Sex, Art, Music & Practice…A Healthy Diet for Artists in 15 Minutes Per Day

My grandmother, Bessie L. Banks, once said sex ain’t never changed, that’s how we all got here. That’s all part of a steady diet.. So what does 15 minutes per day have to do with this yo?

I came across this interesting blog post by Alyson Stanfield on the ArtBizBlog for the bizness of being an artist. She said – I wrote my book in 15 minutes a day. Honest! When I felt disconnected with the content, my coach advised me to “check in” with my book every day. I promised just 15 minutes a day. It worked!

I recall Miles Davis saying he believed in practicing by osmosis (definition – all fields of knowledge apparent in one’s surroundings being effortlessly absorbed through the pores of the human brain solely based on proximity). And, I must say – Ms. Stanfield is dead on with her 15 minute theory. It applies to sex, art, music…EVERYTHING! And it works surely as learning by osmosis does.

Whenever I go to Manhattan for a meeting, I usually carry my trusty Martin Backpacker with me. Even if I can’t stop somewhere like Bryant Park and strum, I’m writing & vibin’ via the proximity of my guitar huggin’ my derrière. And, my guitars are laying all over the house so I can easily pick one up and strum new chords I am assimilating – even if just for 15 minutes.

So, with this in mind, I’m going to devote at least 15 minutes per day to my visual art. The discipline will make me vibe even when away from my oil pastels.

Ms. Stanfield says it’s difficult to be a serious artist without regular studio time and one has to find a way to make art on a consistent basis. I say, to be passionate about anything, you gotta’ DO IT on the regular!

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

Sex, Art, Music & 15 minutes of FURYall part of a daily diet! Let’s get tantric!

Peace yo – Todd the Funky, Sexy, Musicfied, Long Island Artist yo!


Lainie Kazan & the Art of Getting Schooled

Lanie Kazan - Award-Winning Actress from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Lanie Kazan - Award-Winning Actress from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Checked out Music Under the Stars tonight at Harry Tappan Beach (Glenwood Landing, Long Island). Figured I’d cruise by with the family…didn’t even know who was singing.

So we stroll up and I hear this voice…a voice that obviously knows how to rule the stage, a pure voice that cracks when needed to show life experience in reaching a note almost out of reach, a voice conversely soft as a mother’s caress. A presence able to simultaneously keep the risqué patter up with the audience while singing beautiful, heartfelt classic songs from days gone by.

So finally, I walked up to an older gentleman and asked, “Who is the singer tonight? She sounds amazing?” He said – Lainie Kazan in that ‘what, you don’t know fool!?’ kinda’ way only an older dude can drop on you.


T - Memorial Park - July 16 2009I performed a couple of times over the weekend but OBVIOUSLY have a lot to learn and a LOonnnggggg way to go. Feel like I received a singing and stage presence lesson tonight. No pro like an old pro (no offense Ms. Kazan) that’s for sure. In particular, her version of The Man That Got Away was impeccable (Harold Arlen is actually one of my fav all-time writers). Her band was totally up to the task.

ToddAnd to think…this was free. Hearing a seasoned professional like Ms. Kazan was absolutely artistically inspiring. On the beach, by the water, the smell of the sea in the air, a touch of sheet lightning to lend presence to the evening sky. Wow! I hope you feel my flow on this one.

Singers like the gorgeous Ms. Kazan are American treasures. Last year we saw Leslie Uggams on this very beach & she was equally inspiring. Will be interesting to see how this experience impacts my music, my singing, and my art. Music is music no matter the vein.

Pop radio is virtually an embarrassment compared to the emotion expressed not only with the art of Ms. Kazam, but with this style of songwriting as well.

Check out our treasures whenever you can, no matter your musical taste. I got a lotta’ homework to do…

Thanks for the lesson Ms. Kazan!

Peace yo,

Todd the Funky Long Island Artist Painting ‘Bout Our World

Yoko Ono & the Art of Writing Serendipitous New Music

Was speaking with a couple of friends, discussing the possibility of 4ever kinda’ luv, especially related to marriage. And, without much knowledge of this situation, for some reason, Yoko Ono and John Lennon kept creeping into my head. The bed-in, give peace a chance, sex with the muse, artistic souls…seemingly unconditional and eternal…u get the drift.

So – been learning new guitar chords to expand my vocabulary, but realized as I went along, this very well could make me sound like everybody else. But I proceeded cautiously. Then, one night – BOOM!!! Chords I never played popped in my head and this song about Yoko came to me.

This song has been dominating my consciousness for a full 11 days now. So woke up at 6:20am this morning to go to the beach and finish it. Envisioned a big change of pace for the tune but once on the water, realized it just needed to flow with a subtle kind of change instead. Funny how the sound of waves brings perspective.

serendipityThe seredipity – a man and woman passed by the bench on which I was playing, walking their dog. We exchanged pleasantries and he said – “Do you take requests?”. Then he said laughingly, “I’d like to hear some Beatles…like Hey Jude?”. I replied I really only do originals and thought to myself – how bizarre yo!

