“He doesn’t go out. They don’t, like, go to their friends’ houses. They used to. All of my dad’s friends just come to him. So, if the restaurant’s not there, it’s not like he’s lost his job or his business, it’s like he’s lost his life.”—Charlie Shopsin (via fairtradegothic)
“Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT”—Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse via outerstace
“Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool…And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!”—Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse via outerstace
“We endeavor to maintain our office as an open, collaborative environment with exceptionally smart, talented people. Their ideas and conversations fuel the work and are part of a critical working dialogue. I cannot imagine working without that. And regardless of its direct correlation to criticism or philosophy or theory, I would argue that the work is an intelligent result of those conversations.
The conversations are generally based on continuing fascination with the essential issues within each project. We find enough in the realities and unrealities and materials of the projects, and life situations in general, to fuel the work.”—Mack Scogin
“Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.”—Kevin Ashton via Keith Weaver
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”—Ray Kroc
“Half of your job in this studio is doing your work, the other half of your job is communicating that it’s been done. Because if you do it, and I don’t hear about it, how do I know what’s going on? I’m not trying to control everything, but in an intimate work environment, where we’re really trying to develop something complex, a nod, saying, ‘I got it,’ helps moves things along.”—Tom Sachs
“One of the ways of understanding the word bricolage, historically, is to ‘putter about.’ There’s something about puttering about, and half working on something and getting lost in the subconscious. I’m very disciplined, but when I allow my mind to wander in those places, I sometimes solve problems that I was stuck on. I think it’s very important to think calmly. Every idea equals a certain number of man-hours. You’ve got to really take your time before you choose red duct tape instead of silver.”—Tom Sachs
My favorite thing to talk about is work…I feel so lucky I get to make stuff all the time. The reward for work is more work.
I work seven days a week. My girlfriend is completely freaked out and horrified by this. She wants to do nothing some days. I understand how that’s important for some people, but for me I just want to putter around, and in a way get lost in the studio.
“I’m a full-time believer in writing habits, pedestrian as it all may sound. You may be able to do without them if you have genius but most of us only have talent and this is simply something that has to be assisted all the time by physical or mental habits or it dries up and blows away. I see it happen all the time. Of course you have to make your habits in this conform to what you can do. I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and the same place. This doesn’t mean I produce much out of the two hours. Sometimes I work for months and have to throw everything away, but I don’t think any of that was time wasted. Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well. And the fact is if you don’t sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won’t be sitting there.”—Flannery O’Connor, in a letter to Cecil Dawkins on Sept. 22, 1957 via Brooke
“Don’t kiss anyone’s ass. Don’t do it. For the rest of your life, everyone will always tell you, ‘Pick your battles. Kiss a little bit of ass. Then you get to stop kissing ass later.’ It’s a lie. They all just want their ass kissed. They think that if they tell you that they’re gonna get to kiss less ass too. It’s all garbage. It’s all bullshit. You have to just do everything yourself.”—Dan Harmon’s Dad’s advice to young people (via eltigrechico)
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”— Hugh Laurie (via lackapathy)
“I tried hard to antagonize people with an unwavering commitment to my work. It felt punk rock to be the hardest working — a reversal of the cliche slacker student. I enjoyed provoking by being on time, having a well-thought-through solution to the brief that broke with the statuesque, and working when others were at parties.”—Daniel Eatock on what he was like as a college student
“I never liked the term “graphic” [design]; it suggests the surface, while I always prefer what is underneath the surface. I try to avoid subjective decision making, decoration, and unnecessary graphics. I like ideas and concepts that inform or dictate the aesthetic. I prefer the idea to stand out rather than the aesthetics, the content to stand out rather than its display.”—Daniel Eatock
“Professional “design” just floats on the surface, is trend driven and premeditated to the point that it’s mostly dead and decorative. You can see its goals a mile away and it holds no mystery or depth. Anything built from necessity by the earnest effort of a user is going to have character, include ingenious solutions, and have common sense.”—Roman + Williams
