The Job Is Not the Work

“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.

The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work.”
― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Mural Artist at work, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The Finished Mural, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Advertisements

Insanity is Relative

“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
― Ray Bradbury

Mural by Frank Campagna, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The other weekend, riding scooters around Deep Ellum, I saw this relatively new mural done by Frank Campagna. I liked how it used the vertical pipes as 3D cage bars.

Frank Campagna is one of the owners of Kettle Gallery and is one of the earliest artists and supporters of Deep Ellum’s latest renaissance. I took a mural tour of Deep Ellum once, lead by Frank, and it was really fun. Not only did I learn some of the philosophy of urban murals – he and I are approximately the same age and his tales of Deep Ellum in one of its earlier heydays in the 1980’s were parallel to some of my more hazy memories.

(click to enlarge)
Frank Campagna mural, Hickory Street, Dallas, Texas

Burn Genuinely And With A Free Flame

“There is a love that equals in its power the love of man for woman and reaches inwards as deeply. It is the love of a man or a woman for their world. For the world of their center where their lives burn genuinely and with a free flame.

The love of the diver for his world of wavering light. His world of pearls and tendrils and his breath at his breast. Born as a plunger into the deeps he is at one with every swarm of lime-green fish, with every colored sponge. As he holds himself to the ocean’s faery floor, one hand clasped to a bedded whale’s rib, he is complete and infinite. Pulse, power and universe sway in his body. He is in love.

The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great colored surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry on his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes’ handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in Love.

The rich soil crumbles through the yeoman’s fingers. As the pearl diver murmurs, ‘I am home’ as he moves dimly in strange water-lights, and as the painter mutters, ‘I am me’ on his lone raft of floorboards, so the slow landsman on his acre’d marl – says with dark Fuchsia on her twisting staircase, ‘I am home.”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan

Mural on construction fence, Farmer’s Market, Dallas, Texas
Derrick S. Hamm

Derrick S. Hamm

Out Of the Chaos

“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

Mural on construction fence, Farmer’s Market, Dallas, Texas
Derrick S. Hamm

Derrick S. Hamm

From the artist’s Instagram.

This piece is based on the previous intaglio print ‘Harbingers’ and is inspired by the works of Botticelli, Caravaggio and Rubens

Go At It At Full Speed

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

Mural on construction fence, Farmer’s Market, Dallas, Texas

Yesterday, when I was looking at the stream of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents vintage television show – I noticed that one of the episodes that stretched across the top of the screen was “The Man From The South.”

That episode is taken from a Roald Dahl short story. I’ve written about it before – it’s one of my favorite things – both the original story and the television episodes made about it. It is a prime lesson in how to build tension… nothing is better.

It’s been done several times – but this one features two legendary actors, Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre – both at the top of their game.

You can watch it (and believe me, you will want to) here.

The Anticipation of It

“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”
― Alfred Hitchcock

Mural on Construction Fence
Farmer’s Market
Dallas, Texas
Chris Hoover

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I turned on the television. Tuning around I came across the start of an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents. It caught my eye because it featured a very young Burt Reynolds. It also had Harry Dean Stanton (- who looked like he always looks) and Murray Hamilton (don’t worry, you don’t remember the name but you’ve seen him). The show was from 1960, season 5, episode 37 – “Escape to Sonoita.”

The thing wasn’t perfect, but the story was crackerjack with a nice twist ending. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, and the woman in distress was beautiful. What more can you ask for?

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can watch it here.

Build More Robots and Learn How To Make Them Better

Control Voice: [opening narration] God looked upon his world and called it good. But man was not content. He looked for ways to make it better and built machines to do the work. But in vain we build the world, unless the builder also grows.

Control Voice: [closing narration] Out of every disaster a little progress is made. Man will build more robots and learn how to make them better. And, given enough time, he may learn how to do the same for himself.
—- The Outer Limits, I, Robot [2.09]

Bikes and Giant Robots
Hickory Street
Dallas, Texas

Photo taken on the Hidden Art Bicycle Tour. This is a larger view of the mural I wrote about here, and right next to this one.

Oblique Strategy: Do something boring

If a robot is of sufficient intelligence does it obtain a soul? If it thinks… is it therefore am? What do these robots think of the horde of human supplicants arriving astride simple devices of metal tube, chain, and rubber? They seem to have come a long way to see the robots.

But they aren’t of sufficient intelligence to claim souls. They don’t think, therefore they aren’t. As a matter of fact, they are only paint. Even though they look like giant robots and loom over the world, they are less than one one-hundredth of an inch thick. If you peeled them from the building they would collapse into dust. They aren’t robots in the real world… only in the minds of the observers, the bicycle riders.

And maybe on the internet.