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English improvement

So some of you who follow my blog will note that I am always studying English to improve my conversational ability. That is one of the reasons I started this blog and that is the main reason why I write this blog in English. The other reason being that many of my friends are not Italian so they cannot read Italian but most of my friends can read English with no problem. Well flashback to a couple of weeks ago when I talked about wanting to take the TOEIC test. If you remember the TOEIC test is a business related English test. My goal for the TOEIC test was 850 points. But when I took a free test that I found online I scored much lower. I only got 640 points. Well guess what? I’ve been studying since then and I have made some improvements. What I found was that my vocabulary was lacking. So I went online to find a vocabulary course for the TOEIC test. And I found. And I’ve been using it to increase my vocabulary. Doing that has helped me improve my TOEIC test score to 710 points. It’s not my goal but I’m getting closer. If any of you out there are looking for a good vocabulary course I highly suggest the website that I found, it’s called Goodwin English. I will leave a link below if you want to check it out.

http://www.goodwinenglish.com/blog/2015/01/27/studying-toeic-vocabulary/

 

Update: A lot of people have emailed me and said that they were in a similar situation. They need to improve their English so that they can better communicate with people from around the world and online. So I have decided to write more posts about studying English and websites that I use to improve my English skills. To get started you can go on Youtube to find some pretty good free videos that can teach you things like basic greetings and introducing yourself. If you are a higher level than you can still find some good videos but eventually you should buy a textbook or use an online English course. Of course the very best way to study English is to take a local English class. Many cities have private schools especially created to teach adults English conversation skills.In my town I found a very good school that was small but had very experienced teachers. I went there for about a year, two or three times a week. That year of study really helped me improve my skills from a low level to an intermediate level. I would highly recommend it for anybody else. Because I got so many emails from visitors saying they wanted to know how I studied English you can expect more post on my website about English study. I think the next post I’m going to do will be some popular YouTube videos that I have found that can help other people. So thank you everyone for writing me your emails I’m definitely listening to what you want and what type of content you want to see on my website so expect some changes in future posts.

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Puppies!

I am a daddy. My friend’s dog recently just had eight puppies. So he is giving away one puppies to all of his friends who want them. I went by his house and was immediately attacked by eight super cute brown puppies. I almost died from an overdose of cuteness. I chose one who I quickly named Augustus after my favorite Roman Emperor and took them home. Of course as soon as we walked in the door Augustus decided to use the bathroom on my kitchen tile. It looks like I’m going to be puppy training for the next couple of months. But it’s amazing how having a pet at home can reduce your stress after a long day of work. It’s just so nice to come home and have a smiling face waiting for you. Next week I’m going to have to take them to the veterinarian to get all kinds of different shots and vaccinations and am already tearing up at the thought of my poor little Augustus being stuck by different needles and crying out for his daddy. But in the end it’s good for him and it’s the law as well. So it it is a trip to the veterinarian next week.
Here’s some video that we took of our puppies playing around in the yard. They really are too cute. But as we have so many puppies we are looking for other families to adopt them. We are going to keep one and we are looking for seven families to take the others. If you have any friends in the Rome area that you think might be a good family for our cute little babies or if they have children and you think that they might make a good match tell them about my website and contact us. We’ve Artie had all of the vaccinations and shots that they needed so really all you need to do is have a space for dog and by some doctors in your set to go. Check out a video and tell me you can’t take in these puppies. Think next time you come home from work with all kinds of stress you look into these faces you’re going to feel so much better.

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My business trip

So if you had read my last post you know that I recently came back from a business trip in America. I was there for two weeks. I was doing two main things. One was I was commissioned to write an article about the intersection of art and business in Hollywood. I meant that I got to go around and meet a lot of semi famous people who work behind the camera of many famous movies and TV shows. That also meant that I had to spend about a week in Los Angeles. The other part of my business trip was actually in New York. There I had a small exhibition of some of my more recent artworks. First will talk about Hollywood.

