Brain Pickings

Inside the Creative Process of Cut-Paper Storyteller Béatrice Coron

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Slicing the different layers we’re made of, or what an 18th-century French statesman has to do with the MTA.

Béatrice Coron has been a shepherdess, a truck driver, a factory worker, a cleaning lady, and a tour guide. But today, Coron is one of the world’s most remarkable cut-paper artists. I first encountered her astounding artwork on New York’s F train last year and was thrilled to see her take the TED stage this past spring. In her fantastic TED talk, Coron — whose beautiful visual storytelling is a living testament to combinatorial creativity, borrowing inspiration from wildly diverse fields and subjects — takes you through her exceptional creative process and how her stories come to life. (Bonus points for the factoid on the etymology of the word “silhouette” which, as we know, comes from French minister of finance Étienne de Silhouette, famous for slashing so many budgets that people said they could no longer afford paintings and would instead have their portraits as “silhouettes.”)

In life, and in paper-cutting, everything is connected — one story leads to another.” ~ Béatrice Coron

My inspirations are very eclectic. I’m influenced by everything I read, everything I see.” ~ Béatrice Coron

The stories, they have a lot of possibilities, they have a lot of scenarios. I don’t know the stories — I take image from our global imagination, from cliche, from things we are thinking about, from history. And everybody is a narrator, because everybody has a story to tell, but more important is everybody has to make a story to make sense of the world.” ~ Béatrice Coron

Charming, thoughtful, and relentlessly inventive, Coron, with her blend of indiscriminate curiosity and focused creative voice, is a true inspiration. Her work can be found in the beautiful Paper Cutting Book, which features 25 more masterful paper artists and a preface by Brain Pickings favorite Rob Ryan.

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Choosing to Die: Sir Terry Pratchett Comes to Terms with His Death

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Befriending the Grim Reaper, or what Swiss sunshine has to do with the ultimate personal freedom.

In 2008, having just turned 62, beloved fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s. Three years later, he began the process to take his own life. Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die is a powerful and fascinating film, in which Pratchett explores the cultural controversies and private paradoxes surrounding the issue of assisted suicide, which remains illegal in most countries. From the “small but imbalancing inconveniences” of the disease’s earlier stages to the loss of his ability to type to witnessing a terminally ill man peacefully choreograph his own last breath in Switzerland, Pratchett explores what it would be like to be helped to die, and what it would mean for a society to make assisted death a safe refuge for the dying.

What you’re about to watch, may not be easy, but I believe it’s important… Is it possible for someone like me, or like you, to arrange for themselves the death that they want?” ~ Terry Pratchett

When I am no longer able to write my books, I am not sure that I will want to go on living. I want to enjoy life for as long as I can squeeze the juice out of it — and then, I’d like to die. But I don’t quite know how, and I’m not quite sure when.”

Snuff: A Novel of Discworld, Pratchett’s latest and possibly final novel, came out last month.

HT @sociografik

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Artist Terry Border Imagines Everyday Objects in Romantic and Risqué Scenarios

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Spooning spoons, boogieing sushi, and what bent wire has to do with the mechanism of love.

Remember artist Terry Border of Bent Objects fame, who explores the secret life of everyday objects in playful vignettes using simple bent wire? Border is back with Bent Object of My Affection: The Twists and Turns of Love — a charming collection of new 60 bent-wire vignettes, photographed by in which household objects explore the romantic and the risqué. Sweet and kooky, Border’s images are also a light-hearted metaphor for love itself, wherein the ordinary becomes extraordinary. And though Border’s overly punny captions fall flat for me, the images themselves exude enough delight to make it all a treat.

Love is Free - You make my world go round

I Like it When We Spoon - We fit so well together

Love is Sticky - French kissing

Undercover - I love your appeal

Falling - I'll hold on, no matter what

Marilyn Merinque - You're the wind beneath my wings, and the breeze beneath my skirt

King Leer - I only have dies for you

A Toast To Us!

Film Strip - I think this could develop into something

We Make a Perfect Pair - Straight from the garden of Eden

Magnetic Personality - I can't help this attraction

Misfortune Cookie - I'd never get over you

Shrunken and Wrinkled - Let's grow old together

HT @matthiasrascher; images courtesy of Terry Border / Rex Features via The Telegraph

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