Maira Kalman on Daydreaming, Eccentricity, and Not Knowing What is Going On 7.30.14 | 4:10am Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) (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 about such varied subjects as Nature, cafes, walking, eccentricity, what it was like to play the duck in Isaac Mizrahi’s production of Peter in the Wolf, as well as the big questions:“Why are we here? Who are we? How are we documenting ourselves. Is this a dream?” Here are our favorite bits: Daydreaming is a function of the brain that is an uncensored —without controlling it – exploration of ideas, emotions…Often the best ideas…come from the moments when you’re not trying. Maira Kalman’s mother’s map “I think every person you talk to is deeply eccentric, in their own own way. You just have to find it.” We love her painting of her mother’s giant bra, and the 1950’s memory that accompanies it, both of her mother wearing it while she stood at the stove frying different foods, and the map her mother drew for her when she was young: Maira Kalman We are very interested in Kalman’s statement that “Copying is my way of learning.” In copying paintings of great masters, she put herself in their shoes and learned A LOT, and to see in new ways. Now THERE’S a practice! Kalman’s newest book, Girls Standing on the Lawn. is a collaboration with Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. It is “a meditation on memories, childhood, nostalgia, home, family, and the act of seeing” which Handler succinctly describes as “a photograph, a painting, a sentence, a pose.” Maira Kalman The thirteen minutes video is packed with little treasures; we find it nice to watch pieces of it during the day. via Kottke "Knock. Knock."You've read your limit of 7 free articles in 30 days.To continue reading, we invite you to become a Friend with Benefits.For $1.99/month (less than the price of one cappuccino, one movie rental or a pack of gum…) or $18/year or more you’ll receive unlimited access to all Improvised Life content and its vast archive. Help us fund (ad-free) the MANY hours of writing, research, and cold hard sweat that goes into curating and editing Improvised Life. $1.99Monthly $18Annual Already a member? You Might Also Enjoy maira kalman on life, death, work, love…Read More “can do” (maira kalman)Read More maira kalman on invention and ingenuity (and napping)Read More Maira Kalman’s Favorite Things (What are Yours?)Read More 2 Responses to Maira Kalman on Daydreaming, Eccentricity, and Not Knowing What is Going On Elyse Harrison 07.30.2014 at 5:21pm # Thanks for posting this. I am a huge fan of this amazing artist. Cheers to the filmmaker Gael Towey. A perfect portrait. Bravo! Anna Smukler 04.02.2015 at 12:40pm # I didn’t have time to open the Maira Kalman Thinker video on the NYTimes, and am so happy I got to view it here on Improvised Life. Maira’s work always touches me deeply in many ways, but mostly straight to my heart, which magically opens to all she is offering. Leave A Comment Click here to cancel reply. Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. subscribing = lovingIf the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.