This is my first trip to Hollywood. And I must say that it is certainly a unique place. Just the mix of so many different types of people is amazing. Any restaurant you go into every waiter or waitress looks like a movie star. And they are in fact all trying to become actors or actresses. I also noticed quite a few homeless people which was sad. There is also a very large and diverse gay community in West Hollywood. Overall I found Hollywood to be quite fake. It seems like everyone was trying to sell you on some. Maybe they’re trying to sell your product or maybe they’re trying to sell themselves. In more than one occasion people mistook me for him European movie producer. So every waiter and bartender I talked to was trying to give me business cards that had their personal websites on them. They figured that I could help get them cast in whatever movie I was making. The people that I met with for my article were almost all universally great. Well know is not true. The artist that I met were almost all universally great. But because my article is about the intersection of business and art I meant that I had to talk with a lot of people who are only on the business end of film production. These producers were not all bad. But there were quite a few who were almost cartoonishly arrogant and somehow at the same time insecure. I saw on more than one occasion a producer yell at their personal assistance because they got their coffee order on. By the way, whatever happened to just drinking real coffee? Now it seems like everybody has some strange order that they must get.

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So after a week in Hollywood I went to New York City. There I had a much more traditional time. I went to a couple friends restaurants, had a couple drinks, had my exhibition where I was able to sell more than half of the artwork. And then the last two days I took off. I do love sightseeing and more or less just relax. Overall it was very fun trip.

 

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Back Home

Well finally got back home last night. So I thought I would write a real quick blog post. I haven’t in on here for a while so hopefully this will sustain all of you nutters until I can sit down at my desk to write a proper report for all of you. The trip was great I had too much fun. There are many beautiful women in Los Angeles. There are many crazy people in California. Some of the art that I saw was amazing. And I feel like the Americans are many years ahead of us Europeans in regards to digital art. I will also later give you a link to the article I wrote about how business and art mixes in Hollywood. Until then I am going to bed so I’ll talk to you guys later. Good night!

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Business Trip

Next week I will be traveling to America for some business. This will be the first time I have gone to America in about five years. I often go to Britain on business and occasionally for vacation. I always found the differences between the Americans and the British to be very interesting. I do not think that the Americans or the British are necessarily bad or good is just that they are slightly different. That fascinates me. Americans are much warmer, outwardly friendly and much more aggressive. Depending on your personality this can be a very good thing or a very bad thing. British people tend to take more time to warm up to you, are usually more polite, and are much more careful when talking about their opinions or different views.

I’m excited because I’m going to get to meet the creator of a website that I have often used. It is a motion graphics website. The creator was a motion graphics designer who originally created the website to help some of his friends learn how to create some of the effects that he had mastered then almost by chance the website became very popular with other young people who wanted to get into the film industry. I meeting him because I have been asked by a certain European art magazine to interview him and write an article about the intersection of art and business in Hollywood. So I am very interested to hear his opinions on the matter. Because I will be gone for so long I will not be able to update my blog for at least two weeks. But when I get back I’ll make sure to share with you all of my adventures and maybe a couple of pictures as well.

 

For now let’s talk about the importance of traveling for artist. As many of you know artist very internationally minded people. We have very open minds and we are very creative were always looking for new ideas or to meet new and different type people. You cannot do this staying at home. You must get out and preferably you must put yourself in situations where you feel uncomfortable. This uncomfortable feeling will help make you grow. So I always like to travel to cultures that are very different from my own. This way you can experience that world and learn so much. So many artists over the years have had their best works after they were inspired by new and wondrous things in faraway lands. Also there is the aspect of connectivity. Meeting like-minded artist and connecting with them in communicating with them can really help you open up many parts of the art world that you are unfamiliar with. Then you can continue to communicate with these people online. As we all know social media has become a major factor in getting the word out about your new artworks in your new art. In fact it is truly essential today. If you don’t have a website showing off your art or if you don’t have a social media presence truly are missing out on so many opportunities out there. So to reiterate, I highly suggest any artists out there reading this to take his many trips as possible. and find other artist in the cities and try to contact. Tell them you’re coming into town and you’d love to have a coffee or a beer with. Then from there you’re going to meet so many different people and be able see so much art that it truly will inspire you to come home and create more and new creative things

