Gift Exchange is a go!

It’s Official! Today I am starting registration for the first ever Gift Prolific Gift Exchange. You have one week to sign up by sending me an email with your address. (josh@undersong.com) or PM Me.

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1. Send me an email with your address and a few likes and dislikes.
2. I will match you up with another player.
3. Your gift can be anything you want. You can make something….you should make something. But you can buy something too. There is no maximum….or minimum. But really think about what your person would like to have.
4. You have until Oct. 1st to make your gift and send it to your person.

This all works on the idea that you WANT to participate. You can only give what you can give freely. Make something really cool….record a song, make a painting, create a really amazing card…whatever it is. We will document all the gifts on www.thegiftprolific.com Sign up NOW!

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Gift Exchange Announcement and Catching Up

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I last posted.  We are coming up on the anniversary of the Gift Prolific’s Gallery Opening at Burning Man 2012.  Burn night 2014 is right around the corner.  For many people 2012 was the first that they had heard of the GP.  I remember that day so clearly.  I was tired, overheated, mourning the loss of my Grandma Clow, but filled with incredible excitement to meet so many people that connected with my project.  That day is still one of the greatest days of my entire life. 

I am also thinking about Burning Man in general.  I am skipping this year.  I miss it too.  I wanted to share with you a painting that I made for the new Burning Man office this year.  It is broken into 52 pieces.  One painting for every week of giving in a year.  I was working my way through this piece and tracking my gifts, but thing got so busy that I skipped too many weeks to recover.  So here is the painting in it’s entirety.

fullbmThis piece is hanging in the Burning Man HQ.  I hope all the burners out there this year are having a great time.  Thank you for constantly inspiring me to do more.

As far as GP goes I have a new idea that might work out.  I am thinking about hosting a gift exchange!  You would basically send me an email saying that you want to participate.  I would take all of the info for each person and redistribute their info and match them up.  You then make or buy a cool gift and ship it to that person.  They take pictures and post them here on GP.  What do you think?  Would you like to play along?  Talk to you soon. 

Take Care.

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Big News

Ursa_smallThis seems like it has been the year of good intentions.  Every time I say I am gonna do something it seems to fall apart about halfway.  Now you can say that this happens to artists a lot.  And I would mostly agree with you because I think creative types generally try a lot of things and go for it when they get the energy.  Babe Ruth was at one time the greatest home run hitter in baseball….he was also the strike out leader.

So after much deliberation and internal conflict I bring you the news of the day.  I have decided to skip Burning Man this year.  To many of you that may not seem like news at all.  No sweat.  But there are a good number out there that participated in my ‘Intersection Direction’ project that I feel I need to explain my decision.

3 months ago I quit my day job of ten years.  I did that to work for myself as an artist.  I am proud of that choice and so far am loving every bit of it.  That being said you should know that I work my ass off at making a living with my art.  Planning for Burning Man for me and my 4 year old is a tall order.  As many who have been before know, it’s not just a week in the desert.  There is all of the planning, prepping, and scheming.  There are tickets costs, food costs, transportation costs, and hidden costs.  There are hours spent making lists and checking your gear as well as your shiny outfits.  That is just to get there…..then what are you offering to the community?

1_Mural ModelThis year my contribution was ‘Intersection Direction’.  A set of 4 murals created by several artists from all over the world.  How awesome?!  As my early planning started I decided to leave my old theme camp because of some personal reasons.  So I needed a new camp and a team of people to help me build this mural.  I sent out and assigned pieces of the mural and many people got them back to me right away.  Some people not so much.  In all, right now I have about 75/128 pieces of the first mural.  Fulfillment was even harder than I had anticipated.  With no team, no camp, and not a lot of childcare help I started feeling like I was burdened by the whole thing.  So I paired down.  I decided that I would only make one mural. After all, I only needed about 40 more pieces….and it would be a little easier to manage setting it up by myself.

But I feel now that I was seriously trying to perform CPR on a hibernating bear.  I am letting it lay where it is for a bit.  I am releasing myself from all the planning and working to make it happen this year and focusing solely on my art business, my family, and my own well being.  I have to.  As for the project, I will most likely make it happen next year with a kickstarter fundraiser as well as more support.  A team of people is better than one dad trying to wrangle his kid while he builds stuff in the heat and ferocious wind of Black Rock City…..that sounds horrible.

I will still honor the people that put in the work for the mural.  Thank you for participating and understanding.  Your work will not fall by the wayside.  I just need to focus on a few things so we can do it right and not half ass.

Thanks for your time.  Take care.

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Finding My Direction….True North

gift_s1If you have been following along you know that for the past three years I have been working with a therapist to deal with depression and anxiety issues.  Her name is Anna.  She has been mega helpful to me in learning how to be mindful of these issues and challenges. She has really helped me find ways to deal with them using my own voice and truth.  Anna was right long side me through the dark stuff as well as the good stuff.  She got to hear about the Gift Prolific from before it started….and all of my ideas for digging out of the deep dark mud I was in.  Recently our sessions came to a close.

