Check it out!

That’s right. I’ve flown the coop. Pop on over to my official site- http://www.artisticadd.com. I’ll see you there.




Art and Glasses Pt. 2


When it comes to art, we often mistake the glass for its contents. Take an art form that is very dear to my heart: comics. The comics page is in a terrible state: most of the comics printed in the newspaper are terrible. The same tired jokes repeated again and again by the same boring, flat characters. There are some exceptions, of course, but for the most part, decades of repetition have rendered many of the old greats flat, boring and tasteless as a bowl of plain, overcooked oatmeal. Now, it would be easy to take a look at the comics page and conclude that comics aren’t worth being considered as art. But that’s mistaking the contents for the glass. The contents of the art form might be awful, but it doesn’t mean the form, or the idea is bad: it just means that thus far, maybe no one has used the art form to its fullest potential (and, of course, there have been many brilliant cartoonists in the history of the medium, but that’s getting off track).


What about another art form that night not be considered so: video games. Now, I know that for the most part, video games are vapid, tasteless consumer products aimed at making males feel effective and powerful. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Just because the content of video games is typically not anything that should be considered art, it doesn’t mean the idea of video games is bad. At their core, video games don’t have to be games at all: they’re simply digital, interactive pieces of art where the artist has surrendered some control of the storyline or message to the consumer of the art. Given this definition, can you see how limited this art form has been so far? It has tremendous potential for power and beauty, if someone would just dare to step outside the limited definitions we place on it (and people have, make no mistake- http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/jason-rohrer/)




So what can you take away from this? Do your art. It doesn’t really matter if the contents of your particular glass have been mostly foul so far. Every art form has unlimited potential for greatness if you only fill it beauty and vision. Don’t be tempted to follow a more traditional art form (painting, sculpture, etc) unless you are made for it. Make your video game, your comics, your whatever. Make it great. Make it beautiful. Then confidently, unapologetically, unceasingly declare to the world that it is art.


Andrew Miller



Art and glasses Pt.1



A glass can hold iced coffee (my favorite), orange juice, diet soda, vodka or sludge water. The glass doesn’t care. The glass can also hold vinegar, lemon juice, salt water or pickling brine, it makes no difference to the glass. Now, imagine this scenario: a man sits at a table with a bottle of white vinegar, a bottle of tabasco, and a jar of mayo. He pours himself a generous dollop of mayo and takes a swig. He quickly chokes, grimaces and starts gagging. “That’s disgusting!” he says to no one in particular. He reaches for the tabasco and, with some effort, fills his glass again. He sniffs the tabasco suspiciously and takes a drink. The next few minutes the man looks somewhat like a trout, flopping around on the deck of a ship. He realizes that his mouth is going to keep burning until he douses it with something, but unfortunately, he chooses vinegar.


After the man returns from the emergency room, he returns to the condiment bespeckled table and seizes the glass in his hand. “This glass is no good! I’ve tried three different drinks from it, and every time it has been disgusting! I’m throwing this faulty glass away!”


Sounds stupid, right? What if I told you that we treat art this way?

I’ll explain friday.












Fear of failure 2

Here are the final three reasons Failure is OK:

3. Small failures keep you from catastrophic failures.

Once you make a mistake on a small scale and learn from it, you are unlikely to make the same mistake on a larger scale. Imagine a visionary architect who sets out to build a building that seems impossible to most other architects. He draws dozens of pictures of the building, and is constantly changing and refining his design. He builds scale models. He shows the ideas to his friends and illicits their advice. He does the math, researches different building materials and finally has the complete picture and builds the impossible building. What’s he done here? He’s essentially failed over and over again. When his colleagues tell him a certain part of the building won’t work, he’s failed a little bit. As he draws and refines the building, the design changes as he fails to get the correct design, over and over again. Perhaps he has to scrap the whole basis of the idea and start clean. He’s failed. Perhaps he realizes while he’s making the scale models that something aspect of the building needs to change. Back to the drawing board, he’s failed. But finally, when he’s done due diligence and the building is built, it’s beautiful. It’s a success. All the small setbacks and mistakes – all of the small failures – have kept the final building from being a failure. Imagine if the architect just went to the building site and winged it. He would be pulling a lot of nails.

4.Failures change your behavior for good.

