82: Gregg Deal, multidisciplinary artist, on identity and stereotypes, resilience, impermanence and fatherhood

Episode 82 March 12, 2020 01:10:09
82: Gregg Deal, multidisciplinary artist, on identity and stereotypes, resilience, impermanence and fatherhood
Humanitou: Exploring Humanness + Creativity
82: Gregg Deal, multidisciplinary artist, on identity and stereotypes, resilience, impermanence and fatherhood

Mar 12 2020 | 01:10:09


Show Notes

He’s appeared in National Geographic magazine, the Washington Post, Huffington Post and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, among other places in the media. Not to mention his work in visual and performance arts, public speaking and in other creative disciplines. In galleries, museums, at universities and other venues -- and on the street. We talk about his work and how it addresses identity and stereotypes, pain and healing. We talk about struggles and resilience, impermanence and criticism. And, as two dads in their 40s, we get into matters of fatherhood and masculinity as we saw it as boys and now live it as men. Among other things. Gregg gives us a ton of food for thought in a short time here. More at humanitou.com.


Humanitou is created, hosted and produced by Adam Williams.

Show notes at https://humanitou.com/gregg-deal/. [Episode transcript will be added soon.]

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello, welcome to the humanity podcast. I'm the creator and host Adam Williams. We've got an amazing guest today, a multitalented multidisciplined artist and activist Greg deal. And we're going to dig into a lot of great subject matter and learn some things laugh at some things, but first I'm continuing to fill out with this intro piece of the podcast is about what my flow is, what its purpose is, what it can be. And I've been interviewing people professionally for going on 20 years with this podcast, though, this is the first time that I'm serving up those interviews in such a way that my voice, my actual voice, my way of seeing and thinking and listening and even pieces of myself, my own story are put out there directly and audibly in the process. And even in the final output, uh, rather than just a behind the scenes function of getting the work done. Speaker 0 00:00:49 So like I talked about in the intro to the first episode, humanities about humanist and creativity, and I think it's timed it. I opened up some of that experience from myself, not just pseudo hide behind questions. I lay on the table that are there for others to pick up and respond, to bearing their souls. So my humanness and creativity, we are in a new and especially creative and public zone for that right now for me and things are continuing to unfold. It's exciting. There's a lot happening. And this week I'm going to find out if the Humana two podcast will receive a grant that will pay the rent on the studio for this year. And that would really help fuel the transition of Humana to, and the launch of this podcast. That grant was part of the motivation for me to take action and stop thinking about renting a studio, stop thinking about setting up a podcast space and how to go about all that, get all the gear. Speaker 0 00:01:50 So whether I win the prize that will pay the rent or not, it did light a fire and I'm on my feet. I'm, uh, considering that no doubt a win in and of itself. I applied for the grant in January. I rented and set up a studio in February and this week in March, uh, in a couple of days, I'm going to find out if the grant is how all this is going to be paid for, or if I'm going to have to figure out another way, like sell more art. I'm also a photographer. I put myself out there in that way, and I do have a wonderful photography show coming up at Kreuser gallery in Colorado Springs next month, that opens on April 3rd. So it's only a few weeks away. And I'm excited about that. Maybe it's that I promote the donation page on the human to site a bit more, but I feel kind of sheepish and shy about that. Speaker 0 00:02:39 That was something else that came out of the grant process. They encouraged us to do that. And it's something that I've not wanted to put on people for so long, but it lit that fire and I've done it. And maybe that's something that I need to focus a little bit more on to help sustain this. I just, I don't know. I'm not sure what the best approach, so I'm hoping the grant happens, but if it doesn't, here's the thing. Regardless whether that grant comes through to help sustain humanity podcast and it's launch this year, I'm picking up steam with what I'm doing. I'm not slowing down. Humana two is on the move. This podcast is rolling. I've interviewed and photographed more than 75 people for humanity in the past three years. And I have never felt so motivated, energized, dedicated to it as much as I do now with the podcast. Speaker 0 00:03:26 I don't know where I was this whole time. It was something I didn't listen to. Podcasts was not a format for me to create him because it wasn't something that I consumed creativity through. So I've been turned on to that in the last several months. And now I am super stoked to be putting this out there, the humanity podcast. And I'm so glad that you are listening. I appreciate it. So thank you for that. Thank you for the listens for the shares and for letting me put something of myself out here in this way. So let's get onto that conversation with Greg deal. You might've seen Gregor's work at some point in the past decade or more, and quite possibly didn't even know it he's appeared in national geographic magazine. The Washington post, the Huffington post, he's been on the daily show with Jon Stewart among other places we talk about Greg's work and how it addresses identity and stereotypes, pain and healing. We talk about struggles and resilience and permanence and criticism and his two dads in their forties. We get into matters of fatherhood and masculinity as we saw it as boys and now live it as men among other things. Greg is going to give us a ton of food for thought in a short time here. So let's get to it. Speaker 0 00:04:45 So Greg deal, welcome back to Humana too. Thanks for having me. We had a great conversation. I had to look it up. It was back in July of last year. It was for one of those readable Q and a formats that Humana two started out with. You're now one of the first ones I'm bringing back for the podcast. And so I'm glad to have you here. We've got a lot more, very interesting things to talk about, right. Speaker 2 00:05:06 I'm stoked to be here. The last time was a lot of fun and, uh, yeah, I think you got a good thing going here. Speaker 0 00:05:12 Well, thank you. And you had something going recently up in Fort Collins, Colorado, a performance, I think was new, right? A new piece called punk pain, Indian romantic comedy. And I know, I know you have a sense of humor. I see it in the title. I want to know how it went and just something about it. What, what was, what was that performance? Speaker 2 00:05:34 Uh, so well, okay, so I've actually done the pan Indian romantic comedy, uh, which was something I did in DC probably seven years ago or so in a theater. And, uh, and the, the premise of it was first off, kind of joking pan Indian is sort of a statement of like generalizing Indianness, uh, and then romantic as a reference to romanticism and then comedy sort of ties it together in terms of like this. This could be funny. Uh, so, and it's meant to be funny and kind of dramatic at the same time. Um, so this one is sort of a revival, uh, because it was able to work with the music district in, uh, Colorado or in Fort Collins. Um, and they were just willing to sort of will take me doing whatever. And because of it, there's an incredible music scene in Fort cards. Like there's a history there. Somebody handed me a map that was like a map of all the punk bands that have like, that would roll through traditionally through the eighties. I mean, it's black flag, it's a misfits like a member of the, um, of the descendants lives. There, who's the drummer. Who's also a drummer for black flag in the early eighties. Speaker 3 00:06:49 And these are bands you've been into for many years. Speaker 2 00:06:52 Totally. Like I just blew me away, but there's, there's a business there that sort of runs a bunch of music stuff. So they have a lot of people coming through, um, musicians and things, and they have this huge music venue that is just incredible. And, uh, and then they've got like the music district, which has like recording studios and so everything, there's a lot of music stuff in Fort Collins. And so the conversation I was having with them was about doing something that tied in music, which made sense with, uh, the work that I've been concentrating on for the last year, uh, which is called the others where I've, reappropriated old comic book images from the forties and fifties, and I've replaced all of the, um, all the, the dialogue with lyrics from punk rock songs. Um, which I think we talked about Speaker 3 00:07:39 Last time. Yeah, yeah. That was part of our previous conversation. So that was Speaker 2 00:07:43 Like sort of a lead up to this, this process that I've been through of, I guess I could just call it healing, um, where I've revisited things and I've looked at things and which has sort of put me in a position to confront trauma from my childhood. And, uh, and this idea of like, can music be healing, uh, but also like can punk music be healing, which is generally speaking, not music, unless you're accustomed to it. It's not music that people really, you know, it's not easy listening. You don't sleep to it. Speaker 3 00:08:18 Yeah, yeah, no, it's something you'd go to, to think this is going to be cathartic and healing in that gentle sense. Speaker 2 00:08:24 But at the same time, when you're, you know, when you're a young kid who's angsty and angry and everything else, it's actually all of those things, but it's been this interesting sort of process. So, so the punk pan Indian, romantic comedy was essentially about that process. And, uh, so storytelling a little bit of speech, uh, some funny stuff in there. Um, and it's essentially a series of vignettes, uh, that were based around music and around stories from the way I grew up from the work that I'm doing. And, um, so I had some funny anecdotes in there. Uh, and then I had some pretty serious stuff talking about, um, uh, depression and even suicidal tendencies just when I was really young. And, uh, yeah, yeah. And I w and I was, you know, like my father had, um, clinical depression. It was just debilitating. Um, but it skipped over me. Speaker 2 00:09:21 And so I didn't have that. And I mentioned that because, um, I was just in such a bad place at certain points in my childhood that at one point that's where I was at, uh, just thinking about taking my own life. And so that was just meant to be that statement sort of was meant to