In this week’s newsletter: my kids’ drawings in the New York Times, ear and eye candy, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon

Hey y’all,

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

  1. Last Sunday, my kids achieved one of my professional dreams: a full page of drawings in The New York Times.
  2. Nick Cave on writer’s block.
  3. I found a batch of remixed advertisements in an old diary, and boy do they seem relevant to these quarantine days.
  4. New paintings by Kerry James Marshall.
  5. Camo is an app that turns your iPhone into a high-quality webcam. (I used it to film a Good Morning America segment over Zoom this week and it worked like a charm.)
  6. Eye candy: animator Don Hertzfeldt posted a teaser trailer announcing part three of his amazing film, World of Tomorrow. (Here is a recent filmed Q&A about his classic short, Rejected.)
  7. Ear candy: For some sonic diversion, check out the #perfect31 album challenge on Instagram, especially the contributions of @thisisqueenesther, who is sharing great albums by black musicians, and @mikemonteiro, who got the whole thing going. (My picks: @austinkleon.)
  8. On Netflix: I did not expect a documentary about Rubik’s Cube solvers to bring me to tears, but The Speed Cubers did just that. (Related reading: “In praise of solvable problems.”)
  9. RIP pianist Leon Fleisher, who lost the use of his right hand for many years. I first read about him in Paul Elie’s Reinventing Bach. (His story is told in the short documentary, Two Hands, and his album of the same name is wonderful.) Here is a list of lessons his son learned from him, and here is a video of him playing “Sheep May Safely Graze.”
  10. A simple question that often solves my first draft problems: “What did you really want to say?
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PS. Here are some kittens with good taste, courtesy of @reddy2go:
Austin Kleon

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

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