Archive for the ‘The human jones project’ Category

My Blue Heaven, Pt. 2

June 16, 2014

I am not a handy person. I’m more of an idea man.

 

But after four years, it was time.

 

Time to claim my yard and create my own personal Blue Heaven.

 

I have always loved sitting out back, usually on the top step of the porch.

 

But. I rarely went down the steps into the yard.

 

It’s uneven, ugly—grass won’t grow in parts, and the patio area was too small for much of anything beyond a chair.

 

A. Chair.

 

bky1

So I planned. I planned a budget, and a strategy.

bky2

I raked and dug and broke the earth with my bare hands. I broke rocks until my arms were sore, my back ached and my hands bled.

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I shoveled and leveled and laid each piece of the patio down, one tile at a time.

bky4

 

bky3

 

I built, I assembled.

 

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And then, I finished.

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Sure, there are tweaks to be made, plants to be planted, a grill to assemble still, but by and large, it’s finished.

 

And as I sit out here, in my own private bar patio, coffee house, living room and office—My Blue Heaven—writing this rather bland post about Doing It Myself, I feel proud of what I made.

 

I am content with where I am—A satisfied man.

bky7

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My Blue Heaven, Pt. 1

June 11, 2014

I acknowledge the fact that I’ve written very little as of late.

 

This is for two primary reasons:

 

I’m in the process of curating and revising a book of short stories, essays and poems for a Fall 2014 release. This takes time not to write, but to review what I’ve already done, to coordinate with my editor and designer…

 

But.

 

The main reason, is my reaction to the most current mental funk, manual labor.

 

I’ve lived here for four years now. Every nice day I spend the majority of it out back, sitting on my porch, top step.

 

I write, drink, and play out there. I watch my dogs at their happiest.

 

But I never leave that porch, save to take the trash out to the alley.

 

So I decided to fix that.

 

I love my backyard. It has no trees, but the neighbors do, and that gives me shade, and my dogs room to run and romp and play.

 

So this month has been spent digging, raking, tilling, laying down patio and assembling things.

 

I’m not finished, but I’ve done enough now to sit out here on a couch, typing this blog as Daisy chases lightning bugs and Deuces sits next to me for the ear scritches.

 

Stay tuned. You know I like to share.

 

 

Hemingway and the Art of Being Concise

December 10, 2013

mmi

For sale: Baby Shoes, never worn.

Six words, one very full story.

As the legend goes, famed author Ernest Hemingway won a bet with those six words. While lunching with friends at the Algonquin, he wagered ten dollars to everyone sitting at the table (and probably a bartender and a few waitresses) that he could craft an entire story in just six words.

And then he did—on a cocktail napkin.

Six words. That’s all it took to make an impact. Hemingway proved that you can get right to the point, without missing it.

He’d probably punch me for saying it, but he would have been one hell of an ad man.

 newestrings2

There’s a lot of similarity between that storied literary tale and advertising; beyond scribbling something on a cocktail napkin, a concise message must tell a whole story, and it’s worth far more than a few ten dollar bills over lunch.

It’s the difference between making your point, or blending in with the rest of the white noise.

The average focus-attention span for a human is 7 seconds, and it decreases annually—that’s two seconds shorter than a goldfish. Divide that time in half while in motion.

That isn’t a lot of time to make an impact.

You don’t have time to explain every detail, but if done correctly, it’s enough to stimulate the desire to know more.

How does one say so much with so few words?

 pollbk

It’s a matter of selecting the words carefully, and with both sides of the brain—and what is left between those words, is the true craft of writing.

Be it humor or wit, a touching moment, the beginning of a mystery or a desire to grab a person by the shoulders and scream, “LOOK AT THIS,” the only way to say more is to get their attention in the first place.

In about six words or less.

Hemingway proved it can be done. Now it’s up to us to continue doing it correctly.

What will your six words be?

newestrings

Nocturnal Admissions: Thoughts as simple as a kiss…

November 27, 2013

2am2

I’ve been sitting in that rather strange place tonight. Trapped between deep thought, a million stories to be written, and the simple lack of alertness to do justice to the prose.

Tonight, my mind has been coming back around, again and again, to the kiss.

The first kiss of any relationship.

The second, the third, and the 300th.

You can tell a lot from a kiss. The first one, usually desperate, awkward or accidental is merely a leap together. The risk that, in that moment, you both are willing to take.