Mostly I felt that things were good and on track and that I had learned so much….and that it was time to finish up.  And secondarily, Anna was making plans to move to Portland.  So on our last day of working together I made her this painting.  ‘True North’ is about finding my way through the fog.  Authentically and genuinely learning to deal with things on MY terms.  Early in out work Anna had asked me if there was one thing that I was sure of….and this vision popped into my head.  I was sure that I was an artist.  That I love my art and I love making it.  That creating these images was an extension of what I wanted to say to the world.

We then used that positive influence or truth and applied it to all of the things that I was unsure of.  It’s hard to explain.  But I am sure that my art, giving, and therapy saved my life.  Giving and doing art made me get real clear on what was directly in front of me….and it helped me to understand that there is no ‘ONE WAY’ to face my problems.  I can be creative about finding solutions that work for me.  Just as I am creatively problem solving each and every time I make a piece of art.    So this gift painting is for Anna to remind her that she really helped me find my direction.  Look out Portland, you just leveled up!  Thanks….Take care.

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How is that workin out for ya?

OMG.  It has been too long.  You know the story….life gets in the way sometimes.  Sorry for my lack of posts.

GP14_07As you probably know I have been busy.  I had a few art shows in April (3 to be exact).  And they surely kept me moving at a fast pace.  And almost as soon as they were done I started to get sick.  I am on the mend now….but I have been sort of staying out of my studio and such for a much needed break.  This has made me think about the GP a lot too.  While I have been keeping up pretty well on my daily giving I wonder if I need to write about it anymore?  I enjoy sharing what I am up to.  But I fear that sometimes it is a little redundant.  And I certainly don’t want to bore anyone.  I also like sharing articles and stories about gifting and acts of kindness.  And will probably always really enjoy sharing that.  So I am just letting this feeling sit for a bit while I figure out whats going on.  Have you given any interesting gifts lately?  I have given a few paintings to people….that was awesome.  But since I quit my job to make art it’s hard to give em away.  So I may be giving other things for a while.

At any rate.  I will work harder to be on here a little bit more.  Hope you are all well.  Send me some stories about your giving or interesting things you are up to.  Take care.

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Overload (GP_14 weeks 12 and 13)

GP14_34Trying to find a balance.  For the last two weeks I have been pretty ridiculous busy.  I quit my job and have not had a day off since.  The tough part about working for yourself is that there is no one to pay you on time.  hehe.  For the most part I have been painting as much as I can.  In April I have 3 art shows!  The first on is hanging up today at Cell Space.  12 of my paintings that are repainted versions of my Gift Prolific paintings will be there for a few days.  I am told this is during a big few days of meetings for Burning Man folks from all over the world.  How cool?!  I am very excited to share my art with all of you!  I am honored and excited.GP14_35

The next exhibition is ‘Universe: The Art of Existence’ for Warholian.com at Modern Eden Gallery on April 12th.  60 artists were given a very short time to make paintings about existence.  I am very excited about this show and my piece for it.

And finally, I have my big duo show with Jeremiah Welch called ‘The Golden State’.  Loosely based on animals.  This show is a big step for me as it is my first duo show.  I am working hard to get 12 paintings done for this show.  I have just under 2 more weeks to go.  I hope you all can make it out to this show.  At Lower Branch gallery (233 Eddy St.  April 18th from 6pm-10pm).

So you can see I am a busy dude.  Here is the thing…..even though I may not post about it.  I have found ways to give everyday!  Even with being  this busy the giving train don’t stop!  I over-tipped a waitress here and bought coffee for some stranger their….etc.  Yes we are all freakin mega busy.  But you really aren’t too busy to give.  If you open up to giving, you will find ways and opportunities everywhere.  Seriously.  I laugh when people tell me that they would give BUT they don’t have *time *money *patience – for it.  You are only kidding yourself.  Go out today and find a way to give.  It will make a huge difference in you daily life.  And if somehow, you don’t see that, then you lose nothing.  And you can thumb your nose at me.  hehe.  Maybe even in person at one of my art shows!  Take care.

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I Could Always Live On Rice and Potatoes (Gp14_ week11)

GP14_29This has been a week of epic proportions.  Early in the week I got to cash in on one of my birthday presents and went to see TOOL with my friend Sarah at the Bill Graham Civic.  They are an amazing band and I always walk away from a TOOL show inspired to make art.  To follow that up, I got to make breakfast for the whole morning crew at Trader Joes on Saturday and on Sunday.  This would be the last time that I would get to do that because…..I quit my job!  Sunday was my last day at Trader Joes!  I have worked there for ten years.  And it’s time to go.  I have outgrown it in many respects.  But I mostly am leaving to explore the art world and see what I can do with the painting gig.  It’s a little scary….and very exciting.  I guess you could say that it’s a gift to myself.  I also feel like it’s a gift to Darwin….I want to show him that ‘when you have a big idea, you just go for it 100%’  so I hope he starts to see that.  What a grand adventure…

My posts have been sporatic lately.  Mostly because of my new found schedule.  Also we are having internet issues at the house.  Things will hopefully be back to normal soon.  I have a big show in April coming up and I am painting a lot for it.  big news next week.  As for now I am going to go paint the day away.  Take care.  Talk to you soon.

I believe that I can do this…..so now I just need to go do it.

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