James Chiang's Weekly Blog for Creative Insight & Inspiration
“Compassion is the basis of morality.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher In contrast to my previous post on the growing amorality enveloping society and that of my prolonged discourse — for which I ask forgiveness — here are some films I’d like to recommend that offset the tide. These cinematic pieces remind us of the power that… Continue reading →
“A society founded on signs is, in its essence, an artificial society in which man’s carnal truth is handled as something artificial.” — Albert Camus Dare we talk about morals? I think in the times that we live in today, which seems so artificial, we have to. Globally now, we’re all very engaged in commercialism,… Continue reading →
“Perhaps nothing is so fraught with significance as the human hand.” — Jane Addams, Writer/Sociologist Arms and hands are important. But despite working with their hands all day, most artists are frightened about drawing or animating arms and hands. The reason lies in the artist’s unwillingness to understand them in its entirety. The arms and… Continue...
“Everything is practice.” — Pelé, Soccer Player. In our heavily cerebral and achievement-oriented culture we often confuse what we mean by practice. In the modern sense, to practice typically means to carry out or perform a task regularly or repeatedly for the purpose of skill acquisition or improvement. A practice on the other hand, is… Continue reading...
In this week’s student showcase I want to demonstrate the power of simplicity. And to do this, I specifically wanted to discuss the usefulness of the simple exercises that involve walking or running. All the artists that work with me start with walks, runs, jumps and sitting shots. It’s a test of their technical, graphic… Continue reading →
Today, I wish to share some words from a page out of Robert Henri’s magnum opus, The Art Spirit (page 177 in case you’re curious). In this incessant age of anxiety — where time feels too fast, our activities never so empty and meaningless, and loneliness never very far away despite a plethora of distractions… Continue reading →
A very kind person recently notified me that this humble little blog has been selected as one of the Top 25 Animation Blogs on the internet. It’s a gently bewildering achievement especially given the complete lack of promotion, marketing or social media of any kind here. None the less, I’m honored to be chosen in… Continue reading →
Understanding defaults is important. Anyone who works with technology knows that the computer’s default setting is zero, where all things are flat and neutral. But when it comes to life and understanding ourselves, we tend to forget about our default setting and, unfortunately, it isn’t neutral. Here’s the terrible truth: the default setting of our…...
These days, both life and art seem far too serious. And worst of all, it’s serious in all the wrong places. In our society, all our attention is on rushed accumulation (money, information, social approval) and not on living attentively and joyfully each day. In the art of movies, both live action and animated, we’re… Continue reading →
foundation (definition of): the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. an underlying basis or principle. As they say, the foundations are everything. The core fundamentals of any craft start with the foundational bedrock of principles and skills that everything else is built upon. Unfortunately, most people, in almost...
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