be a Testament to, uh, just sadness, you know, that it's not necessarily a clinical that sometimes sadness is just sadness and things are rough. So it was about all that. Um, and it was a lot of fun and, uh, it was also really hard, uh, cause it was, it tied back into my father who passed away about four years ago and, and, uh, sort of reconciling a lot of different things. You know, I left my house when I was, um, 17, uh, came back very briefly for about a month. Speaker 2 00:10:09 Uh, when I, by the time I was 18. Um, but it w there was this abandonment of everything because there was no permanence in my life. So my record collections, my, uh, you know, my, uh, frivolous little things, I had to abandon all those things. I lived out of a, you know, out of a, uh, a duffle bag for a long time. I worked out between 17 and 24 when I got married, I moved like over 25 times. And so there's like no permanence. And so then as an adult, it was this whole idea of, of, you know, that lack of permanent still permeated throughout sort of my, my, uh, life. And I don't, I think I just got to my forties and was just like, no, like, I'm okay. You know, I don't have, I I'm, I've got a family. We're not, you know, we're not in a bad way. We're not moving. Like there is permanence in my life. And so that music and starting to collect records again and playing vinyl and paying attention to that. And then going through that whole artistic process of looking at lyrics and trying to place that with these sort of stereotypical comic book images, and it's been this whole healing process of letting go Speaker 4 00:11:24 Well in those images too, to describe those, I'll let you describe what, what are you using in those images? Um, so, I mean, they're just comic books, Speaker 2 00:11:32 Images of Indians from the forties and fifties, which is super stereotypical. Um, and during that time, and like, I mean, we tend to love Indians now, but, uh, during that timeframe, the forties and fifties, um, there was a love, hate situation. The Indians were always the bad guys. Uh, they were the antagonist, nobody wanted to be Indians. There was certain signs of certain parts of the countries that would say no dogs or Indians allowed. So to have something in that timeframe, uh, was interesting. Cause it's kind of tied into that whole sort of golden era of boy Scouts, which is about like amplifying the romanticism of Indians and not the reality of it. Uh, but Indians, themselves, native people themselves didn't have the kind of privileges that most other people had. They were second, second class citizens. Okay. So, uh, these images are just stereotypical images from that timeframe specifically from a comic book series called white Indian, uh, that was originally, uh, it was originally drawn and written by Frank Frazetta who did like Conan the barbarian, but his longest running series was this, this series called white Indian. It was his longest running series and probably as least known series, um, which is really interesting. And a white Indian is exactly what you think it is. It's a story of a white dude. That's more Indian than any Indian that was ever Indian. And, you know, Speaker 4 00:13:03 In perception saying you don't actually mean that it's cause we've talked about this before with things like, well, what Hollywood does. Speaker 2 00:13:09 Yeah, yeah, no, it, it, it, uh, it falls, I think, well, within that trope of like a white man makes a better Indian than an Indian. Um, and so I'm an American. So in the tradition of American appropriation, I have reappropriated that work, um, and have shifted it for my purposes in comment of, uh, identity, uh, as well as stereotype because there was a time, you know, before the internet, when I grew up that, uh, we didn't have access to things that helped us identify like ourselves. So we would gravitate to the things that were available. So that's why, you know, dances with wolves or last the Mohicans or, you know, uh, comic book images, uh, of Indians or Moony tunes, stuff of Indians, like it's all really offensive, but at the time there wasn't any representation. And so you would gravitate towards that. Like even just a little bit, because it's something that like, that's you, as twisted as that is Speaker 4 00:14:14 Misunderstanding that as a, as a child, maybe right. Seeing that and embracing it as, wow. There's something from our community when not really realizing totally. Okay. Totally. Speaker 2 00:14:25 Cause I mean, we went through that with my daughter, even when she was young, she was really into Disney princesses. And when she, I actually kept Pocahontas from her, of course, I'm bringing all of my misunderstandings or understandings of that issue to the table. Um, and you can't really thrust that on a child cause they've got their own perceptions. So when she discovered that there was a, uh, a Disney princess, it was an Indian just about lost her mind. She was like so excited. But when she gets older, then she, you know, can come to understand that that, that representation, uh, is not appropriate. It's not correct. Uh, Pocahontas was like 10 and was, you know, essentially raped and shuffling reality in reality. Yeah. Speaker 4 00:15:11 And I want to come back to, I actually am interested in talking about you and your daughter in the work that you've done together creatively, but first you and I had talked previously about the fact you had started a podcast, um, you're using the word