Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Redactional Poet

There are some creative people whose work makes me feel I'm only smart or talented enough to comprehend how much their talent dwarfs mine. Whenever I feel that violent swing between admiration and professional jealousy, I know I'm seeing something worthwhile.

I took another of those rides when I discovered the work of Austin-based writer, cartoonist, web designer, and visual thinker Austin Kleon. In addition to speaking and publishing, he shares his hydra-headed, multidisciplinary creative work on his blog.

As a process guy who likes to work in multiple media and disciplines, I was immediately drawn to Kleon's work and ideas about creativity. Even more impressive is the way in which he combines words, images, and technology. Kleon narrates a short animated video that tells how he developed his integrated approach.

He is probably best known for creating poetry by using a Sharpie to black out words from newspaper articles. He uses photo retouch software to do the same thing with images of street signs. The results are usually funny and sometimes thought-provoking.

As soon as I see work I admire, I try to better understand it by copying the method. So here is my attempt at understanding newspaper blackout poetry:

A crappy homage to Austin Kleon (but an homage nonetheless)

If you want to see the real deal (and have the opportunity to buy the book), you can do so here. I strongly recommend it.

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