play time

One of my favorite reads from last year was Get Jiro, a graphic novel written by Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose and featuring art by Landon Foss.

The graphic novel depicts a wild world in which chefs dominate the social fabric like crime lords. There’s a joyful savagery to the story, which opens with a disgruntled sushi chef beheading a clueless customer for ordering a California Roll.

Here’s what I love most about it: Bourdain is doing this because he wants to. It’s obvious he’s doing this not for notoriety, but just for the hell of it. It’s play, at its purest and most simple.

I’ve tried to cultivate activities in my life that function strictly as play, be they musical endeavors, visual art, or the occasional rifling through the coffee can of Legos I keep under my desk.

As artists, we must remain vigilant that our work is play and our play is work. When the main hustle becomes lackluster, hobbies and side project function as a vacation from the main hustle. This is why I’ve worked so hard to make my home a creative playground.

Get Jiro is a great lesson in the importance of creative play (in addition to serving as a reminder of the perils that accompany ordering the California Roll).