As everyone else celebrates christmas I celebrate easter. The use of the birth of christ (an entirely selfless man) to propigate greed makes me sick every year. Our society celebrates Jesus' birthday by giving each other gifts and not giving him much. But every year I thank God that he uses this event to bring people to church, feed the homeless and bring the focus back to him. I don't celebrate christmas because I like presents. I celebrate christmas because it points to the (in my opinion) bigger holiday - easter. Jesus came to the world as an innocent and stayed that way, knowing that he would have to be a living sacrifice for 30 years and then suffer and die because he cared.
I met with the owner (Robby) of the downtown building today for pizza to discuss the use of his building as a canvas. And as I ordered a panzerotti from the waitress Robby asked if he knew her from somewhere... a pause... oh that's right, The Forum (a London strip club) and reached out to touch her hand. A slightly awkward situation for me and maybe for the waitress. He asked if he could ask me some quetions (ironically) and the second was "Why are you so adament about doing this?" a straght forward question deserves a straight forward answer. I told him I believed in God and showed him the religious theme within the sketch I had previously sent him. We didn't talk too much about Graffiti an hour later I was still trying to answer some of his questions about God and theology. He had a question I had never exactly herd before. Why as a loving God did he send Jesus to suffer and die? I've herd "If God loves us why don't all our problms go away?" I explained in a few different ways that the avoidance of pain isn't the most important thing in life and that in Jesus' situation there were more important things than not dying himself (the salvation of the world). I also said that it was Jesus' choice in the end. Anyways, we had a long talk and kinda liked what I had to say but could not tear himself away from his decades old ideologies in that conversation. I think he hates christians less which I think is a good thing. Tacked on to the end of our discussion was a little chat about the wall. He's on board for doing it when the weather warms up. He also paid for lunch. Win, Win, Win!
I've been talking to J.one asking him questions and getting advise. He said that I should spend more time sketching. I didn't really listen and spent a little more time sketching but mostly just kept doing what I was doing. J.one has given me advise on the foundtions of letters, what kind of paint to use, how to practise, how to do fill ins etc. Basically everthing I've learned about technique he taught me, I listened and it worked. But this time I didn't listen when he told me 1."sketch something out on paper" 2."My question is, do you spend, or have you spent, much time just sketching out letters? If not, that's important to do." 3."Again, make sure you keep sketching letters dude. " 4." Also, spend more time sketching in your book, rather than painting" 5."and if nothing else, we'll sketch" 6."Paint sprays in funny ways when it's cold out" The last quote seems out of place but it's all coming together for me. It's cold out and I tried even just painting inside with the window open and as it turns out, paint sprays funny when it's cold out, who knew? My point is that I don't think I'll be painting too much in the winter. So now is a great time to finally take J. one's advise. The moral of the story is... if someone who knows what the're talking about gives you advise - take it.
On a walk I steped into an urban clothing store and asked if they sold spraypaint expecting "No" which I herd, but following that were directions to a record store... hmm... Tucked away in the corner of Grooves beside Dr.Disc is a spraypaint section! They have peach and greens and blues. It's my new favorite store. Well actually it's a tie - Upper Room and now Grooves. On the way to Gooves I was casually traveling downtown and noticed some bad looking graffiti so I called up the owner of the building today and talked to him about letting me paint it. He isn't opposed to the idea but he wants somthing - as he put it "Historic London". So I got off the phone with him and I thought to myself
"idontwanna do this...its not my style... its so boring...and what am i gonna do anyways? historic london? well God if you want me to do this i will, but you gotta help me out"
I prayed while I drew and He helped me come up with a nice mural idea that I think the owner will like and that I can find satisfaction in aswell. I realized once again that graffiti to me isn't about the art or the pride. It's about spreading around God and I think that even just drawing this sketch has helped me realize this again. God's working on me and pride is something that is a theme in my walk right now.
*This is the message I got on my answering machine the next night "Hi, uh, it's Robby Smink calling for Richard. Uh, Richard thank you for the sketch. I think we've got something here that we can basically work with here. And uh, I'd like to get together with you and maybe discuss it a little more. uh if you wanna gve me a call..."