In the last two two years… My ex girlfriend tried to sink my boat. My dog died. I was hit by a truck on bike tour. Hawaii law enforcement put a bounty on my head. I was run over by a boat, attacked by Bambi… the list is endless as are writing ops. I’m having midnight coffee with a friend talking about what it means to write and where it comes from and how far creative licence can be pushed. She belts out, it’s easy for you, you have cultural collateral. True I guess but I’ve deleted at least 6 domains without so much as a single data byte about where to find me. I don’t care about numbers, just quality of content. As a creative the need to destroy the past is always present and it’s fun to start with a blank canvas. Working on a boat project, I look over at my bosuns bag. The project is supposed to be the art but that bag just caught my eye, it speaks to me.. I picked up my old camera with my calloused leathery hands and pushed the shutter release one time. No this isn’t my art either, nor are the words I peck out on my old iPad.
Art comes in many forms, for me at least my art is in being and living true to myself. The reason I chose to start sharing this tiny perspective is something I’ve never really contemplated. My nights have been spent searching blogs and vlogs looking for something to entertain me while I bounce between dozens of projects most half started, some half finished. It seems that at least the content I can find is one of catering to the readers, or what they think the readers want. Huge amounts of effort go into making a fake story seem more real, more fun, more exciting. Bad actors is what comes to mind. Is it really that exciting? I tend to under share, it just feels better that way. I think I would feel like a prisoner if I was living my life for a bunch of people I don’t know, have never met and will never meet. I like my slow boring life, no I’ll more than likely never sail around the world. I won’t be flying to the moon or swashbuckling with pirates. The creative payoff is when I feel the shutter click and know I’ve nailed it in one shot. Pushing the publish button is more like sweeping out the shop at the end of the day so I can start fresh with a clean space in the morning.
It all started with midnight trip to the jacuzzi with a warm beer, then we decided to ding dong ditch my neighbor while we huddled down giggling in the bushes. Back in the boat shed we pulled out pencils and drew a map of a flat world with dragons and ships sailing off the edge of the earth. At dawn with the camp stove hissing in the background we tucked it into a bottle and threw it into the sea. If it’s ever found and it’s figured out that it’s a treasure map they will find a very special bounty. We used the backs of our spoons to draw on the smooth golden sand, sea birds our only witness, by now the sea has claimed our story. So how do I define creative collateral? For me it’s the tools I need to make my art, the boat, the bike, my cameras, iPad and all the little bits that help me to share the journey. The real art for me is all the little things that are happening while all this is going on. They way my camera fits perfectly into my hand. Being dry in a tempest because my foulies love me. Dry feet in comfy sea boots or often one soggy sock because I misjudged the depth of water dousing my warm dry sock. How it feels on a perfect reach an hour before sunset in 10 knots of wind. Clean sheets, a simple meal, finding our way safely out of the fog. The art is in the process, a snap shot can’t convey this, words can’t convey how calm the world feels at times, or how out of control. Art is the process nothing more, nothing less. the byproduct of the art is only as authentic as it is…
As I dive into the world of cinematography my still camera and single image format will be my biggest teacher. Rather than a straight cut and paste of all the formulas out there that seem to be so common I hope to make up my own, after all this is my journey. Like the old saying, if you can’t explain it to a 5 year old you probably don’t understand it yourself.
“It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living” ~Jean Jacques Rousseau