Jon Weber…A New York Yankee Hero Not Quite Good Enough?

“The Adventure you’re ready for is the one you get. Life is short. Go for it.” – Joseph Campbell.

Jon Weber led the world champion New York Yankees in batting average this spring training. In spite of dude’s metronome consistency, he’s still being sent down to the Yankees’ minor league AAA farm club.

The New York Times wrote an article about Mr. Weber today entitled A .483 Batting Average? Not Quite Good Enough. I admire this guy because he’s 32, has never tasted even a cup of coffee in a real major league game & has a family to support. Yet, he is so passionate about his journey that he teared up while discussing this latest disappointment – and is still going to keep trying.

Life is short and Weber, like an old reliable Timex watch, is gonna’ keep on tickin’. The lesson I think we as artist can learn from Jon Weber is that perseverance counts for everything in this life. We all have our adventure and NOTHING precludes us from going for our dreams. Weber has every excuse in the book to quit and go coach somewhere – he’s old by baseball standards, is a left-handed hitter with a franchise in need of righties and, is battling the perception of being a minor league lifer. Whatever – he persists!

It’s his adventure, his journey, and he is living it. I bet most of us would like to be overnight successes (whatever individual definitions of success may be) like the knighted Yankee Derek Jeter , but few of us are. So we have to accept our adventure and go for it. Be free 2 dream and pursue yo!

Maybe the Times article should have read A .483 Batting Average? Not Quite Good Enough? Notice the question mark AFTER ENOUGH?.

Spiritually, Jon Weber is PLENTY good enuf. It would be great to see him called up, appear as a pinch hitter in the World Series, and win a game with one life-changing hit. But if we don’t ever see this day come true, there is victory in how he lives his life. There is victory for all of us.

Peace, Love & Light – Todd
the funky one yo!

p.s. – shout out to my dawg Frank at the NeedMoreLight music blog for the Joseph Campbell quote. Check his blog – it’s real!

p.s. II – Minor League outfielder Jon Weber won the Yankees’ 2010 James P. Dawson Award, presented annually to the team’s most outstanding rookie in Spring Training.

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Back in the Saddle Again…Getting Creative Juices 2 Flow After Some Time Off

I usually am not a big fan of abstract art, but while searching around for inspiration, came across the blog of abstract artist Lynn Taetzsch. I really like her art. It’s very colorful and lyrical. In her blog, she has nice philosophies to share too. About getting back in rhythm after time off, she said:

I try to stay as relaxed as possible, letting the lines flow, but the beginnings still feel awkward. Once I’ve got something started, then I can intuitively develop the colors, shapes, lines and composition.

This is SO accurate about all creative endeavors. The beginnings often seem a bit rough and awkward.

Opposites attract right? The self-imposed pressure of creating at a specific time after a long break versus trying to relax and let go while in the pressurized state of creativity. This is like getting Godzilla to befriend Mothra yo!

Sometimes, with our busy schedules, the hardest part is finding time to start creating after a break. The trick is relaxing and letting go. So as Taetzsch said – let’s relax, let go and create a friendship between Godzilla and Mothra (okay – I said that part ha, ha)!

Peace – Art of Todd, the funky Sea Cliff, Long Island African-American Artist!

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My 15 Minutes Today…Sex, Art, Music & Practice

Contemplation  ©ArtofTodd.comIn follow up to the blog post by Alyson Stanfield on painting 15 minutes a day to stay connected with one’s art, I had to follow her instruction and my agreement with her advice.

So, I spent 15 minutes painting yesterday (no, I won’t bore you by sharing creativity everyday!) and I feel waaaayyyy more spiritually connected to my art than waiting for that big 4 – 6 hour stretch to create (which is so difficult to come by & which I’ve been doing). Kinda’ like how I make every effort to do 15 minutes of yoga each day. 15 minutes will most certainly help me in morphing to bigger pieces.

Oil pastels are a little more time consuming for me than acrylic, but this is a great start. Gotta’ hit the skins some today as well.

