All posts tagged: less is more


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 …


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, …


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 …

Skipping Class, En Masse | 2-oz. Read | Joe Blend


Sense is a stalwart companion on the journey of life. It tells us to dance in the rain but only sing in the shower…because a slippery tub and disco moves are not good bedfellows. Sense implores us to walk before we run…because an ability to run doesn’t mean we should panic. It begs us to think smarter, not harder…because brick walls won’t let us pass, no matter how hard we try. That is sense, and it’s learned. Unfortunately, some people skip that class…en masse. Those individuals strip function from form thinking form doesn’t need to function. They think road rage is all the rage, and they stand tall thinking mere height means they’re taking a stand. Those individuals don’t think less is more because they still seek more even though it’s less. And they take advantage of their excuses, but they don’t excuse those who take advantage of them. There is nothing common about sense. Stay in school. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Power Cliches Keep the Hive Alive | 2-oz. Read | Blog


The prepackaged aspects of contemporary society produce a misguided mirage. That’s because “follow the leader” is the name of the game, and it is a game because square pegs in square holes built a cardboard landscape. The mentality behind the mirage—let’s call it “the hive”—believes trite speak on framed mountain peaks and bold ads for fresh fads should serve as challenges—to you and for you—to “be” a “better” “you.” It preaches the notion that working harder and not smarter will give you a reason to hold your head high. It wants you to believe that the latest and greatest tomorrow is within your grasp, but only with their guidance. Sounds great, right? Well, what the hive doesn’t tell you is that they’ll own your tomorrow if you let them. If you subscribe to their future, what was once considered cookie-cutter will suddenly appear as if it’s the cream of the crop. And you’ll dream in beige. Before you know it, life becomes a bland illusion in which you’re always chasing a carrot on a stick. …


There are many people who, sadly, chase the carrot. They’re constantly after something: maybe it’s the latest and greatest gadget, the best Black Friday has to offer, or the notion that “work harder, not smarter” is an acceptable definition of life and a badge of honor if you live through it. However, for some of us—definitely me and probably you—the carrot isn’t an option. We prefer to slow down when everyone else is accelerating. Our idea of happiness consists of substance over surface and balance over bat-shit-crazy bewildering behavior. But despite our clarity, we are still forced to commute through the cultural detritus that’s left in the wake of those who embrace the chase and covet the carrot. So, when the masses are hustling and bustling to outpace the race, I let them pass because in my heart I choose to walk. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.