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Monday Tally: Page One, Getting Stuck, Dressed to Kill

monday-tag-150pxMonday Tally is a weekly link round-up of some of my favorite posts discovered over the week. If you have suggestions for Monday Tally, please e-mail sophisticated [dot] dorkiness [at] gmail [dot] com. Enjoy!

Page One: Inside the New York Times

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am geeking out about a new documentary, Page One: Inside the New York Times, by Andrew Rossi. It looks like a lot more than just “a day at the newspaper” — more of a look at the transformation of old media in a new media world. Here’s the trailer:

I also have the companion book, published by Public Affairs, on my TBR list, and I can’t wait!

The Two Kinds of Stuck (and What to Do About Each) from the New York Times

Most commencement speeches are pretty dull and full of platitudes like “Follow your dreams” or whatever. But sometimes they’re really good, like the one the New York Times linked to from J.C. Herz, a video game designer and expert. The full address offers great advice for how to work effectively as a creative person, but I especially enjoyed the section the NYT quoted about the different types of blocks to creativity:

Getting stuck is a big part of creative work, and it’s really important to be good at getting unstuck. There are two main reasons why creative people get stuck on a piece of work: The first is, you don’t actually have an idea. You may have requirements, and you may have tools. But you don’t actually have an idea that’s going to carry the day, and you’re going to be stuck until you get a solid idea.

The second reason creative people get stuck is that, while they have the idea, executing the idea takes a lot of work, and not all of that work is fun, and basically you don’t want to do the work, because having the idea in the first place was the fun part. The problem is, you don’t get to say “check mate in four.” You actually have to finish the project. So you get mystically “stuck” after the brilliant sketch is done.

It is very, very important to accurately understand which of these problems you’re having when you get stuck. If you don’t have an idea, you need to play around a little, take a walk, have a good conversation, open the aperture. As they say in drawing class, explore the negative space. If you’re balking at the work, you need to stop playing around, sit down, shut up, go offline, and focus single-mindedly on executing the work, and make it real. In either case, if you try to solve one problem when you’re really having the other, you’re going to waste a lot of time.

Dressed to Kill by Megan Rosalarian Gedris

This is a little older, but I just came across it this week. In her “Dressed to Kill” series, this webcomic artist draws male superheroes in female superhero costumes to start a discussion of the way female comic book superheros are sexualized through their costumes. The drawings are fantastic — I highly recommend taking a peek at her Tumblr, which is full of great discussions about women in comics.

For more of my favorite links from the week, check out my Tumblr, A Little Bit of Dorkiness.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Andi June 20, 2011, 9:25 am

    I SO want to see Page One. It looks absolutely fascinating. I saw the preview on Apple TV a while back, and can’t wait to get hold of it.

    • Kim June 20, 2011, 7:16 pm

      I cannot wait. I don’t think is coming to Madison, so I may have to wait until its out on video 🙁

  • Terrence Gargiulo June 20, 2011, 7:02 pm

    Along with humor and engaging audiences, it’s a challenge to offer a diverse audience a message that will resonate and leave them with gifts for their journey ahead.

    Here’s an example of a storied approach to this challenge. A collage of stories is used to offer students three gifts for their journey (judgment, compassion, and mercy).


    • Kim June 20, 2011, 7:17 pm

      Good points — I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to write a commencement address that can speak, even a little bit, to every person in a certain audience. I suppose speaking specifically do a design college would help though.

  • Michelle June 20, 2011, 8:24 pm

    I check out DRESSED TO KILL and had to laugh. It is a bit outrageous how sexualized comics are towards their heroines. It isn’t just the comics either. Have you seen various video games? It is just as bad. I know there is an audience for it, but come one!

    • Kim June 24, 2011, 4:35 pm

      Oh yes, those are ridiculous too. I like that the author points out it’s not that women are sexy, it’s that their made to look sexy in a way that makes them submissive and foolish, which is not the way men in comics are portrayed.

  • Esme June 21, 2011, 11:18 pm

    If I was in town I would go see this with you.

    • Kim June 24, 2011, 4:34 pm

      That would be so fun! And then we could go out and have food — maybe chocolate and croissants? 🙂