Monday, June 11, 2007

Freelancers Make Strange Bedfellows

Copyright © 2007 Bob Eckstein

Whether you knocked off a bank in college for tuition or jumped a turnstile as a teenager, these criminal offenses stay on your permanent record. The smallest of misdemeanors can affect an employment application...but not so for the wonderful, forgiving world of freelancing where most jobs don’t even require a resume. Writers, cartoonists, illustrators, construction workers – no resumes, no references, and in August, no shirts. That is why at any construction site the personnel is, in most cases, made up of either ex-convicts and/or freelance artists. And that is why you’re more likely to see artists at public protests or participate in general disorderly conduct – because it doesn’t go on their permanent record. As an alter-boy at Holy Cross elementary school in the South Bronx, the nuns were always threatening to us that anytime we did something out of line it would wound up on our permanent record. I often wonder if Tyrone Murphy is still paying the price for chucking that eraser out the classroom window. It was a tough school – nuns caning, lunchtime beatings, two-hour mandatory morning services…

My best friend was the only other white kid in the school. Curiously enough, he also went to art school (not the same school I went but where I eventually taught) but of instead of freelance illustrating he was picked Playgirl’s Man of the Year, landed a gig on a major soap opera and became a gay icon (not necessarily in that order). His biggest coup was being romantically linked to Penthouse Pet of the Year and Howard Stern regular, Sandra Taylor aka Sandi Korn. We’ve since lost touch years ago and our paths remotely crossed when he appeared in a soft-core porn movie, which included my ex. No, I have never sat down to watch the movie, the movie that would surely send me straight into therapy.

Anyhoo, for this reason I’m actually recommending freelancing for a change – for at least those coming out of the big house. You’re obviously part of a group that has enjoyed more life experiences (to get yourself into jail and while there). That’s why agents and editors wait there at the gates–for the next wave of artists and writers (no question, Paris will get a book deal when she tries to re-enter the free world). Personally my favorite writers and artists are felons. Outside artists, like Raymond Materson made great pieces of art from socks. Socks.

Raymond Materson, Jeter '06 socks

Each year The Puck Building (on Houston St.) has the Outsider Fair (which has gradually increased in popularity and price of admission and actual pieces. My wife and I have a small collection of outsider art. Some pieces we got at The House of Blues in Las Vegas when it was an active art gallery before it exploded into a chain store/concert hall. The next best place to buy outsider art is The American Primitive Gallery on Broadway. To learn more about folk art check out The American Folk Art Museum.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: