Monday 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.