Explorer's Club – AllSwell Creative

Explorer's Club

Posted by AllSwell Creative on

 Photo Credit: Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2009. Mixed Media,
Birmingham Museum of Art

Hello, friend. 

Thank goodness we don’t have to create in a vacuum. Sometimes I want a blank page, but it often helps me to bump up against the work and words of other laudable creatives. Gives me something to respond to as I find my way around a topic - much like a journaling prompt gives the writer something to start from. 

Here are some of the voices and stories I’ve enjoyed lately, what I’ve been into. I hope there’s something below to inspire your own explorations. Where you’ll take it will be unique to you. 

In Swellness,

Photo credit: Carly Earl/The Guardian

Nick Cave on Art as a Means of Working Through Grief and Trauma

There are a lot of gems in this discussion with Chicago-based artist and educator Nick Cave. Among them Cave says of his process: “I never know what’s going to sort of trigger, and push me further down the road as I need to go. But those are the moments that set the bar, that sort of move us forward.” I particularly appreciated the perspective that our triggers, the moments that could pull us down, can also fuel our creativity. We don’t always get to choose what happens to or around us, but we can choose what we do with it. 

Photo credit: Justine Bateman

Face: One Square Foot of Skin

To be young, famous and beautiful. Might sound great but everyone ages and when you’re doing it publicly as a woman it comes with its own particular burdens. That’s the starting point for Justine Bateman’s fearlessly written book. Her personal distaste for making any surgical adjustments to her own face as she got older, despite being in an industry - and a culture - that asks women to “maintain” a lineless face into their 60’s, is a refreshing and not often-stated perspective. She reminds us: #TheresNothingWrongWithYourFace. 

Photo credit: Bridgeman Images

A Meeting of Two Titans

If I had an infinite art budget (I don’t), I would own a painting or three by Lucien Freud. It has so much less to do with what’s depicted than the way he works. That is some seriously sexy brushwork. This short, articulately narrated video is about Freud painting another old geezer at the very tip-top of his artistic game, David Hockney. Apparently they had an epic rapport. To be a fly on the wall. Age does not diminish talent - or relevance. 

Photo credit: Donna Trope

Kate Moss, Desert Island Discs

Aforementioned Lucien Freud painted the subject of this podcast, enigmatic model Kate Moss. Moss was rather famously reticent about giving interviews at the height of her fame so this was the first time I’d heard her speak. It was interesting to note how different the voice I expected was from what Moss actually sounds like. Made me think about how silence allows the public to project its fantasies, for better or worse. In this digital age silence is certainly a rarity, and sometimes saying nothing is the most elegant response of all. 

Photo credit: Canongate Books

The Creative Act: A Way of Being

We’re both from the tri-state area, live in Malibu and have the same last name. With the publication of this book on creativity - subject matter I swim in - a lot of people have recently asked me if we’re related. Not to my knowledge. Maybe mega-successful music producer Rick Rubin and I are loooooong lost cousins of a kind? Either way, I really enjoy this book. I use present tense because I like to revisit it and dive in at random spots for a quick hit. It delivers clear and succinct doses of inspiration for your own creative output, whatever shapes that may take. I even sent it to my niece (a talented painter) as a gift. Plus, can we have a round of applause for the gorgeous, jacket-less book design?

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