Posts tagged with "writing"

Outsider Project illustration by Heather Skovlund (original artwork: Henry Darger)for 360 Magazine

Outsider Project × Henry Darger

OUTSIDER PROJECT CELEBRATES WORLD-RENOWNED CHICAGO ARTIST HENRY DARGER’S BIRTHDAY

French musician Philippe Cohen Solal found material ripe for musical expression in Chicago-born author and artist Henry Darger’s drawings, paintings, writings, life story and lyrics. The award-winning Cohen Solal drew from Darger’s oeuvre to compose OUTSIDER, an album and transmedia project honoring the renowned outsider artist. In celebration of Darger’s birthday on Monday, April 12, Intuit partners with Cohen Solal and Musee Art Moderne de Paris (MAM) on the launch of OUTSIDER, in which Cohen Solal will present an excerpt from the project live from MAM on the website at noon central time.

In the baroque pop album OUTSIDER, musicians Philippe Cohen Solal, Mike Lindsay, Adam Glover and Hannah Peel turn Darger’s paintings and writings into melodies. The album is available now on streaming platforms and the website an immersive bilingual website featuring music videos and a short film. Releasing in English on Wednesday, April 14, the accompanying bilingual podcast retraces Darger’s story through the testimonies of the people who knew him and studied and exhibited his work. Hear stories from the artist’s former landlord, Kiyoko Lerner, and learn more about the Henry Darger Room Collection, which Cohen Solal used as inspiration, from Intuit President and CEO Debra Kerr.

“It’s exciting to see Darger’s influence in new mediums. Philippe has long been inspired by both seeing the artworks in person and his visit to the Henry Darger Room at Intuit. As Darger is Intuit’s most closely associated artist and many people’s entry to the genre of outsider art, I’m always interested to see new creativity catalyzed by his story and body of work,” says Kerr. “In this case, Philippe and his colleagues have treated Henry’s legacy with the utmost respect, honor and care. Darger’s story is shrouded in mystery, and I am happy when new interpretations stay true to what we know and can uncover with rigorous scholarship. I send my warm congratulations.”

Although Darger and his mysterious artwork have been of interest to the art world for several decades now, the outsider artist lived life in obscurity as a hospital janitor. Lerner’s husband, Nathan, discovered Darger’s work shortly before the artist’s death in 1972, and the couple shared it with outsider art enthusiasts and scholars who became fascinated by him over time.

As the pandemic keeps people removed from one another, an exploration of the notably isolated Darger is especially relevant. Cohen Solal’s interest in and repurposing of Darger’s work into new artforms speak to the universality and timeless emotional rawness of the late creator’s life and work. Celebrate Darger’s legacy at this commemorative program that is sure to delight and inspire fans around the world.

For more news from Intuit, visit our press room.

ABOUT INTUIT

Founded in 1991, Intuit is a premier museum of outsider and self-taught art, defined as work created by artists who faced marginalization, overcame personal odds to make their artwork, and who did not, or sometimes could not, follow a traditional path of art making, often using materials at hand to realize their artistic vision. By presenting a diversity of artistic voices, Intuit builds a bridge from art to audiences. The museum’s mission to celebrate the power of outsider artis grounded in the ethos that powerful art can be found in unexpected places and made by unexpected creators.

Intuit is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and reserves admission by appointment for guests who are in an increased risk group. More information on the website.

Intuit is generously supported by the following organizations: Alphawood Foundation Chicago; anonymous foundations; Art Dealers Association of America Foundation; Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; Crown Family Philanthropies; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; Field Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities; MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince; National Endowment for the Arts; Polk Bros Foundation; Prince Charitable Trust; and Terra Foundation for American Art.

Album cover with original artwork: Henry Darger, Spangled Blengins. Edible. Boy King Islands. One is a young Tuskerhorian the other a human headed Dortherean
Album cover with original artwork: Henry Darger, Spangled Blengins. Edible. Boy King Islands. One is a young Tuskerhorian the other a human headed Dortherean
Gigi Vega illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rising Star Gigi Vega

360 Magazine had the opportunity to ask rising star, Gigi Vega, questions that her fans would want to know. Gigi Vega debuted her hit song “Mistletoe Kiss” taking the holiday music charts by storm. She went viral on TikTok with 10 million views and 15k videos. In addition to writing and producing, GiGi is a dancer and choreographer. Read on to learn more about Gigi!

