joe Linus aka One-Legged Heart





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In-Crowd Newsletter: January 2016 


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Home Fire

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Are we there yet? My time with Paul Simon, etc.


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Greetings Worthy One!

One foible inherent with crowd-source funding is the potential for mob rule. Contributors may expect to chose the crayons,  demand a different tempo, or question  the artist’s  vision all together. Implicit also is the somewhat fickle nature of trending tastes (blue may be last year’s fashion) and the natural difficulty of one’s imagining an artist’s work before it has been created, seen and heard.                 

Most Indie artists are not funded by labels. This simple fact resonates with some purity. There is no marketing department selling the artist to the public, and no executives dropping by to opine on roi/profitability. We see a lot of artists fail to adjust to this double–edged reality. For some it  presents an uncomfortable burning  flame of  existential freedom  too outrageous to wield, and the only solution is to let go of the fire.  Others will nobly fall onto themselves to be totally consumed, leaving only cold ash where once there was a soulful life unfolding. I work somewhere in that quixotic mix,  on most days looking up,  blissfully unaware of that dynamic crumbling cliff  I call my art.                      .

Years ago I knew an aspiring Buddhist monk. I used to pass him on the street as I hurried to my day job in San Francisco’s busy financial district. He told me that he too had been like me, but had decided to simplify his life, and took to sitting on the corner with a bowl, allowing strangers to contribute what they would. He had taken quite a salary cut, and some days his presence went unnoticed, but he learned to process his hunger into some sort of food for thought and thus assured me he was doing fine. Being witness to his quiet, mindful  presence in the midst of all  the noisy urban energy was inspirational.

When I filled his beggar’s bowl with silver, I did not care how he spent it. I knew his path was not easy by comparison, if only for the guarantee of uncertainty he faced each day. He would be obliged to use his wits well, as there could be no room for error. To see him sitting there each morning reminded me that there is a spirit within us that we may nurture and serve, if we so desire and so decide.

But even a seemingly simple life can be disrupted. When new construction changed the flow of foot traffic he was left without a decent spot to beg. Even his plan to live in simple poverty was challenged as  he was hustled about by arriving  steel workers and a daily parade of double-parked delivery trucks. I can only hope that he found his simple life elsewhere and continued to profess it, for I have never seen  nor heard from him again. Though it’s just as likely I suppose, he took his old job back and turned his spirit over to that corporate world into which he’d once been cast.  If nothing else,  a good argument for reincarnation might be made. But really the analogy concerns  the notion of simplicity that is embodied in the artist’s way of life, and how interwoven the path of support for today’s artist is with each step of those en route to  more traditional commercially productive lives. We depend upon each other for support.

Though I continue my work as an artist undeterred, I face real  financial challenges  ahead to share these works with you. Videos, audio recordings, hard copies, digital transfers, originals, pamphlets, and concerts  all  require  technical production as well  as administrative skills, time and expense.  Yet there is typically no monetary incentive or reward associated with these creative labors for the originating artist.  While there are many ways to create art,   some are far less conducive to sharing than others.  I sincerely hope I will  be able to afford to share my work with you in the future. Providing a high quality experience is my basic  plateau. Offsetting these costs, your continued support makes the difference. 

Happy Valentine's Day--- I hope some love comes your way!

joe Linus/One-Legged Heart/Peace  february 14th 2018