susan norman

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The miracle is this - the more we share, the more we have”.   – Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy, a longtime friend and supporter of Sundance Institute who is best known for his iconic role as the always pragmatic “Spock” in Star Trek, passed away Friday morning. He was 83.

Leonard Nimoy and his wife Susan Bay Nimoy (pictured with Norman Lear during a Sundance reception) are ardent supporters of the Institute’s Women’s Initiative, a joint effort with Women in Film Los Angeles and a group of allied organizations in the field of women and media aimed at fostering gender equality in American independent cinema by supporting women filmmakers. Leonard Nimoy most recently attended the Sundance Institute New York Benefit, pictured above with actor Zachary Quinto, who has portrayed “Spock” in the film reboots of Star Trek.

Sundance Institute thanks Leonard Nimoy for his invaluable and selfless commitment to the organization and offers its condolence to his wife Susan Bay Nimoy.

Photos by Michael Rababy and Stephen Lovekin / WireImage

Creative Inspiration with Wim Wenders, Marina Abramović, Jonas Mekas, Patti Smith, & More

From words on sustaining a personal artistic voice–Don’t do anything that somebody else, that you know deep in your heart, somebody else can do better, but do what nobody else can do except for you.–to others on how building your brand leads to a promising future–Be concerned with doing good work, and make the right choices, and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.–artists of renown share their insights and “advice” to stir your creative inspiration in this collection of video interviews. These artists of film, performance, music, literature, and more show us that the artist’s spirit needs constant care and feeding; and across the board, they emphasize the importance of intuition and instinct for the successful artist while maintaining the cultivating nature of consistent hard work.

Louisianna Channel presents the series Advice to the Young through which any artist regardless of age can seek creative inspiration and guidance. Read, watch, learn, and absorb.

Do what you want, make the things you want to see, because more than likely you’re not going to have any material rewards, so you might as well not sell that part of yourself out. You might as well be true to what you want to do and not turn art into another day job…Find a lot of like-minded friends, make a community, and don’t wait for the art world to make it happen, make your own art world…If you’re doing something counter to the zeitgeist, that’s probably a good idea, you’re probably on the right path. - Fred Tomaselli (American artist)

I believe that advice shouldn’t come from other people, but that each person should gain a direction for oneself by overcoming difficulty, and a true direction will come from overcoming adversity. Everyone, think deeply, fight harder, and obtain splendid direction for your life. I wish for you to gain guidance from your deep thinking and spread your ideas all over the world in order to establish a wonderful life and world. - Yayoi Kusama (Japanese artist and writer)

Don’t listen to anybody’s advice, just do…When you go to film school, you meet others. Otherwise, I say, don’t go to film school, get a camera, because you don’t know what you really are all about, what you really want to make. “I want to make films.” But what kind of films? When you go and begin to do what you think you want to do, and you discover, “For what I’m doing, I have to know more about lighting.” Then you go and study lighting. “I have to know more about lenses.” Then you go and study lenses…Maybe you’ll never need everything for what you want to do. - Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian-American filmmaker, poet, and artist)

If you want to make something of yourself, you have to work for it. You must never give up. If there are day or weeks where you lose faith in yourself, you must go on believing that you can work. You must practice your words just like a musician practices his notes. Non-stop. Write, write, write. - Herbjørg Wassmo (Norwegian author)

Don’t do art unless you have to. You can be creative in any field. It’s not just a little ghetto called “art” that allows you to be creative–too many people think that…Try not to be too misled by other people’s views of what you’re doing and what you’re thinking. Be a little bit crazy in your thinking. Don’t just think that what you’re doing is upsetting. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, in other words, in art. - Susan Hiller (American artist)

Know that genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. - Umberto Eco (Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist)

My advice to young artists would be to follow the path they themselves recognize as the right one. Chasing after false idols or role models is always a dead end. Even if the path they want to follow might seem strange or doesn’t seem to promise much success, stick to it. It’s the only way to deal with the things that need to be dealt with. You can’t do it according to a recipe or instructions from others. Art doesn’t necessarily have to make an artist famous. Art can be very successful if a person carries through what he has to do. - Hans-Peter Feldmann (German visual artist)

