In this week’s newsletter: collecting quotes, pandemic brain, my plague diary, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
my quote notebook

Hey y’all,

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

  1. I started a new notebook for collecting quotes
  2. I finished Patricia Lockwood’s novel, No One Is Talking About This, which I liked very much. I gobbled up Junichiro Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows, but I’m savoring Dave Hickey’s The Perfect Waveone essay a day at lunch. I started Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, which is heavy for bedtime reading right now, but awesome so far. (I’m trying to get my next book going again, and thinking of her self-directed notebook affirmations.)
  3. I wrote about pandemic brain and wanting to be another kind of animal. (Given my new obsession with photographing and drawing the owls in our backyard, it delights me to find out that Picasso had an owl.)
  4. My friend Wendy MacNaughton and her team have launched the brand-new Draw Together, an interactive drawing class for kids. Sign up for their newsletter! 
  5. If you like documentaries, you might enjoy this panel discussion I drew between four of my favorite contemporary filmmakers. (One of them has a new project: Art + basketball = Ballhaus.)
  6. A search engine for finding free, public domain images from a handful of museums and libraries.
  7. Questions for 75 artists about one very bad year
  8. The best 19 minutes I spent all week: watching The Story of “Thong Song” by Sisqo. (Not joking. Pure joy.) I also re-watched Michael Mann’s Heat and figured out “who” Robert De Niro stole from.
  9. RIP Lou Ottens, who invented the cassette tape, and RIP Norman Juster, who wrote The Phantom Tollbooth. (“The secret, at least in my life, is that if you want to do something you have to do something else to get away from that and that’s the thing that turns out to be worthwhile.” Productive procrastination, y’all... it works!)
  10. It’s been a year since our family went into lockdown, so I shared the first week of my plague diary. (It strikes me, just now, how this newsletter is a kind of diary: here’s the week before lockdown, the week lockdown began, and the week after lockdown started.) 
Thanks for reading. This thing is free, but not cheap. To show your support, you can forward it to someone who’d like it, read my books, shop for some of my favorite gear (I get a cut), buy a t-shirt, or hire me to speak.

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my plague diary
Austin Kleon

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

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