Art Around The World

For the past four months, I’ve been in production on my 2023 edition of “Today.” At the beginning of the year, I thought about my daily painting practice critically and looked around my cluttered studio space. While I was making progress on my ideas, I was also feeling stuck and a little lonely. I thought my practice could not go on indefinitely without it being shared. I had also been thinking about Carolyn See, my late writing teacher at UCLA, who in the mid 90s, I spent a lot of time with hanging out at her office hours. While I had been one of her writing students for several years as an undergraduate, where I felt I stood out was my ability to show up to her open office and listen to her tell stories about the writer’s life. I was one of her office regulars and had a pride of ownership of this place for several years. Carolyn was very zen, and had this live and let live aura about her, but she was also an extremely hard worker that possessed social discipline and stamina. Not only was she a proponent to showing up to her literary community through a constant schedule of conferences, workshops, readings and signings, but she also advocated a culture of charming notes. “Write 1 charming note a day,” she often suggested to a person you wanted in your life. I had always loved writing letters and so I took this to heart to some degree, itinerantly writing letters to other authors, but as I was getting into music, I often wrote to record producers and DJs who in return would often send me their newest works and sometime after that I started blogging and writing about music. But the advice of Carolyn’s that stuck with me more than the charming note was a phrase she often liked to repeat, “Give away what you need.” I’ve used it as a mantra throughout my life and career, and it’s often manifested in the simple form of giving away time to volunteer where I’ve found community, meaning and life long friendship.

What if I applied this concept to my art practice and began giving away my work to those who wanted it? In return, I could discover a new audience or community that was interested in the art. I decided I would make 365 pieces of art. I would build upon my professional skills as a research producer and create a short survey around the project and then would post it across social media.

I had no idea how transformative this would be.

The first sign came on January 24th when I got this note from Lara in Portugal. She wrote, “Yeah I’m super curious about this project. Tonight I was feeling really out of inspiration for life in general and I came across this post and said,”Fuck yes this is a great idea”, sharing, gifting, giving. Thank you for letting me know a little piece of you through your art.”

A few weeks later, I sent her this piece with a note talking about my recent trip to Lisbon, which I had just visited. While I had been writing postcards and sending them to mostly people I knew, something was changing. I could feel it.

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