By Naomi Jean Cooper
“Local Music” inspires my art, but not in the way you might think
Several years ago, I started getting out of the house again after about a decade of intense challenges and isolation. I had found a place to go, connect, and smile again – Seattle local music venues. The friends and connections I made at these venues eventually led me to Weird and Night, Monster Planet, and Nada Mucho.
Today I am excited to tell Nada readers about an event that is happening because of all these beautiful connections! Friday, October 7, Art Guac with Guest Artist Naomi Jean Cooper, at Monster Planet Headquarters (in Fremont near Nectar Lounge, 3610 Francis Ave N, Seattle) will feature art that draws a lot of inspiration from local music.
You see, when I first started going out to listen to music at bars, I decided to bring some pencils and paper along with me, so I could doodle and sketch while drinking a beer and listening to great music. I did this because it’s something I enjoyed doing, but I admit it also just helped me feel less self-conscious about going out by myself.
What I didn’t expect was that my drawing would be noticed, appreciated, and encouraged by others who came to hear the music. My art became a way to connect with others. Conversations would start about my art, and often end with new friends. Musicians would talk to me on set-break or after the show, and let me know they appreciated the energy I brought to the room.
So yes, I now have bins of drawings from countless shows, marked with notes about the music and the venue, that are all about the beats and movements of the music that night. In this way, local music has directly impacted the development of my art.
But, something has happened to me and my art that is about something even bigger.
I’m now connected to a whole community of “regular folks” who are doing something quite extraordinary. This community is filled with musicians who are sharing the full force of their passion and authentic selves through their music, and the people who support and encourage them.
Everyone understands that even while we are having a great time, we are participating in something very important to the human experience. So many of them – so many of YOU – have made a point to support and encourage my effort to share the full force of my passion and authentic self with my art.
My visual artistic journey is infused with love and support from the Seattle music community. It is inspired by the courage of all the musicians who put it all on the line every time they perform. I carry these things in my heart every time I create, whether I am listening or not.
Tomorrow night, I’m going to be beaming that energy back at you for a few hours at Monster Planet headquarters. Please come through and feel the love.
Naomi Jean Cooper is a regular contributor to Weird At Night, a live streaming variety, arts and sketch comedy show that broadcasts on Twitch and the Converge Media Facebook page. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.