Only Lovers Left Alive vs. The Vampire Academy (Reflections on High and Low Art, Life and Death, and Creative Production)

Only Lovers Left Alive vs. The Vampire Academy (Reflections on High and Low Art, Life and Death, and Creative Production)

I underestimated vampires. I thought the trend was mostly dying down. I thought we, as an international culture, had decided to focus more on zombies, post-apocalyptic survivors, and dystopian, authoritarian governments. I thought Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows or Adam Sandler’s Animated Vampire Film Hotel Transylvania signified that...

Picasso was a talentless hack – and you can be too! (absinthe, art and creative genius)

Picasso was a talentless hack – and you can be too! (absinthe, art and creative genius)

I’ve known for some time that Picasso was a self-aggrandizing asshole of little talent (capable of massive production, but not hard to do with no quality standards). From non-art affectionados Picasso’s cubist paintings or simple line sketches may elicit comments such as “any kid could have drawn that.” A superficial...

Why I hate fine art: lessons from the Taipei contemporary art scene

Why I hate fine art: lessons from the Taipei contemporary art scene

I tried to make it as a fine artist for several years. I climbed up the ladder. I networked. I even got into a few high-brow galleries and sold some work. But then I quit – because, although there’s the potential to make a huge amount of money for something mediocre that didn’t take long The 3 secrets to book marketing, and...

Why “Saving Mr. Banks” should be required viewing for self-publishing authors

Why “Saving Mr. Banks” should be required viewing for self-publishing authors

I’ve just started watching “Saving Mr. Banks” – the story of how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) acquired the book rights of Mary Poppins from the author P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson). At the beginning of the story, P. L. Travers is a control freak, absolutely paranoid that her creation will be modified, changed, ruined. Disney...

The horrible hidden truth behind the Secret Life of Walter Mitty that’s keeping you from your dreams.

The horrible hidden truth behind the Secret Life of Walter Mitty that’s keeping you from your dreams.

On the surface, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a movie with values I can get behind. A boring photo-processor daydreams about epic adventures because he’s too scared and socially awkward to actually do anything. He’s made fun of, ignored and taken for granted. He’s supporting his mom and his dead-beat actress sister; a...

Cheating to win won’t help your book sales: Judging the Author’s Database 2013 Book Cover Design Contest

Cheating to win won’t help your book sales: Judging the Author’s Database 2013 Book Cover Design Contest

This month I was asked to be a guest judge on the Author’s Database 2013 indie book cover design contest. It was an interesting experience, both in seeing the quality of what’s out there, and becoming more familiar with my own guidelines for quality cover design. There was a wide variety, and I was supposed The 3 secrets to book...

Best 25 books on creative ideas and innovation from the world’s leadings creativity experts

Best 25 books on creative ideas and innovation from the world’s leadings creativity experts

Developing my own philosophy of Creativindie and working on a manifesto for this site, I’ve been reading all the books on creativity that I can find. Some offer valuable tips. Others are inspirational but mostly useless in terms of making your own success through creative talents. These books range between academic researchers with real...

A simple and bizarre trick to help you write and edit your book (by switching between creativity and laser-focused attention)

A simple and bizarre trick to help you write and edit your book (by switching between creativity and laser-focused attention)

I know one of the biggest challenges for writers is A) coming up with creative ideas for their writing and B) going back through their writing to self-edit, rewrite, improve and restructure. These are vastly different skills which need vastly different mind-sets. But there’s a simple and easy trick you can use to switch between The 3...