Yesterday, Mike Lagocki and Mario (GhostWerks is the squad) drug me out to Riley Holloway's The Story of SHOOK!!! Exhibit reception, and it was awesome. Riley deserves a whole set of posts to himself, but there will be plenty of rambling in this post without that tangent. Suffice to say that the reception for SHOOK was overflowing with talented cats, all of whom love Riley and/or his work. Jeremy was taking pictures (cause he does that) and talking to my man Desmond Blair about some video he had just dropped (below), so I invited myself into the conversation. At the time, I didn't know who Jeremy was, but we (Jeremy, Sam Lao, Des, and me) were all talking about art and kids, and other crap... a fun conversation to have mingling with other members of the creative class (adjusts imaginary tie).
So anyways, Michael Lagocki walks up and introduces some kid to me (Riley's cousin, I think) and walks off (Mike does that), and I'm talking to the kid about art and stuff. Kid asks my name, and I say "Samax" (twice. I almost always have to repeat it). So the kid takes my card and walks off. When I turn around, Jeremy is squinting and shaking his finger at me...
"I know you..."
"Yeah, man! I'm a big fan of your work since back in the day... Like since the geocites/angelfire days..."
[NOTE: I started my first website around 2001 or 2002. The site that eventually became SamaxAmen.com started as a free (I think) Geocities account. This is PRE-MYSPACE! Yeah. So "back in the day" is right.]
Okay, so anyways I was impressed. "Wow! You're one of the 'pre-Social media' fans..."
"Yeah. You're one of the people that inspired me to really do my thing! I was like 'YO! This guy is doing it, and HE'S in Dallas! I can do it too!"
By this time, I had been talking with him for ten or fifteen minutes and I didn't know who he was... even his name.... so I extend my hand.
"It's great to meet you! What's your name?"
"Jeremy..." he said.
I knew at that moment I was talking to Jeremy Biggers. I replied that I was a fan of his work too. (see this GhettoManga post from 2009) I have followed Jeremy on multiple sites and admired his photography, graphic design, fashion design and paintings for years. Jeremy stays on his hustle, and he's mixed up in everything that's happening in Dallas. You should definitely follow his work at JeremyBiggers.com or where ever else you can find it.
But that's NOT why I wrote this.
But that's NOT why I wrote this.
It's VERY easy to get discouraged when you do art for a living. No matter how much people "like" your work, there is almost never enough money coming in to make up for the effort that goes into making the art and the endless hustling to stay relevant. PLUS, artists are cursed with good taste, so we never appreciate our work as much as we should. We are so impatient to see improvement in our work that we forget to be thankful for what it is now.
(Did I mention it helps to make money? THAT'S WHERE YOU CAN HELP! feel free to buy something at any time. Really.)
So the reason I wrote this is that it is very encouraging to see that people are paying attention, and that they remember your work. That it has some sort of positive impact. Anytime someone says I inspired them to go for what they wanted, or to not give up... it inspires ME to go for what I want and to not give up! So without even trying, Jeremy inspired me to keep going yesterday. And if you like GhettoManga (or anything else I do), that's why you should care. As for me, I care because like I said, I like his work and it was great to finally meet him in person. So I followed him on Twitter and liked Unkommon Kolor and Stem & Thorn on Facebook for good measure. Looking forward to running into him again!
-Samax (pronounced suh MAX).