Something to See

Something to Say

~ T’s Thoughts on Art, Music, and Meaning ~

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  • My dad was a great sculptor and musician, and my mom’s dad was a beautiful-voiced Cantor (as we’re two of my uncles), so it is not entirely surprising that I (thankfully) inherited the creative gene.

    I’ve spent my entire adult life working on my music, and I am so grateful to have been a full-time songwriter as my “day job” for many years (making “the medium bucks”, as my friend Cliff Goldmacher would say).  Surviving, happily, doing the thing I loved best.

    Well, when you are a creative type, and are a songwriter (especially a songwriter who is also trying to be an “Artist”), you find there are many skills you may have to pick up along the way that have nothing to do with music.

    I won’t even begin to go into the (overwhelming) world of marketing, but there is an entire world of art that I (not-so-gracefully) fell into out of necessity.

    When I recorded my first album, I had hired another artist to do the cover artwork and inside layout for me.  I loved painting and drawing in my real day-to-day life, but I didn’t trust myself at that time to be able to create it myself.  I really love the work that was done, but to be honest, there was always a part of me that was a little sorry that I had outsourced it.  I saw a vision of what I wanted in my head that I could not explain to my designer.  She did a wonderful job, but I made a pact with myself then, that I would work hard to gather the tools I needed to be able to get the visions I had in my head onto paper (or computer screen, these days).

    So that’s where this artwork of mine began.  Over time, I learned (and made mistakes, and learned some more), and ultimately honed the skills that allow me to bring what had once only been in my own imagination, to the world at large.

    And it took me a while and the prodding of (and hiring by) some friends to get me to this moment…to this place where I know I can bring that vision to others as well.  Thanks for being here.

    xoT

  • The “2 a T studio” site is still brand new and is in the process of being built as I write this post, but I am just so excited about it. I can’t wait to (finally!) have all of my creative services in one place (not that I’m ready to let go of the 9 other separate sites just yet – but that’s a whole other blog, I’m sure!).

    I always like to give credit where it’s due, and so I need to tell you that I have lately been building all of my websites (including this one) with a company called Themify (www.Themify.me), and specifically with the Themify Ultra theme.

    I am the kind of designer/builder who does not prefer to “Host” my client’s websites – I love building them an awesome framework that they can easily update themselves with just a little bit of post-build tutelage. So, what I needed was to find a theme that was beautiful and functional enough to give me unlimited options for creative layouts and design, but also, one that would be easy enough for my clients to learn to run themselves, which saves me time, and them money in the long run, so everyone is happy!

    Because I have been using Themify for a long time, I am also familiar with some of their other themes, especially their Music theme. Music is a fantastic theme for Musicians and bands, as it’s already set up for that purpose, but I find that I have more flexibility with the Ultra theme even for music clients. Especially with all the varied plug-ins Themify offers.

    I find I especially use their “Image Pro” plug-in…pretty much all the time.  On this site, you can see I’m using it on my homepage in the services section.  I created some backgrounds for each of the image-pro modules, and then it was as simple as adding a title, and couple of design choices, and a link, and Voila! A more interesting (I think) way to navigate even a big site like mine will be when it’s finished!

    Also, I can’t say enough good things about their excellent tech support…I credit them for helping me to learn CSS, and to not be afraid of the scary code behind the visuals.  When you buy a theme, you automatically have access to their informative support forums.  You can read through a lot of other people’s questions (and see how their problems were resolved), or you can just ask them your own questions.

    So, I’m going back (happily!) to building here – thank you Themify!!

    xoT

  • If you’ve read my first blog you know that my Dad was a fine artist. He was part of the burgeoning art scenes in the 1960s and 1970s that thrived in the communities of East Hampton and Woodstock NY…(before they both mostly became a place where the super-wealthy summered).

    He had a friend who was a famous artist (and I WILL remember his name one day, I promise!! Oy!)…the point is, they would discuss (and by discuss, I mean argue) what they believed “Art” was, by definition.

    My dad believed fervently that art is something that must be created from the heart, or even from the mind, but in either case, it had to come “through” the artist to be called “Art.”
    His famous (nameless for now) friend would try to tell him that any random thing could be called “Art.”

    Once, they had the argument (“discussion”) while they were walking down the streets of NYC. Dad’s friend decided to make his point more strongly. He bent down and scooped up a pile of dog shit in his hand, and said, “THIS is art; anything is art if I, as the artist, say it is!”

    I remember Dad told that story to me and my brother when we were little kids, which, needless to say, sent us into fits of laughter.

    The funniest part, though, was that the next time Dad went to the Whitney Museum to see his friend’s latest show, he came upon a single white pedestal that held a pile of white-painted dog poop (the “art” dramatically roped off for effect).

    So I guess, technically my dad “lost” that round, but he kept working and creating – never stopping until he could not physically do it anymore. To me, that is the end of the argument. That is what it means to be a true artist.

    xoT

  • If you are reading and (hopefully enjoying) my blog, please feel free to contact me with any suggestions or subjects you might like me to address.

    Thanks!

    xoT

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