But the ones that follow, as your lips learn each other, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle—those are the ones that matter.

I have kissed many a beautiful young woman in my lifetime, but very few have been the type you think of days later; months later—years later.

It’s more than love, more than intimacy. It’s passion.

It’s a whisper in the ear, over and over again, reminding you that you aren’t in this alone. The warmth of a big spoon, stirring, stirring.

When the lips fit, as if they were designed for one another, it is a rarity, and presents a far deeper connection than three simple, often misused words can.

When the lips fit, the souls tend to follow, even if the heart cannot.

mtchmid

I’ve got rhythm.

October 25, 2013

nxt

I never graduated college.

This is a fact that I’m both proud of, and mortified by.

I’m proud, simply because I managed to become a success regardless. It’s proof that if you figure out your goals, make a strategy and have a little patience, you really can do whatever the hell you want.

I’m mortified, because I consider myself an intelligent individual, but school somehow never worked out for me. With the exception of a few distinct years, I got good grades, by and large. When I dropped out, I literally had a 4.0 GPA.

But it was always a struggle.

It was always a pain.

I hated very second of it.

And I never really cared if I didn’t understand how it actually applied to me and the life by which I was surrounded.

len

In grade school, I was so underwhelmed by lessons and over stimulated by thought, my third grade teacher inadvertently invented “Independent Studies” for me. She figure out how to put my energy to use, by writing books, and plays, creating sets, binding, etc.

My mom tells me that if it had existed back then, I would have been diagnosed with ADHD. When I was a kid, they called it hyperactivity and gave us Ridlin. But mine was confined to my mind. And thank god. Rather than some prescription that made me calm and complacent, I had a teacher that figured out how to help me put my mind to a better use.

Not that I don’t believe in the usefulness of antidepressants and medication when truly necessary, but as a child, the mind is a great coping mechanism.

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Sometimes, I think I have dyslexia. Words get jumbled when I read, and if I write too fast, I literally write words backwards. But if nobody tells you there’s an excuse, you don’t have one and push through it.

And if you’re lucky enough to have parents that instill a passion for the simple act of learning, discovering…if you indeed love to embrace the fact that there is still so much unknown, it’s really easy to push through.

To evolve. Every day.

Case in point. I always believed I had no rhythm. I couldn’t even snap in beat to songs I sang, and knew intimately.

One day, a band member called me out.  I don’t know theory; I don’t know shit, aside from what rests in my soul. I have no problem with criticism, especially when it’s as constructive as this was. I was snapping on the up beat, when I should be snapping on the down.

It wasn’t that I had no rhythm; I simply had the wrong rhythm.

Mind. Blown.

It’s like learning that 1+1=3. Like learning you’ve been tying your shoes wrong your entire life. Such a simple, mild adjustment. We have to be open to the fact that we don’t always know. Even when we assume we usually do. Because, even when we know so much, we have to be open to the idea that we’re wrong; that we don’t know shit from shine-ola.

This is a fatal flaw in the world—we all have egos.

But once you shed that—once you admit that the key to knowing everything is the simple fact that you know nothing at all, that’s when you can truly figure it out. When there are no rules, no egos, no pomp nor circumstance, but rather, an open mind. That’s when the magic really happens.

Me…?

I’ve got rhythm…

…now.

Nocturnal Admissions: Kindling at the Ready

September 27, 2013

len1

I have had a rather strange week. Strange only in contrast to the week prior, full of professional oddity and the type of strange that has somehow become my norm.

This was an inadvertent, self-imposed variation of a semi-solitary confinement of sorts. I didn’t try to cut myself off from the outside world, save for brief moments of self-supposed wit and charm via the social satellites of love…

I just did.

I’ve mentioned in recent posts that, save for poems and short chapters, I have been a bit at a loss for words.

It’s not that they aren’t there; there are simply far too many. Far too many unfinished chapters and half-started explorations stemming from a mind that moves faster than the hand, whether by ink or keyboard.

I am, by trade and reputation, an emotional, passionate man. I am learning from experience that I am best admired from afar, lest you see the unavoidable truths of the temperament found within me; found within a complex man in search of simple things.

I am, by trade and reputation, a tornado.

