Veteran’s Day Gift….

Yesterday morning (Sunday) I woke up early.  It was the last day of 2014 SF Open Studios.  I was excited to go to Modern Eden Gallery and hang out.  They asked me to be their featured artist, not only for Open Studios but all the way through December 6th.  Pretty cool right?!  Anyway back to the story…Theresa and Darwin got up and we decided to go to our local breakfast spot.  As we sit and order food I notice that the man sitting at the table next to us had an 85th Airborne hat on.  He was built like a military man and had a few tattoos that just gave me that vibe that he had actually served our country.  Him and his wife got their food just before we did.  We got ours and grubbed out as any hungry family would.  Just then I noticed the server bring the man and his wife their bill.  Before they got a chance to look at it I snatched it up and said ‘Breakfast is on me.’  He looked stunned.  I said ‘You are a veteran right?  It’s Veteran’s Day Weekend.  Thank you for your work and service…’  He smiled and shook my hand as he thanked me.  I then told him that my dad was also a veteran.  His name is Rudy Valderrama…(at least that’s what I remember).  I felt honored to be able to do something nice.  They said their good-byes and thanked me again.  “Nice to be giving again.” I thought.  Take care…..go do something nice for a Veteran on Tuesday.Owl1And if you get a chance check out Modern Eden’s page about me!  I am so honored to be on the list of artists that show at the gallery….I have looked up to so many of them on this list.  It is really cool to be on it now.

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My Big Radio Interview!!!!!

I was recently interview on Alice 97.3 (a major Bay Area Radio Station) along with Joen Madonna about SF Open Studios.  Joen is the Executive Director of ArtSpan, a non-profit responsible for the largest and longest running Open Studios program in the country.  I was even asked about the Gift Prolific!  Check out the interview here…

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As many of you know ArtSpan selected my painting ‘Young Family Walking Through It All’ (above) as the cover for the SF Open Studios Guidebook this year.  I am honored to be representing a piece of the art community in San Francisco.  Check out the interview.

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Off The Hook

I am sorry.  Sometimes I reach for the biggest idea I can think of.  Sometimes it works out.  Other times I fail.  The Gift Exchange kind of would have worked….A few people were very into the idea.  But I just can’t get it together with all the things I have going on.  So we will have to put that on the back burner.

I realized today that I need to let myself off the hook a little bit.  Sometimes I am a perfectionist….and other times not so much.  But sometimes I just need to let it go.  (Insert the Disney Song here).  Anyway.  Remember that a little self compassion goes a long way and is an incredible gift to yourself.  I have been fretting over a painting that I should have sent weeks (months) ago.  It is a commissi0n.  But I have been starring at it for a week and a half and worrying about if it is good enough.  I got a call from Neil (the person that commissioned the piece) and I felt so terrible that I still hadn’t sent it out.  But after letting myself off the hook a little I was able to get past it and get it boxed up and ready to go tonight.  I just needed to say to myself that I am carrying a lot….and in order to get it done I need to be kind to myself and get back on the horse.  I have no idea if any of this makes any sense.  It does to me.  Take care.

selfcompassion

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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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