Out with Huff Post in with Medium

I’ve started writing for Medium, moving away from Huffing Post (here is all my work there), where the stories get jumbled too much with politics.

thinker

Not that I’m against politics, but I don’t write about politics, I write about art and culture. So I’ll be writing columns for Medium now. But interestingly enough, politics is the number one subject read about on Medium, but I think with Medium, you can choose the type of stories you would like to read so if you don’t want to see politics, you don’t have to.

I like that Medium is easier to navigate and it has more of the subject matter I like.

I will have two columns on Medium. One will be stories, articles and the other will be single-panel cartoons. I’ll let you know when I start publishing those.

At the end of 2016 Medium’s audience grew 140% to 60 million unique readers a month!

I have carried my 10 With Tom column there, I reposted the Stephan Pastis piece on Medium, which drew more readers than any one of my other columns at the Huff Post, about 100,000 people read that piece – my most popular one. That says a lot about Stephan.

I have been posting my stories under the “Medium Partner Program” where people who subscribe to Medium for $5 per month receive these stores. Not that they cannot be seen by everybody, but with the partner program I get paid each time partners read my stories.

The majority of Medium is free to read. 90% of the stories are free, it’s just the partner program stories that are not, well, they offer three free views per month, sort of like a newspapers’s paywall and I liken the partner program to a Patreon account where you receive some free goodies for subscribing.

But the majority of the same stories are posted here on my Tomversation blog, so you don’t have to go there to read my stories, but I would like you to maybe check them out just for the hell of it.

Here are three that have run in the past, but I have now had published on Medium:

10 things you didn’t know about cartoonist Stephan Pastis

It’s an underground world that’s full of history (lots of pics of the NYC Transit Museum

7 Reasons we’re addicted to HQ Trivia. Do you play this live trivia game?

I’ll start posting new stories at Medium and I have to start interviewing people for 10 With Tom again. You can see my past 10 With Tom’s here on Tomversation.

And when I start publishing my single panel cartoons, I’ll give you the link for that.

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Steal like an artist!

book2I read these two books by Austin Kleon “Steal Like an Artist” and “Show Your Work!”  Austin is a writer and artist who lives in Austin, TX. Yes, Austin lives in Austin. I’m still looking for a town named Tom to move to. I know of a Tomball, Texas. I’ve been called Tombo and Tomo, never Tomball though.

They are both quick reads, one book took about half an hour to read, the other about an hour. “Steal like an Artist” basically says that there are no original ideas – everyone steals from each other. Truth be told, I have a couple of comic strips that I like, mostly the drawing styles, and I try to emulate them while designing and creating my new comic strip. I didn’t look at is as stealing, I see it more like inspiration.

In the book, Austin says, “”First you figure out what’s worth stealing, then you move on to the next thing. That’s about all there is to it.”

But isn’t Lana Del Rey having this issue with Radiohead and the “Creep” song? One of my favorites by Radiohead. Lana is being sued by Radiohead for similarities in Lana’s “Get Free” song.

Anyway, I love the Steal book, it has a lot of useful information for artists and creative people. William Ralph Inge said, “What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.”

I’m not for this plagiarism, I am more about getting ideas and studying those who inspire you.

book1The second book, “Show Your Work!” is all about that – sharing your work – not just the completed piece, but show how it is created, show your concept along the way. Don’t be stingy, reach out to your fans – interact. There’s a lot in the book about social media and how it influences people and puts people together. Austin is keen on Twitter Meetups, I didn’t know that was  thing anymore, but I do remember going to a few in the early days.

Austin says that a good idea is to immerse yourself into someone or that inspires you. If it is an artist, learn about them, learn everything. Then find three people that this person loved and learn about them, and so on and so on. I love this idea.

The book gives quite  lot of good info on how to get your work out there and how to interact with people and fans who will move you along your way and up the ladder to success. But the object is not to dwell on money or success, that will come with time if you Show Your Work!

The Beaux Arts Festival

I went to Beaux Arts Festival of the Art on Saturday, the yearly show at the University of Miami, now in its 67th year. It’s the first arts festival of our festival season, coming up through the winter will be other yearly events.

We always see people from our town there – showing their art and strolling the festival and we eat everything in site from conch fritters to ice cream bars and everything in between.

Sticking with Max

Miami Art Week during Art Basel can be daunting, hell, just the fact that I have to leave the Grove is a chore in itself. It’s a lot to digest – the noise, the art, the people, it’s a non-stop week that is a lot for the senses. Most of the art begins to look the same after a bit, there is a lot of pop art and a lot of classic, there are sculptures as well as collages and paintings and they all get jumbled together, but this year, one art style and one artist stuck out to me. Literally. That’s Max Zorn, Tape Artist, shown here.

Max’s work appears to be photographs, but the whole image is made from brown masking tape on acrylic glass sheets with light behind it! As I passed by his booth at the Spectrum Art Fair, I noticed that there was tape on one of the images he was working on, I couldn’t figure out what was going on at first, I thought he was putting tape on various areas of a photograph, then it dawned on me that the whole image was made from masking tape!

Max got the idea one night when he put tape on top of a street light, he then stared playing with the tape and as he added more layers, it changed coloring, getting darker as he added tape on top of tape. And his Tape Art was born from that. 

“The European tape is different than American tape and I find it interesting and challenging at first when I change tapes in the different countries. The thickness is different,” said Max, who lives in Amsterdam and shows his work around the world.

One big tipping point for Max was when the famed artist Bansky shared a video of Max on his social media sites. The video went viral. It shows Max using the masking tape and a scalpel to create his art, as shown below. He calls it “street art,” but to me it is fine art that belongs in galleries.
 

Max will be at the Spectrum Art Show all weekend, until December 6, which is at 1700 NE 2nd Avenue (new location this year, along with the Red Dot Fair). There is parking across the street, it’s easy to get to and park.

A gallery of Max’s art can be seen here at his website.