But this week, without planning such, my emotion has been vacant, my passion focused and quiet. There have been brief moments of contentment, longing, angst and melancholy, but they only creep out like a soft light emanating from underneath a bedroom door.

Without trying, I’ve spent the week in a cosmic ambivalence, by and large, shrugging the universe off in trade of simple images that say more than my words ever could.

More than they ever should.

Loud images, in a quiet place, my mind focused on nothing but.

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It is an artist’s burden to feel so damned much all the time. It allows us to display these emotions, explain them, or at least show the world they exist, so they can feel them too.

Or perhaps, know they aren’t alone.

Without, of course, the privileges and benefits of slowly going crazy as a result.

 pen

Emotional ambiguity. To exist in this state for too long is a tragedy for any man or woman. But for me, right now, it’s kind of necessary. Even were it not, I am here nonetheless.

I’ve thought too hard. Longed too hard. Spoke too hard. Loved too hard. Lost too hard.

Sometimes I drink too hard, and perhaps I simply live too hard.

It can make a man tired.

 newestrings2

Sometimes, when I feel everything, I need a little time to feel nothing.

But.

It’s a farce. Deep down, I know better.

Hard as I may try, to stop feeling altogether would be to stop living.

And regardless of how one lives, for this brief moment in time, we are alive.

Perhaps this emotional dissidence is merely a temporary calm before a rather large storm.

The biggest blazes all start with a spark, and I am but kindling at the ready.

mtchmid

Tangle of Lights: When Words Fail…Art pt. 2

September 26, 2013

len_art

Far too often, my work has ideas of its own; no matter how well I plan out a project or try to envision it as a finished piece, even before I begin, I know it will go where it must.

Me? I merely go with it.

It’s like steering a runaway horse that you know won’t stop until it wants to.

You hold on tight, and hope to god you don’t get lost.

It’s a very stark contrast to my creative process for advertising. That is a system all its own, with calculations in both strategy and risks. It has a budget, and far more accountability on a fairly immediate level.

But deadlines are for the mad.

This most recent one has taken me into a dead forest full of petrified skulls hiding in the mud, if you look close enough.
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Sometimes I vomit my emotions publicly through words, through music and performance.

Other times, I merely exorcise or, more to wit, recognize my demons.
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I’ve reached the stopping point for piece number two in my series, it’s ready to be ignored for a spell, so I can return to it with a little separation.

So it’s on to the next process, the next piece of the series, and in the most obvious of clichés, the next piece of the puzzle.

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I haven’t any idea just how far deep this rabbit hole goes.

But.

I’m okay with such things.

Hell, I jump in head first, regardless of how I might land.

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Tangle of Lights: When Words Fail…Art

September 24, 2013

len_art

I don’t always get to pick what I work on. Sometimes, I merely must.

Sometimes, I want more than anything to do just one thing.

But I do something else—entirely.

It’s not a misdirected obsession, merely an opportunity to follow my inner muse wherever it may lead.

Sure, today I wanted to work on an essay about the importance of writing by hand. The scientific background attached to a higher plain of thought resulting from a journal.

I’ve been researching it for months.

But my words are hard to come by these days, save for the occasional misread poem or random short chapter.

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, so much as a motivational lull.

Words are so much easier to misread than art.

Art is open.

It was meant to be misunderstood, made personal in message, kept individual by the souls that witness it.

When words fail, the simplest truth is found in a more direct emotional response.

I started a new piece tonight, a new process to fall into and be swept away by. The second in a series focused on the roots of human emotion.

More specifically, mine own.

This has been the primary subject of my therapy recently, both in a licensed professional’s office, and in my own head and heart as I create songs, words and art.

But words have failed me as of late.

I am fortunate to have so many outlets—so many options to express myself.

Through eloquence, through a messy rage, through melancholy, I can look deeply into my own dark soul and search.

My mind is mine. My mind is mined.

My mind is always on public display, to help avoid confusion of character.

Why look to the words of others, when it’s already there, waiting for you to see?

So until I find the words, the process continues, as do I.

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But this is merely the beginning.

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Tangle of Lights: the Process, Part 2

September 20, 2013

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The process. There’s a process for nearly everything in life. From grieving to growing, everything is some sort of process.

But the process of creating, this is different.

For me, it’s deliberate. Like a long, slow fuck.

