Way back in 2009, I started my career as an author.
I wrote and published short stories for the Miami-Dade County Health Department’s tome, “Healthy Stories.”
I was also the editor-in-chief of that health-related book.
And part of my job was selecting the cover art for “Healthy Stories.”
I contacted a painter’s online gallery and purchased the cover art.
I loved that book’s cover and I still do, but there wasn’t much joy in this process of paying for the art and never meeting the artist.
Over the next seven years, I published my three books; I hired my book cover designer. (Dave Bricker)
We talked artist to artist.
But as a paying customer, it still felt like it was a business deal.
Which it was.
There was a little bit of the joy of artistic collaboration.
And I still thank Dave Bricker for designing those book covers for my babies.
So you may ask, “Mort, when the hell are you going to tell us about the real joys of artistic collaboration?”
Hold your horses, buddy.
This ain’t no short rodeo.
I’m getting there.
You see, on June the 20, 2020, The Times of Israel published my first blog post, “Searching for Hot Chocolate” (Great story, if you haven’t read it, I recommend you do so.)
Fast forward to today and I’ve published over 200 blog posts.
I found that number hard to believe because it averages out to about one blog every five days.
Who can write or even talk that much?
Well, I guess I can.
And with each of those 200 blogs, I had the opportunity to select art to go along with my story.
I went to Wikimedia Commons and searched for photos or paintings that related to my story.
“Why Wikimedia Commons?” you ask.
“Media on Wikimedia Commons are either in the public domain or published under a Creative Commons copyright license that allows them to be reused free of charge. The main requirement for reusing Creative Commons-licensed content is that you provide proper attribution.”
TOI doesn’t want to get sued and neither do I.
And there is a way to attach music to your stories.
TOI accepted videos from YouTube.
I learned that matching art to one of my stories was loads of fun.
Yes, it is extra work but boy is it fun.
So I spent a great deal of time being a match maker.
You see, even at my age, I know how to have fun.
Remember as a retiree, I got lotsa time on my hands and blogging is a cheap thrill.
And us older folks have learned long ago that cheap thrills are often the best kind. (for you alta cockers think of Janis)
So if you read my blogs, you’ll see I melded my stories with Rembrandt, Chagall, Albrecht Dürer and Szyk.
I even matched my tales with the music of Lizzo and Lois Gilbert.
And this is where the joy really begins, because harmonicist Lois Gilbert is a friend of mine.
We discuss the merger of our art forms.
Two artists collaborating on one art project.
And here’s another example, in this blog, I’m collaborated with award-winning digital photographer Cindy Karp.
Cindy is also a friend of mine, who grew up in the Catskills and attended the same public schools I did.
So there you have it.
Two examples of artists collaborating for the sake of art and the joy of having fun.
Finally, I present my advice to other bloggers:
Go to Wikimedia Commons or YouTube and jazz up your story with some art;
And if you have any artistic friends collaborate with them on merging your story with their art.
You’ll both love doing it.
And it’s one hell of a cheap thrill.