Start creating, like a thief

A quick plug for Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon.

I bought this book on someone's recommendation, without giving it much thought. It was so small and cartoonish when it arrived, however, that I assumed I had made a mistake. As it turned out, I enjoyed it. I found it simple but not simplistic. If your goal is to create, the brief lessons in the book could help you to jump-start your creative juices and get moving on actually making something. Or you could find a longer book that you will never finish and be happy to have an excuse not to make a start.


Temple of learning—New York City Public Library

Now that I've transferred this site over to Squarespace 6, it's time to get cracking on the blog again. I'm pleased with the way things are displaying so far and I'm looking forward to using the increased flexibility for the galleries and for the blog itself.

The pictures in this entry were all taken with my Fujifilm X-E1 while in New York City for a week in July. It was great to get a block of time where I could concentrate on photography, so I tried to make good use of it. The X-E2 has just been released, but I think it'll be a little while before I can justify stepping up to a new body when I bought this one just a year ago. Still, the improved speed and image quality of the new X-Trans CMOS II sensor does sound pretty tempting. On the other hand, the "Lens Modulation Optimizer" sounds like something Marvin the Martian might use as a weapon.

But back to the pictures. The Main Branch of the New York Public Library (also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building) was built on top of a former reservoir in Manhattan between 1897 and 1911. Every corner of the building speaks of a high regard for literacy and written culture as foundations of the world we know.

Public libraries are having to reinvent themselves and many are scrambling for funding to avoid becoming "book museums" in the face of the digital revolution. For the last several centuries, though, they were centres of entertainment, socializing, self-improvement and democratic education of citizens. Today we have instant access to a staggering range of "content" day and night on portable devices and I like the new access. I'm just not always sure that we are better people or better citizens for it.