“Keep your ego out of the solution, keep preconceived ideas to yourself, listen and focus on the goal of the project; whether it’s a film set, a home, a hotel, a restaurant, it has nothing to do with you! You are a tool for it to exist. You have to serve the goal.”—Roman + Williams
“Study the mundane: delis, freeway off-ramps, unprofessionally designed spaces, makeshift spaces, spontaneously created spaces that had no planning. Study these and replicate them, and you learn a tremendous amount about people and you learn how phony and surface “design” actually is. Unconscious creation is special and it is our natural built world: “designed” spaces are usually only good for representing one thing in film: dishonest and lost characters.”—Roman + Williams
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”—Anthony Bourdain
“If you look at the careers of great entrepreneurs and you look at the moment they took their plunge, the plunge is rarely a great financial or material risk, it’s a social risk. At the moment they started their new businesses, everyone around them said ‘you’re an idiot’.”—Malcolm Gladwell (via raindog)
“You sell your expertise, you have a limited repertoire. You sell your ignorance, it’s an unlimited repertoire. [Eames] was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject, and the journey of him not knowing to knowing was his work.”—Richard Saul Wurman, discussing Charles Eames in Eames: The Architect and the Painter (via pieratt)
“Go to the fucking yard sale, buy a fucking guitar, start a band with your fucking friends, get in the garage and fucking SUCK, and work on it until you fucking make great music and become the biggest band in the world. And when you become the biggest band in the world, you’ll be like, “Goddamn, wasn’t the garage fun?””—Dave Grohl (cf. “Little Room”) (via drinkyourjuice)
Read books that have nothing to do with literature.
Get off the main thoroughfares; you’ll see nothing there. For example, Kant’s Critique is a yawn but his incidental writings are fascinating.
There has to be a libidinous delight in finding things and stuffing them in your pockets.
You must get the servants to work for you. You mustn’t do all the work yourself. That is, you should ask other people for information, and steal ruthlessly from what they provide.
None of the things you make up will be as hair-raising as the things people tell you.
I can only encourage you to steal as much as you can. No one will ever notice. You should keep a notebook of tidbits, but don’t write down the attributions, and then after a couple of years you can come back to the notebook and treat the stuff as your own without guilt.
Don’t be afraid to bring in strange, eloquent quotations and graft them into your story. It enriches the prose. Quotations are like yeast or some ingredient one adds.
Look in older encyclopaedias. They have a different eye. They attempt to be complete and structured but in fact are completely random collected things that are supposed to represent our world.
It’s very good that you write through another text, a foil, so that you write out of it and make your work a palimpsest. You don’t have to declare it or tell where it’s from.
A tight structural form opens possibilities. Take a pattern, an established model or sub-genre, and write to it. In writing, limitation gives freedom.
If you look carefully you can find problems in all writers. And that should give you great hope. And the better you get at identifying these problems, the better you will be at avoiding them.
“For Joy Division’s first album, Unknown Pleasures, Saville placed a small scientific graphic chosen by the band on an expensive textured paper cover. The back cover included simply an empty track listing. The minimalist design broke every known album cover design rule. There was no picture of the band - not even their name on the front - but in retrospect there could be no other cover for this music. After finally listening to the tracks Saville realized that “at that moment everything would change.””—Codex 99 on Peter Saville
“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body…”—Walt Whitman via Steve Roggenbuck
You know, I never in my career have ever thought about what the goal was. The goal was always to be better than I was at the present time, at what I was doing.
…I went on every night, and I learned the difference between impersonating a comedian and being a comedian. And that was my break, was learning how to be authentic - not to the audience, but to myself. I developed a baseline of confidence and also insecurity. I knew how bad I was, and I knew how good I was. And that is what helped me through a lot of the ups and downs as we went along.
SightUnseen:If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Assembly:You know, there really isn’t anything else we could be. Starting a small business, being a young designer in America — these are not easy paths to take. We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing if there were a Plan B.