Thursday, November 15, 2012


This happens to be one of the most awkward responses we have in the English language. People use this word in such random circumstances. Since I’m an artist and randomly talk about art, I’ll start here.

Recently I did an art show. (See previous paragraph, because I’m an artist this is one of the venues I go to sell my wares.) I take my craft, talent, discipline, vocation, whatever you would like to call it, very seriously. I tend to think of it as a mixture of work and passion. It’s an odd alchemy of blessings and curses. I find that I am blessed to have the talent to create and cursed that I need to create. A condition, which, with the right amount of discipline, can become a profession.  So I do. I make and I create; then try to earn a living at it. In prior years and up to this date it has been pretty successful.

One of the reasons it is so successful is because I go to theses venues, “art shows” or “galleries”, and sell my “what I do” things. If all is done right, the mixture of patrons, art aficionados, friends, family and the curious converge into the space where I have my creations for sale… I’m not saying this is lightning in a bottle but a piece of artwork sells. CONGRATULATIONS! No, this isn’t a time for that word. It is a planned strategic business decision. I created artwork, placed it in a venue where I had the best opportunity to prosper and continue my love hate relationship with my passion. Don’t get me wrong; I love it when a plan comes together. But, this is the expected outcome.

Imagine a petrol station strategically placed on the exit ramp of a well-traveled expressway. The odds of someone needing to refuel their gas guzzling horseless carriage are pretty good. Would you congratulate the man that helps you in your choice of petroleum products? Just because he had the right product at the right venue at the right time, doesn't warrant a congratulations. You should be congratulated for being at the right place, at the right time and understanding the true value of "E" = empty. If you feel the need to impart your wisdom and enthusiasm for their service you might suggest some punctuation on their sign "Eat Here Get Gas." 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Exercise of Humility

They say exercise is good for you. I didn't realize there are so many varieties of exercise. For this particular one, I didn't even have to sweat...well not that much.

This is how the exercise was described in the email; "Participate in Our Auction…blah blah blah" Really, how hard is that? This is how I read it, "Do the best job with whatever your talent is and place it on a pedestal so all can admire. Then promote the heck out of the event to all your family and friends and to all your clients who have invested in your career and previously bought into it.” After realizing the interpretation, I discuss with my ego, how great the cause is. We battle it out and my ego assures me that any superiority and clout within my talent field can justify this. I argue the rationale for the success; where a few bid on things they don't need just to look good to the community and their peers or the rationale behind helping a charity to raise some money. In fact it does me no financial good because I can only deduct the cost of materials and not the retail value of my hard work. My head swirls and my heart follows my talent. I retreat to my ivory tower (aka studio) and do what I do by creating something special for the auction block.

Now comes the fun…the work out in humility. The workout area is nicely decorated; food and beverages are abundant. I had previously received a well thought out invite to the event that described the details and what we were to expect, though it mentioned nothing about the awkwardness I would feel throughout my intense workout. As a little warm up exercise in the beginning, I practice my humility as people faun over my one of a kind auction item. There is the causal smile and a humble, “Oh, it was fun…thank you.” All the while I secretly hope that is goes for tons of money so my ego doesn’t get upset with me.

Then it begins: the host steps up to the podium and gives a speech fit for the UN and discusses how the event, the artists and all that received the invite can change the world. While serving the audience booze, they call everyone that has had an impact on the world up to the podium and allow them to talk about themselves and the organization they would like to promote. This is where the workout starts to reach it’s critical heart rate moment, I think to myself “Please get on with this and get it over with I need to know how well loved I am.” Then they begin to auction all of the other artist’s creative spirit off to the remaining people in the audience. By this time, everyone is on the edge of their seats in anticipation of...intermission. They now begin to excuse themselves with some circumstance that involves the weather. Now it is my turn and surely everyone is aware of the significance of my talent and of the organization. The auctioneer’s story begins either by hitting the mark or using his superior wit and clairvoyance to add humor to my struggle. Either way I am there on the auction block. The host exclaims, "Do I hear..." 

I reach for my complimentary beverage and hope for the best.