My friends, after 13 fruitful years in New York City it’s finally time for me to leave. I’m over it. The bloom is off the rose for me here. I’m moving to go be closer to family, help out my parents and enjoy the freedom to work on my art in peace. That’s what I’ve been doing most when I visit them, and it’s just been impossible for me to find enough space & peace in this city to do that.
There are many reasons I feel the need to leave.
I am no longer enchanted with what I once saw here. I hate what I see it turning into and the type of people flooding in. They’ve priced me out, and killed my enthusiasm to document it. I just can’t keep up.
I also need to be with family. I got none of that here. And lately I’ve been feeling that lack harder than ever.
This isn’t necessarily the end of Amazing Strangers. I have enough footage and photos to furnish many other projects. I also have a lot of unused, unseen stuff to put out there. It does however mean the end of my Union Square updates. August will be my final month.
I will still keep up with normalbob.com same as ever. My passion for this is still strong. That’s part of it too. There’s a lot more I want to do.
It couldn’t be more clear to me that I am done with this chapter of my life. It’s been brewing in me for a while now. I’m also really looking forward to seeing where this takes me. I rule out nothing.
Lately my happiness has been coming from drawing people. Stylish, striking, sexy people. I’ve always had this passion. But lately it just beats all.
Please don’t misunderstand. From the wispy goth rocker Nicole, to the hulking beefcake female bodybuilder Tracy, my range for what I find stylish and sexy spreads oceans. And I just have to do them. I cannot stop myself. I don’t even try.
John Waters said, “Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed.” That’s what it is.
So when I’m not being hired to draw people, I’m picking them out myself and doing it for fun. I can’t tell you how much I’d like to have project assignments like this coming in, but either way that’s what I’m loving, so more’s on the way.
If you do indeed have the inclination to hire me, I am available. Tell me what you have in mind, your budget, and I bet we can work something out.
What I’m not loving at the moment is Union Square. It hasn’t been stylish, striking, and certainly not sexy! It’s hot, and stinky, and nothing’s really happening. Well, besides ball playing.
They’re throwing the football around all the fucking time. The day before yesterday they whacked Tabatha in the back of the head with it, and I flipped! I was so pissed I was yelling at them all calling them all pieces of shit! I’m just sick of the constant ball playing, and hitting people, and everyone else having no problem with being hit! You know. Just sayin’.
I’m not sure what this all means exactly. There’s still no postcard done, and my urge to make it is fizzling out. Could be just the summer heat, but I can’t say for sure. Sure as hell no love to be found there! Things have been changing at the park, and in my head.
As my longtime viewers & fans already know, I have a long history with complainers. Hell, the first 10 years of this site were dedicated to hate mailers. I’ve gotten those who pledge to never purchase my products again, ones who mercilessly insult my talents, and even some who threaten my life. And though the trend of complaining via email appears to have ceased, it has really only shifted mediums. Now it’s YouTube comments. People sometimes HATE what I shoot! They’re disgusted with my complete lack of knowing what a proper Public Freakout video is, or sometimes it’s my own opinions being so upsetting that they have to make their statement by typing “UNSUBSCRIBE” and I assume, very purposefully doing exactly that. Such is the case with one of my most recent videos that’s getting thrashed in the comments.
I don’t think people realize that the videos are for me. Beyond that there’re for the people at the Square. After that it could be argued that they’re for New Yorkers. But beyond that you’re on your own. Unsubscribing means nothing to me. Complaints, insults, thumbs down, they all will not effect what I’m going to do. I figured out over a decade ago that you just can’t let people’s complaints about what you’re doing change you. Not if you yourself like what you’ve done. And I definitely do. I rewatch my videos again and again, year after year.
On the flip side of that however, I do love reading the discussions when other commenters stand up and defend my position (their own too, I assume). They do a far better job of explaining most the time than I ever could. Thank you for that. You know who you are.
