No guarantee

There’ll come a yearwhen I do not seeants up on the mortar,or leaves gracing the trees.Not ripples. Not sprays of water. Goggles get torn off,leaving greasy smearsof folk, suspendedin wheezing chemical baths(my eyes). I’ll sit pool-side. Let old sun bake my back.As bricks give up their heat,I’ll give up mine(and all other fine insect pleasures). …

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Read like van Gogh

Books gave van Gogh clarity in the midst of his chaotic life. Now scientists understand why.

Manage like Miles Davis

What does it take to manage a virtuoso like John Coltrane… or Bill Evans… or Herbie Hancock? Ask Miles Davis. He led them all.

Unnumb yourself like Guston

Artists aren’t renowned for their mental wellness. And Philip Guston bore greater traumas than most. But he persevered, eventually accepting himself for who he was.

Adapt like Kasparov

“I always say I was the first knowledge worker whose job was threatened by a machine.” And how did you come back, Garry?

Speak up like Zephaniah

Zephaniah lived many lives: poet, activist, actor, vegan, martial artist, Rastafarian. But he lived them all as himself.

Give like Picasso

Where did Picasso’s genius come from? Other people? Two portraits, painted 26 years apart, drag us into the centre of the artist’s tumultuous relationships.

Earn like Eliot

There are two ways to be a wealthy poet. You can be born rich, like Lord Byron. Or earn a living like T.S. Eliot, who hunched over a desk in the City of London.

Engage like Haring

“I live every day as if it were the last.” You sure did, Keith Haring. You left colourful, boogying figures on the walls.

Shoot like Cartier-Bresson

A gun doesn’t make a hunter. And having a Leica camera with a 50mm lens won’t turn me into Henri Cartier-Bresson. I lack the killer instinct. (For now.)

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