The Dream of Being An Artist ✨

Make Stuff #58

SENT ON September 2, 2022

Well, that was embarrassing. Last week (it was Thursday, I believe), I had a Mailchimp mishap and fired a welcome message to my entire list. I decided not to make it worse by sending a follow up I’m sorry! email, so here’s my formal apology: I’m sorry, Friend. I’ve been using this tool for 11 years (hell, I’m double-certified!), and I still make mistakes. I’ll be more careful moving forward.

How are you doing? Days are getting cooler, here, and I’m loving it. Not the everything-pumpkin love. More the “sweater and a walk” kinda love. What are you excited about these days? Hit reply—it’s always good to hear from you.

I’ll be back on the 16th. In the meantime, take care and keep making stuff!



Georgia O’Keeffe on Success, Public Opinion, and What It Means to Be an Artist 🖼

The Marginalian shares a few excerpts from a letter to American novelist Sherwood Anderson where the artist discusses what it means to be an artist.


Daydreaming and Concentration: What the Science Says 🙄

Daydreaming gets a bad rap, but it is an essential part of the creative process. The Dutch Cognitive Psychologist Stefan Van der Stigchel addresses myths and facts about this phenomenon we all experience.


For creators, community is the new follower count 🧑🏽‍💻

Creators are increasingly turning to chat apps, such as Telegram and now Geneva, as they provide a more community-oriented, intimate experience than social networks. I’ve joined Mason Currey’s Discord, for example, and I love the experience.


I’ve never done this before, but today I want to share a poem with you. It’s by Caitlin Conlon, a poet based out of Upstate New York.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Vincent Van Gogh

Not the passion that overtook him
or the words that flew from his hands like birds.
Not the final letter he drafted to his brother, writing
“I still love art and life very much,” before going out
to paint. Not the obstacles that prevented creation
at the level he desired. Not what could’ve been.
Not the reality. Not the love he had for small
pleasures and graceful things. Not that his most
iconic work was made in recovery. Not the full
picture, nowhere near the full picture. An edited


Non-Zero Days 🙅🏻‍♂️

The dea is almost ten years old, but I just learned about Non-Zero Days last week, and I thought I’d share the idea with you. There are three simple rules articulated around the concept of a zero-day. What’s a zero-day? “A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on.”

Check out the original Reddit post (I might write a recap article because it’s a bit… messy?)


TikTok Wisdom: Justin Hawkins ✨

Justin Hawkins is the lead singer of The Darkness, an English rock band known for their overblown, lyrical classic rock. His videos on TikTok are introspective, funny, smart, and touching. I’m sharing one with you, Friend, about the dream of being an artist.


A daily creative practice for parents 🍎

With school starting in our district, packed lunch season is upon us. A creative practice that most parents engage in without even considering it a creative routine is writing notes for our kids’ lunch bags. Ryan McManus wrote about it for Why is this interesting?: “The goal is simple: make it something he’d like, something that he’d look forward to, something to make him smile to himself in the cacophony of a cafeteria and know I had made it just for him.” Read the whole piece (source: Storythings).



“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant—there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing—and keeping the unknown always beyond you…”

—Georgia O’Keeffe



Famous album covers recreated with DALL-E 💿

I’m on the fence about AI-generated images. On the one hand, it is a fascinating tool, but on the other hand, it’s bizarre and ridiculous. This project focus on the latter aspect of this technology. Lucy (I can’t find her last name or pronouns) is a data scientist who used DALL-E to recreate iconic album covers. Can you guess which one I chose to feature above?

Thomas Deneuville

Thomas is a creativity coach and mindfulness meditation teacher. Originally from France, he lives in Upstate, NY, with his family and a couple of bagpipes.