Tag Archives: art

Using Chess To Learn About Yourself

Art imitates life. We all know this, especially if you are creative in any way. You’ll experience something, be it a cascading waterfall silhouetted by a sunset or two dogs chasing a ball and their owner’s attention, and you’ll be inspired to take action. Maybe you sketch an image or write a poem or construct a story. However you do it, the process is the same: experience something, get inspired, create something.

The same is true in reverse. Life imitates art. You see a painting, watch a movie, read a poem and something clicks. You get a fresh new perspective. Maybe you get inspired enough to take action, to do things different, or maybe you just sit back and think new, deeper thoughts. In either case, the very way you see reality has changed. Shift your perceptions and what you perceive shifts as well.

I find this interesting, as I’m a chess player. Chess is a game, but it has artistic qualities. Moreover, it’s a thinking game. It’s a direct portal into your own mind. If art imitates life, then chess definitely imitates life as well.

It’s not called the Royal Game for nothing.

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The ‘Art’ Part of Traditional Martial Arts

Every once in awhile, you’ll see an amazing martial arts demonstration. Maybe it’s a 70-year-old master moving with the grace and agility of someone half his age, or maybe it’s some six-year-old prodigy that wows everyone with such crisp moves and outstanding discipline. Whatever it is, the crowd will clap and applaud, and someone somewhere will say, “You see, this is why the martial arts are on art.”

Not all artists use paintbrushes.

We all accept this. It’s physical poetry, not so different from dance or gymnastics. It looks good, it feels good, everyone is happy. Over the years, though, I’ve begun to doubt this. I don’t know if karate or kung fu is art anymore. I mean, even if everything I wrote about is 100% true, then this is the strangest and most different art form we have. Continue reading

Three Wishes

Anyone who has ever watched Disney’s Aladdin has dreamed about finding a magic lamp of his or hers own. What could you do with three wishes? It could be anything you wanted, and so the question becomes simple: what do you want?

Also, there’s a good chance you’ve had ‘A Whole New World’ stuck in your head at some point. Probably right now, in fact.

This question is actually deeper than it first appears. Many people don’t know what they want. Some people are so bad at making decisions that they can’t even decide what to have for lunch. Not me. I’m planning ahead. If I ever find a magic lamp, I’m wasting no time on my three wishes. I’ll have them all figured out, exactly. Well, maybe. Let’s brainstorm at least, shall we? Continue reading

The Time I Wanted to be an Artist

[This post was inspired by an email I received today. Riven Phoenix, an art professor and creator of the online course that teaches how to draw the human figure, has recently revamped his website and asked for help in promoting it. I recommend both his site and his work, and you can find it here. In the meantime enjoy my little history as far as it relates to art and drawing.]

Everybody has dreams growing up. Most kids have the grandest dreams possible, things like being an astronaut or a sports star. Some have more modest goals of being a doctor or a lawyer. Very few kids have small dreams. Now that I think about it, actually, I can’t remember what I dreamed about. As an older teenager I wanted to be a chess master, but that thought never occurred as a child. I don’t think I wanted anything, actually. As long as I had enough free time to play video games and road hockey, I could be anything when I grow up. Continue reading