Jane Kenyon’s advice

“Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”

— Jane Kenyon

W.E.B. Du Bois on prosperity

“We should measure the prosperity of a nation not by the number of millionaires but but the absence of poverty, the prevalence of health, the efficiency of the public schools, and the number of people who can and do read worthwhile books.”

— W.E.B. Du Bois

Henryk Tomaszewski on posters

“We all agreed that [the head of the State Film Agency] should not expect us to design anything that resembled Japanese, American, Russian, or Swiss posters. I was trying to find the essence of the film. I was trying to feel the impression that the film had on me, whether it was a lyrical film, comedy, drama, sport or war film. I wanted to illustrate this essence with my own language, in my own way.”

— Henryk Tomaszewski

B.D. McClay on maintenance

“Most scholarship is also not going to live forever. Is it therefore not worth doing? I wouldn’t say so. It’s worth it to maintain gardens and repair buildings and restore artworks. No one’s work lives forever on its own. It stays alive because someone keeps it so.”

— B.D. McClay (via)

Wendell Berry on freedom

“If freedom is understood as merely the privilege of the unconcerned and uncommitted to muddle about in error, then freedom will certainly destroy itself.”

— Wendell Berry

Heather Cass White on books

“Formal education rarely offers perfect introductions to its subjects, but introductions don’t need to be perfect to nonetheless create useful road maps. Books that don’t exist for us at twenty may transform us at forty, and vice versa.”

— Heather Cass White (via)

Jenny Offill on certainty

“You never reach a point of certainty, a point of mastery where you can say, Right. Now I understand how this is done. That is why so many talented people stop writing. It’s hard to tolerate this not-knowing.”

— Jenny Offill (via)

Affiche magazine on film posters

“Sandra Ruch, who handled the marketing for New Line Cinema before establishing her own company, explained that getting a film poster into print involves a series of stages. “There are a number of unwritten rules,” she says, “and a series of levels of approval.” Good ideas are often rejected because they are considered too daring or unusual, or don’t focus enough on the star, or look too much like a theater poster, or a book jacket, or a television ad.

To complicate matters, actors and agents have gained greater control. Before an art director even puts pencil to paper, certain contractual requirements must be taken into account. For example, the star’s face may have to be central. If there are two or three stars, their faces may have to be the same size. Their names may have to be on the same line as the title, or above the title, or one slightly larger than the other, or slightly higher.

It is not unusual for an art director to present up to 50 or even 100 sketches for a film. Criticism and input must be accepted from numerous people, including the director, the producer, the studio head, the marketing expert, and others.”

Affiche, 1993

Paul Bacon on book jackets

“It used to be that a strong art director and a strong editor would sit down with you and tell you the direction in which they wanted you to go and then it would be up to you. Now covers are shown to up to 20 people, and they are shown at sales conferences, where the salesman is asked what he thinks of the cover and how many copies he thinks he can sell, at the same time. The bigger the book the harder it is to do an interesting cover because the more chance that somebody won’t like it.”

— Paul Bacon, In Cold Print: Jackets & Jack, 1974