Enjoy! Thanks Ms. Stanfield!

Peace – Todd B., the funky Long Island Artist yo!

The point of the 15 minutes is not to try to create a masterpiece within that short time frame. The point is to stay connected with your art every day. This connection will feed you. It will make you a happier person and a less frustrated artist. – Alyson Stanfield

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Is Formal Training Needed to be an Inspired Artist?

Robert Ryman

If you care to be recognized and esteemed by the art establishment, I think that the whole idea is to first convince the art community that you know what classic art is, that you know how to be an “academic” artist. Ilan Lichtnayer (artist in his Absolutearts.com blog post

This is such a funny statement and I could not agree more! Now that I’m doing the gallery thing, it’s all good until some fellow artists and patrons find out either by reading my bio or by speaking with me that I did not study formally.

My wife has noticed a literal change in perspective towards me in a few cases. The infamous – I LOVE your work and use of color. Then…the pause…the pensive silent oh…the you are self-taught walk away?!

Like many self-taught and trained artists, I’m pouring every drop of my being and spirit (and beer) into each work. Life, loves, music, angst, pain, joy. So – a guy can place a dot on a white canvas and call it Black Dot on White Paper and it’s valued because he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts? But if an unknown does the same, it’s not cool. It’s all about the art, right?

Art is art and value is in the eye of the beholder’s wallet. After all, to again quote Mr. Lichtnayer, Art does not judge and so doesn’t God. God makes the artist, society makes him successful, but all for a reason, always. And the reason is karma. We as artists, no matter the way of arrival, are meant to create.

So with this in mind, I think artists create regardless of formality. Creativity is karmic and inspired. No license necessary to drive!

Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity.
– Dr. John Nash, Nobel prize winner in economics, 1994

Peace – Todd
The Funky Long Island Artist

p.s. – Okay, I am a formally trained musician! But I’ve thrown away the books to compose on my guitar. Sort of agree with Dr. Nash.

p.s. – Find Ilan’s art at Findigart.com.

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The aRt of Growing Through DeFeat

If you live through defeat, you’re not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won. Lose yourself to improve yourself. Only when we shed all self-definition do we find who we really are.
The RZA

Had an interesting conversation with Kenni Hairston, an amazing producer/musician friend with whom I apprenticed back in the day (and hope to work with in the ‘morrow). Was discussing how music is who we are, the seeming losses we both have experienced in the business, and how we keep coming back, no matter how strong the punch.

I Luv a Blank Aluminum Canvas

I Luv a Blank Canvas

Creativity is a blessing and a curse. Between the two though, I choose extreme blessing. Like Kenni said, you do it ’cause you can’t help it. To wake up, pick up my guitar…write, sing, wait for voices to speak through me…insane, but cool. Hey – I haven’t cut my left ear off (yet!). Drinking that sweet ass Maudite beer, Miles Davis on the turntable, painting…caught up in the cool yo! Clock strikes midnight…

I’ve been told NO probably more than about anyone in this life (outside of crazy artists and musicians doing a life bid like myself). But as Kenni and I discussed, the growth is internal and not necessarily externally recognized or acknowledged, even by those closest to u. Lose to improve…if you acquire wisdom you have WON! Definition of self – growth. Pray to recognize – yearning. Lessons for art and life.

Initiate Peace yo – Todd
Creator of original fine art and prints! aka, the Black American Long Island-based artist detailing the universal experience…

p.s. – the RZA’s The Tao of the Wu is one incredibly philosophically and spiritually moving book. Check it out. Thanks for the science Kelly Ann! Wu-Tang 4EVER son!!

p.s. – Dreams and visions…me with my alternative acoustic folk/funk workin’ with the RZA. His beats, my melodies and lyrics…WHAT! Holla’ RZA!!!

