“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” –Swami Vivekananda
I dropped Jaya off at her Nani and Nana’s today and when I came home, I sat around for a while and looked at all the art we’ve made and collected over the years and this is my favorite piece.
I did this stencil of Jimi a couple of years ago when I got on a Banksy kick. After I printed the image out, I traced it on to a piece of cardboard and then spent an hour or so X-acto kniffing it out.
I then got some black spray paint and sprayed the stencil on the canvas. And let me tell you, after spending an hour or so cutting it out, the 2 seconds it took spraying it on was anti-climatic to say the least. But at least it looked like Jimi.
I then painted the canvas with water color and let it dry.
Then I cut out a piece of paper and put it over the Jimi image and tapped it down. I then let my 3-year old daughter paint around the piece of paper.
She painted it however she wanted it. There was no prompting. No, “Put a little more red over here.”
Above is what she came up with as a background on her own.
Pablo Picasso said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
And because of that, this is the most vaulable painting I will ever own.
People who have a creative vision have a long way to go in order to monetize their idea. Making something out of nothing is the entrepreneurial dream.
In this interview, artist David Choe discusses his creative path with Joe Rogan.
“What Is Unique In Your Head?” with David Choe
Watch here: http://youtu.be/bRnQXElR0xE
I came upstairs from running on the treadmill this evening and I heard my five-year old daughter crying in her bedroom. I made my way down the hall, double-time, and opened her door. She looked up at me, tears streaming down her face and then she dropped her head back down.
“What’s the matter hon,” I asked.
She didn’t want to answer.
“Come on Babe! What’s the matter?” I said.
“Daddy, I don’t think God loves me anymore,” she said.
I let out a long sigh. “Why not?”
“Because he doesn’t talk to me,” she said.
Being a Freethinker, (aka Atheist/Agnostic/#notgoodwithlabelsaboutGod) it would be really easy for me to crush the innocence’s of a child’s beliefs and say, “Well He doesn’t exist, so don’t worry about it!”
But I didn’t do that. Instead I said, “Do you know that people from all over the world believe differently about God?”
“No,” she said.
“Grammy’s and Grandpa Wallace’s family believe that Jesus is their God. Nani and Nana’s family believes that Krishna, Ganesh and Vishnu are their Gods –one God under a different form,” I said.
“What do you believe Daddy?” she said.
Great! I thought.
People who know me know that I was a strong Christian until I was thirty years old, then I went to Mexico and saw the Mayan ruins. By age thirty-five, I didn’t believe in God at all. At forty, my thoughts have changed even more.
So I told her, “I believe that if there is a God, it isn’t a Him or Her. It’s a power or a force that our human brains will never fully understand. But I’ll tell you this, if you know that feeling, then it knows you too. And you don’t have to worry about it not knowing you. All you have to know is that it’s there for you if you need it.”
She said, “I think I’m going to be Hindi like Nani and Nana.”
“You mean Hindu?” I said.
“Well they pray in Hindi,” she said.
“They might,” I said, “but their religion is called Hindu. Either way, it doesn’t matter what you pick. You’ll change your mind a dozen times by the time you’re my age. Believe whatever you want,” and I walked away and left it at that.
Then she yelled, “Daddy!”
“I don’t think I’m going to go to church anymore with Grammy,” she said.
“That’s up to you Babe,” I said. “But you know what?”
“What?” she said.
“It’s good to keep an open mind and learn as much as you can about all of the Gods because it’s part of our culture as humans and you never know…”
She seemed to be ok with that and about a minute later I could hear her singing her little Hindu prayer in Hindi that she sings with her Nana, asking for protection over the family. It seemed it was her way of getting right with herself and with who she considers her God. And as a Freethinker, I’m perfectly fine with that.
Every year for the last 8-10 years, Tejal and I have gone to our friend Allison’s house for a pre-thanksgiving meal with people we don’t really know.
It’s not that we don’t know these people, it’s just that we only see them once a year. It’s always a little awkward sometimes, but Allison makes all the food from scratch, so it’s totally worth it.
Usually there are two couples from our immediate group of friends there. But this year, one couple was sick and I’m not sure what happen to the other couple. Either way, it forced us to talk to people we don’t know very well, which can be uncomfortable and thrilling at the same time.
I met people tonight who worked in the intelligence world in D.C. and was driving back east tomorrow on Thanksgiving day. There was a, “self- proclaimed slut who wouldn’t even sleep with myself.”
And one guy who told us, “You know what kind of tree drives me fucking wild? An elm. Just standing there shedding bark all over the place.” (To be fair, he was talking to an arborist.)
Several glasses of wine makes everything more interesting. And there are always a dozen or so bottles on fully stocked liquor table.
Tonight I heard someone say, “This is what Thanksgiving is all about, traditions, breaking bread with people you hardly know, and getting a little drunk before you have to drive home.
Not that I encourage drunk driving.”
Thank you Allison for the annual Friendsgiving meal and hopefully we will see you again next year.
If you want to see some basic rules about hosting a Friendsgiving of your own, click here. http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/17-rules-of-friendsgiving?s=mobile
Although for the record, Alli makes ALL of the food (Ham, Turkey, 2 or 3 kinds of potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans with bacon and at least 5 different kinds of homemade pies.)
But hey, not everyone can be Allison. Go ahead and try anyway. Your friends will thank you for it.
(Picture above is of my daughter. Alli’s standing in the background.)
I have a house in Ferguson that I’ve owned for about 12 years.
About two months ago, I started the process of giving it back to the bank.
I owed about $25,000 more than it was worth, at its appraised value of $15,000.
Prices have plummeted in the last few months. No one wants to live there now and I’ve had terrible renters for the last five years.