My advice to the young artist, to the young architect, is, first of all, does architecture, or art, sculpting, painting, drawing, is that what you really, really want to do more than anything else in the world and you would do anything to be able to do it, because it really fires you. If that’s the case, you made the right choice, and you go for it, and you immerse totally saturated, you live it, every living second of your life. If you don’t believe in it that much, then you have to find something that you believe in, something else. And it doesn’t really matter what it is because in life I think you’ll find that everything is creative. - Norman Foster (British architect)

I think the best advice I got really came from work experience. I can’t remember anybody telling me the secret formula or anything…If you’re lucky enough to be a dreamer and to imagine how things could be, then don’t wait. You can always educate yourself and provide yourself with new information as you go along, but I think it’s a mistake to wait and to take a long course with the view of coming out as a professional. I think the earlier the better. If you’re lucky enough to love something as a kid, then pursue it with full passion and start into it right away, man. - Daniel Lanois (Canadian record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter)

I think that if you want to become a poet, an artist, you can’t fight it. If you want to be that, you will. It’s not about desire, it’s about necessity. There’s no other way. You can not give advice here. It’s impossible. You have to trust your inner drive. For the disappointments and the efforts are so tough that you must have an inner conviction that this is what you want. - Lars Norén (Swedish playwright, novelist, and poet)

Be very patient. Even patient with chaos. You have this beginning, and that beginning, and that beginning, and you’re just worried and unhappy, but I wouldn’t worry too much. I think it is a little chaotic. It’s not neat. You don’t start something and finish it and there you go, and then start another thing and finish it. - Lydia Davis (American writer)

My advice to younger artists would be something like: to be very sensitive to where they are, in what times, in what part of the world, and how that constitutes their artistic practice, their artistic inquiry. There’s lots of smaller advice such as make sure you’re not commodified by the very strong market and it’s attractivity…Just because you think about a work of art, it is not necessarily a work of art because thinking about it and a work of art is really quite far apart. - Olafur Eliasson (Danish-Icelandic artist)

Painter, photographer, filmmaker, video artist, whatever you do, nobody else can do that better than you, and you have to find what you can do better than anybody else, and what you have in yourself that nobody else has in themselves. Don’t do anything that somebody else, that you know deep in your heart, somebody else can do better, but do what nobody else can do except for you. - Wim Wenders (German filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer)

How do you know you’re an artist? That is the main question. To know you’re an artist or not is like breathing. You don’t question breathing. You have to breathe otherwise you just die so you breathe. So if you wake up in the morning and you have some ideas and you have to make them and this becomes an almost obsession and you have to create, you have the urge to create…I think a great artist has to be ready to fail, which not too many people do. Because when you have success in a certain way and the public accepts you in a certain way, you start somehow involuntarily producing the same images, the same type of work, and you’re not risking. The real artists always change their territories, and they go to the land they’ve never been. There is unknown territory, and then you can fail and you can risk…“Ready to fail,” that makes a great artist. If you wanted to, as a young one, you wanted to be famous and rich, then you just can forget even the idea of being an artist because the money and the success are not an aim, they’re just a side effect, and sometimes it happens in your lifetime and sometimes not, but it doesn’t keep you away from working. - Marina Abramović (Serbian performance artist)

The only advice I have is probably something young artists and musicians already know. Although some of them may have the ambition to be the next Jay-Z, the number of those artists are very small. And often the artists that are very successful that way, they don’t have much flexibility. In achieving success, they kind of lose a lot of their creative freedom…If the musician or artist values their freedom and their ability to be creative, then they have to maybe realize that they won’t be making hundreds of millions of dollars, they might be making less money, but they might have more artistic satisfaction. - David Byrne (Scottish-born American musician)

When I was really young, William Burroughs told me–and I was really struggling, we never had any money–the advice that William gave me was “Build a good name.” Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work, and make the right choices, and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency. - Patti Smith (American singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist)