Improvised Life » ideas from artists http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:00:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Artful Pubic Wigs! http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/24/artful-pubic-wigs/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/24/artful-pubic-wigs/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:32:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45679

Sinnae Choi in collaboration with unnamed participant

We check into Improvised Life part-time support staff and contributor Sinnae Choi’s website periodically to see what the multi-talented artist is up to. We were amazed at the LOL beauty of the human hair merkins she collaborated on… And learned that a merkin is by definition a pubic wig.

Who knew? and… Why not?!!   Writes Choi and her collaborator:  (more…)

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Interiors Painted in the Style of Famous Artists http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/rooms-painted-style-famous-artists/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/rooms-painted-style-famous-artists/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:00:12 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45492

Brand New Paint Job

At Brand New Paint Job, artist Jon Rafman overlays the visual style of iconic artists onto rooms and objects, from a Fernand Leger Bomb to a Cy Twombly Lamborghini.

We were especially struck by Rafman’s interiors which seem completely viable, while instantly shifting our view. We would love go sleep in the Paul Klee Master Bedroom, above, or go to a school with a De Kooning-esque Hallway and Lockers.(more…)

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Air Baths and Other Ways to Enhance Creativity http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/daily-rituals-artists-work/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/18/daily-rituals-artists-work/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:15:17 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45477

At Improvised life,  we’re always interested in ways to become more creative and productive. So when we came across Mason Currey’s latest book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work we were excited. Currey describes personal quirks and daily rituals developed by many of the world’s great artists, musicians and film makers.

From the bizarre right through to the strikingly simple – the book reminds us that we all work in individual and often improvised ways: (more…)

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Surprising Painted Patterns on Floors, Walls, Ceilings http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/17/simply-paint-spartan-sublime/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/17/simply-paint-spartan-sublime/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:59:28 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45388

Jerome Galland via myscandinavianhome

Why buy rugs to roll out on your floors, when you can paint them? Why collect art when you can decorate walls, floors and ceiling, with found materials?

I’m smitten by these two wildly different, improvisational ways that artists have used paint to mimic and displace art in such disparate places as a house on the Cycladic island of Serifos in Greece, and a classroom in Bihar, east India. In Greece, the floors get the spartan treatment; in India, on walls and ceilings, the sublimely ornate and colored with suprising materials. Both are divine. (more…)

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Underwater Film Break with Néry’s “Narcose” http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/11/underwater-film-break-nerys-narcose/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/11/underwater-film-break-nerys-narcose/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:00:29 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45074

(Video link HERE.) This intoxicating little under-sea film by Julie Gautier follows record-holding deep diver Guillaume Néry down, down until he experiences the confusion and euphoria of high-pressure nitrogen narcosis. A little bit scary and very much lovely, this thirteen-minute journey into the depths of the ocean and Néry’s hallucinations will throw you far out of your daily routine and into the “rapture of the deep.”

Sinnae Choi via The Dish

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Formula for a DIY Donald Judd-esque Sofa http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/formula-donald-judd-esque-sofa/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/formula-donald-judd-esque-sofa/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45005

Farrah Sit/Rebecca Atwood

Artist Donald Judd's austere, organic, ultra-simple furniture has been inspiration for lots of knockoff's and diy's and straight-out ripoffs. His iconic sofa, below, inspired the $6,000 Maple sofa, above, a collaboration of Brooklyn-based industrial designer Farrah Sit and textile designer Rebecca Atwood. Sit and Atwood have made improvments on Judd's design, from a practical comfort point-of-view. The sofa is definitely DIY-able.]]>
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Gratitude Where You Don’t Expect It http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/gratitude-dont-expect/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/08/gratitude-dont-expect/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 08:06:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45106

Joanna Pan/Flickr

Leaving Manhattan on the commuter train the other evening, we were surpised to see a billboard towering above the South Bronx amidst the bleak industrial landscape. It says simply “GRATTITUDE.”

