Other People: Jordan Borstelmann and Crooked Path Forge

Other People is a section where I talk about the interesting things other people do.

I lived in Gainesville, Florida for about five years. I moved there when I was 22, I think. Two people moved with me and they remain my friends to this day. Jordan Borstelmann was one of those people and he owns and operates Crooked Path Forge.

We played in bands together, imbibed various substances together and generally ran around as the youth gone wild. Back then he had silly blue hair, now he has a giant beard and wears a kilt all day. I’m lucky to know him.

I used to make fun of him for reading Conan books. Now I read a lot of fantasy and write fantasy myself and I think Conan is great. So, jokes on me.

About a decade ago, Jordan decided to learn a skill straight out of the pages of a typical fantasy novel: Blacksmithing.

Over the years I’ve watched his work progress. Just last fall he was on the television series, Master of Arms, Season 1, Episode 2. It was strange to watch someone I’ve grown up with on television.

He runs weekly blacksmithing classes for beginners and also makes custom blades, swords, and many other metal items which I can’t enumerate properly. He had a vision and consistently worked at it and now is able to pursue it full time. He’s also a decent and honest person and a good friend.

You can find his work here on his website: www.crookedpathforge.org

If you want to see pictures of his work you can also check him out on Instagram @crookedpathforge

Upcoming Exhibition in Gainesville, Florida

I have two paintings in a new group exhibition taking place at Moisturizer Gallery in Gainesville, Florida. The show is called “Sick Joke” and it’s a show about, “humor and playfulness in art making”, curated by Dessarae Bassil.

Moisturizer Gallery is a fairly new space located at 2708 NE Waldo Road. Opening night is March 9th and it runs from 7pm-midnight. The exhibition will run through April 5th.

I briefly consider giving advice on scheduling, then come to my senses and decide against it

The Crazy Testament is a loose collection of notes I keep in a loose collection of note-keeping areas. Herein, I expand on those ideas which probably should have been forgotten.

I wrote down in my phone some ideas for blog posts, recently. By recently I mean a couple weeks ago. Here is one of them.

The Artist’s Guide to Scheduling in a Fractured World

I guess I wrote that down because it seemed like something I would see on the internet. I almost immediately realized two important things:

  1. I don’t like most things I read on the internet
  2. I’m in no way qualified to write whatever that article would be about

But I will talk a little about my failures with regards to scheduling.

I make a monthly list. On that list are the things I want to accomplish. The list is sometimes short, three to five lines. Sometimes it is longer, filled with twenty smaller tasks.

I often put small tasks on the list, so I can feel better about checking off the item. One recent line read: Move Lamp.

That’s all. I just needed to move a lamp. Store it elsewhere in the abode. Not even take it to Goodwill or a dumpster. Just needed to move it. And need is a strong word.

It took me over a month to do this. I actually failed to move the lamp in the month of November. It was early December when I did this, and it took approximately a minute and a half. Draw your own conclusions, and beware as you read on.

My list is almost never completed. I generally do the things on the list I actually want to, and then stand and look at the list, shake my head and go smoke or pace around and ignore the list. I spend a lot of time in my head, just thinking about doing things. Sometimes that’s productive, when I’m specifically concerned about the details of a story or painting.

Anyhoo, the list does mock me and that’s why it’s important. It’s a paper warning (yes, I use paper for the list, so that I can derive satisfaction in crossing the items off with an ink pen) a portent of potential doom, for I know if I can’t manage to do the items on that list, it becomes harder to pretend there isn’t something wrong with my mind.

I will give some advice on making lists to help you schedule your task now.

  1. The first thing on your list should be something motivational. Since I began making lists in my twenties, I usually use, “Crush my enemies.” As I’ve grown older and less fond of the ways of Conan, now I sometimes just start with a normal item. But not always.
  2. The second item and the remainders should be distinct tasks that have an endpoint. “Exercise” isn’t a good thing to put on you list. “Go to gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday” is better. “Go to gym 15 times this month” is even better because you can mark little check marks next to it every time you go.
  3. Give yourself some easy tasks. That way you get to mark them complete. It makes it feel like you are doing something and that might boost you towards actually doing something more important. Example: Move Lamp. Warning: this doesn’t always work.
  4. Your list can grow. If I’m having a problem doing anything (frequently), sometimes I take a smaller task and just jot it down at the bottom of the list. That will be the thing I do upon waking the next day.
  5. You can look back at your lists at the end of the year and get an idea of what you were trying to accomplish, a kind of broad look at your own struggles. Then you may laugh or cry or both.

Anyway, all that advice is mainly bullshit because I’m terribly ineffective for vast swaths of time. Really what happens is I do little for a long time, and then I will suddenly, manically accomplish a lot in a wave of brutal guilt and fear. But that’s not really good advice to give.

Good luck!

The Water Between Us exhibition during Miami Art week

I’m proud to announce two of my paintings (Carriage Ride: Level 2: Ohio River and Carriage Ride: Bonus Level) will be on exhibition during Miami Art week running December 3-10th, and continuing through January 15th, 2019.

The show is entitled, The Water Between Us and takes place at:

d|a|c gallery

Rail Too Building

360 NE 75th street, Unit 123

Miami, Little River Arts District