Ex Post Facto no. 15: Jargon vs Trust, Creation vs Craft... vs Kraft

We’re back for another Ex Post Facto, the email with 3 things you’ll wish you’d known earlier –Shane

A pal of mine recently opened my eyes to an idea about “artists.” He said that there’s two parts of art: the creation and the craft.

The first is the figuring out part—the ideation, the experimentation, the combining of building blocks that haven’t been combined before.

Then, the craft is the execution part. It’s the carving of the statue, the baking of the fancy cake, the mastery it takes to actually bring an idea to life.

This reminded me of how one of my favorite magazine editors used to tell me that great writing was only 1/3 writing. The other two thirds were researching and thinking. Great art takes both creativity and craftsmanship.

Which has me thinking:

How much of your time do you spend on creation vs craft?

And with that thought starter, let’s get to this week’s Ex Post Facto!

One EXcellent bit of wisdom:

  • “I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing.” –Francis Ford Coppola

    If this guy who won tons of Oscars and changed cinema had moments of doubt, then you and I should feel a little bit better about ours. Just because we doubt ourselves doesn’t mean we’re not doing something valuable.

    Of course, we need people in our lives both to encourage us to go out onto the limb, and also to pull us back when we go too FAR out on it. But it’s comforting to hear that great artists like Coppola were nervous out there on that limb, too.

One POST you won’t want to miss:

One FACT Of great interest:

On the subject of craft, I recently learned that kraft with a k is not just a brand of macaroni and cheese. It’s the official name of that tough brown paper we make bags (and art projects) out of.

And it’s actually made from a NEWER type of paper process than the stuff in your printer is made from. (It was invented in the 1880s.)

Unlike standard paper, making kraft paper doesn’t require pollutive chemicals. It’s biodegradable (like all paper), but when it does degrade, it also doesn’t leave chemicals in the ground.

We’re not going to save the planet by using more kraft paper. (Btw, you’ve got to check out Bill Gates’s new book, or this interview, on that note.) But if you find yourself with a choice between bleached and dyed wrapping paper with dancing snowmen on it, vs some nice thick, planet-friendly brown paper—why not be krafty and go with the good stuff?

The talking point for my craftspeople: It feels nicer in your hands.

For my creatives: you can congratulate yourself for using more “innovative” paper than the rest.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Much love,


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