I recently watched this amazing video from the makers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Wired, and it made me remember a demo video produced at Disney called Paperman. Paperman was a technical excercise trying to bring traditional drawing into the 3d process. I see a lot of similarities and wonder if there was any cross contact.
I first came into contact with fountain pens late high school or early college. I was doing a lot of pen and ink work, and the idea of not having to dip into the ink each time seemed appealing. I think I started with a Rotring Art Pen, and I never thought of it as anything but an inking tool. It wasn’t until I inherited a Parker51 a few years later that the whole world of fountain pens was revealed and I’ve been a regular user ever since.
So when an artist I follow named Drewscape decided to make his own art fountain pen based on a dip nib, I was excited. I think about making or designing a pen every now and then. But to really set up shop and make one – that’s really impressive. He calls it the Black Noodle and he has a blog post about it. He has made a few of them by hand and a friend of his has made a video review shown above. Check it out, and if anyone wants to teach me how to do this I’m interested!
I have been a fan of the work of musician David Sylvian for a long time. From his early days as part of Japan to his current solo collaborations.
I recently came across a review of one of his recent projects. The review goes into detail about how people’s reactions and expectations of his work where mixed. The actual review itself isn’t important, what it did was reinforce for me, something Sylvian himself has stated: that all the music he has created was out there, available to people to choose from. So if your idea of his work is Voice of the Beehive then you can own it and listen to it all you want. It does not mean he owes you Voice of the Beehive2.
Thinking about creative work and expectations. Saying you are a ‘fan’ implies that you really like what someone has produced, and you feel a connection to the whole body of their creative work. But do you have to love all the work produced? I don’t think so, if the work is broad and experimental than how could you? It is an unreasonable goal.
For an artist the work leads to the work, and the criteria may be joy or release or satisfaction, or learning from failure, it all comes from the work process and the results. In the end the work may take you away from what you have already done and this is a good thing. But it may cost you the support of those who see your future work as your previous work. Even those who are able to travel with you may not be the best source of internal guidance, they are still rooted in what you have already done.
When I apply this to myself, it has made me realize that right now I am outside my own work process. Which is why I feel lost. I’m looking outward for direction like a fan instead of as the creator moving through a series of challenges and discoveries to get somewhere.
So thank-you to the Ghost of David Sylvian, for having this internal dialog with me.