During my crowdfunding campaign there have been peaks and valleys, days of fruitful contributions and days when I wondered where all the YA fans had gone. What looks initially like rejection or indifference, we discover is simply a sign that busy people are attending to the events of their day-to-day lives.
Last night I was at the Todd Rundgren’s Utopia concert. I’ve seen Utopia many times since the early 80s. Their drummer, Willie Wilcox is my friend.
At some point during the show I looked around at the audience. It was filled with people who loved this band and were delighted to be at the show.
What struck me about 99% of the people I saw at the concert was that most of them had either grey hair or no hair.
In an artist’s life, it is not the critic, the heckler, or the bully of rejection we are fighting – it is our own egos disguised as each one of them. Our desire for praise, and our resistance to seeing our own weaknesses and addressing them, is often the source of our pains.
Bill grew up in a single-parent home in Philadelphia. His mother, whom he loved, had many kids and worked many jobs to provide for her children. They were poor, but united. Bill was the oldest. He passed every year of high school. His report card never raised a red flag…nor did any of his teachers.
Long before the “warehouse” model of book-selling became popular, long before the personality and charm of independent establishments fell to the corporate manipulation that suffocated the livelihoods of imaginative shop-owners, I loved to wander into independent bookshops.
I stand in awe of the work of Newell Convers Wyeth. His work is loose, alive –– attentively observant of light and shadow, expressive, deceptively simple yet sophisticated in detail. Wyeth’s compositions never lose focus upon their centre of interest, and they are always full of movement. We can all stand to take a page from N.C. Wyeth’s book of mastery and apply his library of examples to our own work.