Improvised Life » inspiring people http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Street Entrepeneur Crab Man Mike + Our Faux Aioli Recipe http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44886

Sally Schneider

While on our NYC stay cation, we'll get a hit of the Maryland shore by stopping by legendary Crab Man Mike's stand in Harlem, where he cooks up batches of crabs, shrimp and lobsters on his rigged propane cooker. We love Mike’s seafood room temperature, dunked in our Faux Aioli (garlic mayonnaise), for an American South/French fusion. Here’s more about the amazing Mike and our recipe.]]>
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Music for Monday Morning (Jun Miyake) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/music-monday-morning-jun-miyake/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/04/music-monday-morning-jun-miyake/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 07:24:55 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44780

(Video link HERE.)  …perfect music for getting going on a Monday morning, as well as people dancing, leaping and gliding around in the most wonderful way (until the dark end). You can jump in anywhere to get a hit of LEAP energy.

Not content to just click one link, we can’t help but follow trails. The trails leading from this wonderful video turned us on to Japanese artist, composer, song writer Jun Miyake.

After buying Lillies of the Valley, we’ve been listening to his music on Spotify.

A groove.

//

via the great Hedviggen

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Anthony Giglio Kills at the Moth! http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/anthony-giglio-kills-moth/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/anthony-giglio-kills-moth/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:00:01 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44608

Anthony Giglio is journalist, sommelier, and author of Food & Wine Wine GuidesCocktails in New York and Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide. He is wine blogger for Details and Improvised Life’s deviser of brilliant, simple strategies for celebrations both grand and low-key.

Of late, Anthony revealed yet another side of himself: a superb storyteller whose personal stories move and transform. He brought down the house at The Moth when he performed “Listen Here, Fancy Pants!” live in May of 2012. Due some non-public-radio-friendly language (we disagree), it has taken two years for it to be made public and accessible online. (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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Moondog: “I’m Not Gonna Die in 4/4 Time.” http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/moondog-eccentric-role-model/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/moondog-eccentric-role-model/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:39:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43830

Photograph by Peter Martens

The documentary The Viking of 6th Avenue, recently funded by Kickstarter, chronicles the life and musical career of legendary New York icon Moondog. As a girl, I used to see him in front of Saks Fifth Avenue and other corners around town, a blind man in full Viking regalia proudly, with seeming infinite patience, standing in the midst of the passersby of the time. Many years later I would discover his music and learn his story… (more…)

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Steinberg, Shrigley and Shonda Rhimes on the Creative Process http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:46:38 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43247

Saul Steinberg/The New Yorker

Saul Steinberg drew his imaginings of what goes on in a person’s daydreams, and David Shrigley made a list* of the kinds of things that can come from that: (more…)

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Mister Rogers for Adults: Life Has No Laugh Track http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/18/mister-rogers-adults-life-laugh-track/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/18/mister-rogers-adults-life-laugh-track/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 08:33:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43264

(Video link here.) We didn’t “get” Mister Rogers until we were introduced to Paul Zelevansky, an artist, writer and teacher who created the YouTube series “Mister Rogers for Adults”, provocative 60-second shorts made up of video clips from Rogers’ shows and interviews. Zelevansky challenges the assumptions that Mister Rogers was a sweet, milquetoast cornball. In Zelavansky’s view, Rogers’ approach, philosophy and strategic use of television was — and remains — radical in nature. (His words about love threw Joan Rivers for a loop.) (more…)

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Daybooks with Custom Covers to Mark Where You Are or Are Going http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/16/marella-consolini-daybooks-custom-covers-mark-going/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/16/marella-consolini-daybooks-custom-covers-mark-going/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:41:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42870

Marella Consolini

Marella Consolini, former Chief Operating Officer of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, is one of the many very interesting Improvised Life readers we’ve come to know and be amazed by. Somehow years ago, an email exchange started and continued until we feel like she is an old friend, who we happen to have never met in person.

