Today I helped to paint a house. I painted interior walls, with rollers on long handles and with a brush for the corners. I absolutely loved it. It became a challenge of finesse and speed to make a coat as even as possible.

I also stumbled upon a possibility for artistic paint jobs. If a coat is uneven due to drips, sloppy work, etc., that unevenness persists as a texture through subsequent layers, less pronounced in each layer. What a delight to create patterns, then paint over them, such that you would only notice them out of the corner of your eye.

This got me thinking about the role of art in society. What a limited view to consider art something hung in a museum or on a wall "on display", declare it "IMPORTANT ART" or even "LOUSY ART," and demand it be looked at and critiqued. So many art graduates with intense training and incredible skill find their entire horizons limited to a canvas to sell to art snobs and nouveaux riches.

Why isn't every house painter in the world an art school graduate? The kind of person who, given a can of color and an enormous surface, delights at the opportunity to work their magic?

Why aren't musicians the ones designing every damn little thing that makes a clanking noise? Not as "hired aesthetic consultants," but as some schmo who maintains the subway tracks, with both an apprenticeship in a trade and advanced training in music? This person would certainly have a knack for rhythms, and might even adjust a track such that it creates a memorable rhythm when a train passes over it.

Artists, please: get yourself out of the art world. There are so many possibilities in realms you might think "beneath" you. In fact, they're not. They're a most fantastic challenge.

I, for one, enjoy the rhythms at my bartending job, and the dance it creates when things flow well. Perhaps I'll start shaking tihais.

Art is so much more interesting outside the gallery or concert hall. Never mind "artistic recognition." Cultivate style.


Getting Paid

Common feel-good advice is to do what you truly like to do and find someone who will pay you for it.

The past few years for me have been a spectacular journey of self-discovery in which I stopped doing a lot of things that I didn't actually like doing.

It dawned on my thick skull the other day that if I want to actually get paid to do what I like to do, I have to actually DO it. Nobody's going to walk up to me and say "you'd like this job. Have it!" And the more I wait around to try to find that job, the more time I'm "job hunting" (a soul-crushing experience) rather than doing what I want to do.

Enter this blog. I'm making a commitment to do what I want to do, all day, every day. As if I was getting paid for it. Finding people and places that will permit me to make an impact for the better, and also living a better life and becoming the kind of person I want to be, to myself and to others.

I'm thoroughly convinced that, with full commitment and conviction, this will lead to a steady income faster than sulking and filling out job apps all day.

I say this all with the caveat of having found a purpose in life. "What I want to do" is very much not sitting on my ass all day watching TPIR. The things I want to do will unfold in this blog over time.