Monday, February 6, 2012

Keys of the Kingdom

Keys of the KingdomKeys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My dad recommended I read this book. It's one of his favorites and has sentimental value to him because it was given to him by a friend while he was a missionary in Germany. I enjoyed the story and the perspective provided by the main character, Father Chisholm, regarding religion. He provides an important message of tolerance and love.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saul Bass: On Making Money vs Quality Work

I think this is an appropriate follow up to my post yesterday. I admire Saul's attitude as he states it: "I want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares." That really shows pure motives and I think that approach is a good one to have in anything that we do whether it be art or doing the dishes. We should do it out of love for what we're doing or for whom we're doing it, even if they don't care.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Value of Art

A few weeks ago when I was questioning the value of art in comparison to other fields that I could be going into, my mom shared this quote with me that I believe the grandmother of E. W. Bok would say to him: "Make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."

I like the idea of making the world a better place through my art. It's just hard to feel sometimes that art makes that much of a difference because in most cases it seems to be such a subtle, almost imperceptible difference that is difficult to measure or quantify. Thus, to the left-brained world, or the world of definite right and wrong, art is of little value because the left-brain doesn't understand it because art cannot be evaluated in the same way that a math problem can be evaluated with clear-cut answers.

However, the fact that some people do not place very much value on art does not diminish it's inherent value. The value of art is a truth that holds strong regardless of people's perceptions of it, similar to the truth that a person's value doesn't change in the sight of God depending on what other people may think of that person. He or she is still every bit as valuable even if other people fail to acknowledge that value.

Whether we realize it or not, the art around us -- be it architecture,  interior design,  graphic design or whatever form of art -- effects us in some way. A beautiful environment has the natural effect of pleasing the senses and gladdening the heart. An ugly environment has the opposite effect.

Indeed, art has great value. It just needs to be understood and appreciated on a different level than other things that might have more obvious value. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Peace of Wild Things

My professor read this poem to us this week and I really liked it. A friend told me recently that I worry too much and that I shouldn't pollute my life so much with worries about things that, 90% of which, aren't even going to happen. So, I'm trying to cure myself of my addiction to worry. I thought this poem related well. It's called "The Peace of Wild Things:"

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

  -- Wendell Berry 

I believe Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. As expressed in the Book of Mormon "men are that they might have joy." Heavenly Father has given us everything and has given us this beautiful Earth, all for the intent that we might have joy. So, it's important to recognize the blessings he's given us and to look forward to the future with confidence that things will work out well in the end regardless of the unhappy things that might befall us in the mean time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magazines we read

In my publications design class the other day we had a discussion on magazines. I realized that most of the magazines my professor had brought in as examples of good design were ones that I wasn't really familiar with. It made me think about the purpose of magazines and what makes us want to read certain magazines over others.

I realized that since I've been at college I haven't really read magazines much. It takes a lot of time for one thing, and they're expensive. So, of course I'm not going to read them! But as a kid, my parents subscribed to a few magazines from time to time that I would read or that my mom would read to me when I was little. They included: Baby Bug, Cricket, Ranger Rick, Guidepost, Reader's Digest, National Geographic, Time, The Economist, The Friend, The New Era and the Ensign.

What magazines did you read growing up (or still read)?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bike rides = bonding

This evening I went on a bike ride with a friend. It was a short little ride, but just what I needed. It was so nice to be outside after being inside most of the day stressing over my assignments and other things. And it was nice to have good company. We enjoyed catching up on each other's lives, observing a herd of deer (I'm pretty sure I counted ten!), and breathing in the fresh air emanating from the groves of fruit trees that we rode past.

My friend observed that bike rides are wonderful things and that she's had some special moments riding bikes with other people. I would have to agree. Some of the most pleasant times that I've had have been spent riding my bike with a friend.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Little Snail

When I got home from work this evening the grass was wet from the rain. It was dark, so it wasn't until I got inside under the dim lights of my basement apartment that I noticed a little friend who had attached himself to my shoe.

It was the cutest little snail I've ever seen: his little snail body so transparent that I could see his internal organs and his shell so delicate that it could have been a thin layer of crystallized sugar.

So, I had to document this little guy before I released him onto the leaf of a tulip plant. I wonder how long it will take him to grow into a big snail. What do snails even eat? And I wonder what he will do in the winter. Maybe he'll stay huddled up in his little shell until he defrosts in the spring? I sure would like to know.