GIGI VEGA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: 

1. How has your family inspired you and your music?

GV: I would always do little shows and auditions. My father is a jazz musician. He would play the piano, so I was always surrounded by music, and theater as well. 

2. What or who inspired your song “Watchu Tryna Do?”

GV: It just happened. Actually, had it for a while, but was finally able to come back to it. Originally, the lyrics were supposed to be “in the club”, instead of “in the crib”. But I had to make adjustments due to COVID 19

3. Talk about your producer on this song? 

GV: Jack London. He has worked with the Chainsmokers.

4. Where do you get your ideas for songwriting? 

GV: Melodies just come to me. Melodies come first for me. Lyrics come from everyday life experiences. I’ve always been into dancing and singing. It’s something that just clicked for me, but I got more into it once I started composing my own songs.

5. What charities are you aligned with and why? 

GV: Anti-bullying programs.

6. What acting projects will you be involved with in the future?

GV: I will be in The Drone That Saved Christmas. Production begins in March. After that, I hope the COVID situation improves, so I can be touring.

7. Who are your biggest influences?

GV: Janet Jackson. Definitely into anyone who is super full out, and she is one of them.

8. What advice would you give to a singer starting out?

GV: Don’t let anyone steer you in the direction of what they want you to be – it is not worth it, ever.

9. Talk about your training as a triple threat, what do you do to stay on top? 

GV: Just take a look at my Music video, it is all there. Acting, dancing, singing. I have trained in all three disciplines since I was very young. My dance training was focused on modern dance, but I am schooled in all disciplines. I have always been on stage or behind the camera, so it is second nature.

10. How do you take care of your voice? 

GV: Regular training, like an athlete. Lots of lemon and pineapple juice, as well.

11. If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

GV: Chris Brown or Jason Derulo. Dancer/singer like I am. Janet – anyone who is full out, as mentioned before.

12. What is on your playlist right now?

GV: Omarion, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Pop Smoke, Jason Derulo.

13. Who are you currently watching on TikTok?

GV: Everything that comes across my feed.:)

14. When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer? 

GV: Never thought about anything else. I was on stage from an early age. I made the move from stage to commercial work in my teens. Once I learned how to write solid music, I knew I wanted to record music. It was a process. I spent hundreds of hours in the studio as a kid.

15. What artist did you admire as a child?

 GV: I loved watching Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson is my absolute favorite.

16. Do you play any instruments? 

GV: I pluck out notes on the piano and guitar to help my melodies. Had many lessons and music theory, but I won’t be accompanying myself just yet.

17. What’s your fashion style?

GV: I like more tropical vibes, or casual, put-together vibes, but I always like to switch it up. I can be glam or a Tomboy. Get a girl who can do both.

18. What do you do to relax?

GV: I love fashion, always putting fashion pieces together. I learned to sew as a child, went to classes and camps for years. I was one of those kids who got a new shirt, and then I would go to my room and change the shape and design. I love listening to music and writing. Honestly, writing is my happy space.

19. What other businesses do you plan on starting to promote your brand?

GV: I am very into sneakers and shoes. I have so many different designs in my head that need to come out.

20. What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

GV: Less judgment of others, especially strangers.

Image courtesy of Jodi Jackson
Award illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NYC Scholastic Art × Writing Awards

New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibition

Now on View at The Met

Art and Writing by 2021 Gold Key Winners on Display in The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and The Metropolitan Museum of Art have announced the opening of the seventh annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met’s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. This special exhibition is now on view and is free to the public through May 21, 2021.

The exhibition features more than 200 works of art and writing by New York City based Gold Key recipients participating in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teens. This year, students from all five boroughs in grades 7-12 submitted more than 10,000 works in 28 categories to the New York City regional program of the Awards, representing more than 300 schools.

