In this week’s newsletter: rules for being an artist, the risks of sharing, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
Sheila Ghidini’s pencil shavings

Hey y’all,

First off, some of y’all have asked if there’s going to be a 2019 wall calendar — no, sorry, here’s the deal on that. (For a replacement: I’m really into this lunar calendar.)

And here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. Keep Going is in the can, so to speak, so I’m clearing off the bulletin board, starting a fresh banker’s box, and thinking about the residue of creativity.
  2. Art critic and failed artist Jerry Saltz’s 33 rules for being an artist. (Some of these will sound familiar!)
  3. This week I read Edward McClelland’s How To Speak Midwestern and Charles Simic’s Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell. (The most valuable book on my nightstand is often the one that puts me to sleep.) Oh, and I finally finished I finished Edward Carey’s illustrated novel, Little, which was terrific. (If you’re in Austin, try to see his show at the public library.)
  4. What can be lost when we share what we love
  5. I’ve decided to make watching The Last Waltz a Thanksgiving tradition
  6. Fresh Air host Terri Gross on how to talk to people.
  7. Want to remember something? Draw it. (Drawing is part of a cure!)
  8. Why is Japan still so attached to paper? (Answer: because paper is a wonderful technology!)
  9. Ear candy: Music from Saharan Cell Phones. (So far I’ve only listened to volume one.)
  10. RIP Spongebob creator Stephen Hillenbrand. (I missed the show the first time around, but love watching it on vacation with my kids. I also love that there’s a drawing of Hillenbrand’s in John Baldessari’s studio.) RIP Farmerbrown. RIP magician and actor Ricky Jay. (If you have a New Yorker subscription or can access it through your library, check out Mark Singer’s 1993 profile, “Secrets of the Magus,” which contains the amazing line, “a Ph.D. is just a sign of docility.” Or, read his letter to the Secretary of Defense or listen to his voiceover for the opening of the film Magnolia.)
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. Those are Sheila Ghidini’s pencil shavings above :)

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

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