This is nowhere near completion, I like taking my time, devoted to every inch of the canvas. We’re about 50 hours into this one, now…

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I’m not one to finish too prematurely.

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Tangle of Christmas Lights: The Process…

September 18, 2013

len_art

 

The process.

 

I love it.

 

It is, in essence the art, more so than the final product.

 

The process is what gives the masses their pretty picture; their art.

 

The process is what I treasure most as an artist.

 

The fear of finishing, not because it isn’t done…

 

Because I’m not.

 

len

 

I’ve been working on a piece for a good 20-30 hours now…starting with individual pieces that will ultimately barely be noticed, if at all, save for the moments when a drug-addled college kid stumbles across my work and stares too hard…which is just hard enough for why I did it in the first place.

 

It has to start somewhere…

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and from there it went. I continued adding things, moments, faces, torments, stress, baggage of sorts…Symbols of a man’s mind when he can’t find the silence.

 

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(click the image to see a larger variation)

Where it goes from here, I do not know just yet. The process is far from over.

Just wait and see…

Nocturnal Admissions: Cotton swabs and mortality…

September 16, 2013

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Mortality.

We all die eventually.

That’s the big joke about life.

There is but one guarantee.

The wise man is aware of this, and uses it as a sound argument for taking full advantage of this temporary disposition.

Those of us less sound spend our time wondering how…

Not if, that’s a given. Not when, that would ruin the surprise.

How.

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I spend (far too much) time thinking about this.

I’d like to think my obituary will speak of a final heroic act revolving around the rescue of puppies and orphans from a fiery death, but…

I know better.

It’s going to be something stupid.

Like a Q-Tip.

How many people ignore warnings and do as they choose, only to meet an untimely fate that will one day be fodder for urban legend?

People have literally died as a result of a cotton swab.

Something random and odd like this, in all likelihood, will beat every bad habit I have.

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Today, I decided. I’m not going out like that.

I used my finger instead.

My fingernail cut the inside of my ear.

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It just goes to show, you have little control over the chaos of the world around us.

It proves that it doesn’t matter how I go out. Nor how I came in.

It only matters what I’m doing while I’m here.

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I don’t care what rhymes with hug me.

September 6, 2013

flmstrp

I have written a lot of songs. I’m pretty proud of them. I know that not every lyric penned is that perfect, life-changing message, but by and large, I say what I need to say, and in a way that seems to work, at least for me. Today, rather than writing about the deeper things on my mind, the toils and troubles of being alive in an imperfect world (screws fall out all the time) I decided to pull just a few of my absolute favorite lines from Strawfoot’s catalog. I know not everything I write is great, but I feel like there are great moments hiding everywhere in this world, if you look hard enough—even in my songs.

It’s also fun to step back and chart my growth as a writer, from time to time. The band’s sound has evolved, and so have I. So, without further adieu, here’s a nice little time line of my lines.

45

I can tell by the way you look, clear as homemade gin

Your mouth is full of hornets, and your body’s built for sin

 –Achilles Heel, Chasing Locusts

You grab the bottle, I’ll hold the glass

We’ll toast the future and forget the past

You got an itch, I lost my cool

You ran your mouth, I broke the golden rule

–Effigy, Chasing Locusts

 

I wish I had a conscience,

A voice I could obey

I wish I had a heart

But my chest is made of hay

Wish I had a fiddle, for on it I would play

I would play until the lord takes me away

–Fiddle and Jug, Chasing Locusts

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I’d scream right up to heaven if I thought it’d do me good.

I’d wash my hands of sin if I really thought I could

I’d speak my mind right now if I had half a mind to give

And I’d lay right down and die if I had ever really lived

–Broken Crown, How We Prospered

 

Well you think your words are final,

That you speak the gospel truth

But you speak them with a forked tongue

And a fang left for a tooth

–Hole, How We Prospered

 

Whiskey in the morning, scotch the night before

My back is full of carpet burns from snow angels on the floor

–Seven Ways, How We Prospered

 

I gave you everything, till everything was gone.

I’m marching on.