Education has been at the heart of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s mission since our founding in 1870, said Heidi Holder, the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education at The Met. Now, more than ever, we are committed to investing in education and supporting the creativity of New York City’s young people. It is an honor to present the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition in partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This annual exhibition demonstrates the power of art to transform, uplift, and challenge us.

All works were blindly adjudicated by accomplished creative and literary professionals based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. This year, the exhibition will present framed prints of students’ work, due to ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure equitable access for all the student artists.

The artworks on display at The Met received top regional awards and were eligible to receive national honors through a second round of judging, which can open further opportunities for exhibition and publication, as well as access to scholarships. The Awards have honored distinguished artists since 1923, including Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, John Baldessari, Luis Jimenez, and Catherine Murphy, whose works are in The Met collection.

Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: The creativity of our city’s teens has continued to flourish despite a year of unprecedented challenges. It has never been more important to celebrate diverse student voices and encourage the artistic expression of a generation of rising leaders. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is thrilled to partner with The Met to showcase the exceptional young winners of the 2021 New York City Scholastic Awards.

The Alliance partners with Parsons School of Design at The New School and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School to present the regional New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition at The Met is presented with generous support from The New York Times, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, and Scholastic Inc.

To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit the Scholastic Media Room online.

About the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.

About The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens, businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

Dr. Seuss illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Controversial Career of Dr. Seuss

By: Carly Cohen

The American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker, the brilliant Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss has been extremely well known ever since he started his books and films. The books and films are classics and bring joy and childhood memories.

Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and released his first book in 1937 called And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In total, he has written over 60 books and sold over 600 million copies throughout his career. In his early career, he attended Lincoln College at the University of Oxford for English literature, but left without receiving a degree and came back to the U.S. After moving back to the United States, Dr. Seuss began to send his work to different advertising agencies, magazines and publishers. In 1927, his first cartoon was published in The Saturday Evening Post.  His career was long, successful, and brilliant.

In the latest news, Dr. Seuss will stop being published due to “hurtful and wrong racist images.” In his books and cartoons, there has been ‘insensitive’ imagery that is causing this news. Dr. Seuss’s enterprise assured consumers that the books which are no longer being published are a part of the plan to “ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprise’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”  The decision of this issue most definitely was not easy for the Dr. Seuss organization. Since this is such a serious and sensitive issue, it required for the organization to think it through, bring in experts, and spend long hours deciding on what is best way to maintain Dr. Seuss’ name and be sensitive to all of his readers.

Not all of his books will stop being published, but they still will all be carefully inspected. The confirmed books that will no longer be available for purchase are McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, The Cat’s Quizzer, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, and If I Ran the Zoo. The Cat In The Hat has also been under discussion concerning discontinuation, but will be fully examined before any decisions are made.

In The Cats Quizzer, the Japanese character has a bright yellow face and is standing on Mt. Fuji. If I Ran A Zoo shows examples of orientalism and white supremacy. Another issue with the Dr. Seuss books has been that a majority of the human characters are white, which makes it appear that Dr. Seuss focuses on white men and women.

A school in Virginia has already banned the copies of these Dr. Seuss books, and others are having similar discussions.

Even in death, Dr. Seuss receives backlash from his work along with many other brands such as Aunt Jemima pancake mix and Uncle Ben’s Eskimo Pies, which also had to change their branding due to racial issues. Brands from this point on need to pay close attention to their advertising to ensure that they’re being inclusive of all audiences.

Griffin Matthews Photography By Carson Davis Brown

Q×A With Griffin Matthews

By Justin Lyons

360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with actor, Griffin Matthews, to discuss his successful career. Matthews has been able to work on shows such as Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendantas well as co-writing a successful musical. We were able to discuss his future career plans as well as his activism in the community.

Among acting, writing, directing and other creative positions, which one do you like the best, and which one allows you to best express your own creativity?

I love acting. I love writing. But I ultimately think I’m a director through and through. The responsibility of guiding the entire vision is so exciting to me. It’s such an honor when I get to direct because every story is a little baby that needs to be nurtured properly and guided along her way. And guess what? I’m such a dad. 

How has working with streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max changed the way you address your audience?

