As you probably know by now, my name is Alex Johnson and I am a street artist. I mentioned in another part of the site that my sole goal will be through this site to share some personal experiences that I have gained through the years. Most importantly though, I want to listen to your stories. So my hope is that this will be a starting point for more street artists to open up and share their stories. My dream is to build this platform to a point where everyone is connected and having a wonderful creative time.
First things first though: Personally when I call myself a street artist, I don’t so to illustrate tough financial situations, or the common picture the general public has of street artists. I am a very well educated person with lots of opportunities to get high paying jobs. I just took another route, a more creative one and something that gave my soul the freedom I desired for years.
So I became a street artist by choice – not because I was looking to grab a phew pennies here and there. By the way, I’m not saying that many (or even a few) of the current artists are working in such ways. I just want to make it clear for everyone reading (and since I hope you will be reading my posts for a long time) that I am choosing this life. And so far I am leading a pretty great life.
For me art (prior to the streets) was to strict – to limited. If you studied classical music, you had to spend countless hours on a piano or a violin and hammer down those notes by performing in a way that Bach or Vivaldi would be proud of. Well…not for me.
I believe art should be a creation of something fresh, something that comes straight from the heart. It’s not bad to want to learn and perform music in the ways our ancestors did. But when doing so (and this is a personal opinion), you are really copying the art of another person. You aren’t creating something original (or that is extremely influenced.) But that’s not the point or reason I left the strict – structural art form. The main reason is because by studying all the great old artists, you are really just learning history. And although I enjoy history, art should not repeat itself. At least not by many other people. Art should be original, fresh and juicy. Not a bad imitation from a daydreamer. At least this is how I always pictured it.
So long story short, I took the useful things I learned from the top performers and teachers and started producing things on my own – new material. I obviously didn’t have the resources to cut an album and make professional recordings, so I just kept notes in paper so that I remembered the melodies. At this point there was a small problem though: Who will be my audience? Who will listen to my creations and maybe give me some feedback?
When you come from a wealthy background and have people supporting everything you do (financially and otherwise), it’s quite easy to go out there and find your audience. When you are living in a small apartment though and are living modestly, then you need to go do the hunting yourself. Not everyone will like your art, and not everyone will prefer it. It happens, that’s why we are humans. This is why art is so “cool”… it’s colorful, greatly opinionated. At least for me, the best way to make myself heard and understand if what I’m doing is being perceived well, was to get out on the streets and perform for people passing by.
More to come in upcoming posts.