March 30, 2009

chapter 24

"Well, I'm a sonofabitch!" he said, getting up in the Turkish heat and rewrapping the towel. "I didn't mean to hurt any feelings. Damn! If I did in this idle conversation to while away time, please forgive me. I see you really are, really, in love. God bless you for such noble feelings!" Saul Bellow

4 be sincere
it's gotta come from here (patting his chest) if you want to make something meaningful to yourself and to others, if you want to make something that resonates; it's gotta be real. i mean, that's the point, right? whatever it is you're doing, try your best to make it mean something to you—find your excitement in things; be passionate and excited and it'll translate. figure out what you've got to give to the world. and then, when you get to work, give it some love.

March 28, 2009

chapter 26

"Hard, hard work, excavation and digging, mining, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It's internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable to get anywhere, to obtain justice or have requital, and therefore in yourself you labor, you wage and combat, settle scores, remember insults, fight, reply, deny, blab, denounce, triumph, outwit, overcome, vindicate, cry, persist, absolve, die and rise again. All by yourself! Where is eveybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast." Saul Bellow

3 fight to make the best of things
good bad ugly, all situations are useful as supports and calls to arms; foils and catalysts. life is full of positive, valuable lessons if you look for them, which is what they mean when they say to learn through experience. in my life i've been partnered, alone, mismanaged, given grace, demoted, promoted, apprenticed, applauded, misunderstood, perfectly in sync, in the lead, trailing behind, continuously working and unemployed and it was all great, and i'm all grateful, and every experience no matter how small or banal or painful has helped me mature. life doesn't always make it easy, but it offers to keep you honest. go get some living in you.

March 26, 2009

chapter 1

"I am an American, Chicago born—Chicago, that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, freestyle, and will make the record in my own way; first to knock, first admitted;" Saul Bellow

2 build a foundation
foundation is all there is. the basics are your bedrock. need to know something? learn it. there is no one route to wisdom or experience; focus, find insight, and weave a thick blanket of knowledge and ideas. study study study, work work work, and mediate yourself. your understanding and facilities are all you'll have to fall back on for the rest of your life, so you'd better get to improving them, and you'd better not stop. what you're a master of and what you're not ain't nobody's business but your own. it's all within your grasp if you have the commitment to master the basics.

March 24, 2009

the adventures of augie march

i'm not going to pretend that i know terribly much about anything, but i thought that i might say a few words on education. i've received emails asking how to improve the quality of one's work; let me try to summarize the advice i tend to give. most of it is pretty general—they're truisms, but not as easy and esoteric as they sound: no, i mean everything here to be practical advice which can be acted upon.

the general call is to open your eyes, use your faculties to the best of your abilities and to put your money where your mouth is; cultivate opinions, knowledge, skills and experience. it's the best advice i have. this will take a few posts:

"All the influences were lined up waiting for me. I was born, and there they were to form me, which is why I tell you more of them than of myself." Saul Bellow

1 cultivate good taste
this is primary. your good taste, your capacity to judge, will define your notion of quality—what you decide to be 'good enough'. who you become and what you make will be informed by what you accept; what you're ignorant of, soft on; what you uphold, what you're pigheaded about or insightful or stupid or safe or playful or careful about. you are what you surround yourself by, so you'd better make sure it's good stuff. and as you and your tastes and opinions change, your goals and ambitions, and ideas of what is good and what is bad and what is inbetween will change too. so establish standards, test their limits, test your limits, and encourage their growth. expand, for goodness's sake, and exercise the very special human powers of insight & judgement.

March 20, 2009


sorry there haven't been new posts in a while; i've been pretty busy. made a book, doing some illustrations, working late nights, and somehow reading a lot. i trust things are well. i'll be back next week with something substantial i hope. cheers, nick

March 07, 2009


busy times / wall-e won / working a lot / assembling books / printing photos / going to shows / watching movies / illustration /
be back soon