A couple weeks back I had the pleasure of being followed around by filmmaker Andrew Nixon and his super talented crew. They asked me to be the subject of an episode of a series they were shooting for AOL called "Vicariously" and here it is! Thanks to the many people who worked on this- especially the editor for cutting out my endless ramblings of a future in which we can build a machine that allows our pets to talk. (NOTE: They would most likely just berate us for the lack of food variety we offer them). CLICK HERE TO WATCH!
Sometimes weathering a storm is a victory all its own. This is a simple phrase and the most important word in it is "but" because it means there is something that comes before it. I wanted it to be a war cry of solidarity between myself and the viewer.
"She broke my heart" but we're still here.
"I've faced countless rejections while chasing my dream" but we're still here.
"I've overcome an addiction or debilitating depression" but we're still here.
It could be anything. What's most important to remember is that you're still here, I'm still here, we're still here. I'll toast to that.
I'm taking part in a charity auction for Whitehouse Projects to benefit a great local charity: Homeboy Industries which helps provide services to former gang members for job training. On November 1st, after the show ends, if my piece (not the one from this picture) doesn't sell- it will be painted over with white so this will be the only chance ever to get the piece from this show. There will be other amazing artists, some live painting and all for a good cause! See you there!
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly, Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow”
- Langston Hughes
At the end of the jagged trail of a scar, you'll find it leads to the realest parts of who you are. The battle scars of a life you've survived. That have left you stronger. Wiser. That have left you with the knowledge of just what you are capable of taking. Of enduring. These are the reminders that our past is real. That it wasn't all just a figment of our imagination. They are the physical proof that the healing our bodies experienced was just as real as the pain. We are our scars. Our days weathered. Our hearts broken and stitched and broken stitched and broken and stitched. Scars are the winding path that leads to the treasure that is you.
It's a wonderful thing when someone finds potential in you that you didn't know was there. It's even better when you discover in yourself the ability to prove them right. This piece is for those who love us for the people we are now as well as the people we may one day be and are willing to make the journey between the two along side us.
I was asked by Sound Nightclub to cover one of their walls with a poster. Once I put this up, I covered it with glow in the dark paint. One note of caution, if you're tripping hard to some intense EDM, the painting MAY COME TO LIFE! But don't worry, Morley probably just wants to play "Magic: The Gathering" with you.
Wanna hear a podcast I was on? Oh good! Because I was JUST ABOUT to post a link to one I was featured on! The timing is crazy! It's almost like... were you just reading my mind? STOP READING MY MIND!!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE ON ITUNES.
The story of this spot is that I was parking at a meter in front of it to put a piece in another location only to have my landlord surprise me by running out and saying hi. I guess she works there. She asked if I would put up a piece on their wall. I agreed. About two weeks later she said that the owner was so happy that people were taking pictures of his shop that he'd love if I put up another piece. I offered my poster which said "I love you like a '90s R&B song" and my landlord said "oh but can it say '70s?" (She's a bit older). I acquiesced as there are a million great '70s r&b songs too.
Personal favorite? "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.
We live in a culture obsessed with a fairly slim definition of physical beauty. The trap we find ourselves in however, is that physical beauty fades- we can tuck and implant and lift and contort all we want but our bodies will always be slaves to our failing skin cells. Simple kindness however has no expiration date and of the two, provides far more satisfying dividends. Aspire to kindness. It's a beautiful thing.
We all seem to be waiting for something. For the sown seeds of our dreams to bare fruit. To discover that special someone who is like a missing puzzle piece. That day to arrive when we can finally find some comfort in our own skin. Then again, maybe it's more simple- maybe we're just waiting for a bus. With each moment we can build resolve, we can prepare ourselves so that when the moment comes we're ready to seize it. Don't miss the bus people.
My biggest piece yet. 48 feet wide and 8 feet high. I was asked to design something for this temp wall by the good folks at Pop Up Broadway and with some assistance from my wife, put it up!
