Posts Tagged ‘sandberg’

Set to Launch

March 10, 2021
Launch shelf that our family uses every morning.

Thanks to my friend, Brandon Barker, I have regained access to my blog following a migration, smoked Macbook, and a couple of routers. I am back on track trying to find some of the myths of our modern world. Those thoughts that have become so normalized that you unwittingly take as the truth. I have a big one currently. It deals with the how to get shit done as a creative when you have a day job, family, pandemic, whatever. It is my deepest dive into research on the “act” of making. That may be as a hobby, as a job, or as a consortium of many sorts. I remember being terrorized by David Bayles and Ted Orland’s “Art and Fear” in Graduate school. I still love that book and visit it every so often.

I often thought that one had to stand at the crossroads in search of a university job, or find that perfect gallery that was in love with your work. One day, as an adjunct professor, I was doing all of the training and paperwork to start my semester when I found out that both of my classes had been dropped due to low enrollment. Then, I knew- this is not why I got in to the arts. I got in to entertain myself by working through my thoughts and ideas, making things, and possibly getting people to look at those things and step outside of what they previously thought was gospel. I decided to spend my creative energy elsewhere. (Despite not having any classes to teach, the College was still asking me to register for pre-semester H.R. requirements!)

Every few years, I reassess my current situation and adjust course. One of the first questions that I write either in a journal or on a piece of graph paper in front of me is: “What makes me happy.” I know- super easy right? But we have to constantly ask ourselves this or we drift off-course. In Graduate school we had a visiting artist (I have dug deep but cannot remember her name) that said “for inspiration, always refer to your childhood.” This has been some of the greatest advice ever. I began to write down what motivated me through the years. My opening for my TEDx talk in Decatur referred to these things: rockets, racecars, trains, electronics, militaria, trucks, industry… In my twenties there was a resurgance of these themes when I watched Mythbusters on Discovery Channel. I received a total creative infusion when I stumbled upon Adam Savage’s Tested channel on YouTube. I have also learned to revalue my inspiration vs. actions through Austin Kleon‘s books Steal Like an Artist, Show your work, and Keep Going. I hope to absorb and reflect some of the great energy that these two provide for me.

To channel all of this new energy, (here it is: the big one) I have decided to assemble some of the greatest inspirations for my work into a collected volume of knowledge. Yes, I am going to write a book. I do not care if I have to self publish and print 10 copies. It is a goal that I have, and I am committed to keeping it. Bubble thought drawings have been filling my sketchbooks for months now and have coalesced into about twelve general areas (chapters). I will begin researching each one until I feel that I have something worthwhile to provide for creative types like myself. I hope to keep my blogposts short and informed with links to further reading so that the reader does not feel obligated to review a doctoral thesis each time I post.

Also, I will include photographs. Many photographs. Having five paragraphs without a pretty picture is not of my nature. I ask you to follow along and share with those that need a push. I will provide artwork, sign work, and exhibits on Instagram links try Sandcruiser13. Thank you for reading this far! Oh! the working title of my book is “Launch Pad– the creative’s guide to getting shit done.”


Goliaths and Ghosts

March 5, 2010

This week I will investigate a vague idea of site based on the question that I posed for the discussion Tuesday. My question was regarding the idea of how cultural sites get out of hand to the point that they are a bastardized destination. I believe this may happen for reasons due to capitalism and opportunity.
Capitalism is easy. Joe and Nelda collect gas pumps. They have the sickness of a collectors addiction and keep purchasing more and more vintage gas pumps. To justify their condition, they attach cultural value to their motivations and claim they are preserving history. After erecting a pole barn to store their collection, they begin letting people in. Soon, they call it a museum. It begins with a donation box while they wet their feet. Soon, their son comes to visit after finishing his business degree and decides to do some marketing. They make pamphlets, advertise the “world’s largest collection of vintage gas pumps,” add phrases like “a stroll down memory lane” and open a gift shop. Soon they are providing for antique car shows, writing press releases for everyone from the “local” section of the newspaper to the travel channel.
Some sites make it, some don’t. In the extreme, you have places like Las Vegas that began with nothing and somehow turned it into a top destination where people come to pour their money into the system. I am sure there are complete dissertations written just on the Vegas model. I firmly believe that Joe and Nelda want their Vegas as well. If people will keep coming and giving someone money for visiting their site, most people will keep accepting the income. Not every site has the choice. Sites that grow exponentially are reliant on factors of infrastructure . There are, of course, places in contemporary times that actually make an attempt to manage tourism, but if given the option, I believe that most people manage tourism as a response to the requirements and wishes of the patrons spending money as opposed to a proactive system.
I will be documenting support for this theory next month during me and Katie’s trip to Los Angeles via Route 66. Previous knowledge shows that this will be a prime area to study the opportunity side of sites as the route is no longer in existence as one continual road. Some parts of the route have been totally dislocated from the greater infrastructure and some have been replaced by newer routes that funneled traffic and allowed those areas to survive and grow. I will provide Collinsville, IL as a sample of the latter. As Route 66 was being decommissioned, the Interstate system constructed the all new I-70 across the south edge of town. This luck of fate allowed the small mainstreet community a chance to catch all of the traffic funneling into and out of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Many of the old “sites” somehow survived such as the Annual Ketchup Fest (which takes place under the world’s largest ketchup bottle) and the Horseradish festival which draws a huge crowd in the Metro East area as Collinsville is the horseradish capital of the world.
I am familiar with approximately 150 miles of the former US 66 and already have hundreds of examples where people have attempted, some more successful than others, to create destinations. Looking at the many US 66 travel guides, there is no doubt that we will find hundreds of other sites that either grew to more than they deserve [subjective opinion of the author] or withered to a ghost of a side show. Actually, the focus of our collaborative piece is the idea of seeking out the ghosts of US 66. We want to find the places that were not as lucky as Collinsville, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Pasadena, Hollywood, and Santa Monica.
Please share any comments. Always ready to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for listening!