Changing Course

Art and artists from HYPE.

I always found it difficult to figure out how to brand myself. It’s easy to call me a street photographer, but what city walking photographer isn’t also somewhat of a street photographer by default? I’m a walker.

When all is said and done I hope.. no, I am, a documentarian, historian, writer, and photographer, just trying to learn about this crazy city, society, and the artistic lifestyle as I try by the skin of my teeth to survive it.

Creative people have tons of trauma. Society doesn’t make it easy for us to survive. Maybe we didn’t fit well with the rigid structure of school or create a stable stepping-stone life that made things easier on our parents.

The creative mind straddles that brilliant border between creative and crazy, and the world would be nowhere without our impulses. Yet they dangle health insurance over our heads.

The number one rule for an artist is to fall in love with someone with health insurance. And use your impulses to pull your partner outside of the box while they hold your toes just over the rapids.

(RIP street artist Hash Halper)

In the ’70s or ’80s maybe you could have two artists get together, or if you have a rent-stabilized apartment, but these days in New York City, that’s the rule.

These health scares have made me think hard about where I want to be, and honestly, much of it is here. I so appreciate all the emails of support that helped me get through this week. That and a little Ativan.

My goal is ultimately to write one piece a week. Nothing too long. For emails, I feel like there’s a maximum length that when passed can easily turn even the most brilliant writing tedious. And as you’re probably aware, I always resend each email a few days later to the unopened, as about 20% more read it that way.

I want to get back to writing about artists/photographers, city issues, artistic issues, sharing videos of my favorite photo books, all types of things like that. Get some night Zoom hangouts to share things.

But to do that, I sincerely need your help.

In a few days, I’m going to send an email with some support options, in the Substack model (although I don’t believe in using services like that myself because once they suck you in, they all change the model and screw the creators). Although I donate to a lot of my favorite writers through Subtack and it’s a great system currently.

The goal will be to keep me out of the sun a bit more, less of the brutal jobs that will free me up to do this well, and not just when I find a spare second.

I have no clue how that’s going to go. I have 13,200 active subscribers on here, about 8,000 of whom read each email. With that amount, you typically get about 50 or 100 people to do any one action in an email, especially when I try not to push too hard.

It’ll be a monthly model, where you can give any amount per month $1, $5, or $20 if you’re a bigwig. Cancel anytime when things get tough. Also, there will be a yearly print option on some super-amazing Japanese paper.

But I’m just giving you the heads-up for the next email as I finish the page and test it out. It will be sent out next week and I promise to put every dollar of support back into writing and creating here.

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