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 grip of dark hearts house of cards in a soft breeze light always escapes Illustration and writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.
I want to be a clockmaker. But I want to envelop Father Time in a lullaby, thereby gifting minutes—or possibly hours—to people who dare to dream. Extra moments, for the mind to run free. It would be a magnificent clock indeed! Methinks five large hands, each one unique in design and whirling past Roman numerals—some missing, some cockeyed—with a tempest’s energy, in opposite directions. Fashioned like the grandfathers of yore, my clock would bewilder all eyes that looked upon it, propelling the expected into the realm of the unexpected, thus removing one’s mind from the linear passage of time and gently placing it into a nebulous and seemingly never-ending moment. Yes, I want to be a clockmaker. I want to give the gift of time, which is the creator of dreams. © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.
fog is a lesson beautiful brooding wisdom study its teachings: wispy, weighty, peaceful…and perilous…“Live life wisely” © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.
Explore. Discover the hidden gems throughout our worlds. Stumble upon—with purpose—the treasures buried (sometimes deep) within daily life. Allow them to reveal profound notions, through which incredible outcomes can be born. That will be my quest. © 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, …
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.
I’m a 44-year-old adult who doesn’t know how to swim. Naturally, I’ve never had a desire to surf. But that didn’t stop me from watching Under An Arctic Sky, a documentary about arctic surfing that’s directed by photographer Chris Burkard. It was, generally speaking, an interesting documentary. And I’ll grant you I was somewhat surprised by my curiosity toward this film, at the outset. However, it was the last 10 minutes or so that produced the real gem for me: the notion of the journey as being more important than the product of the journey. That concept gave me a good reason to reflect because, as someone who is creative on a professional level, I find it too easy to focus on the outcome…that final product, an anticipated portfolio piece, a new “thing” to share. The problem with that perspective is simple: it neglects the journey. In a journey, the substance isn’t found at the end: it lives in each of the moments experienced within. And those experiences—an engaging conversation, a magnificent view, or even the next phase of …
“Woe to he who checkmates his opponent at last, only to discover they have been playing cribbage.”—Charles Unwin, from The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry.
This is a cautionary graphic, courtesy of the League of Librarians. Please pass along as needed, and don’t forget to read a book! © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.
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.
The best ideas are born from a desire to ignore convention and embrace instinct. It is a move toward fresh and exciting possibilities instead of forcing fresh and exciting upon what already exists. Speak with your voice and people will hear you; mimic someone else’s voice and your tribe will keep walking. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.