Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anti-Competition

Competition among artists is bullshit.
Being each other's muse is amazing.

In a drawing class, the instructor will put 3 pears on a pedestal and say "draw."
Thirty-five students will all look at the same three pears, but each and every one will draw the pears in their own style through their own perspective. 35 students x the number of years the instructor teaches and there will never EVER be two drawings the same. The best part of sitting in a room with thirty-five artists is that they will feed off of each other and push each other to go a bit further outside of the box.

This is what artists do. Rather, this is what we should be doing.
Not sitting around worried about "the competition", but instead feed, push and inspire each other...share knowledge, materials, food, laughs and have each other's backs.

I am looking for other militant artists. Does not matter what you create...whether it is an outstanding life, amazing photography, sensational clothing or unique jewelry...it is about creating - and having each other's backs.

Who's in?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

sometimes blank happens

Going at full speed…
sleep…
wake up…
and nothing.

Blank.

No aims
Goals
Desires
Motivation.

Just blank.

No ideas
No creativity
No wild-hair-up-the-butt.

Just blank.

This is extremely uncomfortable
But I am making myself sit in it.

Sitting in the blank.

I know I have problems to solve
Things to do
Art to create
People to meet
Phone calls
Lunch plans

A house to clean.

More than enough to do.
But I feel blank.

Blank is like a clean blackboard.
An etch-o-sketch turned upside down and shaken.

Blank

Perhaps blank is the beginning.
A very good place to start.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A New Tribe

The following thoughts by Joshua Kewish fit very well into the mind of a 'militant artisan.' It is about being authentic and standing in that truth. Many of us are recognizing a new way of conducting our lives...a new tribe is being formed.


According to wikipedia (a dubious source, but good enough to start) neotribalism is “…the ideology that human beings have evolved to live in tribal society, as opposed to mass society, and thus will naturally form social networks around such things as "brand" and corporate imagery "tribes."

Instead of brands and such, the new tribes are forming social networks not bound by the rules of the last 200. Our society lacks support, lacks answers, lacks humanity. The old paradigms of rampant consumerism, hyper-rigid religiosity, and fear as a tool to manipulate are no longer valid. In this environment, many of us question everything and seek new ways of being and people with whom to share this journey.

Perhaps the Great Recession has sped up the process, but I believe many of us were already moving toward neotribalism even if we hadn't consciously realized it yet. Do you long to simplify your life by removing all the crap collected over the last two or three decades? Realized that many of the expenses in your life are not essential after all? Cell phones, cable television, eating out all the time, that daily mocha, etc.

Simplifying is central to the new tribalism. De-cluttering our living environments is symbolic of shedding the consumerist lifestyle, a freeing of one's self from the trappings of a dying way of life. A new friend in my tribe recently said that everything we own actually owns us, that each object takes time and energy maintain, clean, pay for, or even just plain walk around. Neotribalists seek to minimize the clutter by evaluating everything in their lives and keeping only what truly makes life better.

This has led many of us to rethink how we live. Buying local produce and preparing our own meals is both cost effective and very social. Beyond the obvious budget and health benefits, it brings our circle of friends together to both prepare and share meals. Emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, etc are no substitute for real human interaction in the new tribe. Simple, honest human to human contact is the goal. And if we look deeper, these activities do more for our quality of life by supporting our local economies and decoupling us from the drones still plugged into the vast machine.

The new tribes are a healthy alternative to the failed-mass-society-fear-mongering-group-thinkers. The new tribes are not competitive in the old world sense. They are about people connecting and helping each other to be their authentic selves.

As a final thought, this movement isn't about anarchy or overthrowing the government. It is about making a life that matters. It is about being authentic and helping others to do the same. Question everything and where you find truth, live it.

Peace.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The "A" Word

The "A" word: Authentic.

Origin of AUTHENTIC
Middle English autentik, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos, from authent─ôs perpetrator, master, from aut- + -hent─ôs (akin to Greek anyein to accomplish, Sanskrit sanoti he gains)
First Known Use: 14th century

So, original meaning - Perpetrator, Master, To Accomplish, He Gains.