When you work on Netflix or HBO you get to really find your unedited voice. You get to be risky, controversial, imperfect, fabulous, complicated, political…I’ve been so lucky to get to work on Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendant because I always felt like I could fire from all cylinders on day one. I did not need to ask for permission. I got to bring my entire self to each role. I got to curse. And kiss boys. And wear g-strings. And travel the world.

How do you use your experience acting in productions like The Flight Attendant to inform and influence your ideas on the stage?

I will always go back to the theater. I’m a theater kid. It’s where I honed my talent. So every experience that I have, I think about how I will translate that to the stage. I was lucky enough to travel the world and meet incredible people and see exotic places while we were shooting The Flight Attendant. I spent afternoons alone rummaging through the Bangkok market and got lost in the streets of Rome. I made friends with strangers and made peace with being a grown man and also homesick. As a writer, I’m a sponge. I soak up life and then look for an opportunity to let the water run out all over the stage.

How do you approach the assembly of a theatre show differently from how you approach the direction of a concert?

I approach concerts the exact same way that I approach theater. When I directed Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo’s holiday concert at The Apollo, we had endless conversations about story and themes and vulnerability. All of those things make for an exciting night in the theater! I think a lot of concert directors only think about pyrotechnics, but I like to think about the heart of the performers. The message. The mission. And let all of those things spill out…and of course, we add some pyrotechnics, too!

How does your activism influence the projects you choose to be involved in or choose to create yourself?

Activism is such a sexy word these days. It seems like everyone claims to be. For me, my personal pledge is to be an activist when everyone’s looking, but more importantly when no one’s looking. That pledge always checks my motives and my ego as I navigate projects and stories that I want to be a part of it. Every time I sign on to a project, I bring my whole self, my whole truth, the parts that are great and the parts that are ugly. That’s what I’ve learned running a nonprofit for over 15 years. So much of the work is tough. It’s messy. But it’s real.

What are you most excited about with your career in the near future?

I’m currently developing a musical series with Ester Dean that will center black queer voices. It’s really exciting because I’m a fan of Ester and her work (Pitch Perfect, songwriter of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Rihanna’s “Rude Boy”). She’s broken many ceilings in this industry as a songwriter, actor, musician, and host. We both want to create a show where young people (who look like Ester and I) will see their truths accurately and joyfully reflected on screen. I’m also directing a film called The Amish Project by a playwright named Jessica Dickey. When I tell people that I’m working on it, it can raise eyebrows because people don’t often hear about black directors working on pieces that don’t center black narratives. But here’s the thing: black directors want to direct EVERYTHING. And we can. And we will. And I’m excited to finally get my shot!

What is a creative role you haven’t taken up that you’d like to at some point in your career?

I really want to direct for TV. For some reason, the thought scares the hell out of me! There’s so much to manage: logistics, people, locations, safety, technology, performances, but I’m fascinated by it. It’s time for me to tackle that fear and get behind the camera ASAP. 

King in Black: Return of the Valkyries

Jan. 2021 is hitting hard with the return of the Marvel Universe’s finest warriors, the Valkyries, in the brand new King in Black: Return of the Valkyries.

The story is written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk with Nina Vakueva providing the art. The stars of the series will be Jane Foster, Dani Moonstar and Hildegarde, and a brand new Valkyrie will be introduced and given an origin story.

The Asgardians will face off against Knull, who seeks to overtake the Nine Realms with his unrelenting darkness. As Knull moves throughout the galaxy, it becomes evident that only the Valkyries and their new secret weapon are equipped to deal with him. What is their weapon, and is it enough to help them fend off Knull and save the universe?

It all comes to a head Jan. 6, but you can see never-before-seen art in the stunning trailer for King in Black: Return of the Valkyries by clicking right here.

Grønbekk called the Valkyries “powerful women who navigate both the spaces of the living and the dead,” adding that they are just inherently interesting to her.

“The role demands a perspective on life and battle that is quite unique; they see the whole picture, always, and when you combine that with the great humanity you find in characters like Jane Foster and Dani Moonstar, you get something really special,” Grønbekk said. “It takes courage to see the world through the eyes of a Valkyrie (especially when that world is under attack by Knull!), and that makes for complex and exciting stories of the kind I want to tell.”

