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Figure via Artbreeder

This article started out as a deep dive into the use of AI in art: examining the possibilities that AI opens up for artists, the common objections to the whole idea of AI art, and what I have found personally using some of the AI tools now available.

That will be an article for another time, however, because what I found while I was writing was a much more fundamental. I have found my voice. And I have found a community.

Having made the decision a couple of years ago to take doing art more seriously, I have been on a journey of experiments that have led to a rather magical place. …


Showing how “Show Your Work” works

We’ve all heard the advice:

“Do something creative every day.”

“Make sure to publish something every day.”

“Share your journey, not just the destination.”

“Show people your process, not just the end results.”

(Note: I’ve made those up, paraphrasing; so, if any of those are actual quotes from someone, sorry for the lack of attribution!)

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Photo by Руслан Гамзалиев on Unsplash

No matter how many times we’re told that this is the key to real progress, we don’t often seem able to act on that knowledge. (Or, is that just me? Until now, that is!)

“On the spectrum of creative work, the difference between the mediocre and the good is vast. Mediocrity is, however, still on the spectrum; you can move from mediocre to good in increments. The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something.” …


Being a part of the community on Creary.net

In my previous article, I talked about my initial experience with making and sharing digital art, some of what I’ve found most compelling about the “art on blockchain” or “crypto art” space, and how much I was enjoying (and learning) by starting a creative practice on the Creary platform.

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Creary Media Kit

In this article, I wanted for focus a bit more specifically on Creary and share some of the things that have made it, for me, an ideal place to expand my toolbox of creative expression.

“The name of Creary is inspired by … merging the words Creative + Diary.”

I took the idea of a “creative diary” quite literally and have been using Creary as a daily practice and the Crea blockchain as the system of record of my experiments, techniques I am learning, the visual language I am working towards developing or, sometimes, simply the processing of experiences of life into images. …


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Crypto Experiment #1 by Sparrow

One month ago today, I got my first rewards vested on creary.net for digital works I’d made and uploaded to their network. This wasn’t my first experience with art and blockchain, but it has been the most engaging and enjoyable one so far! So, I thought I’d write up my experiences so far and sort of chronicle what it feels like to me in this space.

What is ‘art on blockchain’ really?

‘Blockchain art’ or (the vague misnomer) ‘crypto art’ is often compared to early ‘Net art. It is probably an overused analogy. While I am sure that there will be new art forms that come out of the experience of artists and blockchain technologies (indeed, there already have been some good examples of this), I think the main contribution this technology will make in the art world is a growing awareness that peer-to-peer (p2p), by-passing the traditional gatekeepers of the art world (and hopefully not just replacing them with other gatekeepers as many existing internet platforms have done), is the future. …


What all this has to do with an art project exploring a use of blockchain technology

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In this part of this series, I give a bit of background for some of the themes and images of the 100 Crows project, what they mean to me, what they mean for the project, and what that all means in the wider world.

Let’s start with…

Crow

In “CROW,” Ted Hughes writes as if the world’s mythologies were open and available to his imagination. The title-figure strikes most readers as something new in our poetry, the real thing, an innovation, and so he is — and yet, as I hope to show, Hughes has skillfully fashioned Crow out of bits and pieces of some very ancient traditions from both the Old and the New Worlds. …


What is it about blockchain?

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I know. I know… blockchain…

I’ve worked in software development for over 20 years now. I’ve seen computing fads come and go, buzzwords proliferate then fade away, bandwagons everyone jumps on only to jump onto the next one a few short months later.

Maybe I’m a bit jaded by now.

We’ve had a few teams spin up around blockchain at work. And it seems as though the most common reaction to the mention of blockchain from many software developers is a slight roll of the eyes and a (fairly heavy) sigh.

This appears to be for two very different reasons as far as I can…


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A few of the test samples I made for my project. Encaustic wax medium on board.

This series of posts is about exploring some of the intersections — crossroads — of ideas, myths, eras, and technologies that are a part of a project I’m creating. The project is part of the Make/100 feature on Kickstarter which happens every January. This is my first Kickstarter project, and there has been a lot to learn! A subject for a future article or series here, when I’ve been through the whole process. For now, I want to focus on the themes of the project itself.

A Blockchain Crow is an idea that was hatched after researching the solution provided by Blockchain Art Collective to the age old (and pernicious) problem of verifying authenticity and provenance details, which I did as a case study for a module of the MicroMasters course I’m taking through edX in Corporate Innovation. …


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A test encaustic wax painting of mine made during a workshop in 2018.

Every year I choose a theme, or set of words, that will remind me of the things I want to focus on for the year. I don’t make resolutions. I make maps.

This all began quite a number of years ago when I read Danielle LaPorte’s “Desire Mapping” book. The ideas behind that book made a lot of sense to me at the time and this exercise, in the slightly tweaked form I use, has served me well over the past five or six years. So, I thought I’d share how I’ve used it and what I’ve chosen for 2019.

Like any map of uncharted territory, what is within view is more detailed. As you look beyond the immediate, things get a little fuzzy. …


Forget about competing with machines.

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We should not try to be more machine-like than machines.

I know this is difficult. Our educational systems and economic reward structures are set up to condition us to be more and more machine-like. Regurgitating facts to pass exams, clocking in and clocking out at the same time every day, being as efficient as possible, conforming to standards and norms: all these have been seen as essential skills in our society. …


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Work in progress of one of my encaustic paintings

I recently read Oli Mould’s book ‘Against Creativity’ and I have been thinking about it ever since. (The sign of a good book Kris Gage! Thanks for your timely article, btw!)

You see, I’ve begun writing a creativity app for Android. And, I am taking a MicroMasters course in Corporate Innovation. Maybe unsurprisingly, these two things dovetail at times and conflict at others! Mould’s book has helped me get a better understanding of the nature of conflict I was feeling. I’ve looked in various places to try to find a model for my thoughts, but none seem to fit very well. …

About

Sparrow Read

Software Engineer. Artist. Multipotentialite. Pirate. Human.

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