–Funeral March, How We Prospered

 

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Go ahead and lie to me, say I’m the only one

I could be your Icarus if you’d only be my sun

–Poison Me, 1000 Tragedies

 

Abuse me like a drug, drink me like gin

For every veil that’s shed, I find another sin

–Unveiled, 1000 Tragedies

 

I never meant to shatter such a fragile little thing

It was not an invitation for the sadness that you bring

Deliver Me, 1000 Tragedies

 

You didn’t love me, until I went away

Until I tried to leave you, it didn’t matter if I stayed

–Goddamned Shadow, 1000 Tragedies

 

You’ve been lying to yourself more than anyone but me

As my boot scraped cross your floor you hoped I wouldn’t see

Are you the victim or the killer, whose heart is beating now

I’ve heard more stories than our pages should allow

–Telltale, 1000 Tragedies

 

You’re a troubled mind, an empty soul

A catalyst, a rabbit’s hole

I hate to say, though we know it’s true

I have to fall out of love with you

–Fool, 1000 Tragedies

 

I hate my wrinkles, my skin and bones,

I hate my weary face

It’s always staring back at me,

It whispers sweet disgrace

I hate the things you said to me

And all the damage done

Mostly I just hate the fact I’m not the only one

–Wrecking Ball, 1000 Tragedies

 

You were always so far away, even when you were so near

Even when you were in my arms

You were never really here

I’m tired of your ghost, and I’m tired of the blame

I’m tired of excuses and I’m tired of the pain,

You tried to fly away but keep rapping at my door

But to still the beating of my heart I cry out nevermore.

–Nevermore, 1000 Tragedies

 

I miss your taste, your warm embrace,

Lips fuller than the moon.

But I I despised the long goodbyes,

And all the promises of soon.

We lived through all the seasons

And stood through all the weather

So how’d we end up here,

I could swear we came together

We lived a thousand tragedies

We’ll live a thousand more

And I’ll just keep on dancing

No longer keeping score

–1000 Tragedies, 1000 Tragedies

 

 

 

doinmydo

Lost Art.

August 25, 2013

len_art

 

I admit, I wasn’t thinking things through. I wasn’t thinking ahead. And I didn’t learn my lesson after the first or second time.

 

I have now.

 

I made the mistake of using the women I loved as the subjects of my art. Art made beautiful by the work, by the models, by the intimacy of the moment in which it was created.

 

Art that will never see the light of day.

 

Work made obscure when things went awry.

 

Art that will adorn no wall out of respect for those that do not respect me.

 

Is this a tragedy?

mtchmid

For me, it is.

 

Because regardless of the subject, regardless of history, this is my work. My attempt to create something stirring, something beautiful—something true.

 

I can do nothing but accept this. Appreciate the process. And learn from it.

 

And create new work for the world to see.

 

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Tangle of Lights: Poster Boy

August 2, 2013

ashtry

I have designed a lot of gig posters over the years. I like to think I’ve kept a fairly decent level of variety in my approaches and layouts, while maintaining my own recognizable style.

 pstrwp

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Except when it comes to the Beggar’s Carnivale. When we started, I made a very special point to keep all the posters looking very similar, to develop our brand recognition from show to show. I think it helped.

That’s not to say this approach didn’t have its own challenges. I had to do more than simply change the date and performer lineup. While I wanted people to recognize it immediately as a Beggar’s Carnivale promotion, I did not want them to think it was an old poster, for an old show.

It still required work, new images, no background colors, etc. But it was still essentially the same, recognizable format.

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But.

Here we are, into our third year. Three years of capacity shows and a growing fan base throughout the country.

I think it’s safe to say people know who we are. Our logo is strong enough to stand alone.

So, I’ve decided to take a few creative liberties with this season of productions. Stepping away from the templates I had created for the previous seasons, I decided to try to be a little more true to the era we’re emulating in our work.

 newestrings2

I am not very good at art deco. Never have been, probably never will be. Sure, I’ve used bits and pieces of the style…fonts, borders, flourishes…

But I’ve never tried to emulate the overall look and feel.

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The challenge in this is maintaining enough of the Beggars look and feel, while stretching my creative wings.

So here’s the poster for our next Beggar’s Carnivale. It’s not a completely authentic deco design, but it’s about as close as I could get while keeping the brand standards. Standards I set.I have a lot invested in this next show creatively, so stay tuned for more developments about the…developments.

flprdprMore to come, friends and/or neighbors.

Shedding my ‘Skine, Part 1

July 19, 2013

len1

I’ve been feeling a little lost as of late—disheveled.

I mean, more disheveled than usual.

