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.
I’m very happy to present No Your City’s final episode GET TO NO NORMAL BOB! I’m so pleased with how it came out. I’ve been wanting something exactly like this for a while, and I strongly suggest you go see the vast array of No Your City episodes on other characters you may know from Union Square, and others even I’ve never heard of before. I love Nick’s work, and I think you will too.
As of late, it seems some of the two most frequently asked questions about me in the comments section under the videos are:
1. How do you make your money?
2. Why don’t you comment under your videos?
How do I make my money?
For quite a while now, going on 13 years I’ve made my money selling Jesus Dressup magnets, and freelance art & design for people online. The Jesus magnets sell in stores around the USA and even in several other countries. I try to come out with a new version annually so as to maintain interest and supply. Sales have been slightly down this year, but they’re still a dependable income for me.
The freelance art comes in second place. I wish I had more jobs and could charge a higher price for the work I do, but it is something I’m good at. And I love to draw, and I’m lucky there are people out there willing to pay for my talent.
And that’s it. The videos do not make money. I have no advertising on them because I hate YouTube ads, and the amount it pays isn’t worth it. $1 for every 1,000 hits or something like that. Don’t quote me. I could be way off. That’s just what I’ve gathered.
I do not have a trust fund, and I am not rich. I have a roof over my head, and I’ve never had a problem putting food on my plate, which is a kind of “rich” to be sure. But I am quickly being priced out of the neighborhoods I move to way too often, and I constantly worry that I’ll be forced to move out of New York City for this very reason.
Why don’t I comment under the videos?
At the rare times when I do want to comment under the videos for some reason YouTube doesn’t let me. I’m not sure exactly why. They’ve made it more complicated than it used to be. I swear to God, when I do try to type in a comment and hit Post, it does nothing but erase the comment and nothing else. I’ve read up a little on it and it’s something to do with me not being a Google+ member or my Chrome settings even though I’m using Safari. Quite frankly, I’m happy it won’t let me post comments. I’ve found that other people are quick to answer for me sooner or later, and it also allows me to ignore the comments and just do what I like to do. Shoot and post videos instead.
Which is exactly what I’ve been doing lately! Lots of videos, and even more that I just need to find the time to edit. There’s been a whole lot of drama at the park, and the summer’s barely even kicked off!
And Finally, here’s a collection of the photos I’ve taken since last we met.
Something’s happening. I’m getting about 100 new subscribers every couple days on YouTube. This month I’m easily going to surpass 10,000 subs, and never before have I felt so at ease behind the camera as I do now. That combined with how manically I’m pursuing interviews & events there, 2015 is looking to be a stellar year for Amazing Strangers.
Viewer take note: A warning to anyone entering the park. Beware of the screaming lady with the Pitbull! They say dogs take on the personalities of their owners? Well then, this one is coming completely unhinged and on the verge of attack the first unsuspecting do-gooder who gets too close, and getting itself “put down.” It’s a clear recipe for disaster. Watch the video and you’ll see just what I’m talking about.
And the guy in the red coat? I’ve been calling him Slipknot, because that’s what I’ve heard him screaming (in that special Slipknot bellow) at times underneath those headphones. Seems also to be another regular, until he’s locked up somewhere.
There are going to be several new groups added to the map this year. The Fix-gear bike-messengers have squeezed themselves in between the skaters and the Flips section. And there’s a good, solid circle of Christians finally calling a spot at the Square home. And this bunch I think might actually stick it out, because they’re not quite as enraged as past prostilitizers. That goes a long way in securing their longevity there. One of them is Tom, the Bible-believing Christian, whom I interviewed during the May Day Demonstration.
Also, more than ever before, I’m shooting photos. Lots of them. I’ve found going back through filed of the last 13 years that I haven’t been doing that enough, and the images I do have are priceless. Here’s a gallery of the latest.
Yesterday I had an experience with a client that sent a chill down my spine. The client, who’s hired & paid me good money for an artjob told me, “I’ve got other jobs I’d love to have you working on, but you look so busy, I assume you don’t have the time for more stuff.”
In that brief instant, during a time when I’m scrambling around for money to pay bills, I imagined dozens of other potential clients saying to themselves, “Dammit! I’ve got jobs for this guy but he looks too busy to do them. I’ll go look for someone else I suppose.” Then flash forward 6 months to an image of me packing a U-Haul with what’s left of my possessions which have been put on the street by my landlord, on my way to a new life in Idaho to make some lame map of a park there that no one will ever care about.
Let me please be as clear as I know how to be. I need work. I have time for work. I LOVE to work! I also love to be all caught up on bills make-believing I can afford to still live in this city on a starving artist’s income. Please, for the love of God, if you’re out there needing art, or any other elements of my creativity, and you’re happy to pay, contact me! Prolong my stay in this expensive city! And thank you very much.
If you don’t have a job for me, but you’d still like to see me continue what I’m doing here, visit my store. That helps pay my bills as well.
I’m happy to say that after expressing these same thoughts to the aforementioned client he immediately sighed with relief and began a list of more jobs for me.
This has been the toughest year for the magnets yet. The stores who’ve got them on their shelves have no problem selling them, but far too often I’ve been losing them because of customer complaints. It’s an ongoing problem I’ve always had to deal with (others frowning upon me profiting off the crucifixion), but I’m shocked at how many store managers as of late just don’t even want to chance it.
I’ve been dying to produce the new Batman Jesus Dressup I’ve got it designed and ready to go, but as I mentioned in the previous entry, I just can’t seem to accumulate the necessary funds to get that ball rolling. I’ve gotten a few stores recently who are very excited about Jesus Dressup in general, and it’s because of you people that I was able to find those stores and send them samples. So if there’s a store in your neighborhood you think might be interested in my magnets, please don’t hesitate to pass their name onto me. That simple act can make a world of difference.
Things are just getting underway at the Square, and I’ve got the camera rolling. Everyone’s been asking about that hat thief kid, whether or not he’s behaving himself since then, if he’s crazy or on drugs, and anything else I might know about him. All I can say is he’s been at the park several times since and has been pretty subdued. No other excitement from him yet, and from the looks of it he appears to have learned his lesson.
I’ve avoided tracking him down and grilling him for answers simply because if he wants his space I’m happy to give it to him. Also, I always have the lingering fear in the back of my head that when we finally do talk he’s going to ask for the video to be taken down. Yes, that’s what I have to deal with regularly in this unconventional hobby.
And then today, Apr 21, 2015 he approached me having just seen the video for the first time, twenty days later. His reasons and explanations may not be what you expect.
I got word that Chewy (Tarzan) got caught trying to sell dope to an undercover, and because he’s got priors he’s been put away for more than a few years. Matty Ice has been MIA since the last video. And there’s no sign yet of Lotion Man either.
I could go down the list of everybody who’s made an appearance thus far, but it’s easier just to show off the photos I’ve been taking.