Earlier this year I met someone, I say 'met', it was all communication via email, with the occasional trans-atlantic phone call. It's a long story. Aren't they always? It's over now...
In wanting to know more about each other, we would list '20 Things...' on a topic chosen by the other. An interesting task for writing too. 20 things about summer. About women. About anything. I had saved most of them, and I had been thinking about sharing one or two of them maybe. Some are perhaps a bit too personal, and written directly to her, but some like this are more open.
So here's one I thought I'd share, here we have...
20 Things That Have Shaped Me.
- The Blues. From John Lee Hooker to Led Zeppelin.
- Atlantic Soul. Aretha, Otis, Booker T, etc
- Books, in particular Robert A Heinlein and Douglas Adams in my youth, Hunter S Thompson and Phillip K Dick in my 20s, Charles Bukowski in my 40s, and as for my 30s...
- Photography, at an academic level. The critical appreciation of photographs, and photographers, in particular...
- The life and work of Diane Arbus. Too important to briefly skim in a list. One for discussion in person.
- Similarly, the life and work of Don McCullin.
- Star Trek, which pushed me towards science and...
- Astronomy, which captivated my mind and imagination.
- Poetry, although only within the last 5 years.
- My mother, who always supported, and sponsored me and my art.
- Manchester, which believed in me, and inspired me, and made me feel like someone better.
- The work and art of Reuben Negron, who became a friend, and a mutual supporter of my work.
- Alcohol. Helps clear my mind when things turn bad, helps me get shit done. Another tale for another time.
- My friend Katie. Dancer, saucy cabaret performer, and the original model for my abstract work in 2012, which got noticed around the world.
- Motorbikes. The reckless freedom, the danger of pushing myself closer to the edge.
- The female nude, which had driven me to want to study and capture it (as in photograph, draw, art, not kidnapping) as best as I can. I still haven't succeeded to my expectations yet.
- The Big Lebowski. More than just a film, a way of life.
- All the women who fucked with my head, and inspired me to start writing.
- Having a bad ass motherfucking beard before the beard boom.