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Always Learning

The interesting thing about being an artist or a professional artist is that I always find myself studying something new. When I was in junior high school and high school I was studying basic art and art techniques. Then I went to college in my art study got much more specific. Also during college I started to study English much more seriously. Now I have found the need to create a personal blog to help my professional career. This has forced me to again start studying something new. In this case it is website design and various programs and software. I don’t mind always studying something. I believe that it keeps my mind fresh and sharp. I remember in college I had a very interesting English professor. Most of my English teachers throughout my scholastic career only spoke English. But this professor could speak Italian and Japanese and a little Chinese as well. One day I asked him why he studied so many languages. He looked at me and he said that in order for him to be a good teacher he would also have to be a good student, this is the only way for a teacher to truly understand his or her students mindset. He said that after he started studying another language he could much better understand what type of class and what type of teaching instruction his students needed. I believe he had a very good point. In order to grow you must continue to study. I don’t think it matters what you study but as long as you are studying your improving yourself. You could studying gardening or pottery or history or economics, really anything would be fine. The point is that you need to continually try to learn new things.

 

I always like to think about the great Miles Davis. He said so many great things about artists but one of the things that he always harped on was the idea of pushing yourself and pushing the boundaries of your art form. Of course Miles Davis’s most well-known for his jazz playing during the bebop and later. But then in the late 60s and 70s he started to expand jazz into a new type of fusion jazz. He was truly pushing the envelope as far as it could go and when you do that you’re always going to have critics. It will criticize you for not sticking with the original art form that you became famous for. It’s almost like religion and you use the religion to gain power and then you use it to subvert that religion. At least in the critics views. This could not be more wrong. As artists we must continue to push boundaries. You must continue to push people’s ideas of the world. And to do this we must do this ourselves. We must be constantly pushing ourselves to understand and learn new art forms. So you should always be learning and he should always be changing and you should never be static. Then this post to give you a great video of the great Miles Davis playing.

 

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English

English Study

Ever since I decided to become an artist when I was young I have been traveling around Europe and later on traveling around the world meeting new artists and discussing different topics all in English. I quickly learned that most people don’t speak Italian. Most people speak English. In English was a tool that I needed to be able to use just like a brush and canvas is a tool for a painter. So I’ve always devoted at least an hour a day to studying. Over the years I have taken many different English tests. When I was in college I took the TOEFL test. This test is mainly for people who want to enter an American or Canadian university. Recently I have been studying for the TOEIC test. The TOEIC test is more business related English. I have found myself in some business situations regarding my art and I felt like my vocabulary and business English was lacking. That is why I decided to start studying for the TOEIC test. The two tests are very different from each other. Many people believe that the TOEFL test is more difficult but for some reason I believe that the TOEIC test is more difficult. At least for me. The first time I tried the TOEIC test I went online to search for some free TOEIC test. I found one website where I could take the entire test for free. That’s 200 questions. My score wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. I got 640. My friend told me that most people who want to work in an international corporation or business should get at least 800 points and preferably 850. So that is my goal.Of course I’m not trying to be a translator or an interpreter but I’m just trying to improve my English. I found that these types of standardized test for good measure of one’s English improvement. Some of my friends enjoy taking the TOEFL test and I have a couple friend to actually try to take the IELTS test. But as I often find myself using English and business situations negotiating prices for our or introducing new artists I feel that the TOEIC test is a better fit for me as it is mostly a business English test. Of course it is very difficult as well. But I’ve never been one to not take a challenge and to be honest I really enjoy studying English and it’s just a different feeling when you can communicate with anyone in the world using English. Because unfortunately most people in the world don’t study Italian. It really is a great feeling when you can sit at a table and communicate with a Chinese person, an African, and Indian, someone from Latin America and all be using the same language.

 

Occasionally I will update you on my English progress in this blog. I know that many of my friends who read this blog are from Europe so I hope that you can give me some good advice on how to improve my English skills. If you want to try the TOEIC test for yourself click the link in the above text. Good luck.

