Advertise here with Carbon Ads

This site is made possible by member support. ❤️

Big thanks to Arcustech for hosting the site and offering amazing tech support.

When you buy through links on, I may earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for supporting the site! home of fine hypertext products since 1998.

🍔  💀  📸  😭  🕳️  🤠  🎬  🥔

What Are you Starting Right Now?

The NY Times Style Magazine recently published an entire issue dedicated to “what it means start an artistic life”. I have only scratched the surface of this multi-article package, but I locked into this one immediately: We asked 80 artists and other creative people to tell us what they’re starting right now or hope to very soon.

Filmmaker Boots Riley:

I’m getting ready to start filming a feature I wrote about a group of professional female shoplifters who find a device called a situational accelerator that heightens the conflict of anything they shoot it at. I also have a sci-fi adventure: a janky, lo-fi epic space funk opera. My dream is to use the same crew and shoot the two movies back to back in Oakland, Calif. [where I live]. That’s one thing about being 53 — I want to be able to spend more time with my kids.

Writer Alice McDermott:

There are three kinds of novels I’ve never taken to heart: science fiction, murder mysteries and novels about novelists. So I’ve decided to try my hand at each. If I fail, they’re probably not books I’d want to read anyway.

Cartoonist Daniel Clowes:

I’ve always had the desire to do fakes of artworks I admire — to figure out how they were done, and so I could have otherwise unaffordable artwork hanging in my living room. Painting [with oil] is as frustrating and exhilarating as I remember it being when I was in art school 43 years ago, and my paintings look alarmingly not unlike the ones I did at 19.

Artist and writer Nell Irvin Painter:

I’m way too old to be a beginner. I’m 81 and have already written and published a million (OK, 10) books. But a very different kind of project’s been tugging at me: something like an autobiographical Photoshop document with layers from different phases of my life in the 1960s and ’70s — spent in France, Ghana, the American South. I’d have to be myself at different ages.

Artist Christine Sun Kim:

I have a bit of an adverse reaction to people doing American Sign Language interpretations of popular songs on social media - they’re usually based entirely on the lyrics in English, when rhyming works differently in ASL. So I’ve been wanting to make a fully native ASL “music” video. One day.

Artist Eric Mack:

I’m starting to recharge in order to begin my next body of work. I journal, read, explore the Criterion Channel and get deep-tissue massages. I keep wishing I’d organize the fabrics in my studio.

I love that: Mack shared not what he’s working on next but that he’s using the time to recharge the batteries, a step that’s often neglected, either out of sheer economic necessity, obsession, or fear (I was *terrified* to take time off from the site for years). And I want to see both of those films by Boots Riley — “a situational accelerator”?!

So. What are you starting right now or hope to very soon?

Discussion  19 comments

Chris Glass

Starting to think I really need to stick with a moisturizing regimen. Also researching dishwashers.

Kenzie B.

I am starting a new indigo fermentation vat in the next couple of weeks. Indigo vats are the main way to use indigo pigment to dye fabric and it’s a magical process. Fermentation vats utilize microbes to maintain the right conditions and I love the relationship between dyer and vat. I’ll feed them sweet potatoes and wheat bran, they’ll dye fabric blue.

Jason KottkeMOD

Huh, TIL. What are you going to use the dyed fabric for?


My daughter and I have taken so many artsy-craftsy workshops and the one she remembers the most was the one with indigo dye and making tie-dye napkins. We gifted the napkins and she bemoans "the loss" at least once a week at the dinner table when we are using our boring cloth napkins... and she also brings up the fermentation process when we have "sweet potato bar" night! The workshop opened up so many curiosities about practical science for us— I delved into making more fermented foods, she researched how to make natural dyes for other projects. I can't wait to hear your indigo dye plans!

Kenzie B.

@Jason - I’ll use the fabric to make quilts or clothes. I had a vat last year as part of a quilt project that spanned growing the indigo though dyeing and quilt making. This year I have no big project which is both exciting and daunting (the links in your original post are particularly interesting to me for this reason!).