Indian also Pocahontas, you've talked with an actress who on your podcast who played Pocahontas and I know there's something there, um, in all of that. So I'll just step back. And we had started this conversation before turning on the mix and it think it's fascinating. Speaker 2 00:15:46 Yeah. Um, well, I mean, in terms of words, uh, the word Indian, um, is used and we've entered into this era where people are trying to navigate words and identity, uh, call it politically correct, call it, you know, being, uh, aware of other people in their own identity, whatever you want to call it. Um, there is a conversation about words and what those words mean and how they're used and whether or not they're appropriate. Um, so I've been criticized for using the word Indian, uh, but my generation uses that word and has used that word, um, as a self identifying word, Speaker 4 00:16:28 To be clear though, you're saying from within your own community, right. Is where that criticism is coming from. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:16:34 Well, and I mean, I've heard it from outsiders as well, but that doesn't mean as much as people coming from your community. Um, but younger generations are trying to assert themselves in their identity and they're trying to correct things, which I totally understand, but also in the spirit of self identifying, uh, I should be able to use whatever word I want. Right. Speaker 4 00:16:54 What words do they think are more appropriate Speaker 2 00:16:57 Indigenous, uh, first peoples first nations you use indigenous too. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I try to use it when I'm in front of, uh, non-native audiences. I try to use that more, but here's the thing, uh, all of those words are made up Indian American, Indian, native American, native indigenous first nations, first peoples, like all of those words are English words that are used to lump an entire continent of people into one group because no one could be bothered to, to actually try to identify what tribal community that that person is from. And so, because Americans have never taken the time to learn that and to figure that out, we have these blanket words and those blanket words are made up words. Like they don't make sense. They make sense in English. They don't make sense in any of our languages because we don't words that involve like 572 different tribes into one group, you know? Speaker 2 00:17:57 And so I am of the thought that I can use whatever word that I want because, um, all of the words are made up anyways. So essentially using those words is just trying to speak in a language that people understand, um, in a language that people understand, like you understand what I mean, when I say Indian, I'm more concerned about inflection. You know, if you call me a dirty Indian, then I know that you have, there's a specific inflection in that. There's an intention that, yeah. But I also don't think that there's much difference between calling me a dirty Indian and a dirty indigenous person in the North American continent. So all like the PC crap goes out the window because it's still about inflection. And so that means more to me than trying to figure out the word, because at the end of the day, like I identify as pneumo as QE to cut out, uh, or in English, uh, Paiute, pyramid, Lake Paiute tribe. That that's the community that I'm from. But, uh, we don't have enough nobody's being given enough information to be able to identify specific people or specific tribes, or even understand the history of that and how all that came to. Speaker 3 00:19:03 There's not a lot of, um, first of all, the awareness, I mean, it is important to have that, but I think then even interest right. To get into Speaker 2 00:19:10 The details. Yeah. I mean, we, I think history and the way history is taught is probably the best place that you can see where those things are prioritized. Like, you know, we know who Columbus is, but we don't know the name of the people he came into contact with. I mean, I know, but like generally speaking, people don't know who, who that is. Um, you know, we, we talk about Abraham Lincoln as being the great emancipator, but we don't talk about him as signing off on the largest mass hanging in American history. I learned that from you, right. So I mean it, but, but knowing those things, but not knowing the recipients of those things, um, tells you who's important and who isn't. And so, you know, even in a general sense, like the way we teach history in schools, um, has elements of supremacy attached to it because we're not giving equal ground to all of the participants in American history. And, uh, so as long as people, you know, as long as native people are sort of given a backseat or a footnote and nothing more than nobody's ever gonna feel like that that's important enough to know anything about. And so, you know, it's sort of prioritizing people by omission, right? You're not saying like that, that the white founders of the United States, what is now, the United States are more important than Indians or blacks, but you teach it in such a way that that is the case. Speaker 3 00:20:35 And certainly the way it's absorbed by you and you're a child and you're not having that represent. You're not seeing or experiencing that representation. Totally. I, I want to bring us back now to the performance aspect of your work. Speaker 4 00:20:48 You are an artist in several forms, right? Several mediums that would include painting. You have a background in graphic design video. What am I leaving out there along with performance Speaker 2 00:20:59 Murals, uh, conceptual work installation work, um, and then performance art. So yeah, Speaker 4 00:21:06 A bit of everything. Okay. You have described, if we focus on performance for a moment you've described your performance work, um, as terrifying and liberating. Um, I know that with your last American Indian on earth, um, work, that was several years ago, 2013, right. Um, you know, I came away from learning about that, thinking the courage that would take to be out in public doing the things that you're doing, speaking to some of these, um, stereotypes. And I'm just curious to hear from you, if you'll elaborate on what you mean by terrifying and liberating and, and maybe even the aspect of courage and vulnerability that fits in with it Speaker 2 00:21:50 That I think, you know, I think any contemporary artist is essentially putting themselves on the line anyways, um, regardless of who they are or where they're from, if they're doing it right. Um, and this is just sort of within the medium of contemporary art. I mean, I realize that anybody who makes art right now could be, you know, conceivably contemporary art, but I think contemporary art in general, um, is this idea of enveloping artist with the work, not just an artist making work, but that an artist, uh, is really like embodying their own work even as painters. Um, and so that I think is a distinction that is important. Cause I think there's a lot of really talented artists that are just making, uh, nice paintings and th but there's nothing about themselves that is tied into those things. And so a lot of contemporary artists are, are doing things that are, um, exciting and terrifying and personal and, you know, uh, there's a journey involved in everything. Speaker 2 00:22:52 So, so I think that's part of it for me, particularly with the performance work, um, because there's thoughts and ideas that I'm having, you know, like with the punk pan Indian, romantic comedy, you know, that was personal about stories and this whole process of finding, um, healing through music and through art and like how that comes out in that performance piece and spoken word and everything else. And it's, it's terrifying because you, uh, are not just putting yourself out there. Um, but there's also a, I think a significant amount of honesty that's being put into what you're doing. Like, you have to be honest with yourself because people can see whether or not you're being contrived, you know, within, within the narratives that you're creating. And so I find that being honest about myself as, but also is important in the work because it comes through as being authentic, if it is authentic. Speaker 2 00:23:53 And so, uh, that's terrifying, but the, the great unknown to particularly within performance work like the last American Indian on earth, which I did for a year, uh, between 2000, April, 2013 to April, 2014, um, was terrifying because it was both me confronting this idea of stereotype and embodying that stereotype within the performance piece where I'm dressed in like, what looks like full regalia, but it's fake. It's like all store bought, like the head dresses made in China. And, um, but it's also terrifying because I'm not in a confined space, a controlled space. I'm outside with people on the national mall, in Washington, DC, uh, where anything can happen Speaker 3 00:24:39 And people from all over because of that tourist location. So you have no idea even how to predict who might bring what to the, to the stage, so to speak in that case. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:24:48 Yeah. W which is part of the work, cause we're, we're documenting these interactions in photography and in film, but also like my greatest fear with that piece was I was going to run into a native person because it looks really bad, you know, like from the outside it looks, I mean, cause this is sort of at the beginning, uh, or at least, uh, I think an apex of understanding of appropriation and stereotype and like, you know, social media is starting to take that stuff on, uh, which is where like the mascot debate, you know, uh, the use of mascots and sports gained ground because of Twitter and, uh, giving voices to people that doesn't don't normally have it. So within that understanding, like it actually happened to me the first day I went out, there was a group of natives and I ran into on the mall and they're like, what the hell are you doing? Speaker 2 00:25:41 And, uh, and then I had to like quickly, you know, very, very quickly try to explain this. And once they heard it, they were like, Oh, OK, like, that's awesome. But, uh, it's that initial thing looks bad and I know it looks bad. Like I did it because it looks bad. Um, but it also was like a social mirror sort of confronting, uh, people on their own perceptions. And I think that's really interesting cause while that's happening, I'm also confronting these things. You know, like I said before that when I, you know, when you're a kid you're gravitating to what's available, not necessarily to what's right or true. So like, you know, you wear a Cleveland Indians hat because it has an Indian on it, not knowing that, you know, it's a kind of a gross caricature that's inappropriate in terms of representation of native people. And, um, and so me doing this was also about that