I filled the last page of my last moleskine, and have had nothing in my pocket to catch the random crap that falls out of my brain. My journals, notebooks, sketchbooks…this is where ideas get mapped out. Fleshed out. Worked out. It’s where simple sentences are recorded for a rainy day when I need a spark.

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And it makes me smarter. It’s true.

Just the simple act of putting ink to page on a regular basis improves how I think. Scientifically speaking, studies have shown that writing by hand is a process that requires an integration of visual, motor, and cognitive execution for a stronger, more stimulated mode of thought.

ms1

The simple, singular focus on that little piece of paper, rather than a constant exchange between keyboard and monitor allows a more centered point of thought. A more centered point of thought allows more expansion of thought.

And I have nowhere to do it.

I’ve been using Moleskines for years. Personally, I don’t care if Hemingway used a Moleskine or a roll of toilet paper to record his thoughts. I have been using them because I like the binding, size and paper weight.

I do not, however, like the page count. At 80, they fill up far too fast to keep up.

Nor do I like the price.

mtchmid

So I’ve decided to branch out and try some different brands.

I ordered a Piccadilly, a Pen&Ink and a Pentalic pocket notebook/sketchbook. They all win on price.

Quality is another thing entirely.

As I said earlier, I have been carrying around Moles because of the binding, size and paper. The latter being the most important selling point. The stock of paper needs to be thick. I don’t just write in these. I carve into them, and build the initial mockups for bigger, more thought out ideas. I abuse tape, spray adhesive and glue sticks.

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These journals come with me everywhere. Client meetings, backstage amidst the beautiful chaos of show time, family events, road trips, business trips, mind trips.

They are chew toys for the puppies, coasters for my cocktails, and bulging at the seams with thought.

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I’m not sure which new brand will arrive first, but I will use them as I get them, and compare and contrast with the iconic hipster accessory I have lovingly used for years, and report back to you.

Because I have better things to spend my money on.

Like hookers and blow.

Or, you know, rent and stuff.

Tangle of Lights: A different angle

June 27, 2013

rs

 

You know what they say, measure twice, cut once.

 

They also say, if at first you don’t succeed, take a step back, have a drink and smoke, and try another approach.

 

Okay, maybe I say that.

cliche

I’ve been working on a new direction with my art as of late, utilizing angles, lenticular illusions and physical depth mixed with the root idea of tilt-shift perspective.

 

Once upon a time, before I was a Mad Man, before I sang for beautiful women to shimmy about to—before I even learned the fine art and skill sets of the service industry, I was an art student. Painting, drawing, and mixed media…this was before Adobe Photoshop even existed; before there was digital photography, before the Internet. When being an artist was a very different craft.

 

At least for me.

len_art

This was back when we, the paint splattered fine art majors, turned our noses up at commercial art students, those future sellouts forced to hand draw their fonts with gray markers and display them next to our paintings of nude models.

 

Ah youth. If I knew then where I’d be now.

 

Back then, mine was a reckless form born of undeserved indignation to a world I hadn’t even begun to understand. I rarely entered into anything with a plan. I didn’t even start with a sketch or idea more often than not. I would simply start, and get lost in the marks, the brush strokes, the scratches and smudges. The digressions and mini-evolutions as my inspiration raced against my frantic output.

 

I’m proud of that work. But it’s not how I work.

 

Not anymore.

 newestrings2

Maybe it’s my age; maybe it’s a constant strife for more efficient use of my time, given how little I have these days. Perhaps it’s as simple and obvious as my daily bread bleeding over into my personal work. I spend my working hours building creative strategies. I plan, and think about what might work, and what will probably fail. I have learned the value of versions and drafts, tests and mock-ups.

 

Another fine cliche: you’ve gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.

 

Not every idea works the first go round. Or the second or third sometimes. Each misstep and failure teaches me something to apply to the next variation.

 

So I take a step back. Then a step forward. Then back again, then forward…Then I’m doing the hokey pokey.

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I have been working with lenticular illusion, and the varied approaches to this strange optical illusion. In tangent, I’ve also been working on physical depth. This is something that has piqued my interest for quite some time now, though I’ve yet to find the application that works for me and my vision and underlying statement.

 

I’ve never really applied science to my art before. I’ve never done anything but close my eyes, take a deep breath and dive in. But I’ve always loved the process as much as the final product, if not more. Now the process is deeper, and more developed. More thoughtful.