@Isah! How cool to take art/craft workshops with your daughter. It sounds like napkins are a good excuse to build a vat at home! :) In the event your daughter didn’t find this site during her research, I have really enjoyed Catherine Ellis’s blog. She and a chemist co-wrote a book on natural dyes (I have it, it’s good) and her blog really dives into her indigo fermentation experiments.

Reply in this thread

Nathan Clark Edited

I'm heading away with my wife for our quarterly retreat this weekend. Hopefully we'll lock in enough decisions related to our current creative enterprises (marshmallows, ice cream, child rearing, community care) that we can plot out 2 new food lines for our business this year.
Both products have been low-key in the works for year. One needs a push across the finish line, the other will require a ton of learning and training and equipment first. We've gotta lock in all the recipe / process side *and* the branding / marketing for both, though project #1 is closer to the finishing phase of the creative process.
Hopefully by December we'll have succeeded with both. If we're really lucky we'll have succeeded on the creative side, and succeeded on the business side which means they'll both be fully launched and released in the wild. 🙏

John S

I'm trying my hand at rehabilitating orchids. There were some sad, if not nearly dead, plants in my office breakroom. I've rescued a few to take home to try to repot and rejuvenate. So far this has mostly involved watching Youtube videos for advice.

Tim Hare

I'm starting my eighth decade with a new phase - having a small second home near a stepson we want to visit more often (my wife's family is extremely small and that figures into it). This is bringing up several interesting challenges, not least of which for this retired tech guy is coming up with good techniques for bringing things like contacts back and forth between domiciles without exposing them anywhere in the cloud

Mary Wallace

I started rehabbing an old loom I bought last summer. In addition to removing rust and cleaning up the wood, there are a lot of clanging metal parts and I want to dampen the sound a bit. Every time I look at it, I see something else I need to do. Luckily, my husband used to work on cars, so he knows about rusty metal and other stuff.

Sarah Noe

Starting my second hand quilted quilt. I machine sewed remnants and scraps naturally hand-dyed by my mother into a not rectangular rectangle and need to get stitching!

Erin B. Edited

I'm starting up some "pointless projects" -- inspiration from

Ideas so far include walking every street in our town and creating an ant farm with all the ants that we find in our house. My mom is making the first and last recipe of every cook book she owns. It's fun!

Jason KottkeMOD

Fantastic. Stuff like this always reminds of the opening anecdote in Tamara Shopsin's Arbitrary Stupid Goal.

Reply in this thread

Jasper Nighthawk

I’m in the middle of several large / small projects—writing a book, baking lots of bread, big work project, raising a two-year-old—so I’ve been rather shoving down my start-new-projects impulse. But I am so anxious to round the corner on the book especially, so I can free up my creative energies and do something new. I’m definitely not alone in having an angel on one shoulder telling me to finish the thing I started years ago and an angel on my other shoulder telling me to start something new and exciting. Not that I think one angel is better than the other.

Trent Seigfried

I ran a website for several years when I was younger. I truly loved the topic, the writing, and the site development, but I completely burned myself out. I'm starting the process of bringing it back, with a slightly older perspective behind it.

Kim D. Edited

I am working on a movie - a short film adapted from a short story I wrote a few years ago. I generally can't stand the tediousness of video editing, but for this project I want to use AI. I've used Runway ML before and when I'm ready "to shot it" I'll upgrade to a premium account, hopefully just for a month (it's not crazy expensive, but I'm kinda cheap). I'm currently working on a storyboard, which is a fantastic challenge.

Philip Graham
Philip Graham
Bill Connell

I've recently restarted playing music with friends after 25 years away from it, other than the odd noodling alone at home. I was happy to discover that I could pick up about where I left off, skill-wise, and having an absolute blast with it.

Alex S

I am starting a business to help promote EV charging at work. I did the logo, business cards, website, and the technical drawings myself. Does that count as art?

Hello! In order to leave a comment, you need to be a current member. If you'd like to sign up for a membership to support the site and join the conversation, you can explore your options here.

Existing members can sign in here. If you're a former member, you can renew your membership.

Note: If you are a member and tried to log in, it didn't work, and now you're stuck in a neverending login loop of death, try disabling any ad blockers or extensions that you have installed on your browser...sometimes they can interfere with the Memberful links. Still having trouble? Email me!