“i am often asked why i don’t do commercials or ad campaigns or music videos and why i’ve turned down small fortunes from the corporate universe in favor of just carrying on with my own things. i like to take walks. i like hiking in the woods around here and climbing the foothills and exploring the coast. it clears my head. i find new things. it’s something i’ll probably always enjoy doing.

so somebody comes along and says hey, i hear you like to take walks. how about i pay you to walk? you just have to walk around my house in circles for eight hours a day wearing a sandwich board that has a picture of my product on it. no, i’d rather just walk through the woods and explore my own places out there, thanks. but what difference does it make? as long as you’re walking, why not make a lot of money from it at the same time? 
because money’s not the reason i take walks. it doesn’t really factor into it. i take walks because i enjoy doing it. it’s something i’d do if i was rich and it’s something i’d do if i were poor. i guess maybe someone might pay me to walk around in the woods someday but i’m gonna keep doing it anyway.”

— Don Hertzfeldt (via)

“I’m very tried of thinking. It doesn’t seem to help much.”

— Kurt Vonnegut

“You cannot save the world. But if we do allow beauty, if we don’t kill movies and concerts and ballets and books we still have a chance.”

— Liv Ullmann

“Find a way to remove that anxiety and pressure. Just do your best, the same way that you would try to do your best with anything, like making spaghetti. Basically, I think life is way more knuckleheaded than people make it out to be. It’s making spaghetti, and then it’s sitting with someone and having spaghetti. That’s basically all life is.”

— Dave Hill

“I’m always apprehensive when I begin work each day. After a lifetime of this, I still can’t get it clear that the actual of process of writing tends to ease the fear.”

— Bruce Jay Friedman

“I’ve heard that, in the early days, nobody in U2 could really play their instruments. But that became sort of central to what they were doing. They played around that fact, essentially. That resonates with me: this idea of deeply musical, deeply feeling people who maybe don’t have virtuosic technical skills but who are able to make what they do work for them.”

— George Saunders

“Don’t become brokenhearted. Don’t quit. If you believe you can do it, you can do it. It’s so easy to be hurt. It’s so easy to quit. Don’t quit. Do it again. And then again. Don’t stop.”

— Mel Brooks

“You hate to admit it, but it’s all about luck. […] ‘It’s all hard work.’ Well, yes, it is always hard work, but there are a lot of people who work very hard and are unlucky and they get screwed.”

— Henry Beard, novelist and founder of the National Lampoon (via)

Looking Outside

Another excerpt from Michael Bierut’s Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design:


I’ve always liked the idea that as the years go by, you start to realize that not everything has to be about ‘design’ in order to learn more and further appreciate your craft.

Available from Princeton Architectural Press.

“It kind of defines what the relationship is always going to be: a comedian versus the executive. A funny person with one expertise and a business person with another. If either one tells the other how to do their job, tensions surface. So, you have to figure out a way to work together or trust things. You have to have a certain pragmatic and diplomatic personalty, because if you fight with somebody, you have to remember, first of all, an executive’s job is on the line. You also have to remember that it’s not your money. If it’s your money, you can do whatever you want. But you have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and nobody wants a writer coming in to their office, or into their world, regarding them as an idiot. That’s not healthy, and some people starting out have an attitude that they’re going to war against decades of past battles. There’s always a virtue to listening, and there are intelligent people in Hollywood. You have to be a politician and a diplomat. Also, a human being.”

— Alan Spencer (via)