Saturday, January 31, 2015

"What a great idea!"

#iTOMB Sammy 01.09.1
"Today I took a moment to step out of my box and paint where the artist paints. And it became a breath of fresh air, something from my regular norm. You see, I could have been busy just passing by, but my curiosity took me... viewing the collective art of "iThinkOutsideMyBox" and then painting... it created a moment for me. 

Once I started to paint, eventually others then came around to paint or view instead of simply passing by or remaining distant onlookers. One took a moment out of her life to paint. Before and after, another was engaged and smiling about this art. 

We were all vibrant participants, brush stokes on this canvas of life called 14th street New York lobby area of the 8th ave subway. We all took a breath together, breathing in life and exhaling the breeze now made easier through this refreshment of art. Our marks will be left there. 

Just as David is leaving his mark by not allowing life to define him, but defining life through art." 

14 St & 8 Ave Metro
I spend my days awash in compliments – awash in comments like this. And then some days take home $10 or even less. There's the photographer who spends 40 minutes painting and discussing art who leaves 12 cents - and yet she regards herself as an artist as well and wants to be paid for her work. Everyone compliments me. Some even congratulate me. Still, I have no idea what that really means. Congratulations? For what? "What a great idea!", they say. But is it really a great idea if it can't support itself? Maybe it still is. – A gallery owner on a Chelsea street corner yells disparagingly into his iPhone, "Ideas? Ideas? Fuck ideas! Fuck 'em. You tell, (insert artist's name here), I need fucking product! Paintings Goddammit! Not fucking ideas! Nobody buys ideas!" 

Ask how much someone will pay for your idea and you'll think more than twice before telling anyone anything again – the non-existent values society gives to brilliant ideas. The idea of electric light was worth nothing - but the lightbulb? That paid the bills. Today the app that actualizes the idea pays the bills, not the idea.

And yet, this is one idea I own, and actualize - the idea to let anyone paint on the spot , which they love – and bask in the glory of the fabulous results we're getting. It's quite possibly the best idea I've ever had. But I don't have the resources to keep giving it away.

"There's a fine line between desperation and intimidation", someone said to me during my Holiday push for funding. We fell 30% short of our $1000 goal. And so to those of you who are tired of me screaming for support, here are some other things you can do to help us through the winter, other than telling me what a brilliant idea it all is (which I still do appreciate:).

1) Donate for a print: Online, click here and choose two for $100, or go to the Shopping Cart. Onsite, look at our more competitively priced "artist proofs" at $10, $20 and $30.

2) Spread the news: If I hear, "That should be on the news - or in a museum" one more time, without a reasonable way to get it there, help me out. Send a letter and picture to your favorite channel, paper, magazine or museum and let them know what you think about #iTOMB. And if you know editors or curators, please pass their names along to me - I'll contact them.

3) Arts Grants: Unfortunately, we did not make the shortlist for the ArtPlace grant program this year but they were looking for more mature projects and we'll get more shots at that later. In the interim time, please help me keep abreast of grants, fellowships and residencies we might be well suited for - or nominate us for the MacArthur Genius Award:).

I thank again all of the many people who do support us nicely through print donations and pictures of presidents other than Washington on-site - but for the rest of you, especially the students and teachers at the $40,000 a year tuition art schools in this city – If you love a creative idea, support it. Financially. Because someday, another great idea will be yours and you'll have some very serious student loans to care for - you'll appreciate being paid rightly for your work.

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