Learners and Teachers

In his Foreword to Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art, Michael Chabon writes:

It is the way of confidence men and tricksters to sell you what you already own; but a great writer, in so doing, always finds a way to enrich you by the game.

The same applies to great teachers, too. Pondering this as I think fondly and appreciatively about one of my great teachers.

Thanks to Neil Kandalgaonkar for recommending this book.

Leonardo Da Vinci on Human Ingenuity and Nature

From The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (Jean Paul Richter, 1888), XIV Anatomy, Zoology and Physiology:

Though human ingenuity may make various inventions… it will never devise any inventions more beautiful, nor more simple, nor more to the purpose than Nature does; because in her inventions nothing is wanting, and nothing is superfluous, and she needs no counterpoise when she makes limbs proper for motion in the bodies of animals.

Thanks to Andrew James Campbell for sharing.

Never Compromise

I’ve been an Aaron Huey fanboy since seeing his amazing photography of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at Pop-Up Magazine a few years back. He’s the only person I follow on Instagram whom I don’t actually know in real life.

Yesterday, he posted a photo from his latest assignment. Because he’s a National Geographic photographer, he has a huge following (more than 40,000 followers) on Instagram, and his pictures get a ton of comments, most of which I ignore. However, one comment from this picture stood out to me, largely due to its boldness. It was from Andrew Griswold, who himself has a huge Instagram following. Andrew wrote:

Hey Aaron, huge fan of your work. My wife were just talking about this last night and I was curious how exactly do you become a photographer forĀ @natgeo? As it being the holy grail of jobs for me I was just curious how your path brought you there. Would love to connect! Hit me up anytime.

I loved Aaron’s response:

Secret is to never compromise (no plan B) and you’ll likely need to shoot one thing deeper/better than its ever been shot before. Forget single images. Shoot a story.

Great advice for aspiring artists of all ilks, including social artists.