Speaking of architects, there’s a house in town that is a fine example of a huge, resounding failure. It’s a big, beautiful high-end house, and it sits, nearly finished, on a mound of dirt in a nice section of town. The exterior is done, all of the new windows are in. But they’ve halted production; the inside may never be finished, and the yard has gone to weeds. Why? There’s a limit set by the local homeowner’s association as to how tall a house can be, and this house exceeds the limit by several feet. Construction has been halted indefinitely. Now, you would think that someone would have checked the requirements for houses in the neighborhood – the contractor, the architect, the unfortunate people who are paying for this mess – but no one did, and now this huge, expensive, failure of a house sits vacant in the lot, while the weeds grow up around it.

But let me ask you: if these people ever build another house, do you think they’ll forget to check? Not a snowball’s chance in July. The extremely expensive mistake they made has indelibly burnt this into their minds. They probably would check the policies multiple times, consult and throughly impress the fact that their house must be under a certain hight with the architect, and be out on the building site with a tape measure, just to make sure. They will never make the same mistake again, because their failure has changed their behavior. Pain has a way of doing that.

5.”Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Zigler

This is very important for your well-being. You’re not a failure. You have to impress this into your mind. Write it on your hand. Put it on your desktop. This idea gives you permission to try as hard as you can and fail miserably. It’s ok, you’re not a failure. You can just try again. Finished your first novel and everyone who reads it tells you not to quit your day job? It’s ok, the novel may have failed, but you aren’t a failure. You can go on to the next thing, and the next thing, as many as it takes. Labels are hard to get rid of, but events you can move past really quickly. Failure is an event. Accept it as it is, learn what you can, change your behavior if needed, and keep moving.

What happened after I got the F on the math test? I went crazy. I’m no morning person, but I started getting up a 6:00 to do a set of math problems every morning. I made flash cards. I wrote down everything the teacher said. I aced the next test. I was able to learn from the failure, and was better off for it. Failure is our friend.



Andrew Miller


Fear of Failure

We’ve all seen it during our school days. The giant red F at the top of the page of homework, or a test. Even if you went through school with a 4.0 (you perfectionist, you) you probably have had nightmares about how soul-crushing it would be to get one. I got one F during my entire academic career (math test), and I remember exactly what it looked like, and its position on the page. It’s seared into my memory, because of what it stood for: failure. Of course, the really insidious thing about failure is it causes another F – fear. Fear is like a decease, crippling and devastating if allowed to run rampant in the human frame. So, to avoid fear, we should do everything we can to avoid failure, right?

Wrong. I think we need to embrace failure. Failure’s ok, and I’ll tell you why.

1. You learn from failure.

Success doesn’t teach you half of what failure teaches you. Failure shows you what you have yet to learn, ways you can improve, and (if you let it) can be the best stepping stone to success. However, if you take your failure personally and refuse to learn from it, the would-be stepping stone gets tied around your neck and you get hurled into the ocean. You have to be able to step back from the inherent emotional risks of failure and look for the lessons, or fear will consume you. You must also remember that failure will tend to effect you emotionally if you stake your entire identity on the project in question: be sure to work towards success in other areas of your life so a failing in one can be taken as a learning experience; it’s difficult to learn when your entire foundation for your identity has dropped out.

2. Failures show that you’re pushing yourself.

People who push the boundaries of their talents and constantly learn and grow tend to succeed. If you haven’t made a mistake, had a failure, you’re probably staying well within your comfort zone and not fulfilling your potential. If something scares you, do it. Fear of failure can be crippling, but only if you run away from it. If you run towards the projects you fear the most, you’ll grow exponentially.  Yes, you might fail dismally, but you might be more creative and ingenious than you think and be able to figure it out. Either way, you’ve learned and grown, if you have the right attitude about failure.

This is part one of two- I’ll be addressing a few more upsides to failure, and ways to combat fear of failure Friday.



Another great TED talk. This is about nurturing creativity. Here are some quotes:

” Creative people across all genres, it seems, have this reputation for being enormously mentally unstable.”


“…somehow we’ve completely internalized and accepted collectively this notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked and that artistry, in the end, will always ultimately lead to anguish.”


“I think it’s better if we encourage our great creative minds to live.”


Watch it now.


Andrew Miller






Watch this TED talk by Ken Robinson. It’s intelligent and funny and it really (I think) pinpoints how our educational systems need to change to accommodate creativity. Here are some key quotes:

“My contention is that all kids have tremendous talents and we squander them pretty ruthlessly.”

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy.”

“You were probably steered benignly away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you would never get a job doing that. Is that right? Don’t do music, you’re not going to be a musician; don’t do art, you won’t be an artist.”

“…if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original…And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this, by the way. We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.” 

 Watch it.


Andrew Miller