Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As Time Goes By

All shopped out, too many turkey sandwiches, too much football? What you need is something to look forward to.

A deadline! That’s right what you need now is a deadline and I just happen to know one or two or even three.

You’re almost out of time to get your ideas sharpened, your projects finished, your art prepped and packages for the Mother’s day rush.

What’s that? Did I hear “Oh give me a break?” Nope, that just doesn’t happen when you have your own business. If you pay the bills this week, there’s always next week and then the week after that and before you know it it is time to wrap packages for the Christmas season…of 2012!

Look, I know you are busy, so busy the beavers are staring in wonder at all of your industry, three prominent bee journals have sent reporters to get your story and oh yes, the ants want you to teach a class at the junior college, The Joys of Production.

But now is the time for all good artists to wake up and take a look at the upcoming calendar. (You did include yourself when you made those calendars for all of your pals and business associates?) Six months is the normal lead time for advertising, slick magazines and commercial film.

But you don’t do any of that. Why the hell not?

You have so much that you just can’t count it all, well congratulations, of course you know that by saying things like that you make yourself a target for the IRS and the DEA? They just love folks who brag in their emails and then there’s the CIA skulking around every cyber corner just hoping that while your are stuck to the sofa with all that Scotch Magic tape, you’ll slip and mention your numbered account in the Caymans.

But me, I’m lucky; I have avoided all of that Federal scrutiny by being brilliantly unsuccessful. That’s probably why I’m thinking six months down the road.

So after you wash your hands, cause counting all of that money is filthy work, you never know where its been and if you did you’d be using bleach or ammonia, cause the most unsavory people have their hands on money too and then they pass it along to the next guy and that’s how the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1912 got started. The only way to handle money that is marginally clean is to print it yourself, which brings up a whole ‘nother series of problems or to take the stuff someone else has printed and try to deposit it in your bank account.

When you get out of jail, start thinking about how you can get your hands on some that hasn’t been printed by any one other than Uncle Sam, which will bring you right back to the deadlines I’m talking about.

Mother’s Day, graduation and Father’s Day, they come in a cluster and seem to suck cash out of your pockets like a Hoover gone mad.

Now you know you can’t stiff mother. First of all you wouldn’t be here without her and second she probably shed bloody tears getting you to this point and besides she’s your mother and how can you stand there empty handed while all of your siblings show off and drop those expensive presents you wish you’d thought of, but wouldn’t have had the cash to buy and then you’re back at the ole inkjet trying to figure out just how hard it would be to print up a few G’s. (Hint* They just look wrong if you print them and cut then and try to pass them without so much as bending them once. Try this; run them through the drier a time or two. Now you do not want to wash them first! They’re ink jet prints, you throw them in the washer and you’ll have nothing, but blank paper which come to think of it might just be the safest course anyway.)

What mother wouldn’t want the gift of art from her own precious, precious? Sure, your sister and brother will hate you, but they probably do that already so no sweat there. But don’t just lean in the closet and pull out the first thing you lay a hand on, put some thought into it.

Why? First to shut up those brothers and sisters and second to make a good impression and last to be sure you get the full benefits of product placement. Big companies do it all of the time, they even pay the movies and television producers to let them stick their stuff in the middle of a scene where it has no earthly business, but looks neat so why not be sure you get to do that with your own mom.
I know it’s a filthy business.

So after you’re through shining on your mom on, how ‘bout little cousin Daphne, who used to be just Daffy, but hates the thought of that silly nickname and has even started spelling Daphne, Daffanie so that she isn’t just like all of the other girls on campus, but will soon realize that a city or country has no business hogging their names so she’ll come back from her freshman year as Vienna or Vegas and you’ll wonder what the heck you are going to do with all of that luggage you had personalized back when you thought Daffy was cute as a pin.

Sure art of any kind that doesn’t have Justin Bieber on it is wasted on her now, but she won’t stay this way forever and when she pulls the five years from now it will still be like it was the day you gave it to her cause being in a dark closet for five years will sure save on the wear and tear.

And besides she is so ambitious that she’ll be living in New York City or L. A. and that’s where you really want your art showing up, cause there are lots of people with more money than brains and they might just try to buy it from her and then she’ll be on the Iphone quick as a bunny trying to get old eccentric unspecified relative, namely you to cough up some more for her new apartment.

And let’s not forget dad. That’s the traditional thing to do you know. We spend like sailors on leave for mom and hock the house in Malibu to get the grad a present, but for dad, he gets butkus.

Dad doesn’t rate like mom which is even more reason to get him something really nice. Yes, a case of Heineken is a nice, thoughtful gift, but mom won’t be so thrilled and that can make for a bad summer and with the economy in the tank you’d best keep the options open just in case you have to move back into the room over the garage.

And while you are doing all of this take a minute or two to see if you can’t find a way to get some metrosexual Ad exec to take a look at your work. It might be just the thing he needs to flog Hula Hoops or Craftsman drills or that new stainless steel turkey fryer that your idiot brother is giving your dad.

It’s hard to think so far in advance, especially with Christmas breathing down your neck, but you have to. There are guys out there just like you, doing the same sort of art and they are hungry or homeless or they live in the Northeast where winter is a hard, lean time of the year and the frost on your pumpkins is three feet of snow for them, so quit your bitchin’ and get busy. Time’s a wasting!

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