Episode 570 – Chris Silverman

Virtual Memories Show 570:
Chris Silverman

“I want to explore the limits of the tool that I’m using, and I want to do something that I think is interesting to look at; there isn’t any higher or more noble purpose than that to #notesArt.”

Did you make a 2024 resolution to put down your phone? This week’s guest might make you rethink that! Chris Silverman has been making gorgeous, weird, haunting artwork daily for more than 2 years, using only his iPhone’s Notes app and his fingertips. We get into how #notesArt began, how it’s evolved, what his drawing process is like, what it’s been like to build an audience for his art, and how viewers bring their own meanings to his #notesArt. We talk about the challenges of keeping up a regular art practice (daily!), how upgrading to iOS17 jump-started his new creative phase, the artists and cartoonists who influence him, whether Undo is his friend or enemy, his fascination with traffic lights, empty buildings, and masks, and the subconscious burbling that gives birth to the images he draws. We also share our thoughts on mortality, authenticity and identity, what it means to share your art with the world, the pressure that comes when someone is watching, and a lot more! Give it a listen! And go follow #notesArt!

“For the first year of #notesArt, I really didn’t think about it too much, because nobody was watching, but now by my standards a lot of people are watching, so there’s definitely an element of pressure that wasn’t there before, and I’m trying to figure out how much to let that influence me.”

“You rely on other people to let you know that you exist. It’s the feedback we get from other people, the reflections of us from other people and how they react to what we do that gives us a sense of who we are. #notesArt has given me a sense of solidity I didn’t have before.”

“There’s a good chance this project will end when I’m in the ground. It’s given me a sense of structure and purpose that very little that I’ve done has. That said, #notesArt ate everything else I was doing.”

“Our lives are journals.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Chris Silverman is a designer, artist, and illustrator living in New York’s Hudson Valley. He likes traffic lights, night, faces (especially masks and skulls), UFOs, and desolate places. He is the brother of past (& upcoming!) guest Jen Silverman.

Follow Chris & #notesArt on Instagram, Mastodon, Glass, and at notes.art.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at my home on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4 digital recorder & interface. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Chris by someone else; photo of us by me. It’s on my instagram.

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