Sportsballs! by Anthony Schmiedeler

Kansas City sports teams have been doing great lately and I've been making stuff to show my support. Some have turned into t-shirts, some into prints, and recently I've even had some picked up to be sold at Made in KC! Here's to keeping the streak alive.

Scraper Bikes by Anthony Schmiedeler

A scraper bike is an ordinary bicycle that has been modified by its owner, typically with decorated spokes with candy-colored pinwheels and matching body and wheel colors, using tinfoil, re-used cardboard, candy wrappers and paint. — Wikipedia

A scraper bike is an ordinary bicycle that has been modified by its owner, typically with decorated spokes with candy-colored pinwheels and matching body and wheel colors, using tinfoil, re-used cardboard, candy wrappers and paint. — Wikipedia

I finally made my very own scraper bike. I need better pictures but this will work for now.

BEFORE (not my actual bike but same make and color)

BEFORE (not my actual bike but same make and color)

AFTER

AFTER

Attention Span: September 2015 by Anthony Schmiedeler

"You look at some pictures from the Hubble Telescope and you snap out of it. I used to keep pictures of the Hubble on the wall of the writing room at Seinfeld. It would calm me when I would start to think that what I was doing was important. …People always say it makes them feel insignificant, but I don’t find being insignificant depressing. I find it uplifting." — Jerry Seinfeld

"You look at some pictures from the Hubble Telescope and you snap out of it. I used to keep pictures of the Hubble on the wall of the writing room at Seinfeld. It would calm me when I would start to think that what I was doing was important. …People always say it makes them feel insignificant, but I don’t find being insignificant depressing. I find it uplifting." — Jerry Seinfeld

You gotta be able to act a little, feel a little, think a little, guts.
— Janis Joplin (brainpickings.org)
The technical part of any job is 10%, 90 is creativity... You can fudge that 10%...
— Robert Rodriguez, The Tim Ferriss Show

August Inspiration by Anthony Schmiedeler

Without action, thought can never ripen into truth.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Resilience"
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
— Robert Byrne

July Inspiration by Anthony Schmiedeler

Without action, thought can never ripen into truth.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Anthony Schmiedeler

"If one becomes a lawyer, scholar, mechanist, typist, scientist, production assistant, or what-have-you, the world will commend your decision. Each day at lunch, on vacation, or at whatever party you attend, your choice will be applauded, upheld, and affirmed. And you will know what is expected of you. Even if your job is difficult — if you are a brain chemist, international death merchant, or rocket designer — your responsibilities will be obvious and your goals concrete. If you achieve them, you may be rewarded by promotion. If you fail, you might be fired or demoted, but nonetheless — unless your boss is insane — the job will have tangible parameters. [Art], however, is different. You will never know exactly what you must do, it will never be enough… no matter what change you achieve, you will most likely see no dividend from it. And even after you have achieved greatness, the [tiny number of people] who even noticed will ask, ‘What next?’"

-From the book Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group quoted in this Medium post by my favorite author/artist Austin Kleon.

T-shirts and one-pagers by Anthony Schmiedeler

Sometimes I screenprint t-shirts in my garage for fun. Lately a lot of people have been asking where to get them so I decided to create a website. 

Then I had a lot of fun so I made another one.

These aren't necessarily the most succesful websites but it's fun to see what I can create quickly with the tools I have available to me. It's also amazing what you can create with free websites templates these days.

You can't get fired if you don't have a job. by Anthony Schmiedeler

I'm going to be completely honest here. It's embarrassing but I didn't really know who Margaret Atwood was before Monday. I don't consider myself "well-read" but I'm trying to get to a point where I do. I was slightly aware of her status as an iconic female author so I knew that hearing her deliver the Kenneth A. Spencer Memorial Lecture at KU was a good opportunity for me. So I made the trek out to Lawrence and I wasn't disappointed.

Margaret Atwood is an honest speaker. She was thoughtful and didn't pull any punches. She talked about the state of our world very bluntly, starting with where we came from and what we are.

We came long ago and we came equipped with the arts. Inside every one of us is an artist of some sort — maybe not a very good artist, but an artist nonetheless.

She ended with her answer to where we are going, urging us to embrace the humanities because they are "what make us human" and warning us to avoid the steadily growing "zombie" movement that appears to be doing the opposite. It was hopeful in a weird way and reassuring to hear that maybe I'm on the right track. It helped that in her explanation of the impermanence of ideas, she was able to insert some dancing Super Bowl sharks

My favorite part of the conversation were the audience questions and her super witty responses that always went much deeper than the original queries. Hear are a few I jotted down (largely paraphrased): 
 

• In response to "what made you get into writing?" she referred to the famous line "They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started playing..." which was a great way to say she didn't know what she was doing when she started. She finished with "I will explore almost anything to see how it works." I guess writing is what stuck.

 In response to "How do you address people who take your book too seriously?" she said "It's only a book. Just take the cover and close it." She writes books, not as a gloomy prediction of what's to come, but more as a map on how to avoid it. Nothing is inevitable and the future is not set in stone.

 My favorite line of the night was in response to "How did you get into activism?". She said she hates activism! It's more of a chore than anything else. But there are people who can't say what they want to say because they have jobs. Due to her time in the Girl Scouts she feels compelled to go a bit further than most. So she says what she wants for those who can't because "You can't get fired if you don't have a job!".
 

After the talk I guess I still don't know her that well but I can say that I'm a new fan. And I will be reading The Handmaid's Tale very soon.

Future Library. A 100 year project, started in 2014, of which Margaret Atwood is the first contributor.

Future Library. A 100 year project, started in 2014, of which Margaret Atwood is the first contributor.

Click Here by Anthony Schmiedeler

Technology obsession has been a recurring theme in a lot of things I make. Not just because I feel like it is a huge problem for people today, but also because I experience it quite a bit myself. I'm made two pieces this week reflecting on that problem. Both made quickly, on a whim, but I felt the need to make them real. The biggest problem with technology is that it get's in the way of people most of the time. I was consciously avoiding that problem to make these things but I only realized after that they both speak to those "technological barriers" to reality.

Christmas Crafts by Anthony Schmiedeler

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A beer-flavored advent calendar, Ladybird themed x-mas cards, a similarly themed cookie cutter fashioned from a soda can, and a couple of the ugliest sweaters you've ever seen (2nd and 1st place respectively though I'd argue the reindeer was far too cute to be ugly). Been away from the computer for a while but I'm back and ready for new year of blue light nights.