26 February 2013

Bowie and Swinton

That's right, my dear bud made this video with David Bowie and Tilda Swinton happen. How cool is that? So proud of him.

His life in LA made a right turn somewhere along the line. :)

A year ago on TTaT: I, Tut: The Boy Who Became Pharaoh

16 February 2013

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business6. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you're thinking of going back to school to get your MBA, read this book first. Kaufman's premise is that MBA programs are very expensive and teach outdated material. Unless you're going to a top tier school where its name on your degree will yield connections and ins to high finance, you don't need to accrue all that debt to learn what you need.

Kaufman started by compiling a reading list of the top 100 business books on his website, PersonalMBA.com. His book takes all the best pieces he learned and presents a high level overview of business in very readable language.

Each chapter is broken into many subsections, so you can read about a single concept in a couple of minutes. At the end of *every* section, he has a link to a specific page on his website about it. I found this annoying. I'd rather one link to his book's page that lets me explore from there instead of link after link after link in the book.

Even if you're not interested in business or entrepreneurship, I'd recommend the chapters "The Human Mind," "Working With Yourself," and "Working With Others" which are more about the psychology behind decision making with approaches to changing or adopting habits. You also might benefit from checking out the "Sales" chapter to understand what salespeople do and why it works, particularly the section on "Reciprocation."

There is an appendix full of book recommendations broken into various categories if you want to learn more. Another appendix lists 49 questions to help you assess how you're doing and approaching your life.

A handy resource.

A year ago on TTaT: If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)

15 February 2013

Life of Art SitRep #158 Experiments

This week, I created several patterns and designs featuring diamonds. Once I had one I liked, I let it sit for a day. When I came back to it, it seemed too bold. I made an alternate more... refined?... version (zig!), but it just served to show me that I liked the bolder version better (zag!).

So I created Black and White Diamond Pattern and White and Black Diamond Pattern designs for my shop.

Rocklawn Arts blogged the black and white design.

Swapped out two of Rocklawn Arts's top picks for new designs' cases.

How was your week?

3 years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 3

13 February 2013

Make a Better Decision

"Make a better decision" is a phrase that Dr. Kelly Starrett of Mobility WOD (Workout Of the Day) attributes to his wife, Juliet. In their context, it refers to holding your body in a better position or moving with better technique.

So instead of saying, "Don't hunch forward!" or "Don't sit so much during the day!" you'd say, "Make a better decision."

The phrase has been on my mind quite a bit of late as it can apply to anything and everything. Though it's not my theme for 2013, it's sort of becoming it.

Let's go back to Kelly though. I first saw him, where else?, on creativeLIVE. He did a guest segment on Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Life workshop and I was immediately intrigued.

I checked out Kelly's blog, Mobility WOD, where he posts short videos demonstrating stretches and exercises to improve your body's mobility. He's got a doctorate in physical therapy so he also talks about anatomy to give context to the workout. It's really pretty cool. (They're all designed to be done in under about 10 minutes.)

His philosophy is: "All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves."

You can get a bit of an introduction from his creativeLIVE workshop, Maintaining Your Body. The intro segments for each day are free to watch.

I'd check out his blog before buying the course though. It's best to start his blog from the beginning:

The Squat

There isn't an archive listed, so here are the next Early posts in order.

With just the first three episodes, I discovered tightnesses I didn't realize I had.

Here's what's awesome though: now that I'm aware of it, I can work on it.

I always used to say, "I'm just not a flexible person," as though it were an immutable fact. Kelly Starrett makes me believe change is possible and provides tools and knowledge for the journey.

"Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent." I don't recall who he said said that first, but it's very true. The body is tremendously adaptable, so if you slouch long enough, that will feel more comfortable than sitting up straight. But just like Paul Atreides can choose to keep his hand in the box of pain, we can show our humanness by choosing better positions even if they are uncomfortable initially.

And, yes, Kelly Starrett is totally a fan of Dune. How could I not like him?

Here are some MWOD's you might find handy:
Ep. 2 Couch stretch: try the couch version if the floor version is too hard. It was insanely hard for me at first.

Ep.3 Heel cord stretch: Doing this first makes the squat much easier.

Ep. 35: Surviving the Airplane Seat

Ep. 38: Your Pillow is Killing Your Neck? How you sleep can have a big impact on your shoulders and neck.

He's got over 500 videos, and I'm gradually working my way through them (some things I don't have the setup for). You can also search by body part if you're having issues with a particular area.

10-15 minutes a day of working on your nasty tissues adds up over time. As does adopting good positions and movement throughout the day. I'm in!

Two years ago on TTaT: Snowfall

08 February 2013

Life of Art SitRep #157 Works in Progress

When I watched Graphic Design for Everyone with Lesa Snider, I felt inspired by what I learned.

In practice, however, what I had in my head was not as easy to accomplish as I'd expected, or even possible with my approach. Mulling over some new tactics and also experimenting with pattern design. Zig!

Photoshop developed a funky glitch which took some research and an update to resolve. Zag!

Adapting to incorporating a bit more promotion into my workflow. We'll see how it goes.

Started my taxes, an unfortunate but necessary part of a life of art. TurboTax just gets less convenient to use each year. Its simplified "friendly" questions are getting on my last nerve. Sometimes I just want to know what the actual form and its instructions say! Yes, I know, go to the IRS site and look it up. Next year, and possibly this year, I will try something different. Any recommendations?

A year ago on TTaT: Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age