confronting this idea of stereotype and authenticity within stereotype and then embodying that is hard. It was not easy, but, um, but I think it was also sort of important for me in, in this process of like understanding stereotype from a different perspective from, from your perspective, how much do you think, Speaker 4 00:26:57 I think that the process of an artist, or even if we just keep it specifically with you and your personal process of these years as an artist is about digging into oneself, self inquiry, sorting out what we think to be true, what we are developing and learning might be true about ourselves, about the world, how much of this is about dealing with our stuff and trying to come out a little cleaner and stronger on the other side with some sense of knowledge and perspective. Speaker 2 00:27:30 I mean, I'd like to think we're all trying to be better, you know, but the truth is, is that not all of us are, um, you know, and, and even myself, I don't, I don't know, you know, I had a conversation with somebody a few years ago where they were like, Hey, like your performance work is like really badass, right. Cause it's free. And because there's nothing tied to it, like at one point I didn't even think I even got paid to do a performance piece until, um, the fall of 2018. And so up to that point and beyond frankly, um, my performance work was free. Like I, it wasn't tied to anything. It wasn't tied to income. It was like art for the sake of art. And so I could swing for the fences. I could say whatever I want, I could do whatever I wanted and it didn't make a difference. Speaker 2 00:28:20 Whereas my paintings at that point in time were more where there were a little safer because I need to sell it and any food on the table. And so now I'm dealing with two different things, paintings that are considering the Western perception of what indigenous art is supposed to look like, uh, which will therefore inform whether or not it's cells. Uh, so in other words, um, I have to paint Cowboys in India. I don't paint Cowboys and Indians, but I'd have to paint Cowboys and Indians because that's familiar to non native people enough that they would want to buy that piece. Um, and I wasn't doing that, but I was doing something that was still familiar to Western eyes. And, um, and so I was creating work that was, um, I would call safe within the bounds of that. And I'd push a little bit here and there, but I was still conscious of the fact that like, I need to sell the work, but the performance art was like completely unapologetic and just like out there. Speaker 2 00:29:22 And like, if you don't like it, then screw you kind of thing. And so I had a little crisis where somebody was like, you know, uh, your performance work looks really badass, but your paintings, um, don't look like, you're sorry. And it's just like, ah, damn, like I need to figure out a way to put those things together. Um, and so, I mean, as an artist, having an honest conversation with myself, like what's wrong with my paintings, what's wrong with my performance art, you know? And, and then there's of course all the other things that come along with that, like, you know, what happened to me when I was a kid? Like what is going on right now? I've got five kids and I'm married and you know, there's different ways. We navigate things. And we were in Washington DC. We had to, we had to navigate, uh, the mascot debate with my children in a very specific way. Speaker 2 00:30:12 And so that's a reality. Um, and so there's a lot of little things like that about, you know, like right now, I think the, the big thing is that, um, I'm Brown and my hair is long. And you know, like by all intents and purposes, I look like a native person. Uh, my kids are all fair and that not a single one of them has hair as dark as mine, not a single one out of five. And so they have all been, uh, named by my tribe in tribal councils. Like, you know, Sage is a member of the pyramid Lake Paiute tribe. And so they've all been recognized by our tribe as belonging to our tribal community, where we have family, we still have like aunts and uncles and cousins and stuff that are there. And, uh, but they don't look the part I'm using air quotes. They don't look the part and that's going to be a struggle for them if they, if they decide to identify as a native person, but they look like white passing, that's going to be a big struggle for them. And that's not something that I necessarily have to deal with on the level that they're going to have to deal with. But like, that's something pretty serious. So representation matters because representation doesn't always look the way you think that it looks Speaker 3 00:31:30 Right. And you mentioned Sage and she is your oldest of the five. Right. And your daughter. And so if we go to that now with those thoughts, she was part of a performance work that you together did last summer in Denver. Yeah. Love to hear about that. And especially your experience as a father in this process, being out in public, where there is risk to how people respond. Speaker 2 00:31:58 Yeah. So, well, the, um, the piece we did last summer was part of a series called the invisible series. Um, so we actually, the first performance piece that we did together was, uh, called invisible loss movement. It was in, uh, I think September, 2018. Okay. We're both wearing, uh, indigenous regalia things that you might see at a powwow, but everything is black. So it's a black