It’s so hard to be digital. There’s too much to see out here! I’m the man who spends 21 hours a week average on social media and I’m kinda pissed that I have not a penny to show for it. Shame on me! That’s a part time job’s worth of hours in real life. I see a lot of people (and a lot of advertisements about people) out there spending less time and making thousands of stacks a month in real life. I WANT IN!
This year though, I’ve been more of an observer than sharer. This is because I am a provider for my son who has autism spectrum disorder, or ASD for short. Evan is six years old and in the first grade. He was diagnosed with ASD when he was about three and a half. Since then, me and his mom have been doing everything possible to get him the help he needs to cope in the world of the rest of us. No doubt he’ll have that “special” label put on him by the misunderstanding kids as he excels through school, but there’s a reason why for that. He’s very intelligent and has a kind heart. Evan teaches me patience when I’m trying to do the same for him. He’s a fast learner and initiator. Our times together are always joyous and often adventurous. The pace of keeping up with him has kept me away from the blog, but I found a way to incorporate both. I’m working on a photo journal called Riding On The Metro, about our adventures riding public transit all over LA. Since he’s been with me most of the time, I’ve got someone who comes twice a week to look after him for a few hours, allowing me to catch up on personal and household duties and blogging. He and my older son Brian are the inspiration that keep me moving towards creative ways to provide for them and be an example of hard work and perseverance.
In that hard work and persevering, I’ve managed to nurture another creation to life. The courtship began three years ago when I met a French couple from the city of Lille. He’s a hip-hop producer and she’s a graphic artist. I told them that I’d always wanted to visit France and that God willing, we would meet in France one day to work on a project. This was a year before I released the Tupac pics. This past June and our wish came true.
A few months prior to my first trip to Europe, I sent them copies of the Tupac photos with the idea of putting together an art exhibit that reflected the social justice aspects of Tupac Shakur’s life, and how that reflected the state of inner city life around the time 2Pacalypse Now was released in November 1991. Our tête-à-tête was the great catalyst in producing some of the most striking and beautiful adaptations and interpretations of 2Pac’s beliefs and image I’ve ever seen. Incorporating music, art and media, we intend to honor the legacy that started with this album.
Last year, a very good friend of mine asked me a question. “How do you get an airplane off the ground?” I was way puzzled. He was one of the first people I showed the pics to after they got scanned. I was lamenting to him that I didn’t want to just have the next Tupac t-shirt of the month with these images. I wanted to do something where the whole world would take notice and get a glimpse at a star in his prime, a star who inspires so many people in the world today. Somehow the conversation became despondent, as I was feeling the remorse of any artist stuck in a moral dilemma. That’s when he asked his question: how do you get an airplane off the ground?
“How?” I responded dumbfounded.
“By stepping on the gas.”
Since that day, I feel like I’ve taken flight. Any burdens or blockages are all just along for the ride. I feel like I’ve had to cope with so much in real life that this digital one will have to be my refuge for right now. It’s scary to be in flight when you’ve been on the ground for so long, but I know there are some other high fliers out there who know what I’m feeling. I might as well make this journey as exciting as possible and keep my foot on the gas!