Then, later in the day, went to the library to pick up some new books for my boy. And on the shelf – BIG AS DAY – was a children’s book entitled Yoko Writes Her Name! U KNOW I had to check it out for him.

Needless to say, this new tune about Yoko is one classically beautiful song. Once I lay it, I’ll post it 4 sho’!

Peace, be one wit’ the process, and be all up in the serendipity of life yo!

Inspirational musings 4 circles who don’t fit in the square holes
The Continuing Life of A Funky Artist

“Sell peace the way other people sell soap” – Yoko Ono (Thanks to Joan Athey – Curator of the Give Peace a Chance photo exhibit featuring the photography of Gerry Dieter, for this quote)

Is There Room for Art in the Age of Homogenized “Greedalization”?

homogeneous, homogenous – all of the same or similar kind or nature;  “a close-knit homogeneous group” 


MilkWas having a conversation with this eclectic woman at work.  She had the funkiest hand warmers on and I commented on them.  This led to  a discourse on how difficult it is to find unique, funky stuff in New York City.  

untitled (acrylic on canvas) -

Seems the Village has morphed into a bunch of banks;  SoHo has a Bloomingdale’s;  Harlem is now filled with every minimum wage payin’ store chain one can think of along with African art made in China;  and,  Brooklyn is filled with 2 many Yuppies opening shops trying 2 hard to be 2 hip.  

The Bronx CheerHeck, I don’t even think you can get a hardy Bronx cheer at the new Yankee Stadium anymore considering the ticket prices.

So, I have an art show coming up on May 9.  Went downtown to Pearl Paint to pick up some funky paper on which to flow.  And – SURPRISE – Pearl’s selection was about one step up from a Hallmark store!  No more velvet paper, no more banana paper, very little of that unique funky stuff that made Pearl pop back in the day!   So has even my beloved Pearl stooped to the lowest common denominator? 

Häagen-Dazs on the Champs Elysees, KFC in Bali, a bank office opening on every corner in the the world (and I thought they were broke).  

Don’t think I’m liking this homogenized society.  Making us one is making us dumb.  Pretty soon art will all be the same, music will be the same (seems commercial music is almost there already), and we’ll all wear identical clothing.  Have you peeped Wall-E?  That’s the future if we don’t fight now (great movie too) !
Globalization is just “Globaligreed” yo!

Peace & B who U B – Todd the Artist
…Livin’ the life of an artist…


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How do You Keep the Music Playing? Dealing with the Death of a Loved One, Rebirth Through the New Year & Funky Art!

Oil Pastel Art for the 09...©

Wow – James Ingram is from my hometown of Akron, Ohio.  Of course, so is LeBron “King” James & Chris “Beanie” Wells.  And the point is…

Akron - home of the Goodyear blimp

Akron - home of the Goodyear blimp

Evidently, Ingram is this dope a#s singer from way back in the day. Don’t know how many of you have heard the sappy classic How Do You Keep the Music Playing. But, I was in the mall, heard it, and through the wonders of Google, found out James Ingram sang it.

But I digress…my Mom passed this past October.  It’s left a huge hole in my heart.  I was depressed (so that’s what it’s like).  I’ve heard a parent passing is something you can’t relate to until you go through it.  It’s true & I got new found respect and understanding for Kanye West & his public struggles.  I pretty much stopped creatively.  Had trouble focusing and sleeping. A walking zombie

Thought I was losing it in some ways.  No doubt I miss my Mom…her laugh, smile, unconditional love, encouragement, spirit, humor, guidance…but I have to believe she is in a better place.  And I know she would want me to get my ‘ish’ together and carry on.  I was blessed to have her.  I’m blessed with wonderful family & friends.

So – the New Year is here. And for the first time I feel this real sense of New Year’s Day renewal all up in my chakras. I set up my art table and painted last night.  Was wondering what music to vibe on…having grown past my Tupac and 50 Cent (oh, and Budweiser for now).

Sippin’ on a classier upscale brew (Corona!) while listening to the darkest most sophisticated  Steely Dan track ever (Deacon Blues -one of the absolute most killer lyrics in rock history) and some even darker Gino Vannelli (don’t ask where I got it, but Crazy Life is murder) – I flowed again.  Always feel gotta’ wallow in the dark to see the light.

My Mom was working through me…and I GOT MY MOJO WORKIN’! This art piece is entitled Crazy.  To really get back into my art, I have to do more originals.  To top it off, tonight, I even stopped by the local restaurant and am now booked to play an acoustic set on January 21.  Haven’t practiced my guitar or sung since right before my Mom passed.  And, I joined the local art council.  It’s time to get loose!  Time to find my voice again.

I hope this New Year, the saddle finds u back in it too!  Thanks for stopping by.  Thanks Mom…I feel u talkin’ to me.

"Let's ride!"

Let’s keep the music playing!  Let’s get Tantric up in the chakras!

God bless, Peace and soul y’all – Todd

p.s. – My Black Folk Art expresses the universal experience…and this is mine…hope u feel my flow…

p.s. 2 – wanna’ make this blog an interactive experience? play the Steely Dan or Gino Vannelli tracks above while studying Crazy.  Music sometimes tells me where my head is at a given moment in time.  Feel my flow?

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