This is the Valkyries greatest era, and it’s available for purchase on comic book shop shelves everywhere Jan. 6.

To find a comic book shop near you, you can click right here.

You can follow Torunn Grønbekk on Twitter and Instagram, Jason Aaron on Twitter and Instagram and Nina Vakueva on Twitter and Instagram

You can learn more about Marvel by clicking right here, and you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Jarry Lee Q×A

360 MAGAZINE was lucky enough to sit down with Jarry Lee, a model, actress, musician and influencer from the UK. Lee has over 700,000 followers on Instagram, 30,000 TikTok followers and more than 700,000 Spotify streams.

She has also been seen in VOGUE Italia, POPSUGAR, Mic, Elite Daily, NY Daily News, AM New York, Women Fitness Magazine, Cliché Magazine, The New York Times, Thrive Global and more. She will also be featured in two upcoming books, “Tell Her She Can’t” by Kelly Lewis and “The Little Things” by Oliver Charles.

Authority Magazine named her one of 2020’s “Inspirational Women in Hollywood” while StarCentral Magazine called Lee a “rising star to watch in 2020.” You can click right here to see everywhere she has been featured.

360: How did you find a creative outlet in journalism?

Jarry Lee: I’ve always loved writing (everything from poetry to screenplays), and it was my childhood dream to write professionally. I feel lucky that I was able to do so as a paid, full-time job and that I was able to pitch and take on stories I was personally interested in. Writing is a cathartic process for me.

360: What was the biggest hurdle transitioning from writing for BuzzFeed to being in front of the camera?

Jarry Lee: I didn’t have much prior experience beyond taking some acting classes in the past in school and performing in a playwriting festival in prep school that I wrote for, so I did dozens of test shoots with photographers to practice and learn my best angles and posing. Speaking on camera felt natural, but I had to learn how to pose more naturally.

360: How has your experience in telling stories as a journalist and analyzing stories as the Deputy Books Editor helped you to tell the stories of others as an actress and model?

Jarry Lee: It has definitely helped me with more easily imagining the inner lives and motivations of my characters. Every time I interviewed sources for an in-depth piece, I felt that I gained insight into how other people’s minds worked. When I was writing a feature about Instagram in 2017, for example, I interviewed over 30 individuals and a few businesses, and their stories were really fascinating and completely changed my understanding of how people interact with social media.

360: How has being an influencer and online personality changed through the pandemic?

Jarry Lee: There are almost no in-person events, so in that aspect it’s become less interactive, but there are also more people online since everyone’s bored indoors. I’ve adapted to become a lot more self-sufficient — I rarely work with outside photographers anymore and instead have learned to shoot myself. Earlier this year I bought professional lighting and photography equipment, and recently even purchased a green screen! I’ve really enjoyed honing my video production and editing skills this year. Maybe that’s one small silver lining to the pandemic.

360: What is your favorite platform for creating content and why?

Jarry Lee: I love Instagram for being so curated and aesthetic-focused, but Twitter is my favorite platform for sharing thoughts and seeing others’ (as well as for really silly memes). I originally joined Twitter in 2009, way before I joined Instagram (in 2013).

360: How does your time as a model help you as an actress?

Jarry Lee: I think acting helps more with modeling than vice versa, but becoming more comfortable on-camera as a model has definitely helped me act more naturally, as well. Both require drawing your inner emotions out, onto your facial expressions and how you hold yourself generally.

360: How do you use your platform and large reach to influence ideas and actions of your audience?

Jarry Lee: Three topics I try to bring more awareness to via my platform are: Asian representation in entertainment, bisexual/LGBTQ+ representation and anxiety/mental health. All three are still not spoken about enough, so I think it’s important to share my experiences with my audience. I still frequently receive messages about how I came out as bisexual on the Netflix show “Dating Around,” for example, and it has really resonated with some of my followers when I’ve shared my past experiences with panic attacks and anxiety. I try to show the behind-the-scenes of my entertainment career, in part because there were very few Asian public figures in the entertainment industry when I was growing up. I hope that my non-traditional career path inspires others to take a risk and pursue their passions.

