Recently, a friend of mine sent a text that read, “Can I call you?” I was available and let her know. She called and stated that she was in a bind and that her school (she works at a college) had an art exhibit that day and she was concerned some of the people who were supposed to have art displayed would not come through. I agreed to send a few photos over electronically for her and her coworker to print out and get out there.
I receive a frantic call a few hours later. “Zac, I just got home from work. The lady in charge of the fundraiser just called me and said that you won an award and you need to be there to accept the money some woman put into the prizes.” I did not realize my piece could win any competition and definitely was not expecting to receive any money. I had a half hour to get dressed and show up to receive the award. It was actually fun.
Later that night, I got to thinking about how strange and fun that experience was and how much I love a sporadic adventure. I considered this an adventure and was extremely grateful. I remembered something from earlier in the week.
My buddy from college, Heath, is a rapper and just released a new album. He put a post on Facebook and was interested in finding out how many of his fans would be interested in receiving an autographed actual CD in the mail (apparently these have been fading out for a while). I had neither listened to his album nor had seen him for years. But, he was always so sweet to me and was one of those guys who is an awesome person—genuinely! The mouse pretty much clicked itself.
The cool correlation between these two events left a smile on my face. I have begun to realize, over the years, how important it is to support our friends who are doing their thing and following their dreams. All too often, people expect art to be for free (even friends) and it can leave anyone who has created something and put themselves out there feeling vulnerable and insecure. I want to fight that. I am a supporter of my friends who create and I know from experience that the support can and will come back.
Just wanted to share my thoughts. Oh, also, I got second place. Coming in second never felt so good.
An hour ago, I finished reading my friend’s first novel. The time I took to finish was, admittedly, way too long. But, I was determined to read only when I could give my full attention. Falling into the creative work of a friend is something incredibly delicate and special.
The characters, storytelling, and page-turning quality were present the entire time; I would have found the statement to be true even if I did not know the author. I finished completely pleased with the way everything turned out. However, I really wanted to know what was to come. I imagine my reaction is a goal of any novelist. I immediately contacted my friend and shared my thoughts and feelings.
I started thinking about how proud I am when a person I know creates something beautiful. These days (and really every day), supporting the people around us who are creating and expressing themselves is beyond necessary. Whether or not thousands of people ever get to read my brother’s essay, see my neighbor’s drawing, or hear my Grandma’s song she learned to play on the keyboard last week is far less important than the support we give each other—at the end of the day.
Perhaps I am being sentimental. But, I will always appreciate the time and energy an artist I know has put into a project. Love is probably the best word.
Recently, my Grandma gave me an envelope full of postcards from the early 1900’s. Most of them are from her side of the family. The photo above is a spread of them. The penmanship, images, and every crease or rip are just so exciting to me. I love moments from the past and a postcard is a beautiful piece of mail from a person saying, “Hey, I’m somewhere on this planet — thinking of YOU.” Kind of a lost art. But, I have to say, these are a stunning argument to bring it back.
Below is my absolute favorite of the bunch. I had so many feelings when I held this particular one. The man walking away is such a powerful image and I stared at it for quite some time. I believe these postcards carry messages worth keeping.
To continue my sharing of our adventures in Europe earlier this month, I am sharing some of my photos from Berlin, Germany. Carrie and Leo, two of my amazing friends, and their baby live there. Carrie is a South Georgia native who moved there a few years after college. I have always been in awe of her decision.
Berlin is a great place to walk around and enjoy the sights. Liz, Jon, and I were told we brought the wonderful weather in our luggage. You could see the look of gratitude on the faces of the locals as the sun beamed down.
The final photo is what I discovered when I looked over the railing at a beer garden called Café am Engelbecken regulars. I am a huge fan of turtles and I was very happy. As I said, the weather was marvelous. I actually recall having one of those moments where you just sorta tilt your head back and wish there were more moments in life like these.
I just received my copy of Elizabeth Daggar’s fantastic Inktober book. The collection of ink drawings she did in the month of October, presented in such a powerful and unique way, is just one of the reasons I am so proud to call her my friend. If you haven’t yet ordered a copy and appreciate art and talent, do so.
Recently, I met up with my friend Sonia for lunch. I needed to bring her a couple copies of my book Wanders in Natureand I had requested a few of the small paintings she has been doing on miniature canvases. Despite having had a weird week, my spirit went up and my smile went from miniature to large when I opened the adorable pieces she set aside for me.
Life really is all about the little things, at times, and taking the time to appreciate the details in life. When we do, big things can happen, I believe. If nothing else, the practice helps me to laugh, smile, and feel more balanced. You know, to find the good stuff.
The photo I have included is of the two paintings I have left (the others were quickly dispersed and landed where they pleased in the world). I had to go shopping to find the little easels; it made my day when I found these. Again, all about the little things.
My friend Liz and I have started a web comic on Instagram called While You Were Happy and have been slowly telling people about it. The project is an outlet for us to share our love of dark humor and to collaborate in a fun, creative way. Click the link below and be sure to Follow us: