One of the things I love about being a skateboarder, besides skating, is the tradition of doing things for ourselves. Making our own scenes, creating our own publications, etc. But I really really love the art created by skateboarders. From my friends Jeremy Elder (elderhousearts.com), and Mike Moore (http://www.mikemoorestudios.com), to widely known artists who came from skateboarding like Shepard Fairey and Michael Sieben, skateboarding fosters a lot of creativity. The list is long. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve got on my walls…
Owl, by Jeremy Elder.
Alternative Tentacles Jello Biafra board – graphics by Shepard Fairey, board manufactured by Powell.
Fickle Skateboards Austin Motel/Stupidfest 2018 graphic, and Sphinx cat graphic. Both will be on the wall after I finish riding them. Not only is the art cool, but the decks themselves are works of art — totally hand built. Laminate layed up in Lew’s workshop, glued, pressed, cut, finished. Only thing he didn’t do was produce the veneers.
We went to see an exhibit of Ron Mueck‘s work this last weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. I’ve seen a couple of is smaller pieces before, and they are incredible and disturbing. This time I got to see the giant baby and some others. Blown away. You just expect them to start breathing.
First, the sculptures, even if made from aluminum, fibreglass, or whatever, really looked like giant plastic toys. The texture was amazing. So when I saw the giant wood sculptures, I didn’t just assume they were, in fact, of wood. They were.
The paintings: clearly I’m not a painter, because I was amazed at the line quality of the black outlines in these often big paintings. The lines were perfect. Finally, even with the obvious influence of American cartoons, the paintings often have a somewhat grotesque quality, like a body that has been cut open.
My friend Marshall Thompson tells me that he usually looks at mastery of the medium when looking at art, which is what I tried to do at this show. I thought it was impressive in that respect.
Yet another artist with a skateboarding background.
Kitbashes manipulates sounds in a most pleasing way.
The event hosted several musical acts, all doing super creative electronic/noise/ambient/minimalist kind of stuff. My friends Micah and Shelby, as Kitbashes, were there. It was my first time to hear them live, and I could have used more. It’s hard to describe what they do. Just see them, close your eyes, and let the sound wash over you.
The crowd drew people from various different spheres of influence – the “art” scene, the real art scene, hippies, weirdos, librarians, skaters, literati, etc, etc.
Getting so many creative people together is fantastic. It’s great to see what other people are doing and share ideas.
Can’t wait until next year’s event!
Oh, I should note that my favorite zine is Big Hands. It is uncommon in that it is composed of very well-written autobiographical stories — very engaging. I discovered it on Microcosm Publishing’s website, but the seem to be out, so email the writer, Aaron, and ask if you can buy them.
Last night I was lucky to see the documentary film Who is Bozo Texino at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson. I was extra lucky by the the filmmaker, Bill Daniel, was there to show some of his other short films dealing with Texas Punk Rock and to answer questions. A really interesting guy – I’d love to spend some time talking to Bill for the Concrete Lunch Podcast. Maybe someday.
In my continuing quest for a better life and better ways of living, I have come to cherish my lunch hour. It is a time that I ‘m away from my computer machine, away from the telephone machine, away from my beloved library patrons. Over the last few years I’ve done most of my reading during lunch. I have thought some of my best thoughts during lunch. I have written them down. One of the most enjoyable parts of my week are the days I sit on the sidewalk patio of a local eatery with my rig, relaxing with my thoughts and my books.
Below you will find my “lunch rig”. This is my current lunchtime non-eating equipment. Here, side by side, you find total harmony where there should in fact be conflict. On the left, my newly discovered (just a couple of months ago) Kindle, which I deem to provide the best possible reading experience. Yes, this librarian thinks reading the Kindle is better than reading paper. It is easier on the eye, convenient, and elegant. Granted, I think the Kindle and eReader content in general lacks any real long-term archival quality. No one is going to dig up a Kindle in 3000 years and be able to read it. But for my lunchtime needs it serves admirably.
Existing side by side with the Kindle, in total harmony, much like the often-sung-about Ebony and Ivory, is my actual paper journal and Lamy Safari fountain pen. Yes, while reading on my modern device I often write on good old paper using a fountain pen. Not a keyboard. There is something satisfying and civilizing about the experience of putting ink to paper. It slows me down from my normal pace. I gather my thoughts, relax my shoulders, arms, neck, and face, and smoothly (as possible) form legible handwriting.
I have found that my practice of Aikido has improved my handwriting, once I understood the connection. Relaxation. Centeredness. Awareness of the moment. A desire for elegance and utility, rather than brute force and function. Flow. Yes, flow is important.
Handwriting is personal. Handwriting belongs to the writer.