 

Here is a video that explains what the TOEIC test is like:

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New Art

Hundreds of years ago art was more or less established. We had paintings and sculptures and music perhaps acting or writing but today with ever increasingly powerful software and computers we’re starting to see different types of arts that we never saw before. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful and breathtaking some pictures or graphics that can be created on computers today. I visited in art school last month and a large amount of the students were studying computer related art, for example graphic design or my favorite motion graphics. Motion graphics is basically any kind of computer-generated effects that you might see on TV or movies. Is absolutely amazing what they can create today with a simple home computer in a couple of programs. The last three years I have been studying a couple of these programs simply out of interest. Most of Adobe’s programs are well known to most of the world. Probably Photoshop is the most well-known software out there. But I especially like Adobe after effects. I found some great websites where they teach you step-by-step how to make some very interesting motion graphics. Probably my favorite website is a website called videocopilot.com. Within the motion graphics industry is well known. The creator of the website has worked on a lot of opening titles and closing titles for many famous movies such as the reboot of Star Trek. And surprisingly enough I actually saw some of the motion graphics on an Isis video that was originally taught as a tutorial on the video copilot.com website. I imagine the owner of the website is not very happy about these terrorist using his free tutorials to propagate their propaganda. But anyway if you are interested in motion graphics it’s a great place to get started. They have 200 free tutorials available and if you start with the first one and go through a mall it’s basically like going to a free motion art school. I leave the link below so try to check it out.

www.videocopilot.net

 

One more website that I want to mention is Lynda.com. This is a website that has video lessons for pretty much any software out there on the market. Whatever it is if you want to learn it they have video lessons on it. Now the lessons will help you if you’re a beginner, if you’re more of an intermediate or an advanced user of the software then you probably want to go to other websites. But Lynda.com has so much to offer in such a vast library that for the price of the membership to their website it really is worth it. As soon as I started studying these new art forms, such as graphic arts, or motion graphics I found myself learning a new software every week. And instead of going on Google and waiting through so many bad websites that said they would teach me how to use the software I found it much easier just to go to Lynda.com watch a couple videos and boom I’m done.

 

www.lynda.com

 

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The problem with the European art world

For about 10 years I’ve been part of the Italian and European art world. While I have had the pleasure to meet many good people I’ve always been bothered by one particular thing. While most of the artists that I meet politically are left of center if not far left they often talk about the importance of diversity. They will often say that is important to have many different viewpoints of different subjects and current events. It’s also important for all races and religions and minorities to be represented in art. I agree with this except that I feel that many of the artists are hypocrites in that they only want to hear viewpoints that they agree with. They may call for more African Italian artist Muslim artists to be represented but they certainly never call for center of right or right wing political ideals to be represented in the art. Why is this? If the stated purpose of diversity is to have a conversation about different subjects from all kinds of different points and viewpoints why is the politically right artist and viewpoints not accepted? This is especially evident when American artist come to Europe. While similar to European artists and that most of the artist from America I meet are left of center politically speaking. You will certainly see more center or even center right artist come by occasionally. European artists often looked down upon the Americans as culturally backwards. I can’t stand it when I see this. Makes me very angry and I think that those European artists can be very ignorant.And please don’t get me wrong there are many arrogant Asian artist and American artist as well. It’s just that I live in Italy so I happen to be around more European artists in general. So my experience is more geared towards these European artists. It’s funny because I enjoy studying history and I know that for the longest time Europe was considered a cultural backwater. For thousands of years Northern and Western Europe was truly devoid of any popular art forms. Certainly Greece and Rome had its great works and great masters but northern Europe and Western Europe truly did not. In the vast amount of great works in the ancient world came from Asia or the Middle East. And just as that changed in the last 500 years we can expect it to change again. The leaders of art for the last hundred years has easily shifted from Europe to America. And I have no doubt that the next hundred years it may shift again from America to perhaps Asia. As artists we should not be scared of this. And we should welcome it with open arms. Because it is not about who is creating the art or what people is creating the art. Is about creating great art. Of course propaganda is not art but I’ll talk about that in another post.

 

Here is a video that really isn’t about European art or artists but it is a critique of  certain art form.

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