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It’s the God in Me…by Mary Mary (and Shout to Ryan Leslie)

Peep this…the art in Hip-Hop! It’s the God in Me by Mary Mary. A little off the beaten path of the usual hip-hop pablum. Usual bling subject matter, vocal autotune, etc… but with a nice twist on spirituality. Had 2 share.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Drake, Jay-Z (though neither can bring it live), 50 (a little played) & Lil’ Wayne, but the messages are not necessarily uplifting for the world. So finally, though still in the self-involved style of modern Hip-Hop, The God in Me is something a lil’ off the beaten path.

Hope u enjoy.

Oh…one more – peep this boy out yo! Ryan Leslie (“Diamond Girl”) is kinda’ good and an up-and-comer yo. I like this making of video clip…

Peace – Todd

To quote The Police, We are spirits in the material world…UAKSSMRSBFHPEWPOKGVX

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The Art of the Nintendo Wii & Wii Fit!

Buy a New Wii for $199.00!  Just click the picture!

Buy a New Wii for $199.00 on Amazon.com! Just click the picture!

The Nintendo Wii is surprisingly changing my life! Woke up this morning, did 20 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of rather strenuous hula-hoop & 10 minutes of strength training all on the Wii Fit. Plus – it measures my BMI (Body Mass Index) and weighs me in like a heavyweight champ before every workout. The bonus – when my son woke up to get ready for school, he decided to get in a “Basic Run” for 10 minutes on the virtual running path in my 2nd fav town – San Franciso! Then he proceeded to do a couple of slalom ski jumps for good measure. The fight against childhood obesity starts at home!

YOGA on the Balance Board!?
images (1)I know what many think – this is a toy and could not possibly get one in shape. Au contraire yo! The yoga, due to the virtues of the separately sold Wii Fit balance board, actually make you work accurately, the aerobic hula hoop on the higher level is torturous and the strength training is pretty impressive as well. I even like the little meditation thing they have in there. There truly is enough variety within the Wii Fit program to keep one going and actively engaged for a LONG time.

Heavyweight Champion of the WORLD!Think I heard the statistic that 80% of people who have a gym membership never show up after the first month. Well, for basically the same price as a gym membership, buy a Wii and Wii Fit Balance Board, work out at home, and have something with which to entertain your friends.

I would highly recommend the Wii & Wii Fit (with Balance Board) for both kids and senior citizens. Wii is Art in it’s highest form. Sure beats gettin’ carpal tunnel and fat eatin’ chips while seated playing ol’ skool video games.

Peace – Todd, the funkiest original print selling artist! Keep your soul 2gether…

This will help him give up the nicotine yo!

Obama Mii? This will help him give up the nicotine yo!

p.s. – wonder if President Obama has one of these Wii Fit joints on Air Force 1?
p.s. II – support an artist (namely me, ha, ha) and buy a wii through my blog! i really believe in this product. thanks!!

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Dreams…I Need A Yoko (new song excerpt!)

SisyphusI don’t know about all this goals & objectives stuff people talk about. Write ’em down…it will happen or so far too many self help experts say. I used to do this back in the day when I was pursuing music production/writing with my bro…but we’d always do everything up to actually signing a deal – which was the goal. So pursuing goals this way made the process almost seem like a waste. And, it sapped my spirit.

99 consecutive steps taken, miss the last one and start all over again as if the first 99 never existed. Talk about disappointment!

But…ain’t life about change or so they say? Well, this year decided to write down my dreams. I don’t necessarily like the phrase goals & objectives because to me life is a journey. Always changing…constantly reshapingl We’re all in some way trying to make a dream come true.

So my first step in my artistic journey that has no end was to have a solo art show before end of year. BONUS ROUND! I not only had a show, but also had an opportunity to play my music with my artwork in the background. Gotta’ thank the amazing Sue Giordano for the opportunity and blessing. This video features my art & an excerpt of my new song entitled I Need a Yoko.

My Pops said “this could have been the ultimate love song John Lennon wrote to Yoko had he lived.” And, I agree. So my Pop’s line will now be the intro. every time I play it yo! Play the video if u please!