You can learn more about Jarry Lee by clicking right here. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Spotify.

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Annalisa Parent – Writing Tips

How to finally write that book this summer, even if you haven’t written a word

By Annalisa Parent

Many would-be authors get overwhelmed by the size of a book-length project. Many of us find ourselves with additional free time on our hands this summer with fewer barbecues, farmers’ markets or fairs. How can you use this time to finally write your book? Here are some of my top tips from my writing coach archives.

Write down your end goal.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this one a million times. But, look, if you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you’ll never get it done. As Lewis Carroll famously wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

Know what you want to accomplish.

If you’re like most writers, when you start to untangle this “what I want” knot, you’ll find it’s far more complicated than you first thought. For example, maybe your dream isn’t just a book, it’s a series, and movie rights, and a worldwide book tour. Those are all great ideas, but one step at a time. If you can hone in on the first step toward your dream, then you can break it down into actual action steps, moving it from nebulous dream to achievable goal.

Choose a deadline.

Choose a day that you are going to have this project done. This step cannot be overlooked, however, while deadlines are a huge motivator, here’s a pro tip: Post your deadline out on social media. Tell your friends, your parents, and especially someone who intimidates you just a little bit. Let these people hold you accountable and keep you motivated. Once you set that deadline for yourself, you’re going to work backward from that date to create your work plan. How much writing do you have to do each day to reach your goal, and how can you carve out the time to make it happen?

Remember that Creativity is Wonky.

Despite the best-laid plans of mice and men (Thank you, Steinbeck and Burns) to write 5,000 words a day or a chapter an hour, creativity is not always a linear process. You may want to finish that chapter today, but your book–and your brain– have other ideas. When our characters (or ideas) misbehave, they’re often right. You may feel like you want the piece to take a certain shape or go in a certain direction. The brain is sending us a caution flag, though. When your creativity takes the lead, following it always bears fruit. Really. I promise. Now, the piece you create today may not make the final cut for your book, but the information you garnered from the experience of following your creativity will always bring a benefit to the piece as a whole.

Find your best writer and be that writer

All kinds of would-be mentors want to tell you that you have to do it this way or that way in order to be a real writer. There are some rules, especially if you want to traditionally publish. That said, in the creative phase the most important consideration is finding your creative flow.

Write with a pencil or a tablet. Write outdoors or in your bed. Use an outline, or allow the natural flow of ideas. None of this fluff matters; here’s what does: Find the place where you can be at your creative best to get that draft out of you. After all, you can’t publish until you have a book. And you can’t have a book until you get it done.

The biggest key to success I have seen in writers who finish and publish well is that they find and embrace the writer they are, so they can write book after book with creative ease.

Show up every day like it’s your job.

My writing mentor Julia Alvarez, wasn’t the first one to say it, but she was the first one to say it to me: Being a writer is 90% applying butt to chair. Write at the beach. Write in a hammock. Write on your lunch break. Whatever you do, make writing a habit, and you’ll see the results. You don’t get a dream body by going to the gym once, or even once a week. The same is true of writing a book. Show up. Do the work. Even when it stings.

Remember that writing is art, and art takes time.

Many writers get lost in the rabbit hole: Why is it taking me so long to finish my manuscript? This trap turns into self doubt. “I must not be a good writer.” “I’m never going to get it done.” Believe me, I’ve heard it all, and I’ve seen self-doubt and fear stymy project after project. What if you reframe this fear? What if instead you say “Writing is art and art takes time.” Consider the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. It took four and a half years for him to complete that masterpiece, which–frankly, if you’ve seen the level of detail–you know it’s astonishing he completed it so quickly. What else? The Washington Monument took thirty years to construct; thirty full years. Let’s think about more writing-related references. It took Victor Hugo twelve years to write Les Miserables and Harper Lee spent two and a half years writing To Kill a Mockingbird. Writing is art, and art takes time. Completing your manuscript is not going to happen overnight, not because there’s something wrong with you, but because you are an artist. Allow yourself to get into creative flow, and creativity will reward you with a cornucopia of ideas and finished pages. Promise. I’ve watched it with my own eyes hundreds of times.

Pace yourself.

