Preparing for a month abroad is no small endeavor. There's banks to inform, rooms to sublet, budgets to be made, crap to buy. All these things, plus teaching summer school. And some wrenches thrown in the works just to keep things interesting. In short, my mind has been very very occupied. 

To my surprise, I realized this morning that most of it is done now. Done! I could get on the plane a week early which, for a chronic procrastinator like me, is kind of a big deal. I even bought some Euros so I have them on hand when I land in Berlin! I'M A ROCKSTAR.


In terms of artistic readiness? The prospect of creating non-stop for a month? Having nothing to do other than think about what I want to make? Where I want to apply for graduate school? Whether my ideas are crap or worth digging into deeper?

Uhhh, oh god.

I need a little help.

I walked down to Dog Eared Books on Valencia this morning and bought these five books on the creative process:

The Gift by Lewis Hyde

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

How to Be and Explorer of the World by Keri Smith

The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp

I need a sort of compression chamber, like the ones you have to pass through in order to get in a deep-sea submersible without exploding from the pressure, except for artmaking. Sorry for the gross imagery. But I need a hard-core preparation for what I'm about to do. It struck me how different I'm going to be living when I'm in Berlin, how foreign things are going to feel, besides being in another country. And it's important that I am READY to be as present, open, curious, and energized as possible. Hopefully these books will get me pointed in the right direction.

So, here's to getting compressed and not exploding. Shoot me a message if you have any other books, quotes, or documentaries (my favorite) to recommend.

In other news, I bought a brand new Lomo camera:

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I have long lusted after the Diana F+. I've used a couple Holgas over the years, both until they stopped working, and loved them dearly. After the death of my second Holga, I was going to replace it with another cheap one--and I found I just couldn't do it, I wanted something better. I found this limited edition super cutesy-hipster-almost-annoying Diana on the Urban Outfitters website for a GREAT deal, and, sort of while cringing, pressed BUY. As soon as it arrived, and I loaded some film into it, I realized it was definitely better quality than the Holgas I'd used before. The shutter mechanism sounds more solid, there are aperture and shutter speed controls, and the flash comes with color gels for color flash action (EXCITING). I can't wait to see what kind of pictures it produces. I'm taking it to Berlin, so it'll be put to good use.

More again soon!