Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
Back in mid-December, I finished answering questions in an interview I’d been emailed that would at some point appear on the Reality Sandwich site with the title “Artistic Independence And Social Media: Interview With DIY Multimedia Icon Jean Smith,” but I didn’t know that at the time. I’d gone long on most subjects because my painting studio is at home and I live alone. That is to say, I don’t talk very much, and I don’t write as much now that I’m painting full time.
I turned the interview in and within a couple of hours it went live with an intro that said it was the second of two interviews about “cutting edge” artists using Facebook to broaden their reach to those who might not expect to see them functioning there, basically. I’d written about my paintings and given an update to the Mecca Normal situation, but I hadn’t totally been aware of the “artists on Facebook” angle—which is all fine. Nothing happened. No problem. It’s just that it was pre-Christmas and I was ignoring it all by watching documentaries about ancient Egypt and then on Voyager, which I’d totally spaced on back when it launched (pun intended). Between Egypt and outer space, I took a look a documentary on UFOs, but fairly quickly decided the testimony of men who looked like that guy on Trailer Park Boys wasn’t doing it for me, so I moved on to the formation of the universe. Other people have booze and drugs, friends and lovers, rituals and traditions to deal with at Christmas. I just wanted to lay low until the whole thing blows over, hoping to avoid things in my small family blowing up like a volcano on Io (one of Jupiter’s 69 moons), then, all of a sudden, I was a cutting-edge artist successful grappling with Facebook as a utility vehicle to connect with … well, everyone. While reluctant to burst my documentary-induced state of mind, I slide farther down the rabbit hole and began analyzing that success.
“Days” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):