“The Flint Hills and prairies have been my home my entire life. I have never felt alone standing by myself surrounded by miles and miles of open lands and nature. There seems to be the ultimate in freedom when holding a camera in such a place with complete control of what and when to take a photograph.”

 

That is a quote from my “Artist/Personal Statement” page. It holds more truth about how I look at life than could be written in hundreds of pages. It seems to be without question those who understand such things are a fleeting minority. It may not even be their fault or of their own making.

For someone who does not partake in the watching of television much I have become astutely aware of the bombardment of advertising and what I consider their modus operandi. It seems to have nothing to do with beneficial information and everything to do with more, bigger, faster, bolder, greater, greatest, most extreme, most noticeable, most popular, most outgoing… more bling. This has escalated to the point that if I have chosen to watch a particular program on network television I have no choice but to at minimum mute every commercial. A funny thing happens when one does this. Many times you have no idea what product the commercial is even about until possibly the very last few seconds. More interestingly, this may be taking place with society at the same blistering rate. The more fluff that is put on a person the less we understand that person. The less we want to understand. They become distracting and uninteresting.  To bring notice to oneself can be akin to misdirecting. As the magician misdirects the eye to the more noticeable activity the less noticeable hand tells the truth.

It seems almost wrong to mention something so unimportant as television but, these things do not stop with broadcast television. They can be witnessed throughout ones day in almost any social setting. Attention grabbing being practiced, exploited and targeted. For some time you have been able to pay to get more “likes” on social media. Pay to get more likes. Just saying that seems absurd. Of course the point isn’t to be liked more it is to then target more accurately that which you want to thrust upon the, do I dare say victim? I am sure the advertiser would rather say potential customer.

In a life of creating art and the associated need to market art for the sole purpose of putting food on the table and a roof over ones head there comes a time when the artist must play the advertiser, marketer, and salesperson. How they choose to approach these things must be in step with how they choose to live. One can not be separated from the other. When the artist hat comes off and the marketers hat goes on it goes on the same person only the hat has changed.

It would be so convenient for the artist to be able to trade their art for the necessities of life. That being said, the artist understands their art is the necessity of their life. Food, water, shelter are only those things that allow the artist to continue producing that which is necessary for their life to be, “their life”.

Winter's Prairie - FLWI_9508

© Brad Mangas