"No sweat....chillin'"

Detail of front gate at the Luckystone Lodge, Q. Cassetti 2011I wrote (or is it “texted”? ) that to our girl while we were texting and it dawned on me that yes, there was sweat and no, I was not chillin’, but melting. However, the true meaning was that it wasnt a big deal to wait and I was content to wait. Plenty to talk about, think about and do. The experience at the Brattleboro Dawn Dance was beyond her hopes—having a great time, making new friends, figuring out that maybe she is as fabulous as we tell her she is…and buoyed by the confidence that travelling by yourself brings. Our dancing princess is swinging on top of the world. And she is home to folky central.

Waiting and talking to her, I decided to really, really listen to one of her new favorite contra groups. So, I downloaded the new “Flying Tent” CD from the group, Perpetual e-Motion. Wow! Dance music, driving beat, but certainly no old time thing. Good working music. Gets the steam up. Lots of influences…but amazing just as its two guys who have a strong series of references that they meld with a danceable, callable beat…and who make a living being a contradance band.

I am being buffetted by a pair of fans to prevent the Q. puddle from occurring (like yesterday). I cannot even imagine what the top of my head looks like..but hey,that is insignificant compared to body heat.

I am wrapping some small projects up and am on the diving board for a few more. Today there is a field trip to the liquor store (!) as I have the distinct pleasure of having the opportunity to work on a related project and then there is another idea in the works that is related to the same that I am meeting with friends about. So, ideas abound.

Need to get the Luckystone First Year Award in the mail to Hartford (University of Hartford, Hartford Art School’s Low Residency MFA in Illustration). I am giving the first years the same as the past two years, large moleskine sketchbooks to commemorate their getting through the first two weeks of the program, launched into the swirl of change and growth that the program can give you. It is a cheap way to give back, and honestly, after my first two weeks of Syracuse, it would have been a confidence booster that you can get through it… Yes, for some, its a snap. But for those of us who are not overly confident (and in my case lost as it was a brave new world that I wasn’t sure I could cut)—a gentle, and friendly nudge and wink would have been welcome. The books are wrapped and beribboned. Now, all I have to do is write a little something friendly.

Its nine. Time to commence. Stay cool… I’ll be chillin’.

Tuesday: Looking towards the weekend

Sweetness Alight, Q. Cassetti, 2010, pen and inkTuesday started early. I got double thumped by the cats around four a.m.—impatient for cookies and attention.We then had to get rolling early to get Kitty and a friend to Corning with Rob for the day—to see the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, The Corning Museum of Glass and the fun on Market Street. Alex has a new job (self elected) at the Rongovian Embassy to the US on Main Street here is sunny Trumansburg. Dishwashing. He called me to say he was washing a pile of dishes and will be working until 6 p.m. Hard work, hard lessons…but all good because I am not jamming it at him. He has brought it on through his own motivation. I am thrilled.

Alex and I are going to learn how to smoke meat this summer. We bought a smoker from Josh Ozersky (now ozersky.tv and food writer for TIME) and tried it once. But Alex is anxious to perfect his bro-meister skills…which may incorporate barbeque and smoking to the mix of bro skills. The Urban Dictionary defines a “bro” as:

“An alpha male idiot. This is the derogatory sense of the word (common usage in the western US): white, 16-25 years old, inarticulate, belligerent, talks about nothing but chicks and beer, drives a jacked up truck that’s plastered with stickers, has rich dad that owns a dealership or construction business and constantly tells this to chicks at parties, is into extreme sports that might be fun to do but are uncool to claim (wakeboarding, dirt biking, lacrosse), identifies excessively with brand names, spends a female amount of money on clothes and obsesses over his appearance to a degree that is not socially acceptable for a heterosexual male.”

The MFA program at Hartford is beginning to ramp up. You can see the work of the incoming students here>> I am also collecting the Texas contact period illustrations from the current students (classes of 2010, 2011) and this is where we are>> Take a look. Pretty exciting.

We have three screenwriters in the back room meeting. I am friends with one of the guys who was looking for a place to have a 3-4 hour meeting (not at the coffee shop) so I said “come here” as we have chairs and tables and coffee too. So we have people busy chatting about interesting things that we get snippets as we go in for tea.

Work to do.


Lots of things come out of the time we spend together as a group with the Hartford Limited Residency MFA in Illustration program listening, talking, and gathering all that is thrown our way. There were some very strong messages sent out to those of us who could hear them (as an aside, I am a believer that we all hear different things as we are all on different paths and as in the game of telephone--it is all in the translation, and that is why it is good we all talk so much amongst ourselves). Some I picked up were:

> Do your own thing and sell it. To quote Murray who is often quoted by Dennis Detrick "Imagine it, Draw it, Sell it". Exactly. To that, Zina Saunders is dead on with her New York portraits and her wonderfully funny political work. Also, Cheryl Philips charge to be a licensor (make that old work live again...imagine and research the market, marry it to the work and sell it). And, in creating that work, protect yourself through registration. Even Brodner and Ciardello were on that same track. Either it's age or time or both, it works for me. Take risks. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payout. work on what you like/love. There will be a home for it.

My case in point was the work I did around Memento Mori at the advent of my fiftieth birthday. Yes, it was obsessive. Yes, it was me going totally off the tracks. Yes, there was reading and odd thinking that became pictures, but I did it for me to understand what I was thinking about and as a way to process the idea and information in a way that I could fully integrate that concept of memory, remembrance, mortality and death. But guess what? I have sold illustrations from that collections of neurotic images along with having applied as a tattoo to a friend, sold mini books on the idea and used it as a personal brand for the short term. I did the work for me, about me and it was saleable and done. I have a feeling this work will give in the land of licensing as well. So, pursue your neurosis, your dreams, your nightmares, your ideas to the places you can take them...and there will be a home in the marketplace for them. This is a bit different than editorial work or art directed work. When it's done, its a different thing. You may do some tweaks--but not much more than that.

> Register your work. Protect yourself. It is beyond creativity. This is business. To that point, I was doing my daily web wandering and got the the Copyright Office page. On the eCo Online Page they are pitching why filing your work online is great(which totally works for me)>>

> Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only)
> Fastest processing time
> Online status tracking
> secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account
>the ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic files

It seems (we can hope) to be pretty staight forward along with all sorts of FAQs, tutorials either in powerpoint or pdfs. So, within the next few weeks, we are reading and getting going on this. I can get girl Friday, Ms. Amanda to help me with the scans etc. and we can get ourselves up to date so we can systematize this as we move forward. I was thinking that we should tie the upload with the payment of our Quarterly taxes as a way of getting real and having Barbara come at be and push me to get real. Love that.

I have just begun to get a bit deeper with this content and my head is beginning to spin. Here is what's nice though, it's in layman's English so that it is perceivable...just tough going...(reading out loud for understanding as a way to go..?)but worth it. Take a look. Join me in this fun!