For the RECORD

MADDIE BIRKY

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief

he way we tell stories is changing.

Believe me, I know that writing and verbal storytelling will never go out of style. But with modern technological developments, television shows are becoming even more popular and creative. Cutting-edge television is emerging from unlikely places, not just the standard network offerings.

Netflix is just one of many homes for great television shows.

I love Netflix.

It’s not just its seemingly endless supply of movies, shows and documentaries, or the way it shows me it cares by checking in on me when I’ve been watching a show for just a little bit too long, asking, “Are you still watching?”

The thing I love the most about it are the Netflix original series.

From shows like “Stranger Things” to “House of Cards” to “The Get Down” to “Chef’s Table,” the cinematic gold never ceases to impress me.

Being somewhat of a cinematography nerd, I am astounded by the care and thought that goes into the actual shooting of nearly every show created by Netflix.

Most recently, I dove into the series called “Abstract: The Art of Design,” thanks to my dear roommate and fellow documentary lover, Lea Ramer. Like “Chef’s Table,” each episode is independent of the others and focuses on both an artist and a specific art form.

The very first episode had me hooked. Who doesn’t appreciate a show that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking?

The episode featured Christoph Niemann, an illustrator and graphic designer whose work has been featured on the cover of many issues of the New Yorker. Niemann has also published several books, including some children’s books.

Niemann spends the majority of the 46-minute documentary showing us how he plays with abstraction and interactivity while questioning our desire for authenticity–all on a daily basis.

His mindset was inspiring.

He talks about how artists often become hopelessly dependent on past sparks of inspiration. Artists struggle to create a new idea that equals their best work. They measure their success against what may have been nothing more than luck.

It’s painful to realize that aiming to improve on our work can lead to anxiety and fear.

But Niemann refuses to stay in that mindset. He said, “You have to deal with your fears. Be fearless.”

The way we tell stories is changing because people took risks and did something they hadn’t done before. Media distributors started creating original shows instead of waiting for studios and networks to lead the way.

Niemann’s observations apply to many different aspects of our lives. Creativity can’t be limited by what has been done before, even though the past clearly informs what we are able to achieve next. We just can’t get caught in trying to repeat or surpass our success. Be willing to push into what is unfamiliar, which may even lead to mistakes.

Simply put, you won’t achieve new things unless you are fearless and willing to try.

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