On Mardi Gras, of all days, it seems appropriate to celebrate the use of desks for more than just writing or reading or other solemn or sedentary acts. Today, let’s celebrate the winner of the third annual Tiny Desk Contest. The winers are Tank and the Bangas who are appropriately from New Orleans, the soul of Mardi Gras in the US. They jammed out on the desks in the art room in a school classroom showing that desks are great for making music, making magic and making dreams come true. Congrats to Tank and the Bangas! And Happy Mardi Gras! Roulez Bon Temps!
For full details about the Tiny Desk Contest and to listen to the full radio report, visit NPR.org.
Are you sick of hearing my voice yet this week? If not, then you might want to check out this video that Goulet Pens recorded in Atlanta at the Atlanta Pen Show in April. They did a very nice interview with me for their Spotlight series. I was so nervous but Brian was so kind, as was the whole Goulet team. We had a great time and I am so flattered that they would want to do a video with little ol’ me.
Philip Ashforth Coppola has spent the last 38 years illustrating the details of New York City’s subway stations. Many of the illustrations are done with ballpoint pen and are exquisitely detailed. New York Bound Books has published small editions of bound volumes of some of the sketches. This video is from the Great Big Story series.
I listened to the episode this morning and it went into more detail about the making of pencils and that no one person or country can actually make a pencil nowadays… or maybe ever… and less about handwriting. So, I really couldn’t get too riled up about this episode.
Here is a video version of the I, Pencil essay that they talk about in the podcast which is quite interesting.
In the end, I don’t think that Freakonomics came to any clear conclusion in the first episode about the importance of handwriting (or necessarily took a strong stance on the other side of the argument either). I have listened to the first episode three times now and have decided that it is decidedly rabblerousing, neither making a case for or against handwriting but rather just stirring the argumentative pot. I still feel that the act of writing helps develop cognitive skills and fine motor skills. But I also realize that typing can increase overall speed, editing and collaboration. As an artist and designer, many things start on paper and then are finished digitally and have been done that way for well over 30 years. Since visual creatives work this way so frequently, combining analog and digital tools seems like an obvious pairing. Maybe to others it needs to be an either/or proposition.
In the end, like so many other things in our modern world, I think you need to learn to use both analog and digital tools as a child and then choose the best tool for the job along the way. And sometimes BOTH is the correct answer.
It’s happening again! Brad and Myke are getting the gang back together for a live recording of The Pen Addict podcast in Atlanta at the pen show in April and they are letting me tag along again. Help support our efforts to be the nerdiest of all pen nerds and get a cool notebook, and an opportunity to pause the video while we make ridiculous faces (over and over) by backing the Kickstarter, RelayCon Atlanta 2016. The gift that keeps on gif-ing!
Back the project for just $10 to get the video, $15 to get the notebook (and spare yourself the silly video), $25 for both. Go crazy and back at $50 and get 3 sets of notebooks and the video.
And if you’ll be in Atlanta this year for the show, come be a part of our live studio audience! How weird is it to say that?