Working with the creative process and the brain’s natural function means you must be really honest with yourself about how much you can get done. It’s very admirable and ambitious if you say you’re going to get everything done today, but you also might be setting yourself up for failure. When you set yourself up for failure, you’ll feel yucky about yourself. You don’t want to come back to the project feeling like you failed. So, make reasonable goals for yourself and pace your project in a reasonable way.

Follow these steps above and you will notice how much lighter it feels to write and finish your project.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent is a writing coach who has helped hundreds of authors to finish and publish well. She used neuroscientific principles to guide the writing process through her programs in the Writing Gym. To find out more, and to download her free e-book The Six Steps to Go from Struggling Writer to Published Author, visit www.datewiththemuse.com

coffee, mug, plate, cocoa, green, white, brown, 360 Magazine, illustration

Virtual Teens Take the MET

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host the first Virtual Teens Take The Met! which will be held online on Friday May 29, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Teens will have the opportunity to digitally immerse themselves in hands-on experiences created by over 30 New York City cultural and community organizations and institutions, who have partnered with The Met for this day-long online festival. This event is free with registration encouraged, and will be accessible through several platforms including YouTube, Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

“Teens Take The Met!” has been held at the Museum bi-annually since 2014 and over the years has brought together over 30,000 young people for what has become one of the most dynamic events in New York City for teens. This spring, while the Museum is temporarily closed, the online event will offer a variety of activities, such as art-making, writing and poetry prompts, dance and movement workshops, as well as opportunities for teens to practice self-care and communication about COVID-19 while in isolation.

Led by The Met (@MetTeens) along with partner institutions, there will be new programming and activities every half-hour throughout the day, culminating with a Zoom party with DJ’s from Building Beats. Highlights include an art tour and talk with New York City Writing Project; a step tutorial with the Panthers Step Team from Bard High School Early College; collage and printmaking with El Museo del Barrio; ‘NamaShakespeare’ yoga with Titan Theatre Company; digital zine-making and an exploration of the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated youth with Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE); Poetry writing with Urban Word NYC; a fashion party with The Studio Museum in Harlem; and The Met will have a variety of art-making activities including flower crowns and tote bag DIY, ‘Teens Meme The Met’ activity and the Museum’s popular “Balcony Bar at Home,” with the quartet ETHEL, will feature teen musicians. A full schedule is below.

Teens can register

Virtual Teens Take The Met! complements the Museum’s existing selection of online materials, live and interactive programming, performances, and conversations with curators, educators, and artists, as well as #MetAnywhere social media initiatives. The Museum’s Art at Home hub is a resource for MetPublications, Primers, videos, 360-degree gallery tours, and educational materials, and the Virtual Events page is updated regularly. New highlights include a digital exhibition tour of Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara and the launch of an innovative AR audio experience with the zemí cohoba stand.

David Axelrod & Karl Rove

MasterClass, the online education company that enables anyone to learn from the best in the world, announced today that David Axelrod and Karl Rove, two of the most esteemed political strategists best known for respectively orchestrating winning presidential campaigns for Barack Obama and George W. Bush, are setting aside party affiliations to come together to teach the first MasterClass on campaign strategy and messaging. In this class, Axelrod and Rove will demystify the political campaign process and break down their philosophies on what it takes to plan and execute a winning campaign. The class is now available at www.masterclass.com/dakr. Enrollment for the class is $90 for lifetime access, or $180 per year for the All-Access Pass, which grants unlimited access to all new and existing classes.

“It has never been more important to understand how this world of politics works and how to win the hearts and minds of voters,” said David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass. “The class isn’t about being a Democrat or Republican — it’s about two of the best political minds of our generation teaching how to win elections. David and Karl break down their respective campaign strategies and debate what is happening in the country today, and how we got here.”

In their MasterClass, Axelrod and Rove will provide perspectives from their professional experiences, as they share their passion for their work and for democracy. They will dive into successful communication and planning strategies from past presidential campaigns, covering the full scope of campaigning — from developing messages and mobilizing voters, to planning, fundraising and budgeting, as well as preparation tactics for debates. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the state of politics today and feel empowered to find their unique voice and place in the political process to help make an impact.

