Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Music & Collaboration

Creating art is wonderful and something I must do. It is beyond a hobby for is a need, a force to be reckoned with. It is also an incredibly solitary experience until your work is done and exhibited. When you collaborate with other artists, crossing mediums and genres, is interesting, inspiring and invigorating. Music has always been an inspirational tool for me when I paint and I find it hard to paint in silence. It helps me get lost in a flow, evokes emotion and nurtures my intuition which I use to create from my core.

A talented singer-songwriter friend of mine, Ari Hest, asked me to provide the cover artwork for his upcoming collection of songs to be released on iTunes this month. I'm honored and grateful to be part of his new work. Ari is a talented musician who writes songs that move you and has an amazing voice to go with it.

He signed with Columbia Records a few years ago and the result was a success. However, with the music industry evolving every day, major recording labels have not been able to keep up and those who suffer are usually the good, true, musical artists. Ari left Columbia and embarked on a risky but incredible journey to satisfy his artistic need and give music to his fans at a very personal and intimate level. He's doing something incredibly novel and admirable by starting a project which he calls 52.

Here is what Ari says about it:

"When I got out of my record deal this past summer, I decided it was time to try something a little different. It feels great to be an independent artist again, and I'm more inspired than ever to write and record. I was looking for a new way to present my music.

So my manager and I came up with the idea of a project which we're calling "52". Starting January 7th, 2008, I'll be releasing one new, original song every week for a year through a new '52' website."

He told me about the idea last year and I thought it was incredibly ambitious, but I admired his innovative thinking and thought that it would be hard for him not to be able to pull it off. Every 3 months this year he will release a collection of songs from 52 on iTunes for non-subscribers. The first one will be released soon so check back here for details and you'll see one of my paintings as the cover art!

I strongly encourage you to check out Ari's website, sample his music, and become a subscriber of'll get access to a new song every week and personal contact with a talented singer - songwriter. Trust me, you will thank me!

I guess Ari and I are alike in many ways. We both are driven by a powerful force to create. A force that provides us with energy, momentum, fulfillment and also solitude. It's great to be able to weave our work together and I look forward to seeing how our work compliments and converses with the other. That conversation between mediums is the essence and beauty of collaboration.

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