Ben Crowder

Blog: #things-on-my-mind

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Things on my mind #2

  • Apparently I binge blog.
  • It is good to be part of a family. (I especially felt that with my aunt’s funeral and road trip it took to get there.)
  • While I’ve been saying “saith” with two syllables all my life, the reason for one syllable suddenly made sense to me the other day.
  • Remember that ebook of Robert Caro’s The Power Broker? It was too good to be true. It’s a woefully bad digitization, with full pages missing, lots of OCR gunk, and page breaks in the middle of paragraphs. Back to the print edition.
  • Favorite ice cream flavors: Umpqua’s Chocolate Brownie Thunder, Ben & Jerry’s Tonight Dough, Dreyer’s Cookie Cobblestone, and an ube flavor I had at Handel’s one time.
  • Back pain is something I think about all day, every day. I’m conscious of it almost all the time (like, I think about it every few minutes). I wonder if the cognitive hit here — taking up mental RAM — has diminished my ability to work on projects.
  • I’m trying to find the right balance between pushing through and resting when my back is flared up. (As it has now been for a few days.) Yesterday, though, my physical therapist recommended generally being more active when my back isn’t flared up and more specifically recommended weightlifting, which has always been a no-no with my spondylolisthesis, but I think there’s something to it.
  • Landscaping our backyard has turned into a nice opportunity to take texture photos for my art. (Well-used industrial machinery has lots of delicious scrapes and scuffs.)
  • Reading history and how I know what’s written is only the merest sliver of the totality of what actually happened, even when the history is of something relatively short (a few days as opposed to seven thousand years, for example). I wish I could see more of all the little mundane bits in between. (But do I really?)
  • Lately I’ve been thinking about how there’s a lot of power in iteration — coming back to the same project over and over again in tiny increments. (Eating an elephant, etc.)

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Things on my mind #1

Trying out a new column idea. Might do it regularly. Things on my mind, in no particular order:

  • Death. My aunt passed away tragically last week on a flight to London (which also resurfaced some of the feelings about my dad’s death). And one of our neighbors in our ward passed away a couple days ago.
  • On this blog, I want to post more than just an endless stream of art releases. Especially more short essays and other posts that involve writing, since that’s the fun part for me. I think I’ve just been lazy.
  • I’ve been sitting on an ever-growing links post for (checks notes) over a month.
  • With the religious art, I wonder if I’ve been doing too many sequels and not enough new ideas.
  • Also thinking about spending more time gathering religious art ideas from parts of scripture I yet haven’t used much (or at all). And gathering new texture photos.
  • How I make my art. Part of me wants to paint every piece in Procreate (it’s the most satisfying way to do these pieces), but painting is (much) harder on my back and often leaves it flared up, and some of these types of pieces seem to work better with a crisp graphic design feel.
  • Working on this type of symbolic/geometric art for so long feels like it has dug deep furrows into my brain and I’ve forgotten how to draw anything else (like the art I used to make).
  • I need to figure out ways of working on other types of projects that don’t exacerbate my back pain. I feel like it’s become 100% art all the time and while it’s nice to make progress there, I miss having a wider variety of projects on the table.
  • AI. I have pretty much no interest in using it myself, at least for now, but it’s anthropologically and culturally interesting and we’ll see what kinds of effects it has on everything.
  • I’ve been at my new job for a month now. Slowly starting to come out of the usual initial onboarding whirlwind.
  • Using a heating pad during the day at work has helped reduce my back pain a little, but with the warmer weather it also makes my back ridiculously sweaty each day. I do not like this and need to find a more sustainable solution.
  • A fly is buzzing around the room now, first one in the house this year. Mmm, a snack. (Just kidding.)

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