This teeny video —best viewed with chirpy music OFF — captures the expected and somehow remarkable experience. (Video link HERE.): (more…)

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Reorganization as Soul Cleanse http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/04/workspace-reorganization-soul-cleanse/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/04/workspace-reorganization-soul-cleanse/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 08:54:33 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45132

A 48-hour disappearance into the depths of my studio was finally interrupted late yesterday by a well-meaning friend. He peered in to find me on hands and knees wiping out the lowest shelves with damp paper towels.

“Jeez. Still at it?”

I swiveled and growled like a rabid dog, sweat pouring down, hair plastered, eyes raccooned by melted mascara. “I can’t stop now. This is important. This is soulwork” He faded without a word.

Panting, disheveled, covered in cobwebs, I sat back on my heels. WTF? Why did this reorganization seem like a matter of life and death? Taking a swig of ice water, I collapsed on the floor. Presently, it came to me why it was––and is––such a big deal. (more…)

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Trees with Ladders: Tree Climbing for Adults http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/03/climb-tree-adults/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/03/climb-tree-adults/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 22:20:11 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45184

E. Sanders

Every day we go to the park across the way and enjoy the huge, hundreds-years-old trees. We WISH we could climb them, as we did as a kid, and wondered, in our minds eye, WHY NOT just put a ladder up to one to give our creaky adult selves a boost up. Then we stumbled on images of L’Arbre aux Echelles — The Tree with Ladders — an installation by French artist François Méchain.]]>
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Ornithology Wall Mural: Proseck’s Practice of Seeing http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/ornithology-wall-mural/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/ornithology-wall-mural/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44289

(Video link HERE.)  There is something enchantingly low-tech and intimate about artist James Proseck‘s painstaking process of making this wonderful, public wall mural: painting bird silhouettes a la Field Guide series of nature books. His technique is very interesting and could easily be applied to the walls of any interior or exterior space – bedroom, dining room, patio, pool house, you name it.

We’ve excerpted a saliant chunk of the rather long, slow video. It shows not only Proseck’s technique but delves into his view of what it means to “see” nature, a practice that can be cultivated. (more…)

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The Time is Now…Stefan Sagmeister on Happiness http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 22:43:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44777

Stefan Sagmeister

When uber-designer Stefan Sagmeister was asked “If you were to give advice on happiness—and I acknowledge that this is a tough question—is there one thing you’d suggest?”

Write down 3 things that worked for you each evening, things you might be thankful for. I started an ical calendar that contains this and I just spend 5 minutes each night doing it. This is an exercise from Marty Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. It works.

We notice he didn’t say “Write down three things that made you happy” but rather “Write down 3 things that worked for you“: a bit different. “What worked (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/time-now/feed/ 0 Making Music with…Rain http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/31/making-music-rain/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/31/making-music-rain/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:38:42 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44295


(Video link HERE.) Recently we stumbled on this video of music made with rain drops. Rain as percussion instrument: MUSIC. It’s pretty swell, and very carefully thought out, with its haute technology and count of rain drops.

We love Fast Forward’s Rain Music for it’s utter in-the-moment directness and accessibility. (Video link HERE.) (more…)

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Maira Kalman on Daydreaming, Eccentricity, and Not Knowing What is Going On http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:10:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44690

(Vido link HERE.) Portraits in Creativity is a series of short-form videos by renown creative director Gael Towey about the bravery and processes of artists and artisans. Who could better start off the series than the great, wise, observant Maira Kalman?  Kalman’s drawing and writing gets to the essence of not knowing what is going on” and celebrates it. Which is why we love her.

The video is like a walk around New York City with the Kalman. It is rich with illuminating observations (more…)

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House Tour with Life Lessons: Tom Fallon’s Shelter Island Cottage http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/29/tom-fallons-shelter-island-cottage/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/29/tom-fallons-shelter-island-cottage/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:48:16 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44611

Jason Penney

When our friend Tom Fallon’s Shelter Island cottage was featured in Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, we realized just how many lessons about home design and LIFE we learned from him over the years. Here they are, with pictures by Jason Penney.]]>
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