Elation and Kismet and The Finale
great happiness and exhilaration | destiny; fate
Ifind my greatest joys come from a job well done. When you can sit back at the end of the day and take pride in the work you accomplished. That being said, not too long ago I felt I had done more than my fair share of work toward a goal and, in large part, not gotten to enjoy that end of the day satisfaction. That all changed in an airport.
Overly caffeinated at 5 am, waiting for my plane to board, I was struck with the notion that enough is enough. In that moment, I was taking stock of all the projects and ideas and moves I had made in my life and became so god damn frustrated with my lack of progress I decided right then and there I was going to figure it all out.
I walked into the closest gift shop and bought a three-pack of 3” x 5” moleskin notebooks. I boarded my flight. I sat down in my seat. I got to work. The first book I denoted as projects and ideas I could immediately put into action. Things I already have at my disposal that I can utilize or put to better use. The second book was for what I would do after I achieved all of those things. The final book was for how I would turn all of this into a reoccurring means of income, ideas so big that they would create a career and a sustainable life.
Over the course of the flight, I filled the entire first book. Every single page. I had all of the work, means, and connections to get everything going in a way I had never attempted. As I set to start on the second book I began to imagine a place. A place that wasn’t just for art shows or just an art studio. A place that could be both of those as well as accommodate art classes for all ages, host events- both art and otherwise, and act as a mecca of art and creativity. In retrospect, it almost seemed like a daydream, a vision if you’re into that kind of thing. I found myself in that place, on the second or third floor of a building. The room was encompassed by large windows and It had exposed brick and hardwood floors. As I jolted back into reality, realizing my financial limitations of creating such a place, I was still energized by the idea and tucked it away for later.
On June 20 I returned from my trip, newly armed with that notebook full of magic I set to work. I enacted the first idea I had come up with which was to remove my expectations from vending at events. That is to say, I stopped looking at them as a way to make money, but rather as a way to connect with people and bring them some joy and originality. It was a success. Once I had removed the financial expectation, I was able to talk more, better connect, and help my fellow vendors in a more genuine way. Here is where kismet began.
July 6, two weeks after that event, and my fateful flight, I found my way to volunteering in the construction of a new “museum.” I’ve had a lot of odd jobs and am a pretty capable human being in general. Not only was I suited to help out with this build, but I thought it would be a cool thing to be a part of as well. I would lend a hand, meet some new people, and potentially get a show or two out of the whole thing. My excitement level before I walked in the door was roughly 40%. The first task I was appointed was to help a long-haired, slender, cool-looking guy named Greg install a new window. As I held the pane of glass for Greg to set in place, he started telling me about this “museum.” It was his brainchild. He imagined it as a place with long term art exhibitions, multiple galleries, a place that could host art classes, a place that could host events, a new contemporary art center, a mecca if you will. That’s right. Two weeks after I had this exact idea on an airplane, with no knowledge of this man or this space, I was listening to what I had envisioned. As if that were not enough to convince me to offer help- when I walked up the stairs to the third floor, it was encompassed by windows. There was exposed brick. The floor was wood. I had seen the future. That or the universe understood the extent of frustration and rewarded my persistence.
There are no words for the emotions I felt standing in that room. I spent much of the following year volunteering every bit of my time and energy to help build something it seemed I was destined to aid in. The Museum of Museums is in Seattle’s First Hill and is set to open this June.
From the moment I stepped onto that third floor the amount of opportunities that presented themselves is truly bewildering. I had shows all across the country, I became a collected artist of the Getty Museum in LA, I co-founded an art collective in Pike Place Market, I started illustrating children’s books, I held benefit auctions for non-profits and worthy causes, I finished all 365 pieces for this show, and framed them all. Finally, in the most perfect cherry-on-top scenario, I was afforded the opportunity to personally invite the band Panic! At The Disco, whose song is the namesake of this project, to the showing. All in 7 months’ time. But built on the back of a lifetime of persistence.
Persistence is what I know. I now know I continued in having this show for more than just “giving people something to look forward to.” I pushed forward because I’ve gotten a glimpse of what that can unlock. Because even in a pandemic, everything is still possible, you just may have to adjust your thinking and expectations.
If you take anything away from this blog, this series of live-streamed events, this experience, I hope it is that you’re not alone. You’re not alone in your frustrations, your sorrows, your love, your elation, your feelings. We’re all together not just in this unprecedented time, but in life. I hope you were reminded of that and I hope you know that if all you’re doing is the best with what you have- that’s enough.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take pride in a job well done.
Co-Founder Atlantis Collective Gallery