In this week’s newsletter: listening to your materials, my love for Los Angeles, Mister Rogers, and more... 

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Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of the materials. - Anni Albers

Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. Anni Albers’ way of thinking about making art: The materials will tell you what they want to be.
  2. Books I’m reading: I had a fantastic weekend trip to Los Angeles (some pics on my Instagram), so I’ve been reading books about Hollywood. I already had Eve Babitz’s Eve’s Hollywood on my Kindle, and I picked up Kenneth Anger’s ultra-trashy Hollywood Babylon at Skylight Books, so I’ve been alternating between the two. (Karina Longworth’s Hollywood podcast, You Must Remember This, has a whole series of episodes devoted to debunking Anger’s book. I’m looking forward to her forthcoming book about Howard Hughes’ Hollywood.) 
  3. A highlight of my trip was a visit to the Corita Art Center, which is celebrating Corita Kent’s 100th birthday this weekend. I wrote two posts inspired by my tour: 1) Everything is connected, but the connections only matter if you make them. 2) Learning to see by looking at the world one piece at a time.
  4. My pal and artist extraordinaire Wendy MacNaughton is bringing her Meanwhile series to the New York Times! Her first installment is about tallboy beer cans.
  5. A beautiful letter from Nick Cave about grief. (More of Cave’s letters in The Red Hand Files.)
  6. Alan Jacobs on Dylan and collaboration (I gotta get my hands on More Blood, More Tracks) and a review of what he thinks may be his favorite book of the year, The Writer’s Map. (It’s a gorgeous book — I wrote about it in my looong post, “Finding your way with maps.”)
  7. Ear candy: I was driving the 134 west from Pasadena when Ice Cube’s “It Was A Good Day” (NSFW duh) came on 93.5 KDAY. It was a perfect moment, and I’ve been streaming them since.
  8. Eye (and ear) candy: Glenn Gould’s marked-up scores.
  9. Movies: To avoid election results, we watched Game Night, which was goofy fun and led to the discovery that my wife had never seen David Fincher’s The Game.
  10. I FINALLY saw the Fred Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (On the plane, no less. Airplane crying — it’s a thing!) The movie is wonderful, just as good as everybody says it is. (Related reading: Why we should stop fetishizing “Look for the Helpers.”) I’ve had his bit about children and modulations stuck in my head all week. Go see it. (Now I’m trying to figure out an essay about two men born in Pittsburgh in 1928 who both had childhood illnesses, were deeply religious, and used their mediums to change the second half of the 20th century: Fred Rogers... and Andy Warhol!
Thanks for reading. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to a friend, tweet me some love, or best of all, buy a book!

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PS. Look what just came in the mail — the poster for Keep Going!
How to keep going

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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