Notes to Self
Along the Ray  

..musings on old-school-web livelihoods & creative pursuits

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The most harmful belief I had as a beginner photographer by aows (Adrian) →

I used to think that good photographers consistently take great photographs, and only rarely they make something subpar. Surely, their keeper rate” was much better than mine. 

This was one of the most harmful beliefs I held when I was taking my first steps in photography. Because when you don’t allow yourself to fail, you play it safe; and when you play it safe, there’s no growth.

Making a bad photograph is not the risk: the lack of experimentation and play is the real danger.

No matter where you are in your photography journey, always keep trying new things. Keep shooting.

Fail, fail more and get better along the path of failures, good advice. It’s how we improve over time (or at least know when to move onto other things after banging one’s head long enough).

Watch video via Invidious→ or Youtube

Looks like Adweek got their hands on a leaked pitch deck from OpenAI to big publishers on their Preferred Publisher” program:

First, it is available only to select, high-quality editorial partners” and its purpose is to help ChatGPT users more easily discover and engage with publishers’ brands and content.

Additionally, members of the program receive priority placement and richer brand expression” in chat conversations, and their content benefits from more prominent link treatments.

Does this mean the big guys can pay to play on the web while us little people get shoved aside (again)?

read the rest

In a side note about pop-up newsletters, Craig Mod wrote:

With most creative work, the trick is to focus on habit formation. Somewhat counterintuitively, don’t aspire to be someone who writes a book — don’t be a sucker waiting for inspiration” — instead aspire to be someone who writes on schedule. Books naturally flow from rigorous writing habits.

Very wise way of looking at it and not just in book writing…

As in:

Don’t aspire to be a newsletter writer
Don’t aspire to be a blogger
Don’t aspire to be a gardener, etc.

Just do the thing and do it regularly, at least for a while and see where it takes you.

The universe responds to action and it’s how it can — subtly or outrageously — steer you in ways unexpected to what you were looking for all along.1

Something else I’ve gleaned from Craig’s advice:

Don’t aspire for subscribers
Don’t aspire for readers
Don’t aspire for comments, etc.

Just hunker down and do the thing! And please make sure it’s something you enjoy.

  1. In my case I’ve waited far too long for the inspiration” he speaks of rather than hunkering down and doing something. Hence this very blog — an act of creating — and seeing how the universe responds.)↩︎

Interview with Freydoon Rassouli by Nurturing Art (archive)→

What a beautiful approach to painting without the mind:

When I paint, I have no idea what I am painting or what I want to paint. I just start on the canvas and I play. I usually start with a rag, and I take some paint color like blue…and then I put the rag in the blue and put in on the canvas. Then I put that rag aside and get another rag and, let’s say, I take some red and I fill in some other blank spots on the canvas. And now there is a play between the blue and the red on the canvas. Sometimes blue gets the help from green or yellow or other color. I am just playing without following any rules or any thought or any ideas. As I play, I get to the point where the canvas is all filled with colors.

The lovemaking begins when the canvas tells me what it wants…not me imposing an idea onto the canvas. The canvas keeps on telling me, Ok…touch me here…touch me there…remove this from here…add this in there.” All of that is like making love with a partner who is guiding you rather than you forcing yourself on them. And that’s what develops into a joyful painting


For more, visit Rassouli’s website.

The Queen of Bleach and Diamine by nickstewart.ink →

…from an interview with Elle Tennyson, a fountain pen artist:

Me: Any pearls of wisdom’ for interested creatives?

Elle: Be comfortable with being shit at first. So many budding artists stop short through fear of not being good enough, but only things worthwhile are on the other side of fear and hard work. Everyone has been bad at something at some point, it’s the people who are brave enough to push through who progress. Don’t let insecurity block your creative journey.

Wise advice.

(And very applicable to my budding artistic efforts. Ugh.)

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