Archives for December 2014

3Ws – Miguel Angel Cardona, Jr.

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What do you create?

I create all manner of things. I would consider most of everything I make as sketching:the process of putting thought to form. I don’t believe anything I have ever made is finished or polished in a state of what I would consider “done”. I draw, I paint, I animate, I design, I make digital illustrations, I code, I build games, design websites, set type, I design and build physical products, product experiences, I make cardboard and ceramic sculpture, I draw on coffee cups, I take photographs and document my surroundings. I am fascinated by the act of creating something visual and tangible, I like stories. It has always been the act of doing that counts for me.

Why do you create?

Because it helps me make sense of things. Helps me make sense of the world around me, by escaping it and getting lost in the act of creating. If I am making art, everything is ok because I am not meant to be doing anything else at that point in time.

What do you consume?

I like to read stories about dystopian societies, am obsessed with NPR, and the New Yorker. I have been reading a lot of graphic novels lately: Saga, Y the Last Man, Miles Morales Spiderman, The Runaways.

I spend an absurd amount of time on my instagram feed, I checked and last month alone I used up 3 gb of cellular data on instagram–I follow a lot of artists, so at least its not 3GB of latte art and feet, for the record.

I love movies with robots, and foreign zombie flicks–Always love to see how other cultures portray how the end of the world at the hands of the undead exemplifies their anxieties and struggles. Also a sucker for a good documentary.

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3Ws – Mark Erelli

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What do you create?

Ostensibly, I’m a songwriter and I create songs. But I’ve created a lot of seemingly different things over the years. Growing up, I was an avid visual artist and for a long time everyone just assumed I’d go into graphic arts or design of some kind. Then I got really into ecology and started doing a lot of finely detailed pen-and-ink scientific illustration. Then I got a masters degree in evolutionary biology and I had to wield a fair amount of creativity to develop hypotheses and solve problems with experimental design. Though I’ve been a professional musician for 15 years, I write essays for my monthly newsletters and have gotten back into visual arts by creating illustrations for covers of my albums. Now that I have kids, I’ll create in their media as well…like ABC books with a Beatles theme or kickass Lego spaceships.

Why do you create?

The real thread that ties all my disparate endeavors together is an overall desire to create some kind of understanding the world and my place in it. I create to make sense of the world, which would sound pretentious if I really thought that it was ever possible, which I don’t. I think of it as like surfing on this asymptotic curve, which always approaches the axis (or objective truth, if you will) but never meets it. That feeling of just wanting to get a little bit closer to the truth, to write or play a little bit better than I did yesterday, that’s what keeps me creating. That this process can never be finished inspires me.

What do you consume?

In the most general sense I am a voracious consumer of the details of my environment, whatever that may be. I don’t necessarily need to seek out new environments–I’m not a natural traveler, I’d be fine walking the same path through the woods everyday–but I love finding new observations in familiar surroundings. I can extrapolate this process to my emotional environment, learning new things about the way I’m feeling or how my actions affect others. Or I can use the same tools to tease new observations about things like books and songs that I love, so that they seem to become richer and more resonant over time. That is essentially what I’m doing every time I read a book or listen to music, which are the things I consume the most. If we’re talking about the physical act of consumption, then I’d have to go with Earth Balance’s Coconut & Peanut Spread, which I spread on apples and consume in quantities greater than I should ever admit.

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3Ws – Tony DeSare

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What do you create?

I’m a singer/songwriter/pianist and have been writing songs since I was 18 years old. I create music, both songs with music and lyrics and improvised solos in the moment when playing piano. These are two very distinct thrills for me. Writing a song is like having one idea that excites me and spending the next hours, days, months or years putting together a complete sonic picture like someone may work on a puzzle. Then with an improvised piano solo, the creation is a free flow of ideas that are born of the moment with no right or wrong.

The last few years, I turned a life long love of films into learning how to shoot and edit my own videos to go along with my music, which has been a very exciting thing for me to blend with my first love.

Why do you create?

I think we all as humans have an inborn to desire to create. There is something that we all tap into that scientists don’t have a name for yet, but it is a real thing. One of the gifts we are given as humans is the ability to manipulate the physical forms around us to create something new. Whether it be knitting a sweater, a structure made of wood and nails, organized colored oils on canvas or producing and manipulating sound waves in an organized way. The latter is what I love to do and the way I express my primal urge to create. I don’t always initially want to create, because it can be painful and tedious but there is nothing I enjoy more than working on something when an idea catches fire in my mind. My creative life has become a constant tension of opposites while I try to increase my musical dexterity and skill level while at the same time making my best effort to let go of all of it and just let that creative consciousness work through me.

What do you consume?

I tend to be drawn to creative works that trigger some sort of inspiration in me to want to create myself. I’m especially drawn to films because it is such a blend of so many creative forms all presented as a single experience. For a film to be a success artistically, the director must herd a team of creative people and inspire and align them to his creative vision. Each person has a history of creating and years of work in his or her craft. The actors, cinematographer, writer, makeup, wardrobe stylist and composer (wihich I especially love) all have a lifetime of inspiration and work they pull from to make a piece that communicates a specific emotion. That’s why making a great film is such a difficult and rare achievement. Often after I experience a great film I instantly want to get to my piano and create something.

I also appreciate anything that is born of a pure creative spirit, be it a dining experience, a great joke or even a perfect tweet. The key being something that has a fearless quality but is not taking risks just for the sake of being risky.

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