This week: why all artists should watch Groundhog Day, what we get wrong about influence, and more...

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A newsletter from Austin Kleon
What we are vs. what we want to be
Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 
  1. It’s February 2nd. Again. In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, here’s why I think every artist should watch Groundhog Day.
  2. Do not miss this deal: cartoonist Tom Hart, author of the incredible and heartbreaking Rosalie Lightning, is offering a free download of his guide to creativity and visual storytelling, How To Say Everything.
  3. This week’s read: Paul Elie’s Reinventing Bach. A great story from the book: Did you know that cellist Pablo Casals and bluesman Robert Johnson recorded their masterpieces on the same day?
  4. The way we talk about influence is backwards.
  5. A poem: “My life’s stem was cut” from the late Helen Dunmore’s collection, Inside The Wave. (I’m reminded of Japanese Death Poems and Clive James’ “Japanese Maple” from Sentenced to Life.) If you’ve tears to spare, these young terminal patients can teach you how to live.
  6. An appreciation of Rodney Dangerfield.
  7. Eye and ear candy: I saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread in an empty theater in suburban Baltimore this week and I loved it. Jonny Greenwood’s score is fantastic. (“House of Woodcock” has been playing in my head on repeat and I love, love, love that Debussy string quartet.) 
  8. When art just makes things worse.
  9. A couple of things about money: animator Don Hertzfeldt on being independent and designer Frank Chimero on whiteboard accounting. (Frank is two issues into his new newsletter.)
  10. Life hack: Don’t try to tackle your New Year’s Resolutions until February.
Thanks for reading! If you like this newsletter, forward it to a friend, buy a book, or tweet me some love

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PS. I’m speaking at two conferences so far this year: Bond in San Francisco (here’s a 10% off ticket link) and Making Midwest in Columbus, hopefully with some brand-new material. (If you need a speaker for your event, I have availability!)

PPS. Here’s a printable PDF of a 28-day challenge for February:
28-day challenge
Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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