Data + Design Project
Liam Smith

About Liam Smith



A typical idealistic/naive New York City twenty-something, hovering on the outskirts of the art world, who is fascinated by the creative process. Loves to find out how people make what they make or do what they do. Daydreams of the good old days he never experienced and exotic locations he will probably never be fortunate enough to occupy.

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Zaha Hadid: Architecture Unbound

Wednesday 11.19.2014 , Posted by
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In the world of inventive contemporary architecture there are a few notable names that come to mind: Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Tom Wright, Jean Nouvel and Sir Norman Foster just to name a few. All white men. The architectural world has often been accused of not having enough minorities and women, at least not enough who are lauded on this kind of level. However, one architect who breaks this mold is Zaha Hadid, one of the most famous and important architects of the last thirty years. [Read more…]

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Understanding The Creative Battle: Steven Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art’

Wednesday 10.29.2014 , Posted by
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Anybody who works in the arts knows that to create art is to struggle. We must struggle against our medium and ourselves in order to do our best work. There is something about the creative mind that makes it hard to create. This is a conundrum that is inextricably linked to the process.

Some artists, as I described in my post on Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals, understand this struggle and create systems of strict discipline to combat it. Others (I would include myself in this category) are more chaotic and disorganized in their creative habits, and while sometimes thriving off of this chaos, also know it can be a major hindrance to their ability to do consistent work. [Read more…]

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4 Lessons From the Life of Orson Welles

Thursday 09.18.2014 , Posted by
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Orson Welles has a varied reputation depending on who you ask. He lived many lives. Some cite his egotism and success as a Broadway theater director during the Depression. Others mention his War of the Worlds broadcast which, according to legend, scared the living daylights out of the American people and convinced many that they were truly being attacked by aliens. Some cite his genius directorship of the ‘greatest movie ever made,’ Citizen Kane. Finally, others mention his uneven and difficult later years; his battles with studios, his ads for California wine and weight gain, and his lack of finished projects. [Read more…]

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3 Breathtaking Works by Sculptor Isamu Noguchi

Wednesday 08.13.2014 , Posted by
Isamu Noguchi; 1929

Isamu Noguchi is one of the most important and underrated sculptors of the twentieth century. He was the product of two separate worlds, spending his life trying to reconcile his Japanese and Western heritage and influences. Much of his life was spent traveling around the world while creating public artworks that redefined sculpture and what it could do in a very real sense. [Read more…]

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5 Creatives Who Didn’t Quit Their Day Jobs

Tuesday 07.01.2014 , Posted by
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Ah, the good life! Waking up, sitting down to work, no responsibilities but to create! This is the life that many creative people desire but very few are actually lucky enough to get. Most of us (those without immense private fortunes or incredible luck) have to hold down a day job. Sometimes those jobs can seem boring or stifling. We’d rather be home writing that novel, painting that picture, or composing that music. But unfortunately the reality of money can get in the way. But have no fear creative types! You CAN do your thing and have a day job. It may mean some sacrifices in the free time department but it’s doable. Many famous creative people have done it successfully.

Here is a list of a few famous figures who did their work while keeping their day job. [Read more…]

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6 Things Creatives Can Learn From Louis C.K.

Wednesday 06.04.2014 , Posted by
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Comedian, writer, filmmaker, TV show creator, and actor Louis C.K. has been getting an increasing amount of attention lately and for very good reason. He is incredibly hard working and talented. Not only is he a comedian who sells out practically everywhere he is booked and appears regularly on late night talk shows like the Tonight Show, Late Night, and Conan, he has a popular television show, simply called Louie that he has complete control over. He has also appeared in award winning films by directors such as Woody Allen and David O. Russell, and has revolutionized the way comedians distribute their content and sell tickets. It is easy to say that he has a lot to teach creative professionals who want to achieve the same levels of success and freedom that he has has. [Read more…]

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Essential Reading: Mason Currey on the Importance of “Daily Rituals”

Monday 05.05.2014 , Posted by
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Recently, I decided to revisit one of the books that made me want to write about creativity, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. I wasn’t disappointed. [Read more…]

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Francis Bacon: The Man Behind The World’s Most Expensive Work Of Art

Tuesday 04.08.2014 , Posted by
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The unimaginably expensive prices works of art can go for these days may leave those who pay attention to the art market gratified, or depressed. The most expensive painting in the world right now is Three Studies of Lucian Freud, (above) which was purchased for an incredible 142.4 million dollars at a New York Sotheby’s auction this past November. [Read more…]

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5 Great Reasons To Read Hunter S. Thompson

Friday 03.14.2014 , Posted by
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I have loved Hunter Thompson’s writing ever since, in high school, the film of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp turned me on to the book of the same name. You don’t forget a sentence like, “We were somewhere around Barstow when the drugs began to take hold.”

And you shouldn’t dismiss him, as some critics have, as a sloppy, self-indulgent, drug-ingesting hack. He took a lot of drugs, drank too much, loved guns and women (and excess in general) – he was a bit of a maniac to be sure, an imperfect character if there ever was one… and it is unfortunate that these facts obscure his real talent. Here are some of the best reasons why you should read his books and take him seriously. [Read more…]

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How Creatives Work: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Thursday 02.20.2014 , Posted by
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Philip Seymour Hoffman died earlier this month of a heroin overdose. Many critics have said that he was perhaps the greatest actor of his generation and one of the greatest who ever lived. What made Hoffman so beloved by so many was his mixture of pure skill, drive to work, and humility. The ambition of his acting and his ability to rise to any occasion allowed him to become famous, but also are evidence of his ability to submerge himself deep into a role.  It was his honesty in his many performances that set them apart and made them memorable. [Read more…]

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