Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wear sunscreen

My oldest son met Ernie Ells several moons ago. He (Scott) was zero (not yet one; believe he was nine months old) at the time. Doubt he remembers it, but my wife and I share a fond recollection. Ernie approached us between shots -- it was a screw-around one-day exhibition at Lahontan -- and motioned to Scott, who was passed out on my back. "Is he wearing sunscreen?" Ernie inquired about our Scandinavian-skinned son. As first-time parents we quickly bi-nodded like two bobblehead dolls or chortling hyenas. "Good," Ernie surmised.

I mused back in May about Kurt Vonnegut's erroneously attributed commencement speech, which commenced as so:

Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Artrepreneur, a blog engaging the collision of art and business, reminded me of Kurt and Ernie this afternoon. The blog's author creatively and coolly parodies the "wear sunscreen" speech. Here's the start:
Ladies and gentlemen of the world of art and craft,

Stretch.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, stretching would be it. The long-term benefits of stretching have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering career path. I will dispense this advice now.
The parody rolls from there ... here are a few good chestnuts for entrepreneurs and artrepreneurs alike:
  • Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve a design problem by throwing a tantrum, or scrubbing a toilet. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
  • Do one thing every day that scares you.
  • Play.
  • Color outside the lines.
  • Maybe you'll prosper, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll be famous, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll be in a museum, maybe the Ugly Necklace contest is the only one you’ll ever win. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
  • Enjoy your creativity. Use it every day, and in every way. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest tool you'll ever own.
  • Turn up the music and dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your studio space.
  • Accept certain inalienable truths. Costs will rise. Prices will fall. Some people will copy. You too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, people bought craft, nobody copied, and everyone adored artists.

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