While I’m on the topic, I’ve only just now gotten an iPhone. My first smartphone. No joke, I had a flip phone up until last month. But I knew if I was going make my living off the internet I had to get with the times. And already I’m on it way too much. I’ve put off getting one for so long because since I got my first laptop back in about 2005 or so I knew my problem would be not being able to get away from the net. And that goes tenfold for this phone! I don’t want to be in constant 24 hour contact with every update in my friends lives while they’re somewhere else! In fact, I’d go so far as to say I shouldn’t be! We shouldn’t be! Things are just fine with me catching up on this information at the end of each day.
Don’t get me wrong, if something’s happening that’s important they can call me anytime. But being caught up on every funny video Liked, each political viewpoint they agree or disagree with, what they’re having for lunch, or the celebrity they resemble most, I don’t need to be up to the minute on. That’s not catching up on your friends’ lives. It’s items of the lowest priority. It’s meaningless. It’s masturbation. And it’s me too. I put myself, along with everybody else as not having an evolved enough brain to deal with this particular technological advancement. And this is not the first time I’ve declared my position on this issue.
“You people are missing the point. I get that you think Normal Bob isn’t doing anything but the same thing as one of these Scrollers, but he’s doing a service to us more than him.
On this channel we’re seeing tons of life perspectives. We’re getting a unique glimpse into people’s lives. YES, we can get that on Facebook as well, BUT these are live videos. We can see and hear authentic movements and audio coming from parts of the world 99% of us are not from.
Facebook scrolling isn’t doing anything for us but filling us up with 20 million different emotions and perspectives at the clock of seconds. There’s nothing to gain but overwhelming senses that result in us sitting on our phones with our mouth open, thumbing a screen up and down.
At least Normal Bob is showing us substantial evidence that this virtual reality we seem to be living in the 21st century, isn’t the only fucking entertaining thing in this world. We’re not all technology zombies. I prefer Youtube over Facebook anyday. Videos are a special thing…”
But from what I’m hearing this opinion is typical hipster bullshit, end of discussion.
So to all of you who get what I’m doing, I appreciate that you noticed. All others, please don’t feel obligated to stay subscribed. You might be at the wrong channel. Unless of course you enjoy regularly complaining. Then by all means stick around and upset yourself.
Not sure if you noticed, but the site’s been down for a couple weeks. I was having it moved from an old server to a new one by my host so it’d run faster, and it took longer than expected. WAY longer! Nearly 3 weeks for it to be up and running properly again! It was terrible. It killed my online sales, traffic dwindled to nearly nothing, and you can’t imagine how frustrating it is getting emails saying “Do you still sell your magnets? You should start doing that again. They were cool!”
But now it’s back up. And it does seem to be loading faster. Do you agree?
Also, guess what. I finally got a smart phone! No kidding. Up until last week I’ve had a flip phone. One that my friends and family all made fun of. And whenever someone came up to me at the park accusing me of making money off the homeless, I’d pull it out and say “Paid for by the exploitation of the homeless!”
I’m not sure how many of you know this, but I like to consider myself an artist. I’m an artist for pleasure, and for hire. There’s been a few pieces I’ve completed recently that I’m quite proud of. One of which is a job I did for IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Tammy Jones.
A portrait for use of her up coming show. I can’t express loudly enough how these sorts of projects are my favorite kinds of projects.
Also, I recently drew a portrait of Christopher Amotharis. I’d seen this German death metal kid online posing in some of the most bold & alluring looks imaginable. It’s a beauty I don’t see celebrated enough in this world. So I feel it’s my job to do it. There’s also an uncensored version NSFW as well. You cannot view a fully accurate illustration of Christopher unless you’re willing to go uncensored. Sorry, but it’s true.
And the same goes for the gorgeous Lola. A piece also to celebrate an under appreciated beauty. Lola with the Universe in her Eyes needs to be seen up close to be fully appreciated. Soon I hope to get enough of these printed and framed to have a show of my own of some sort, somewhere. That’s always been a rarely voiced dream of mine.
I plan to have the new postcard out next month. And of course during this time of absence from the internet I’ve busied myself taking lots of photos and videos at the Square. I’ve been enjoying the process of creating this imagery more than ever before. I just love it, and I feel like I’m doing some of my best work lately. Now if only I could figure out how people get rich off it.