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Up and Away

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  • October 12, 2014

We’re writing this update from a plane, high in the sky somewhere over America. It’s been quite a long while since we’ve said hello, and we apologize profusely. We’ve been knuckles-down in the thick of it, scheduling interviews, booking travel, filming, doing road-trips, talking for hours to artists, buying equipment, and generally filling up whiteboards with handwritten scrawl trying to map the giant leviathan that is this fantastic documentary.

We couldn’t be happier.

This last week saw endless gigabytes of digital footage, the product of exhaustive hours of some of the most inspirational conversations we’ve had the privilege of participating in. Each interview feels like sitting down for afternoon tea and getting an amazing pep talk to go outside and live. Make art. Chase the dream that stirs you. We leave the abode of each artist feeling invigorated and incandescent.

Barron Storey. Jason Shawn Alexander. Satine Phoenix. Stephanie Inagaki. David Mack. Bill Sienkiewicz. Kellesimone Waits. Junko Mizuno.

….and that was just the last ten days.

We land tonight in New York City, then hit Glasgow, and then London— slaloming through streets and cities, chasing down the ineffable spark of magic from conversation to conversation. Even though we just grazed our United Kingdom stretch goal, we decided to reach into our pockets and go. It feels impossible not to.

As we move through the process of making this film, we begin to see the importance of art in a new light. Not just the beauty in a painting, or the elegance of a pencil sketch— but the quiet wonder of someone who loves what they do, and how it changes things. As Jason Shawn Alexander pointed out yesterday, everything that is not survival, reproduction, or sustenance is art.

With that lens, the world begins to look a little different.

Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Allan Amato, David Mack (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Allan Amato, David Mack (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Allan Amato, Olga Nunes, Jason Shawn Alexander (Photo Credit: Devon Avery)
Allan Amato, Olga Nunes, Jason Shawn Alexander (Photo Credit: Devon Avery)
Stephanie Inagaki
Stephanie Inagaki
Junko Mizuno
Junko Mizuno
Barron Storey, left. Allan Amato, right.
Barron Storey, left. Allan Amato, right.

*   *   *

…While we were in Jason Shawn Alexander’s studio yesterday, we got to see up close some of his beautiful pieces for his new comic book, Empty Zone. Only a few days in and the book is very nearly funded on Kickstarter— we highly recommend you go and pick up a copy.

Also super highly recommended, our Executive Producer Amanda Palmer has a wonderful book out November 11th called The Art of Asking, inspired by her poignant TED talk. Not only are we excited for the book itself, but the cover was put together by the Temple of Art crew in one glorious evening of art revelry. The end product was photographed by Allan Amato, with lettering by Jason Shawn Alexander:

Amanda’s book is in an interesting place, because her book — for reasons— is not available for preorder on Amazon. So if you want a copy, we recommend hitting up Amanda’s preorder page and grabbing one early— we know it’s going to do amazingly.

Cheers from the road,
The Temple of Art Team

Temple of Art, Allan Amato, Dave Mckean (Mirror Mask, Sandman), Barron Storey (Sandman:Endless Nights, Marat-Sade Journals), Kent Williams (Kent Williams:Ophthalm, The Fountain), Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien, Batman-End Game), David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil), Bill Sienkiewicz (Electra Assassin, The New Mutants), Grant Morrison (Batman:Arkham Asylum, The Filth, Happy), Jim Mahfood (Clerks, Tank Girl), Stephanie Inagaki, Kozyndan, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Megan Hutchinson, Denys Cowan, Mark Buckingham, JAW Cooper, Junko Mizuno, Roman Dirge, Brian Thies, Christine Wu, Hueman, Jasmine Worth, Satine Phoenix, Matthew Levin, Soey Milk, Rovina Cai