Kinkade’s movie-making guidelines

This is too fun to ignore.

A commenter going by RR linked to me from a World Magazine article about Kinkade’s upcoming film. RR pointed out my commentary from this post and then went on to say that I probably enraged Jan Karon fans by what I said. I know Karon is an author (My wife has read some of her books; uh-oh!) but have no idea what would offend her fans from that particular entry.

The World article is titled Painter of Light (Rather than art) and cites a Vanity Fair article which republished a document. That document is said to be what Kinkade gave to the filmmakers so that the finished movie would look Kinkade-esque. Vanity Fair’s article is bluntly titled Thomas Kinkade’s 16 Guidelines for Making Stuff Suck.

Vanity Fair seems to have made more of the 16 guidelines than they deserve. Overall the list is pretty banal. There are, however, a few laughable points to the list. Number 6 calls for the inclusion of “hidden details,” including his childrens’ names, his anniversary date, the numbers 52, 82 and 5282 and 30 letter Ns throughout the work. Symbolism is great, but this seems like micromanagement more than anything useful to the story. Number 14 asks that the “ugly parts” of his paintings are done away with. Don’t all artists wish for this. Over coffee with Joel Armstrong this morning I complained about not liking my most recent sculpture. Fact is, though, that sculpture is probably an important part of my life portfolio. And someone might buy it. Someday. Even though it’s kind of ugly.

I’m not making any judgments here, just passing along the news. Vanity Fair is not the kind of publication I generally like to cite (bit too gossipy I reckon), but since World Mag made use of the list I’m a little more comfortable posting it here. Make what you will of the whole affair.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Kinkade’s movie-making guidelines

  1. techne says:


    i won’t post here — suffice it to say that i can’t believe that both peter o’toole and marcia gay harden are in the film. incroyable!

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