Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DAVID BOWIE: Where Are U Now? 1944... 1947... or 2013?

It's David Bowie's birthday today (and Jimmy Page's, tomorrow!). 

Last year I posted the greatest episode ever of "Flight of the Conchords" (called, simply BOWIE). 

This year, I'm sharing one of my favorite surrealist drawings, because I was recently reminded of it at the LACMA exhibit (seen it before, always thought the same thing). It resembles the birthday boy! Drawn by Alfonso Ossorio in 1944 (predating Bowie's birth by just a few years... or is it? After all, Bowie did play a time-space-dimension mixologist in "The Prestige").

Saturday, January 5, 2013

TweetLevel vs Street Level

Since I've been searching for the meaning of (online) life lately, I was led to an article by Neil Patel on Entreprenuer.com called 10 Little Known Social Media Tools You Should Be Using Now

I decided to try TweetLevel, to see how I'm perceived and I hit on two of the five categories: Idea Starter and Curator.

I like that, and it's apt. I have always enjoyed leading the way with "show & tell". Setting trends, rather than following them, has ever been my style (or, rather: doing what I like to do, and if other people like it too, so much the better). Putting together like items (such a DJ'ing on-topic playlists, being able to recommend other films based on one, knowing which fashions from different eras will go together, etc.) has always been a passion of mine. Happy to know it shows.

Idea Starters – this small collective of people are the creative brains behind many of the thoughts and ideas that other people talk about. Even though they may not necessarily have a large audience themselves, their insightful opinions often flow and are repeated throughout conversations long after they have left. They are typically well connected to other idea starters (where they collaborate on thoughts) and amplifiers (who they often rely upon to spread their views). Idea starters tend to be well connected to curators and amplifiers.

Curators – this group though having a far smaller audience are perhaps one of the most influential groups. Long after the idea starter and amplifier have left a conversation, it is the curator that maintains discussion. This niche expert collates information about a specific topic and is frequently sought after for advice about this specific area. They often take part in discussions with idea starters and are avid readers of topic-specific amplifiers.

Now… if I could just figure out how to monetize all this passion. That's ever been my M.O., since I was a kid with a horse, living in a tourist town: Pony Rides, $1.00 — I'd make enough cash to buy some candy or a record, and off I'd go to have fun. While I have never been rich, I have always been successful in making just enough money to support my fun-habit. That's well and good, but it would be nice to have a few extra bucks left over once in awhile.

To this end, I recently read an excellent book called The$100 Start-Up (by Chris Guillebeau) that's been quite inspiring as I move into an especially creative phase in my work. Rather than just writing reviews of other people's original works, I'm focusing on my own. (Which also means I have to deal with the creative aftermath: selling, and staying.)

I have e-books in the zeitgeist and on the horizon (four of my paperbacks went out of print from their respective publishers and I took the rights back). Also, I was hit with a flash of inspiration on a hands-on art project which I started and finished in just a few hours. (Yesterday, as a matter of fact!) I satisfied the muse, then I got down to biz. Already found a virtual gallery to exhibit the pieces, then I am going to sell them on Etsy, based on principles which are applicable through advice given in The $100 Start-Up.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. (via Twitter, naturally!)

Out now: Ghost Writer (fiction) and Guide to Animal Movies & 50 Years of Ghost Movies (non-fiction)

Click the "Dirty Records" link to see the photos in full-size.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Social Network (minus Jesse Eisenberg)

Wow. I am on at least 25 social networking / opinion / blogging / photo / mixer / job-hunting websites and apps… I absolutely cannot keep up and I am unable to really track why I'm more popular on some platforms (5,000 friends-limit on Facebook, less than 100 followers on Instagram).

Blogspot / Blogger
Instagram @stacilayne
Media Bistro
Now Casting

I thought it would be a good idea to blog more, so I rekindled my blogspot and warmed up the old data-entry digits, then I read somewhere that blogs are old hat (even the word is passé) and Tumblr is the wave of the future. I have a Tumblr account, but I have never used it. And so now I'm thinking… should I?

There are so many choices out there and so many things that will create a black-hole of time-sucking quicksand for those of us (read: freelancers) who must rely on online connections in order to find and sustain an income. I do dozens of things to keep afloat: from selling goods on eBay, to professional writing, to directing webisodes. Nowadays, work and pleasure are inextricably mixed and friends (virtual, and IRL) are employers and employees. I love this life, but I sometimes find it overwhelming.

I ask myself… Should I clean slate everything? Should I just shut down some accounts entirely so they're not lingering in the back of my mind? What do I really need Instagram for? Should I use Instagram only for the art and vintage clothes I'm selling on Etsy? Or should I get a cat [#catsofinstagram] and increase my followers that way?

What about this blog… Should I have posted all this on Tumblr instead?

Never mind all this. I think I'll go out and talk to a person today!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Spin me right 'round (like a record)

So excited! Hit by major artistic inspiration today, and everything just fell into place like a row of perfectly poised dominoes.

First of all: at Starbuck's, I used my occasional nom de guerre of "Lucky" …and it set the tone for the day.

I was at the Los Angeles County Art Museum for the second time in a week, enjoying the Drawing Surrealism exhibit before it goes off to New York, just taking it all in, and I saw a beautiful bright chalk drawing on black construction paper, and then in another display, I saw a manhole cover turned into art. That is when the idea to do something on vinyl records struck me. As my mind was percolating with possibilities, I turned a corner and what should be on the wall but a large semi-flat 3-D sculpture of a record album on the wall? It seemed like a "sign" … and they did not stop there.

When I get inspired, I run with it. No over- planning, prepping, pondering, etc. Just do it. So, I figured on my way home I'd stop by a used record store, and Michael's Art Supplies. But first, I had a lunch date with a friend. So, I was telling her about my idea, asking if the Goodwill across the street from the Thai place we were eating at carries vinyl. She said no, but she just happened to have a big stack of old records she didn't want, sitting in her apartment (which is right next door to the restaurant). The one on top is The Real Thing live LP by Taj Mahal (released in 1971, which just happens to be one of my favorite years in pop culture).

So, we finished our lunch, got our fortune cookies, and mine not only said I'd be successful in a business of my own (I'm already thinking: "Etsy!"), the numbers also lined up: 08 and 23 for my birthday.

After I got the records, I looked up the nearest Michael's. But the GPS must have had outdated info, because at the address given there was instead a Staples Office Supply. I was pretty tired by then, so rather than search for another Michael's, I decided to see if Staples had paint or anything (still didn't have a clear idea of what I'd put on the vinyl, and only a few vague notions of theme… definitely sexy things, ladies' legs and high heels, and stuff like that) and what should be the first big stand-up display the minute one walks in the door?

Yep: paint pens, glitter glue, etc. That's maybe a little more kitschy and less fine-artsy than I had in mind, but I went with it and I'm going to see where it takes me!

While I have directed a couple of short films entirely on drive and instinct, I am pretty excited for this feeling now, because it has been so many years (three or four, I guess) since my last ambitious artistic project, which was my Friends at the Friendship Bell photography exercise and exhibit.

That was a wonderfully fulfilling thing to do, but this is even neater in a way, because it's all me… even unlike the films, it's not a collaboration. It's more like writing, but a visual outpouring of my sensibilities.

Can't wait to get started!