

If you want to get somewhere, you don’t need force. Take a look at what you have already achieved: a degree or your own home, a job or a won competition. Things you have achieved are part of your standards, and thus of your identity. If you think know you’re someone who has or needs a degree, you will get a degree. Your standards make you you. It’s so simple that it makes me dizzy.