The show last night at Space 15 Twenty was a blast! Thanks to everyone who made it out! It was an honor to share some walls with Septerhed, Ginoflo and Phobik!
"Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Good luck on your journey. When you get there I'm told that the water tastes amazing not because it's somehow special or magical, but because it was earned with each step into the perilous. Earned water always tastes the best. But beware, it's just a fountain, it's not the ending. Even once you've found greatness, there's still more journey to go. Life isn't just the pursuit of greatness and you might be disappointed by the fleeting satisfaction when you find out there's more miles to trek. Only this time, it's harder to see what else lies ahead.
I sound like the knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
"Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge."
- Fritz Perls
September 10th was national World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide prevention is a cause that means a lot to me. A lot of my work centers around acting as a friendly voice of encouragement to those on the brink of giving up. The goal has always been to remind people that there is always hope. It may seem meager and timid to the darkness, but hope is real and it's birthed in every second, every breath, every opening of the eyes. The writer, Rebecca Solnit wrote "Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal... To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable." What a beautiful sentiment. Remember those words in the moments that you feel like giving up. And when you cannot, reach out. Ask for help. There's no shame in it, there's no reason to be self-conscious. We just need help sometimes. It doesn't make you weak, it makes you human. So if you need someone to talk to, you can visit ImAlive.org where you can chat with someone who wants to hear you. Who's ready to listen and help you up.
In life, sometimes we can find ourselves defined by the things that we keep hidden. The secret shame, the unspoken regret, the unhealthy habit, the hidden wound. These are the things that when kept quiet can slowly eat at us and take us apart piece by piece. Sometimes the fear of revealing one's self can be the fear of a genuine consequence. People may respond negatively. However, often, people keep secrets because of a perceived consequence, they worry that people will judge them but in truth, it's something others relate to and could offer a relief from their burden. Sometimes we keep secrets because deep down we know that by revealing them, we would have to confront something and therefore have to change. To me, a REAL friend or partner is someone who let's you know that they are not afraid to love you, despite what your secrets are. Despite the things that you've lived a life ashamed of or embarrassed by. The person who wants to know the person you really are, not the person you want people to think you are. It takes a lot of courage to lower your armor. It takes a lot of strength to admit one's weakness. But when you find those people in your life who allow you to shed the secrets that weigh you down, it's a freedom in discovering that someone thinks you're pretty, even without the makeup.
In the (amazing) film Boyhood, there is a line that the father says to his teenage son, still reeling from the breakup with his high school girlfriend. He says: “We’re all just winging it. The good news is you’re feeling stuff, you know? And you’ve got to hold on to that. You get older, and you don’t feel as much, your skin gets tough." This line, among the many that I appreciated from the film, seemed to typify much of my experience growing up. When I look back at my childhood, so much of it is the sense that everything emotion I was experiencing was cranked up to eleven. The teachers I viewed as fascists, the opinions on art and culture that I felt EVERYONE needed to have, the heart break I thought would define me for the rest of my life. Looking back now I see how silly all of it was. Part of me misses the beauty of the raw emotion, unfiltered by perspective and wisdom. Part of me misses the depth of feelings and their catastrophic effect on my world, and yet, it's such a relief to not feel like a slave to them. Growing up and navigating life is like learning to drive a car in a Formula One racer that goes from zero to 60 in three seconds. Eventually you have to figure out how to slow it down. This doesn't mean we should all start driving mini-vans instead, but life can't feel like we're always one pump of the pedal away from losing control and crashing into a wall. I want to feel things, but I don't want them to dictate my life, which is something I guess you can only really notice in retrospect. When you can look back and laugh at how much we let the constantly fluctuating emotions pull us into ever deepening distress. It's good to look back and laugh I think. It's also good to know that some day, maybe some day soon- you'll look back at today and laugh even harder.
"The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck."
- Channing Pollock
Throwback to my NYC trip. One last little piece I hadn't posted yet.