Glaser’s Secrets of Art

The Workroom Fall 2013 is well underway – and it is a huge pleasure for me to watch people conquer blog mechanics, begin to express themselves in this new format, and make headway on things they have long wanted to accomplish.

In my preparation days, I began to go through a file of things collected since the last Workroom session, thinking to add more inspiring quotes and helpful ideas. As I edited and posted my offerings, I found a few things that also belong here.

Last year I wrote about Milton Glaser (here) . This year I found Glaser’s “The Secret of Art” (here).

Before I even knew who he was I loved Milton Glaser’s work. When I see an image of Glaser’s iconic poster of Bob Dylan, it brings back memories of our first year of marriage and wintry Anchorage nights, sitting in the car on the street below waiting for my husband. In the office above, lights still blazed, revealing the Dylan poster on his wall in all its color. In the ‘60s everything was still late arriving in Alaska, but the office was the first Alaska Public Defender’s office and Dylan had arrived.

I love Glaser’s “The Secret of Art” – he’s a master and he has a generous spirit. Originally written as a presentation to the professional association for design, the AIGA, a lot of it works for all of us.

Each time I return to his list, I see something new. With this reading, Glaser described sitting in a car waiting for his wife when he heard John Cage speaking of old age – about keeping going, doing what you do – a nice bookend to my thoughts.

Each of his ten points resonates – toxic people, nourishing people – yes! About style and less and more. And about drawing. That’s the part I wanted to add for the Workroom participants, about how we live changing our brains.

And my favorite: “Doubt is Better than Certainty.”


6 thoughts on “Glaser’s Secrets of Art

  1. This poster brings back so many memories. And I, too, loved what he said about drawing. It would be interesting to do a study about why drawing is different than writing. Both make marks, but drawing truly does something to your mind and to your interaction with the subject. Sometimes it seems like the act of connecting your eye to the drawing tool in your hand opens a space in your brain to let other thoughts and ideas come in. Thanks, Katy, for this morning inspiration. Makes a good start to the day.

    • You are welcome! And I wonder sometimes – because I so often picture thing when remembering – how memory and drawing are related. Someday those brain scientists will figure that out. In the meantime we can keep looking with attention – and drawing!

  2. Hi Katy, Thanks for linking to my post. Though I wrote it Mr.Glaser’s permission to publish, (he offered the image to use with it), many years ago, it remains one of the most popular things I have ever written. It has 50k views on Stumbleupon with 3,100 likes: I am not surprised at how many people love this man, his work and what he stands for.

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