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Last night I built a mock-up of a lenticular based on open space and proper angles to view, with three physical levels of the scene to create a surreal perspective.

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I almost got it right. Almost.

 

The front view looks fine, with some mild tweaking.

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One angle worked great.

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But.

 

The other one…not so much. I need to reverse the order of the images on the other side of the lenticular blind.

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And this is why I mock things up first.

 

So it’s time to do the hokey-pokey and turn myself around and then try, try again.

Unplugged

June 24, 2013

Sometimes you have to.

 

Sometimes, the world is too much and you simply need to unplug and pull back for a moment to catch your breath and see the world for what it is.

 

It’s pen to paper for a little bit, but worry not, friends and/or neighbors…

 

I’m not really going anywhere but in.

True loss.

June 5, 2013

I can still remember the very first time I saw her. My heart skipped a beat, and I just knew she was going to somehow be a part of my life. When I close my eyes, every moment flashes past in fast-forward, brief glimpses of our first conversation, our first dance, the moment we told one another we loved each other…stolen kisses, break-ups, make-ups.

I always expected her to be a part of my life in one way or another.

But now she’s gone. Gone forever.

And I wasn’t ready; even though I sadly knew it would happen eventually.

I have met very few people as good as her. As kind, optimistic, and strong as her.

Getting dumped, losing your job…those aren’t losses. Merely changes we must adapt to.

This is a loss. More than just a personal loss.

Much more.

She fought hard, but more incredible was the fight she inspired in so many others.

She changed lives, always for the better, and never with an agenda or selfish motivation.

She gave us strength, even when she had little of her own, without even trying.

We didn’t end up together, our happily ever afters came from other people, but we never stopped being a part of one another’s lives. You never forget your first love, your high school sweetheart. You never forget the impact people make on your life. We were friends far longer than lovers, and I never regretted where our relationship evolved.

More to wit, I treasured it all the more.

She’ll never be gone. She will live on in so many fond memories and within the hearts of everyone whom she knew.

The world lost one of the strongest, bravest, most selfless women ever to breathe the sweet air of life, and I lost a woman I will love and respect for so long as I have a soul.

She was my friend, my first love and my Winnie Cooper, and the world is a little less beautiful without her.

winnie

The economics of thought

April 29, 2013

len1I’ve been studying thought a lot lately.

 

Not the abstract idea, the literal exercise of thinking.

 

More to wit, how to think more efficiently to produce the work I want, with the results I need.

 

I know how to think; we all do to a certain point. It’s an innate mechanism of being a human.

 

But there’s a difference between the average moment of decision, and a deeper exploration of the challenges at hand to find a better solution.

 

Everything I learn garners three more things I need to research.

 

I’m still formulating my ideas of how thought is both useful, and used within my profession. There’s a lot more to learn.

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Ultimately, I’m just trying to find the best pattern of thought to produce the best work possible. Work that satisfies the soul, the psyche and even the statistics I do my best to ignore in the early stages of a concept.

 

Most recently, my research has lead to me to behavioral economics, which is normally used to predict the market. There are a lot of aspects of this I believe can be used to dictate the market, rather than react to it.

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So many people look for the easy solution, the fast payoff. We live in a world of immediacy, and far too often this causes rash, poorly planned strategies.

 

Those that step back and think; they are the ones that create trends, rather than follow them blindly.

 

I will always be a student in the school of thought. But now, I choose the curriculum.

rs

Rain

April 26, 2013

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Sometimes, a gentle rain can be my muse.

The sound—as it hits the roof of my car, silently drawing tear stained trails down the windows. The low thunder pushing the normal sounds of the city far below, turning the world outside into a silent movie.

Sometimes, a gentle rain is all I need for that moment to arrive.

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I was beating my head against a wall this morning, failing at every attempt at wit or aspiration in my words. Distractions didn’t help, they simply lived up to their name.

So I stepped out into the rain.

I neither lingered nor ran. I simply lit a cigarette and walked to my car, with sky speckled glasses.

I wasn’t in search of a warm, dry refuge.

I was in search of my muse.

A tangle of smoke, a tear drop of rain and perhaps a small spark that I might turn into a fire.

Inspiration comes from anywhere, if you let it.

fndlygrphc-Recovered