Self-imposed duties a creator faces

Dear Reader,

Among the host of self-imposed duties a creator faces, disrupting the familiar rhythm is paramount for introspection. We hear from two writers this week whose frequent walks in the labyrinth of life have prompted them to carve their own dead ends, turns, and exits.

Persistent and perceptive artist-turned-writer Andrea Scrima knows both the scalpel and the parting skin. By subjecting her history and identity to laborious dissection, Scrima emerged from her literary gauntlets with an articulate tongue and an unshakeable constitution. Cycling through visual art and administrative positions made explicit the interchangeable outlets of her core desire to write. Scrima’s current novel is a patchwork of interwoven narratives unified by trauma and the thirst for truth. Listen to her warming interview to hear details of the author’s oscillation between cultures, career paths, and headspaces.

To walk into the studio of CalArts instructor and novelist Bruce Bauman is to enter the interior of his book. Color coded print-outs, arranged in a rhythm, line the walls from ceiling to floor. These pages are the refined voices of his characters, whose depth and autonomy dictate the flow of the story with arguably more power than the living author. Bauman maintains the position that rigid outlines, like artist’s statements, not only stifle creativity but fail to accurately represent the meat of the work, as the charm of a waiter can never redeem a sour meal.

Additional interviews include: Martina Geccelli and Francisca Benitez.

Reading anything interesting? Sarah Schroth is navigating The Good Soldier by the prolific 20th century English author Ford Madox Ford, a tangled web of romance and ruination spoken by an unreliable narrator in a jumble of flashbacks. Lucia Gomez, another one of our users, has been endlessly leafing through Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, an imaginative collection of fantastical towns that playfully probes deeply abstract architectural and ontological concepts.

At the end of each month, the Awesome Foundation awards generous and lenient micro-grants to projects unafraid of their novelty. Groups of trustees at all corners of the globe offer funding for programs that loosely serve local interests and, more importantly, radiate a contagious verve. If you are an unconventional and confident thinker, here is your chance to breathe life into a seeming impossibility.

Even the thin tracing of a surface is a new world in itself. What is the veneer that coats your life?

As always, here are the links to the interview archive and free resources page.

Sincerely,

Brainard

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