Words from the Wise

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday May 18, 2017

As commencement exercises roll out from coast to coast, DART takes a moment to reflect on what it means to face the future with hope, pride and optimism. For some, it seems inevitable that success is on the horizon. For others, the view is not so crystal clear. Either way, a little book that came my way from Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California, offers much to consider.

Work Wise: 20 mandatory lessons that didn’t come with your degree, by Gary Goldsmith, chair of the Advertising program at Art Center, shares the kind of wisdom that only comes from experience. “You are prepared, at least in an academic sense, to graduate,” he writes. “But what about all of the aspects of the ‘real world’ that are rarely talked about in academia," he continues. “The ones that have nothing to do with what you know and everything to do with who you are?” The text is based on the chats he regularly has with undergrads who seek, or evidently need, a bit of bucking up to get through a rough patch. For example:

Great does not equal success. Becoming great at what you do does not guarantee success. In fact, you will see people all around you who appear to have less talent or skill in their area of expertise than you or others but may be wildly more successful….The simple reality is that some people are intuitively aware of what is required to succeed and have learned to compensate for their shortcomings and build on their strengths in ways that many naturally “talented” people have not had to do. They become compelling presenters….Don’t begrudge them. Learn from them.

Words to live by, for sure. Other subjects include:

Be nice, and not just to me.

Make your own luck.

Love, then money.

Make your rivals look better.

Work Wise: 20 mandatory lessons that didn’t come with your degree, is available here. More about Art Center here More about Gary Goldsmith here



Meanwhile, from Michael Carabetta, creative director of Chronicle Books and a longtime friend of DART, comes a little book that celebrates bicycling through quotes by notable people who can’t get enough of the exhilaration that comes from pedaling through life. Himself a cyclist who commutes from Marin County to downtown San Francisco, Michael adds to the growing literature on “the philosophic and kinetic aspects of bicycling” by looking at what scientists, artists, athletes and celebrities have to say on the subject. For example:

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.—Albert Einstein

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.—Susan B. Anthony

If the constellations had been named in the twentieth century, I suppose we would see bicycles….—Carl Sagan

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.—Mark Twain

Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym.—Bill Nye the Science Guy

The palm-sized book is designed to induce a close connection with words and images, which include vintage and contemporary photos of the riders who contribute their thoughts on living well.

Words to Ride By: Thoughts on Bicycling (Chronicle Books 2017) is available here. More about Michael Carabetta here.
Photo credits: E.T., © 1982 Universal Pictures/Photofest NYC. Three women with a bicycle, England, 1895, JT Vintage/Bridgeman Pictures.


Along similar lines is a success story about students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) who recently launched a publishing house for books by marginalized artists and writers. Fueled by their winning submission to MICA’s second annual UP/Start Venture Competition Paloma Hernando ’17 (Illustration B.F.A.) and Bekky Sunmi Shin ’17 (Illustration B.F.A.) will grow Dandelion Wine Collective, a comics and sequential illustration micro-publisher. With the $25,000 seed money, the new graduates plan to distribute their publications more widely and gain a greater audience.

The contest is open to graduating students and recent alumni, and focuses on building creative business ventures within the College community by providing capital and mentorship with industry partners to help nurture ideas into sustainable businesses.

More about Dandelion Wine Collective here. More about Paloma and Bekky here. More about the UP/Start Venture Competition here.