In a recent email, Marella sent images of the day books she embellishes yearly with images; the current one, above, features Yves Klein’s famous leap to mark a year of questions, transitions and new challenges: (more…)

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Nathan Frey’s Briliant Modular Workspace http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/12/nathan-freys-briliant-modular-workspace/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/12/nathan-freys-briliant-modular-workspace/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:45:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42874

Nathan Frey

We recently came across the Frey Desk at Kickstarter, a flexible workspace that quickly transitions from sitting desk to drafting table to standing desk to easel. A vertical mast supports the desk and shelf. The shelf is handy for holding tools, books and speakers. The desk top is a spacious 30″ x 40″, perfect for a computer and large projects.

Frey’s modular workspace is decidedly brilliant and, to us, pretty homely. Nevermind. It’s design could be a jumping off point for forging our own. We LOVE Frey’s design thinking about how a creative person works, and learning about his own process in designing the workspace.   (more…)

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Phillip Glass: Renowned Composer, Taxi Driver, Plumber (with Music) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/11/phillip-glass-world-renowned-composer-taxi-driver-plumber/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/11/phillip-glass-world-renowned-composer-taxi-driver-plumber/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 23:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42366

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Recently, guest contributor Sinnae Choi wrote about the popular, simplistic “Do What You Love” notion that devalues the very real need to make a living. Composer Phillip Glass was one of the examples she originally cited of artists who kept working even when they had gained some notoriety.  His story is so compelling, we extracted it to make into it’s own article:

In 2011, Glass was questioned about his day jobs as taxi driver and plumber. He recalls: (more…)

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Jim Henson on Making Art Make Money (Money as Energy) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/03/money-energy-jim-hensen/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/03/money-energy-jim-hensen/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 23:00:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=32990

Shaan Syed/Ana Cristea Gallery

We love puppet artist Jim Henson’s view of money, which we read about in an excerpt of Liz Stevens’  Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career:

Henson viewed money as energy, the energy that makes concrete things happen out of worthy ideas. (more…)

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“Do What You Love” Every Day in Small Doses… http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/03/love-everyday-small-doses/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/03/love-everyday-small-doses/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 08:49:01 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42018

Recently, Sally showed me Gordon Marino’s NY Times article, “A Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love”. The gist: the oft-repeated 21st century American mantra of following your true passions — instead of dull but reliable career paths — is misguided. 

There’s a hint of naïve entitlement to making “Do What You Love” the be-all-end-all answer to the workday blues, just as suggesting “Just move!” when a friend’s neighborhood turns dangerous comes across as simplistic and dismissive. Sometimes, you just can’t. At the heart of the matter is devaluing other forms of dedication, labor, work. Must we passionately love everything that we give attention to? Why?
(more…)

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The Creative Impulse Behind A Gardener’s 100′ Dragon Hedge http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/02/creative-impulse-behind-gardeners-100-dragon/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/02/creative-impulse-behind-gardeners-100-dragon/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:06:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42372

Damien McFadden

John Brooker, a 75-year-old retired fan-maker in Norfolk, England, has spent 10 years patiently sculpting a hedge into a 100-foot-long dragon, complete with a massive pair of wings, six sets of legs, flaring nostrils and pointed teeth. We love the dragon and especially love Brooker’s reason for doing it, found in this succinct 50-second clip. With little ado, it totally sums up the creative process. (more…)

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Maya Angelou’s Wise Words about Life and Table http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/29/maya-angelous-wise-words-life-table/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/29/maya-angelous-wise-words-life-table/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 23:00:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42211

Maria Robledo

On Wednesday, Maria Robledo sent us this image of a quote by writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou:

Sitting down to a table is one of the few times we can be intimate with one another.

We were stunned by Angelou’s words. We believe them deeply, but had not consciously realized that what happens when people sit together at table is truly “intimacy”, until we read her perfect quote.  We planned to write about that idea — about making a space and time to sit at table, and just how valuable and potent an act it is —when the following day, yesterday, we learned that Angelou had passed away.

The women had a WAY with words and with living. So we’ve selected a few here as tribute. (more…)

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