ribbon work, black bead work, black leather work, like everything is black on black, on black. And if any, if you've ever been to a powwow, you know, that those outfits are usually very colorful and the dance with the color of the outfits and the flowing of the outfits. Cause there's, you know, fringe and ribbon and like all kinds of stuff moving, uh, those movements are really important. So I took that outfit and I stripped it down and just made it black. Speaker 2 00:32:54 And it it's a metaphor like existing, but not existing being here, but not being here, being a shadow of sort of those things. Cause even in the sunlight, uh, everything is this monochromatic just black. And so she had an outfit, a jingle dress, and I had an outfit like a men's Northern traditional dance outfit and we would dance without music. Like nobody could hear the music Sage and I would have wireless headsets and uh, uh, wireless earphones. And so she would dance for us and I would dance second and then we would dance together. But we were in sync cause we could hear everything that was happening as it was happening. And um, so that was the first time that we did something together, um, which was pretty incredible, like going through that process. It was pretty awesome. Um, and then I did the invisible eulogy part of that series where I wear the same outfit, but their spoken word, uh, have a hand drum, like I'm doing all these things that are essentially like, uh, existing within spaces, um, which is sometimes uncomfortable for people. Speaker 2 00:33:57 You know, the hand drum could be loud and you know, maybe I'm singing, maybe I'm doing spoken word. I did that in a number of places. And then somebody came to us and said, Hey, I want you and your daughter to do the first one, the invisible loss movement together again. Well, it'd been about a year at that point. And uh, apparently, you know, young teenagers are still growing and so nothing fits her. And so we had a conversation. I was like, you know, well, the, the setup was that somebody built a plinth, like a, like a big platform, um, out of concrete. So it looked like a statue. I've seen photos of it. Yeah. Uh, and they put it, she was raised several feet up off the ground on this, uh, I think probably four, four and a half feet up. Um, and it was in front of the convention center, downtown Denver. Speaker 2 00:34:48 Um, and we weren't the only people, there was a lot of people that were doing it. So we were just one segment of that. And so I asked her, I said, well, what do you want to do? And so we talked about it and she essentially said that she wanted to do something about missing and murdered indigenous women, uh, which is an epidemic in this country. Uh, native women are at a higher, uh, rate, a higher risk of, uh, of sexual assault, of, uh, being, uh, murdered violence, like all of those things. And so there's an epidemic of indigenous women, um, that have been murdered and, and, or have been missing. Um, and there's no resources to pull that together. And there's been some efforts to try to create resources, but like they don't, there is a statistic for every race in this country, in those terms of, um, of sexual assault and murder and, you know, uh, domestic violence, like all that stuff, um, for every race except native people. Speaker 2 00:35:54 And so there's been an effort to try to bring awareness to them. And so Sage wanted to do something about that. And so, uh, we arranged to have a ribbon shirt, uh, ribbon dress made for her a skirt, which is a traditional, um, a traditional skirt that's used by natives. Um, and so it was red. Uh, she wore a red shirt and she had a red hand print, which the red hand print on the face is a symbol of that missing and murdered indigenous women. Um, and she wanted to do some spoken word, which she wrote, she's 13. She wrote it. And then she read the names of missing and murdered indigenous women, children, uh, and trans, there are some, there's some trans folks in there too. Uh, and she did that for about 10 minutes and just read it. And then I wore my black outfit and, uh, I hit the drum quietly, like as a heartbeat and just sort of like hovered around her as she did this. Speaker 2 00:36:56 Cause this was about her. I wasn't off, she was on the plinth. I was on the ground. And so I was just walking back and forth sort of in front of her, uh, doing this thing, not making too much noise. Um, the noise that I made was when she was done, you know, I did a couple things, um, and it was incredible because she kind of, she made that all happen and we get to collaborate and get to do a thing. She wants to be an artist. And so I'm trying to provide as many opportunities for her as possible to just have experiences. I don't know if she's going to be a performance artist, but she will have done that two different ways. And I think that's important for her as she's tries to grow and figure out what she wants to do. Speaker 3 00:37:38 Those are, it sounds like incredible guidance that you're able to provide and to be able to be there with her in this now. So as a father, myself, I'm thinking of this as the relationship of the two of you. These are important things. She is, I would say stepping up as a voice and, and leader in being willing to be out there in public and say these things. And it also occurs to me that with the work that you've done in your performances and identity being, you know, one of the things at the heart of that, she