Skin Deep 220

As somebody who can’t draw so well but has a massive appreciation for art (which is perhaps the way it should be), I can sometimes get carried away with my enthusiasm for what a good artist is capable of.

See, my eyes and brain work together (most of the time) to put what I see (or think I see) into words, and therefore sentences and concepts. Those who deal in images work in exactly the same way but come up with a pictorial representation as the result of the eye/ brain combo. At its base level, it’s pretty amazing that, as humans, we can keep coming up with different ways of showing the world what we have made of the influences we both consciously and sub-consciously allow in. It’s one thing to say that you’re influenced by Picasso or Guy Aitchison, Hunter Thompson or Samuel Pepys, as those things are under your control. It’s another thing entirely to let the world run riot in your head.

To a certain extent, unless you lock yourself away like a hermit, that’s never going to happen. A simple trip out to buy the two things all men need to survive (that would be milk and cigarettes) will expose you to crap on the side of a bus, local graffiti, car design, music you hear, the things people say… right down to even how people are dressed during that trip. It all goes into the melting pot. It’s called an ‘environment’, and you are a part of it.

So far as I can see, there are two ways to deal with this wicked dinosaur that’s foisted upon us. One is to accept that it happens, sigh, and move on; the other is to contribute some more to it, hopefully in a good way.

It would be a foolish man that sat here and thought he could change the world, but we can. Sure, it might take a while, but what the hell else are you doing that’s so important?

See, for every half-worked graffiti tag under a bridge, there’s a serious piece of spray-art that could live there instead. For every tattoo banged out for cash instead of love, something could occupy that space that will not only change the face of the space it fills, but also changes the future spaces of those who see it – and yes, I needed to read that again to make sure it makes sense as well.

It’s simple. You like drinking coffee. The coffee you have is dirt cheap because it was all they had and you needed some. The mug you made it in is not your favourite (I hope I’m not the only with a favourite mug for stuff like this), so now your whole very simple coffee drinking experience is, for want of a better word, shit. Twist it around, you lucked in and found some luxury Brazilian blend. Not only that but your favourite mug is even… clean! No extra effort was required on your part (well, maybe the cleaning of the mug part, but you get the point). Same theory behind the ingredients – two totally different outcomes.

Some people don’t think they can make a good cup of coffee. Some don’t even want to try. Some people keep making coffee dozens of times a day, always in search of the one that you can sit back and smile at – even for just a few seconds – before you move on and try to make a better one. Who knows, maybe you’ll really get into it and start grinding your own beans and fucking with the formula until people have no idea how you make such a killer brew.

Across the street, there will probably be somebody who has similar plans. The results will differ wildly. Welcome to the world.

The important thing is this. On that dudes headstone, it will say: ‘This dude made a killer cup of coffee’, which is infinitely better than ‘This dude couldn’t even be bothered to try’.

Be cool to each other,


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