Teamin' Up

I've been working on a book for the past few months with a local author in my home town, Napa. It's just about finished, and today we launched a kickstarter! We're raising $$ to print copies, do school visits/art classes, and make rediculous swag.

Over two years ago I published The Three Things, and just about cried every night for a month trying to figure out how to make a real book happen. But I made it happen! You just kind of keep going until something works. THIS time around I have some experience, an awesome author who makes me laugh constantly, and tons of excitement!

Books are so cool. I love seeing them come together; first an abstract idea, then somewhat structures with words and sketches, finally all the artwork, and then one days it's a real "thing"!

With this book, I thought I'd approach color differently. I chose a painting that evoked a feeling I wanted, and used the color picker all of the place, pulling colors and shades from that piece. In this case, it's Matisse's work. Here's some images of the book in progress below.

Happy creating folks. Here's to making ideas into real things and real actions!

My favorite things:

I love color, nooks, delicious vegan food, heartfelt conversations, Prospect Park, sketching weird creatures, meeting amazing artists and learning about them, and stumbling upon new places. New York let's me do all of this.

I'm getting a very clear message lately- from friends, family, my astrology chart.... time to make my own work. I'll be honest: I have a hard time going there. I always put client work first. That's why I'm slow to finishing my books, I think. Or maybe it's just healthy fear and this is common, and I just accept that I'll always have to push myself to make my own work. But some people create like fiends!! They make it look so easy!

So here's to letting loose and creating work like a kid! Yeeee!

What do you really need to "just do it"?

I met some young guys in my neighborhood when I was out playing my ukulele. I notice that musical instruments act as small doors to others, allowing them to knock. I like this!

Two of these young men were around 20 years old, and the other 30, like me. They all lived close by and with their parents, wondering about what's next. I asked them questions about what they wanted to do, and they gave long winded responses.

"I don't have a good resume. But I guess if I spend some hours then it'll be ok. But they always tell me to fill out an application me online so it's annoying..."

"I really want to be a __, but I'd have to go back to school. But I want to get clean first and finish my detox..."

What's next? What a questions. And a hard one for a lot of people. It's a plague to young people since California requires a lot of money to pay rent, and the disillusionment with committing to the daily grind is very real. These guys wanted to work, but they wanted their work to mean something. I can relate.

I've felt this way in almost every job, often feeling guilty because I was lucky to even have a job. But our souls are loud and there is a different kind of work to be done on this planet right now. I really think people are being called to help others in a new way, break down systems, and be happy. Because joyful people actually help others.

But more about that in another post.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles releasing St. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club. It's a fabulously inventive album and highly creative- one of the first "art albums". They took risks and it has gone down in history. In fact, it changed history...inspiring progressive rock and other concept albums.

Yes, the Beatles had skill and money and noteriety at this point, but how did this happn?

It started when they were young and decided they could play music. Do you think they became the beatles because they had a degree? Because someone told them it was a good idea? Because they had nothing else to do?

Perhaps these reasons might get someone started along a path, but that kind of fire fizzles out fast. What you need is your very own volition. From there, who knows what you're capable of? A concept album that'll rock the socks off the world? A mural that'll inspire people to give back to their community? A bridge structure that spans across a huge river? You can change lives.

So, a note to my other artist friends: go to art school if you want (it can be really fun), practice practice practice, ask other artist questions, but always come back to this. The first and most important step to "doing it", is believing YOU CAN. And only you can do this for yourself.

Lots of love,