Written by

Chris Gonzales


Dan Carlson

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Taking Your Personal Project Full-Time »

This morning, our own editor-in-chief Shawn Blanc published a whopper of an article on taking a personal project — you know, that one you do on nights and weekends out of sheer passion and joy — and turning it into a full-time job:

Going from amateur to pro is as simple as getting a sustainable business model.

In order to do that, you need customers and clients, a valuable skill-set and/or a valuable product, the right mindsets, and more.

Thus, the road from amateur to pro is jam packed with micro-adjustments as you learn and mature and adapt.

Here’s the great news: you can do it. I know you can.

The Bliss Station »

Austin Kleon — author of Steal Like an Artist and more — writes about setting aside a sacred space or time for yourself where/when you can disconnect from the world for a while and simply create.

The best quote in the post is actually the one that inspired Kleon, taken from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell:

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

That book was published in 1991, before we had all the online distractions we do today. This “bliss station” idea may be more important than ever.

“What Kind of Human Animal Would Do This?” »

John Oliver was the guest on the season 8 finale of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and it was just delightful. Not much else to say than that. Just go watch it.

Illustration: Matt Collins, The New York Times

Illustration: Matt Collins, The New York Times

Howard Stern’s Interviewing Chops »

In this New York Times profile, David Segal examines how and why Howard Stern went from shock-jock to a legitimately good interviewer:

[S]ince settling in to his new home on satellite radio, which he did in 2006, Mr. Stern and his show have gradually taken on an improbable new dimension. Scattered among the gleefully vulgar mainstays are now long, starkly intimate live exchanges — character excavations that have made Mr. Stern one of the most deft and engrossing celebrity interviewers in the business and a sought-after stop for stars selling a movie or setting the record straight.


By all accounts, the metamorphosis has been slow — the result of a combination of therapy, his second marriage, mainstream acceptance and a sixth sense Mr. Stern has about how to evolve with the times.

“I couldn’t have done the show I’m doing now 20 years ago,” Mr. Stern said over the phone. “I’ve changed a lot. I’d be sort of pathetic if I’d reached this point in my life and I hadn’t. How else do you have longevity? There are so many guys who started out with me in radio, who have disappeared, because they can’t broaden their view of what entertainment should be, or get in touch with what they find to be exciting and fun and funny.”

Rebranding Poseidon for The Atlantic »

A couple months ago, illustrator/graphic designer Matt Lehman showed the process behind his 2013 redesign of The Atlantic’s Poseidon colophon emblem, which went live with the print magazine’s own redesign.

In addition to getting to see various iterations of that redesign, I liked this bit:

Next we began the sketch phase. Quick disclaimer: I’m not a great artist. I don’t like to waste time making perfect sketches. Who are these people who make these elaborate sketches and then Instagramming them with their Micron pens surrounding it? I mean, that’s amazing, but it’s not me. The sketching stage feels more like idea generation and less about creating a gorgeous illustration. But that’s a bit off topic! Just know my sketches are winning no awards. You’ll see below…

Photo: Robin Robertis, 2nd place (Photographer of the Year), 2016 IPPAWARDS

Photo: Robin Robertis, 2nd place (Photographer of the Year), 2016 IPPAWARDS

Photo: Fugen Xiao, 1st place (Travel), 2016 IPPAWARDS

Photo: Fugen Xiao, 1st place (Travel), 2016 IPPAWARDS

Winners of the 2016 iPhone Photography Awards »

The winners of the 9th-annual IPPAWARDS were announced in early July, with submissions taken from iPhone photographers from 139 countries around the world. There are some stunning images in this collection.

You can view the top four winning images here (grand, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd), all of the winning photographers here, or browse by category:

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.