I love musicians. I mean that sincerely, even though my love of Duran Duran and Dave Grohl would make some suspect my love might be restraint order worthy. Heh. But no - I truly love musicians. My family has always been filled with musicians. Even if it wasn’t their main source of income, it was and has certainly always been one of their main sources of joy.
I myself am a musician, even though my artwork has taken the spotlight over the years. I still think of myself as a piano player, and still find myself tapping out songs on tables with my fingers… remembering the way melodies went, even though I haven’t played them in years.
I guess that’s why I’m such an avid fan of music in general. If you ask me what my favorite genre is, I couldn’t really tell you. I love it all. I’m like a musical crow, who will pick out the sparkling gems of any genre and enjoy it thoroughly. But even beyond the music, I feel a connection with the musicians. The people who write the songs, who sing and play…. who get up there and fill the stage with sounds and emotions so much bigger than themselves and their fans. I find myself thinking of the bands when they are not “The Band”, but rather the people who are just following their passion and getting through life one step at a time like we all are. I think of their struggles… their triumphs. I think of what it is like for me to lead a creative life,, and I feel a small kinship to them. Perhaps that is why I always feel honored when I can make artwork for a musician and am able to convey their ideas into visual form. That spontaneous merging of sound and color is one of the most intoxicatingly wonderful experiences for me as an artist. I love making a musician gasp when they see their music conceptualized on a canvas.
Music has always been my muse. People ask me what artwork inspires me. Is it going to sound ridiculous when I say it isn’t really artwork that inspires me? Music is what inspires me. The fact that I create art is the direct result of what *music* makes me feel. How can I describe how I feel when I listen to music? How it makes ideas spiral up into my mind more vivid than aurora borealis? I can’t describe it and do it justice. All I can really do is just pour it all out in an adrenaline rush of color and form, and hope that somehow my art touches someone else like music touches me.
So why am I saying all this? It is because this interview with the Eagles of Death Metal had me sobbing. When I heard about the horrors of what happened at the Bataclan in Paris, my heart ached for the band as much as it ached for everyone, not only in Paris, but in all the cities that have been attacked recently. How can a band… how can creatives who are doing what they love…how can they emotionally navigate through something like this? How can they wrap their minds around the fact that something so unfathomably tragic happened at a place where their creative energy is at its highest, and what they are sharing from their heart is at its fullest? I watched this interview, and felt such massive crushing waves of empathy for them. I just wanted to wrap my arms around them and hug them all. I wanted to paint artwork over all the emotional scars that haven’t even had time to heal. The loss of life in all the cities over the past few weeks has been overwhelming. But as a creative person, I also mourn for the guys in the band, for even though what they personally lost that night might not always be visible to the eye, it is painfully, acutely tangible and real. But so is the love that is pouring in from people who are fans. People who were actually there.
The Japanese word “Kintsukuroi" means ‘to repair with gold’, and is the art of repairing pottery with gold lacquer in the cracks and understanding that the piece is now more cherished for having been broken. Music will be the ‘kintsukuroi’ of that day for them, for their hearts. I wish all the best for EoDM and their fans.
This interview is not easy to watch. Is painful to imagine. But I felt an obligation to watch it, and to understand what people went through that night, so that I might better share my own love and light to any who need it.