All posts tagged: Haiku


I believe that less is more. It makes sense to me, on a fundamental level, like the passage of time conveyed by a setting sun. Its seemingly counter-intuitive nature shares a confident wink that tells me it knows something I’m not yet aware of. But I do know, I do understand…at least I thought I did. And therein lies the lesson, because no matter how much more I create with less, I will always be surprised. Endless discovery, boundless application, incalculable potential—for writing, for art, for life. an organic life pruned and sculpted with purpose focus…less is more — ASIDE: Over time, I’ve engaged subjects related to achieving more through less: Haiku, from my study of poetry; Shinrin-yoku, a happy-accident discovery that implored me to embrace the peace found within nature; a focus on details, learned from Anthony Bourdain’s travels to Japan, on his former show No Reservations; and, to some extent, The Minimalists, two men who dedicate their time to helping people live meaningful lives with less. What’s common throughout these subjects is the idea …

The Mad Hatter | Joe Blend | Illustration


beneath the hat…truth rich minds…deep hearts…playful steps We’re all a little mAd! — The Mad Hatter, from the Tim Burton interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, was an odd bloke to say the least. Definitely odd…and bizarre, a bit disturbed, and certainly loony. But he was also a passionate artisan who had a kind heart and good soul. Mad is a word that has multiple definitions, but I think the best one of all is that which implies being carried away by enthusiasm. Which you could also read as a playful passion for life. So, in that sense, all of us—to some degree, in some way, at some point in time—are a little mad! Illustration and writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Ink SnackTM, a book of bite-size writing and nutritious thinking! My latest book project is a publication of original haiku and drawings—created by hand—in a handmade journal I purchased at a local store. The name refers to small portions that provide sustenance when the mind is starved for creativity. And of course, it’s all crafted with ink. The content contains a variety of artwork alongside the haiku—art that reflects the meaning behind their respective poems—and includes the blackout technique and collage, in addition to drawings. The book is one of a kind; however, once it’s sold, it’s gone forever.                    IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE that none of the content was created using a computer. For example, the page numbers (along with the “About” page content) were created using an antique typewriter. Furthermore, all the writing and drawings were done by hand using a black pen (i.e. no erasing my mistakes!). And, the book itself is handmade (not by me). Handcrafted in Nepal, …


time travel in white snow records a fresh journey footprints, a story While looking out of my studio window last week, I noticed a few tracks of footprints snaking across my driveway and side yard, after a light but fresh overnight snowfall. I didn’t see imprints from boots or loafers but instead, paths…decisions…time, by the moment. Someone was there. They had a place to go, or someone to greet, or maybe just needed to eat. And they were probably thinking about something, although the subject of that thought is now lost to the ages. But it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that they had a story. © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


Black and white is brilliant. Not when it comes to interacting with people, but instead as a visual palette for art. That’s because black and white dismisses distraction. It discards the surface to explore the depths. It banishes the jewel-toned “SQUIRREL!” factor I like to call “color.” Let me say, in no uncertain terms, that I’ve never enjoyed working with color. I’ll grant you that as a writer, I don’t struggle with color. But when I began my work as an artist—especially during my days as a graphic designer and fine art photographer—color was a challenge. What’s interesting is that it took a second, albeit brief, immersion into digital fine art photography for me to finally toss color aside and explore the limitations of black and white. And what I found was not restrictive: it was liberating. The contrast. The simplicity. The powerful visual effect. It was all incredibly exciting! I felt as if I’d found the true underpinning of my work; my artistic destiny, if you will. Granted, my photography days are done, but …

An Extension of Waves and Time | Joe Blend | A 2-oz. Read


life, priceless purpose monuments to moments remind us always love each breath The artwork below was made using a black Sharpie marker, a Ranger white opaque pen, a Precise V5 Rolling Ball extra fine black pen, and a sheet of paper from a Moleskine journal. The piece was then copied in black and white using an HP copier. The artwork and haiku are inspired by “Beyond Waves & the Notion of Time,” my journal post about the importance of the journey. © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


A fresh blend of news, about my upcoming book. Throughout my career as a writer and artist, I maintained a fascination with journals and handmade art. It’s been an unquenchable thirst, a dangling carrot just out of reach, and in some ways, a thorn in my side. That’s because I’ve never been able to figure out how to write a purchasable book that represents the best of what journals and handmade art have to offer. Until now. It’s a top secret project…sort of…but I can reveal a few things: it’s a book of original and previously unpublished haiku; it will not be mass produced (i.e. it will be one of a kind); and there will be a variety of treatments applied to the poetry. The book is still in progress but my plan is to complete it by Spring 2018 and make it available for purchase shortly thereafter. Alas, I’ve said too much already…at least for the time being! So, stay tuned for more updates as the full-reveal date inches closer… Images and writing © 2018 …


Art helps create cultures and mold human beings. Without art, our society would not have history, folklore, communication, invention, empathy, government, health, science, storytelling, theater, news, movies, personal growth…or in other words, everything we take for granted. Art informs intelligence and is a necessary vehicle for cultural progress and the documentation of humanity. Its influence spans the expanse of night and day, of passion and distaste, of enlightenment and confusion. Art, if we’re smart, will always exist in the fabric of our lives. Blackout poem and writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Fried Haiku and a Scrambled Brain | 2-oz. Read | Blog


Jack Kerouac once said, “an art dies when it describes itself instead of life.” It’s a paradox of sorts, like the chicken and the egg, but it makes me wonder whether a writer writes a poem or the lines create the poet? Does ink convey an idea or do readers place meaning on the words? If a typewriter reveals a story but no one is there to read it, do the words still exist? Life is full of mysteries: never stop discovering. a haiku about haiku is like a chicken and egg…food for thought © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


civilization chiseled the sculpture about genius in the world Throughout history, humans nurtured intelligence because we knew how we wanted to greet the sunrise and where we wanted to be during the sunset. Humanity learned how to craft a modern society from nothing more than drawings and dreams, and despite adversity forcing us to retrace our steps at times, we ultimately succeeded in shaping civilization into what it is today. And so it will be tomorrow. Blackout poem and writing © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.