Friday, 30 March 2012

Werner Herzog eats his shoe

Don't let the title discourage you, this video is so much more, it's inspirational. I highly recommend watching it.
Werner Herzog made a bet with fledgeling filmaker Errol Morris that if Morris ever got round to making his film, Gates of Heaven Herzog would eat his shoe. Needless to say, Morris made his film and Herzog stuck to his word.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Wish You Were Here

Almost three years ago I was listening to this album when I had, without being to dramatic, the worst moment of my life.It came on the back of getting a new job and new house in the same week, I was high on life.

On the 30th March 2009 my mum died. Not suddenly, she had cancer for the second time but we all thought she had a few years left. Rapidly that turned to a week, which turned to a few days. We were all left pretty dumbstruck but pulled together to organise the funeral. I remember immediately afterwards feeling the biggest heartbreak, I cried for so long I didn't think I was ever going to stop, in fact I'd stop myself from crying because I couldn't see there ever being a natural end to it.

Once that feeling left, and this is a cliche but it's honestly true; I felt numb, I felt nothing for weeks. I'd drive in my car and I used to think, 'I could just steer into that wall and I wouldn't feel a thing', It wasn't as if I willing it to happen, I just didn't see any consiquences to doing it. I felt like that for about three months, not caring about anything much. I Still did my job, and I did it well - none of my collegues would have noticed any difference. Then one night I was doing a sleep in at work and I was just lying there, I was feeling particularly low, I think it had been a heavy shift and my mind was wandering. I just started thinking, 'I could end this if I wanted' and I started thinking of all the ways I could do it, it was almost as if it was a desire. Then I caught myself thinking this, it scared me into thinking it through properly - 'I'm at work' I thought, I can't be thinking this.

When I was a kid I remember being upset about something or other and my dad was trying to cheer me up, at the end he said it's like Scarlett O'Hara says in Gone with the Wind, "tomorrow is another day". That stuck with me, that's kind of my go-to happy thought. I re-told this story to myself and I 'talk myself down'. I really don't think I would have done anything stupid that night, but that was my rock bottom. I made a real effort to snap out of myself after that point, just doing little things that make me happy; baking, knitting, craft etc -just keeping my hands busy and my mind active. I eventually got through the really tough times, but every now and again - it doesn't have to be near any anniversary, that pain comes flooding back, just as strong as before, but it doesn't last as long. Now I can have a\cry and get back to living.

This last week or so has been really hard, I think with mothers day having been last weekend, plus the anniversary coming up. But other little factors too.

I started writing this post because I was feeling sad, but also to remind myself of the positives - I'm here, I have my health, my family. The above album, although it could remind me of such a sad time in my life it doesn't, it reminds me that I've come out of that experience stronger and wiser, and that makes me happy each time I hear it.

Monday, 12 March 2012

To pin or not to pin?

I've been reading on a growing number of blogs about the issue of Pinterest and copyright. It seems there are a growing number of artists who are finding their work on peoples boards without their permission (read down to the bottom of that link). Whilst some say they find it flattering that someone else pins their work, it is still using the full sized image, sometimes without any reference to the artist.

This has made me stop and think about how I pin - when I pin through from another person's pin I rarely click on it to find it's source. If I'm aware of the artist I will put reference to them - but I've never asked for permission from the artist themselves. As this article suggests, the 'pinner' is liable for their own pin; effectively, if the artist sues it's you who would lose out, not pinterest.

Now, I've not had many of my own 'original' pieces re-pinned, but when I did it felt wonderful - but then again, I'm not making a living off art I create. I can't help but think I would mind an awful lot more if that were the case. It's funny, I was having a similar conversation with Stu (boyf) the other day about how the artist hardly ever sees the big bucks their work eventually makes after I saw some original Shepard Fairey pieces on ebay. I guess artists have made peace with that fact, but this pinterest thing seems to have opened up a whole box of worms.

Perhaps if pinterest would only allow low resolution thumbnails so you had to click through to the artists website to see it properly there wouldn't be such an issue. Or if the rules of pinterest were more clear (I wasn't aware of it until I'd read these articles).

The more I think about it, the more confused I get. A picture of an image isnt the actual image. Why do these images uploaded by artists have to be high resolution to begin with? I don't think you can get a great idea what the original is like merely by a picture on a website anyway - they just serve as a 'taster' of the work. If someone is interested in the work could they just ask for a better picture via email? There is a way of stopping people copying an image from another website isn't there? I'm sure I've seen that. What about artists images found on websites/blogs other than the artists? - Are they fair game?

But really, even asking those questions I'm still avoiding the big issue - it's not my work to be copying, I don't have artists permission. Should it be up to the individual artist to say whether they allow pins or not or should there be one blanket rule? I think it would be a real shame if the idea of Pinterest gets damaged because of these issues.

As a foot note, can I say for the record that I love pinterest, I love the idea of everyone sharing inspiration with each other in an inspirational and friendly community. As is clear by the link on the top left of this blog, I have no problems with you clicking through on my own pictures.

Interesting links:
pinterest and copyright
how to prevent your blogger images from being pinned - there are a lot of links on this blog
another link from DDK portraits in response to deleting her inspiration board
Huston Grey - to pin or not to pin

EDIT: I've answered one of my own questions -  if you pin this code into your website

<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin”/>

This will block the image from being pinned and the pinner will see this message;

“This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”

Thanks for the blog, Jax

Monday, 5 March 2012

Wikipedia Names your Band

If you {me} have got lots to be getting on with but would rather procrastinate on the internet, here's an activity that provides endless fun, courtesy of BuzzFeed.

1) Go to Wikepedia and hit 'Random', whatever the articles title - this is the name of your new band

2) Go to random quotations, pick the last few words of the last quote for your album name

3)Go to Flikr, explore 'Last 7 Days', the third picture along is the album cover.

I'd like to introduce my new band, we're kinda like Mike Oldfield meets Metallica. And I think I may be related to Ben Folds (or Penfold)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Again with this bloody leg!

The above title is from the comments section of this article by Jonathon Jones' art blog, where he questions the origins of Angelina's Versace dress. Give it a read, it's kinda funny...