But in my mind, I will always love that house and the neighborhood. It was my first house after college. A little yellow bungalow. One bedroom upstairs with another in the half-finished basement.
I got it as a foreclosure. $15 grand and two weeks worth of labor with my dad, my cousin Jeremiah, and Mike, my dad’s right hand man.
My wife Tejal and I lived there for 6 or 7 years before she got pregnant. I re- financed it to pay for her ring and our honeymoon to the Rivera Maya.
It was perfect for us. A living room, a small kitchen, a tiny bathroom, with a even more tiny hallway that was only 4’x4′ square. But our bedroom had a big walk-in closet that made both of us happy.
It had a giant back yard that was 176′ by 75′ from the back door to the back fence that took me 2 hours to cut.
My half-Rottweiler, half-Catahoula hound dog named Baby, who was absolutely crazy, loved her yard and was a Houdini of an escape artist.
Baby tried to bite everyone I know except me and Tejal. And she’s weighing heavily on my mind tonight.
After her, we had our brindle Italian Mastiff named Harley, there for a year or so before we moved out to west county. We rescued him from a shelter in Springfield and had him for 10 years before he passed.
And tonight I’m watching all those memories of that neighborhood burn away.
I picked up Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon yesterday and read it cover to cover in one sitting. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.
Some of the highlights were:
1. You’re allowed to steal other people’s ideas.
You’re not plagiarizing per se, but putting your own twist on something that’s already out there and making it your own.
2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.
Your tastes will change. Your feelings and thoughts will change. You will change. So start now and don’t be afraid to share your work with people. (Which is another of Kleon’s points on its own.)
3. Write the book, sing the song, make the art, that you like.
After you steal the idea, be original to your own likings.
There are many cool ideas on how to be a creative person in this 140 page book. These that I highlighted are just a few. The trick is to get started and continue to work a little toward your goal everyday.
(A little insight, I wrote this post on my phone because the mood hit me and I didn’t have my laptop around. I just why for it.)
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have your preferred tools handy, use what you have. Sometimes not having your preferred tools makes you more creative.
As Kleon says, “Creativity is subtraction,” or taking away stuff leaving behind a new creation.
I grew up in Hawaii from the ages of 11 to 24. Now I’m a landlocked beach boy stuck in the middle of the United States. Today on a cold, rainy day here in St. Louis, I miss Hawaii even more than I normally do in the winter.
Today I went to the St. Louis Art Museum and saw the Atua: Sacred Gods of Polynesia exhibit. There were carved statues, ink drawings and totems from all over the Polynesian Triangle, which runs from New Zealand, to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), up to the northern tip of the triangle which stops at Hawaii.
The collection was amazing and I was able to share some Polynesian culture with my daughter. She feels a special connection with Hawaii even though she’s never been there. Her middle name is Kawai O’ka Lani, which means “Water from the heavens,” in Hawaiian and she’s obsessed with the ocean and shark attacks.
In Hawaii, Mano, is a shark and people often think of the shark as their aumakua or personal god. My very first tattoo was of a shark on my left shoulder and I felt like this tattoo would protect me when I was out bodyboarding or surfing. I usually would surf in the early morning, called “dawn patrolling,” or in the evening at sunset. I did this because there aren’t as many people out in the water at those times because most people believe that’s when sharks feed.
I have seen several sharks over the years, but I was never afraid of them because I felt like they were my auamkua. Even though I wasn’t Hawaiian, I felt like I had a special connection to sharks and was almost certain that I wouldn’t ever get bit. I always had an excited, electrified feeling every time that unmistakable fin would breech the water. I felt safe, but very aware that the Mano was present.
It’s hard to explain Atua or Aumakuas to someone not exposed to the Polynesian culture. But that’s what this exhibit was about, the connection that the Polynesians have to nature, their Atuas and their spiritually.
Here’s more on it from some of the artists: click here if you’re getting this in your inbox, otherwise see the video below.
I had this idea of a tribute poem to Von Dutch, Big Daddy Roth and Robert Williams in my head for over three years. They are the godfathers of hot rod culture. If it weren’t for them, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have pinstripes, fiberglass cars and hot rod/ chopper shows on reality T.V.
I hope you enjoy it.
The person who uploaded called it Custom Culture, but it’s actually supposed to be called:
Kustom Kulture by Douglas Thomas Wallace: http://youtu.be/apvXTgpwQx8
I haven’t posted much since I’ve started my new job. In fact, it’s been five months since I’ve been able to sit down and write anything.
A couple of weeks ago I realized that we were halfway through the year and I haven’t accomplished most of my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year with my New Year’s Resolution list. After I thought about this, I then wrote a post on Facebook that said, “We are halfway through the year. Make the rest count.”
The same day, I made a list of all the things I wanted to try to accomplish by the end of the year. Most of the things on the list were ideas or projects that I’ve had in my head for years and have never acted on.
The first project I wanted to finish was, a few years ago I wrote a poem about Robert Williams, Big Daddy Roth and Von Dutch. These men are the Godfathers of Hot Rod Culture. My idea was to take images of their art and lay down my poem on a track with their art popping up at different times during the poem as a tribute to them.
I had this idea for three years and finally took the steps this weekend to make it happen. I collected all the images I needed and then met with a video editing company. They should have the final product to me within a week.
This is just one of about ten projects that I want to finish by the end of the year. Others include: to continue to lose weight and eat healthier, learn to write graffiti letters and getting my book published—even if I have to do it myself.
There are several other personal goals like: staying out of debt, working on my relationship with my wife and friends and other art projects.
The bottom line is you can have a million good ideas, but if you don’t follow through, they are no good to anyone. You need to take action or these projects will be just another thing on you New Year’s Resolution list next year.
There is just less than six months until the end of the year. Why not start on your list now?