“Ronald Reagan used to say that our American experiment, our American democracy was always one generation away from extinction,” said Rove. “I hope that our MasterClass not only provides a better understanding of the inner workings of elections and politics, but also inspires students to get involved.”

“This is a confusing time in politics. On the one hand, there’s an enormous amount of rancor, with a president who very consciously plays base politics. On the other hand, I’ve seen a renewed sense of citizenship in response, with peoplerealizing the importance of getting involved,” said Axelrod. “As more people are getting engaged in politics, running for office and volunteering for candidates, we’ve designed this class to break down the campaign process.”

Axelrod served as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 successful presidential bids and is credited with crafting the message of “change” that helped secure Obama’s historic victory. He later served as senior advisor in the Obama White House. Over the course of his career, Axelrod worked on nearly 150 campaigns that he chronicled in The New York Timesbestseller “Believer, My Forty Years in Politics.” He is currently a senior political commentator for CNN, host of the “The Axe Files” podcast, and founding director of the non-partisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

Rove, the deft political operative and fundraiser credited as “The Architect” by President George W. Bush of his victorious campaigns in 2000 and 2004, served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff for the Bush administration. He is now a Fox News contributor, writes a weekly column forThe Wall Street Journal, and is the author of two books, “The Triumph of William McKinley” andThe New York Times bestseller “Courage and Consequence.”

Politics is the fifth new category MasterClass will launch this year as it continues to expand its catalogue across a range of subjects to offer educational, inspiring, and engaging classes taught by the world’s greatest minds. With more than 40 classes that dive into processes, techniques and philosophies, MasterClass helps students progress more rapidly towards their own mastery, explore a new passion, or learn a new skill. It offers a unique learning experience, including video lessons, interactive exercises, course materials, peer interaction, and more. All classes are available as part of an annual subscription for $180, or for individual purchase at $90 for lifetime access to the class, and can be accessed online at www.masterclass.com or on the MasterClass mobile app for iOS and Android.

View the trailer for David Axelrod and Karl Rove’s MasterClass below: http://youtu.be/E_jPAd0L3IA

ABOUT MASTERCLASS

Founded in 2015, MasterClass started with the idea that everyone should have “access to genius.” The premier online education platform provides affordable, engaging, and inspirational online classes taught by world-renowned instructors, making it possible for anyone to learn from the best.

MasterClass’ current roster of courses includes:

Culinary Arts: Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Alice Waters (home cooking), Thomas Keller (cooking techniques), Wolfgang Puck (cooking)

Film and Television: Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Martin Scorsese (filmmaking), Ron Howard (directing), Helen Mirren (acting), Samuel L. Jackson (acting), Judd Apatow (comedy), Spike Lee (filmmaking), Ken Burns (documentary filmmaking)

Music and Entertainment: Armin van Buuren (dance music), Christina Aguilera (singing), Usher (performance), Reba McEntire (country music), Herbie Hancock (jazz), Deadmau5 (music production), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), Steve Martin (comedy), Tom Morello (guitar)

Writing: James Patterson (writing), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Shonda Rhimes (writing for television), David Mamet (dramatic writing), Judy Blume (writing), Malcolm Gladwell (writing), RL Stine (writing for young audiences), Margaret Atwood (creative writing)

Design, Photography and Fashion: Annie Leibovitz (photography), Frank Gehry (architecture), Diane von Furstenberg (how to build a fashion brand), Marc Jacobs (fashion design)

Sports and Games: Serena Williams (tennis), Stephen Curry (shooting, ball-handling, and scoring), Garry Kasparov (chess), Daniel Negreanu (poker)

Politics and Society: Jane Goodall (conservation), Bob Woodward (investigative journalism), David Axelrod and Karl Rove (campaign strategy)

Science: Chris Hadfield (space exploration)

For more information, please visit www.masterclass.com.

Follow MasterClass:

Twitter @masterclass

Instagram @masterclass

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/masterclassofficial

Follow David Axelrod:

Twitter @davidaxelrod

Follow Karl Rove:

Twitter @KarlRove

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Instagram karlrove

Website www.rove.com