Next up – Jimmy Kimmel Show by January 2010! Then Oprah in late 2010!!

Peace Yo!

Todd
The funkiest Human, African-American, Black, Negro, Pan-African, Colored, Universal, Higher-Primate, Opposable Thumb Havin’ Artist-like dude faith based in Long Island

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Everybody Needs A Theme Song – the ARt of Music

Don't cha wish a DJ could follow u around?!I think everybody needs a lil’ personally selected theme song – theme music all their own – to help make it through the daze. Wouldn’t it be great to have a DJ escort you around and spin it when u need it yo?!

Here’s the theme song for The Blog of ArtofTodd.com courtesy of the legendary Rick James (just PRESS PLAY):

And, my personally handwritten theme song/anthem 4 the world (under my pseudonym Dylanblack):


gOTTa’ Be A Revolution (lyrics)
copyright – artoftodd 2009

(verse 1)
people, needin’ people
so many needy, always feedin’ the greedy yo
enuf to feed the world, a loaf of bread some bbq chips
but i can’t conceive, eatin’ off my crumb filled dish

(chorus)
gotta’ be, gotta’ be, gotta’ be a revolution
movin’ like a hurricane, ‘cross the ocean in the dark
today gonna’ rise up start a revolution
eye of the hurricane, brewin’ in my heart

(verse 2)
u don’t, have to take it
born into this fire, though u didn’t make it yo
plans and scams of a greedy man, make u stoop instead of stand
so release yourself, your God’s got a better plan, for u

(chorus)

(change)
wake up, WAKE UP, rise up, rise up
throw your fist up , punch it through the sky
rise up, rise up, stand up, stand up
throw your fist up, punch it through the sky

(rap)
everyday, everyday sippin’ gin and juice
’cause the world is makin’ u crazy, cry a bottle of colic like a baby
all alone in your crib screaming save me
green eggs and ham, like sam i am, want something real, world tastes like spam
i gotta’ open up my eyes, open up my eyes,

(chorus)
copyright – artoftodd 2009

Stay up…stay open…stay creative…stay honest.

Dream of Peace – the Artist

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Yoko Ono & the Art of Lyric Writing

“Yoko is the world’s most famous unknown artist. Everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” – John Lennon

Let’s HAVE SOME FUN YO!Todd Plays I LOVE the Newsweek article on Yoko Ono. As I have learned more about her, her philosophies, her spirit, over the past month or so after writing the song “I Need a Yoko”. I’ve been nothing but moved by her zest for life.

76 and still doing it well! Very similar to how I feel about Bruce Lee philosophically actually. God, I pray I keep growing and stretching as an artist. No artist wants to grow stale like a five year old Snickers bar.

YokoSo funny, I’m learning so much from her creatively just through writing a song while not knowing much about her at all. And now, I’ve been serendipitously blessed with the opportunity to fill out my knowledge base. Funny now life works.

I’ll download Ms. Ono’s (Between my Head and the Sky) new music, but this is of minor consequence compared to the breadth of her artistic life.

Enjoy the lyrics…can’t wait to share the recording…it is hauntingly beautiful…

I need a Yoko

ever been afraid of love, blind coincidence?
Ever met the one, let love walk away
due to circumstance?

don’t be afraid of love, take it, and u will find
the love u seek

I need a yoko, in her auburn shades
stand by me, through yellow submarine parades
wave white linen sheets, ‘gainst the southern wind
show the world, the kind of love we’re in

indescribably, amazing
beyond beautiful – to me

don’t wanna’ wish, for one more day, to tell u how I feel
one more day, a senseless wish away
why hesitate, when we’re standin’ here

don’t be afraid of love, let’s make it
take a chance, and make this moment real

I need a yoko, in her auburn shades
stand by me, through yellow submarine parades
wave white linen sheets, ‘gainst the southern wind
show the world, the kind of love we’re in

indescribably, amazing
beyond beautiful – to me
where is my yoko?
© ArtofTodd

Peace,

The Funky Artist – ArtofTodd

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