IN HONOR OF LYNDA BARRY
If you saw my last post on Frida Kahlo, you may be going, "Wait...you like Frida Kahlo AND Lynda Barry? How is that possible? Could you find two artists any more different from each other?"
Yes and no...but more about that in a moment.
Here is a link to a hilarious, wonderful, inspiring, 22-minute radio interview with Lynda Barry. If you are inclined not to listen because of the length, try the first 3 minutes and I betcha you'll be hooked.
The woman is drop-dead funny, and she'll draw you right into her two passions: drawing and neuroscience, and their connection--and she'll do it in such an interesting way that you will likely become a fan also, if you aren't already.
Here's a link to a description of one semester of the course she teaches at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. (You have probably never seen a course description that looks like this before.) I believe it's called "The Unthinkable Mind." She also teaches the course at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY in the summer.
Now here's the thing: I don't actually like Lynda's art that much. She is a cartoonist, and cartooning isn't my thing. We all have different tastes and preferences. But I absolutely love HER, and her wild wisdom. I have read most of her books (graphic novels stuffed with her cartoons and all of them, I think, semi-autobiographical). Her book What It Is contains a lot of the ideas from her course.
And what are those ideas? She strongly believes that all of us, every single one of us, including all of us who are "not creative," can create. And she has some sneaky and hilarious methods for showing us how that is true. If you listen to the last 5 minutes or so of the radio interview, you'll hear one of those sneaky and very funny methods. It's kind of irresistible too.
Once you see Lynda's art, the similarity between her work and that of Frida Kahlo jumps out: it is in the purpose of their art, though it could not look any more different. Both women use art to tell stories in a very obvious, in-your-face way. (And of course, both women's art contains many more subtle messages than what you see when you first look.) I prefer the visual art of one, Frida, to that of the other, Lynda, but I have equal respect for both. And it's Lynda who is breaking through barriers to creativity and teaching how to access it, using the latest neuro-scientific research and her own wild and wacky techniques.
Please stop reading and go check out those links NOW! You'll be glad you did. Thanks.
UPDATE, JUNE 2015: An additional post with more info on Lynda's work.
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I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society