Inspiration for artists & news from Big Cartel

Steal Our Bookmarks: On Beginning

Whether you're standing at the edge of a new project or seeing your to-do list grow at the beginning of a new year, here's how to take a chance and turn ideas into action.

If you find yourself wondering how you're supposed to approach another fresh, new year, don't stress - Adam J. Kurtz (of ADAMJK fame) is here to help you with his latest guide for Design*Sponge, How to Begin Again. As he says, "You can embark on a new challenge, redirect an existing focus or come back to a passion that you abandoned years ago. It won’t be easy, and (did I mention?) it will be a little terrifying, but you can do it." We couldn't agree more.

Feeling like you're ready to step out of your cushy comfort zone this year and do something new? HelpScout explores the scientific case to be made for doing things that scare you.

A good place to have bad ideas serves as Austin Kleon's recognition of the heaviness of a new year, and he has us turning to our trusty paper notebooks for comfort. What should you fill it with? Austin has a few ideas: "Fill it with your bad thoughts, your bad ideas. Tell it all the things you shouldn’t tell Twitter. It won’t judge you, troll you, or talk back to you. It won’t spy on you, ping you, or notify you. When you’re done with it, you can burn it for heat, or you can save it for your children, so they know what it was like."

Steve Jobs once offered some sage advice to Nike: "Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff." Do your part to get rid of the stuff that doesn't matter and focus on the good. It just might help you sleep better at night.

Noisey just dropped their Guide to Life. They know many of us are full of ideas, and they want to help us turn those ideas into reality. From "How to Hold an Art Show" to "How to Throw a Benefit Show," they show us a variety of ways to leap into action to make our own communities better.

Finally, we've got to throw it back to this excellent essay by Toni Morrison from The Nation. If you're feeling stagnant, her words will light a fire under your buns: "This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."