Werner Herzog on Creativity, Self-Reliance, Making a Living of What You Love, and How to Turn Your Ideas Into Reality
“If your project has real substance, ultimately the money will follow you like a common cur in the street with its tail between its legs.”
Werner Herzog is celebrated as one of the most influential and innovative filmmakers of our time, but his ascent to acclaim was far from a straight trajectory from privilege to power. Abandoned by his father at an early age, Herzog survived a WWII bombing that demolished the house next door to his childhood home and was raised by a single mother in near-poverty. He found his calling in filmmaking after reading an encyclopedia entry on the subject as a teenager and took a job as a welder in a steel factory in his late teens to fund his first films. These building blocks of his character — tenacity, self-reliance, imaginative curiosity — shine with blinding brilliance in the richest and most revealing of Herzog’s interviews. Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed(public library) — not to be confused with E.F. Schumacher’s excellent 1978philosophy book of the same title — presents the director’s extensive, wide-ranging conversation with writer and filmmaker Paul Cronin. His answers are unfiltered and to-the-point, often poignant but always unsentimental, not rude but refusing to infest the garden of honest human communication with the Victorian-seeded, American-sprouted weed of pointless politeness....more at Brain Pickings
I was speaking to a fellow well-known artist the other day – it was the first time I met him after conversing through email for the longest time. And it was just brilliant. I always love meeting new people – even though the relationship wasn’t technically new, the experience of meeting someone for the first time is something I treasure, because of the wonderful little surprises I know that lies in store.
Whether it’s nuggets of advice and inspiration, or a forging of new bonds; my mind just buzzes with excitement at the thought of hands that are extended in friendship, and where a new thread becomes interwoven in the colorful fabric that has become my life.
So we sat down and talked over lunch, and the more we talked, the more I was fascinated at his ideas. “All I wanted to do was draw,” said the man who turned to art after studying to be a mechanical engineer. “And now I can.” It was inspiring, and to which I thought was incredibly zen-like. My head was brimming with ideas on how he could take it further, and I told him what I was thinking of. He just shook his head and said “I’m happy at this point of my life – I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m drawing, and I’m earning a living for myself and my family. I don’t have to go big. I’m happy.”
If contentment had a face and a voice, it would be his.
His name? Lim Heng Swee of I Love Doodle. Via Pikaland
California’s Gold Rush may have peaked more than a century ago, but thanks to the state’s ongoing three-year drought, the worst ever recorded in history, rivers are shrinking and panning for gold is becoming popular again.
In Gold Country cities like Auburn — just half an hour away from the very site where gold was first discovered in California in 1840 — sales of prospecting equipment are on the rise. One local retailer reports an uptick of 20 to 25 percent.
The drought allows prospectors to wade further upstream in shallower, drier rivers. That, coupled with the high price of gold and the weak economy, has an influx of panners flocking to riverbanks throughout the region..more at National Geographic Via Grist