Have you been the perpetrator of your own life?
Are you the master of your life?
What have you accomplished?
What are you gaining?

Are you leading an authentic life?

Are you an artist? Is your work authentic? Are you perpetrating your own vision? The master of what you make? Are you accomplishing and gaining on your goals?

Or...are you about to sell out to make a buck?
Losing the vision in order to keep up society's status quo?

Artists are the educators of authenticity.
The world needs us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seth Godin says

Make a dent. <----click to read full post.

tangible results

Idea.
Creation.
Presentation.

And a passer-by sees the item and must have, cries, tells a story, knows it is perfect for a friend...

Purchases.

Deep gratitude.

This is why this artist has a difficult time with the idea of wholesale, consignment, galleries and mail order.

It is the tangible result of art created from the soul that makes it all worthwhile.
Even if it is a long-time between purchases.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Visionary not Victim

Artists need to remember that we are visionaries...not victims.
Take all the victim-thoughts and cram them down the toilet, flush and forget.

Now...

go create something.

The Soul of the Militant Artisan

...because for some of us music & art is life, not an escape. Can't just do it like a job, it has to be felt to have worth.

(said by a friend of mine, Tram Truong...and I did not ask his permission to use this here, but he is a really cool dude and is an amazing photographer. Check out his work here.)

((ok...I didn't even ask him if THAT is the link I should use, or even use it at all...but then...this IS the "militant artisan" and I'm firing all guns to get the word out of amazing artists and the things they do...))

(((And I DID send the word out to artists to write their own thing, and only ONE delivered...so *shrug* you know...gotta keep content going...)))

peace out

Friday, October 8, 2010

A plug for the Midtown Bazaar, then a great article...

Every Saturday morning Sacramento's Midtown Bazaar features local artisans pouring their art out...come out and gather up some ideas for unique holiday gifts. You can find out more by reading the following article - a link for the bazaar is at the end.

A friend of mine offered up some very good thoughts on being an independent consumer...

Everyone reading, I introduce to you: Kirk Parker, The Screen Master:

We live in a time where government "for the people, by the people" has become more of a business than a democracy and even a philanthropic effort will suffer if it's not properly "branded."

It's a natural call and response for artisans to insert themselves into this Brave New World with "product placement" that stems from their own inventive quality. Where "old world" methods of crafting are carried into this world by artist who had a D.I.Y mentality and realize that the idea of ''we'll just make and buy more" is extremely shortsighted.

The shopping spree you envision can start in your closet or garage and many throw away items can be reinterpreted and re-purposed in the most intriguing ways.

Susan Wasingers' book "Eco Craft" is a good place to start. More information can be found at the website www.larkbooks.com

There is an unseen price for " low price goods ". The purchasing of these goods are not necessarily the bargain that you think you're getting.

Rather than purchase someone designer product of someone else, create your own. If that involves the branding of clothing, check out, www.thescreenmaster.com

The major point is the value in thinking and shopping along more artistic and independent lines.

Imagine a place where items are sold without catchy slogans are product placement. There are alternatives and independent markets. Check out www.midtownbazaar.com

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Words heard at a recent craft fair

"I can get this cheaper at Target."

"Oh...I saw this same thing down the street."

"What a bunch of crap."

"This doesn't look like anything I've ever seen."

Responses that I would love to say, but have not...yet:

"No you can not get this cheaper at Target, or Wal-Mart, or Kohl's...heck maybe even Macy's...Because it does not exist there. Jewelry from those places are worn by thousands of other people, have no soul and was made by a machine (the jewelry that is, not the people...well...maybe). This piece was designed at 3:00 a.m., the metal cut out at 7:00am after numerous cups of coffee and while cutting the metal the saw blade broke and I cut my finger....I did clean the blood off..."

"No, you didn't see the same thing down the street because I designed and made all of this myself. It can not exist in another booth. Take a closer look and you will see how unique this is."

"Crap? Move along. You are apparently not our customer, and further, you have no idea of what you are looking at. Never heard fine silver called "crap" before..."

"You are correct. You have not seen this before because these are all original designs. I purposefully do not make what everyone else does. I am an artist and bring forth my own ideas."