is also here working with identity. Like you just refer to your kids are white passing because they are fair, um, with hair and complexion. So they have an identity matter where they can have, they have different challenges than you do. So you understand challenges with identity yet they're different ones for your children. Speaker 2 00:38:29 Yeah. Yeah. Um, I don't know. We talk a, I mean, the stuff that I'm doing within my work, that even just the conversation is like we're having here are pretty normal in my household and I'm Sage is smart enough that she asks a lot of questions, but she also retains a lot. Um, my next kid is Phoenix. Who's 11 today. His birthday's today. Um, he's he, uh, I told him I had to wait til I got home to before he could open presence. He is good, man. He needs a little bit of that. Uh, but they, uh, you know, he's starting to come up and he's starting to ask questions, you know, and he's starting to get involved in things as well. Um, I'm fortunate in that, you know, Sage wants to be close to me. And so she relies on me for a lot of different things and, um, and Phoenix, the next one is not far off, you know, in that same way, uh, that he wants to, he wants to be connected to me and talk with me. And, uh, and so these are things that are just like normal parts of, you know, the, the conversation. Um, and I think it's important for them to be aware. Um, but I also think it's important to give them enough room to figure things out. They need to figure things out on their own as well. Um, as difficult as that may be. Speaker 4 00:39:54 I love that they're part of this with you. I know Sage has been part of things in the past as well. So some of the visual art aspects and, um, he, I am interested in seeing how this develops and where she decides she wants to go, but to see such a strong voice and motivation for it already is, is incredible. Speaker 2 00:40:15 You know, I, as a kid, I didn't have that. Um, I had to figure all this stuff out on my own and I, and I found it out through ways that are probably way less healthy, you know, in terms of, um, the way you express yourself. Um, I wanted to make sure that they, that my kids had healthy outlets and how healthy, outlooks on who they are, you know, like, uh, everything from, um, you know, sex and gender that they, that they have healthy outlooks on that. Uh, cause there was a lot of, there was a lot of, and I think, I think our generation has kind of like this, like when we were young, you were like shamed for like sex and all that other stuff. And like for being boys and I mean, we got five kids, I got three boys out of five kids. Speaker 2 00:41:00 There's a lot of penis talk happened in the house and I have two boys and it's kind of, it's funny, you know, but it's also like, I think it's also pretty normal, you know? And uh, whereas the house I grew up in was, was, uh, really strict about a lot of that stuff. And you didn't talk about it. You didn't deal with any of that. And I think that that makes it, um, difficult to navigate the world, you know, like it's OK to, you know, it's, it's okay that women have periods. It's okay that, you know, boys have penises. It's like, you gotta get through all that. Speaker 4 00:41:37 You know, the word navigation, that's something that is in conversation with me and my wife as she is my best friend. She's the one I try to talk with about what I feel like I'm navigating as a man with the current. Um, I feel like we're in a transition period when it comes to how we, uh, express and to our sons teach things like masculinity, how we walk in the world, how we, um, this is, this is a challenge to navigate. I think it's the transition is coming from the conventional thing of the stoic father who, um, might be the, the, the law in the house. And otherwise you don't hear from them much kind of thing to where I think we both are much more engaged the teaching thing. The fact that I would agree that in my house there was more of the, um, it was a bit quieter on how you talk about these things like body and so on. And I know that was just how a lot of that was done, but here we are trying to navigate, how do we teach the things we feel like need to be there? The world is different. What does that like for you? Speaker 2 00:42:44 I, you know, it's been interesting. So my father grew up in the South and the South, like those gender roles are just concrete, man. They don't move. Right. And so his dad didn't talk a lot, you know, there's that whole sort of quiet dad. Um, but I'm going to beat the hell out of you if you step out of line kind of thing. Um, my dad had that for sure. Um, as he got older, I think he started kind of figuring out, uh, how to, how to be a little softer on some things. Um, but you know, I never, I never saw my father cry, uh, until the last ass on him, like before you passed away. And um, so I mean, that's a lifetime, you know, but, um, I think it's a little things, you know, like my youngest, uh, my youngest son, his name is Grayson and he's just like, uh, uh, Pink's a girl's color. I'm like, no, dude, it's just a color. You know, frozen is a girl's movie. No, it's just a movie. You know, Speaker 4 00:43:51 We painted our wall here in the studio, big, bold pink. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:43:54 Yeah. It's a great complimentary color to the gray. So, you know, it just, you know, it's like little things like that, you know? And, and so I've made a point and, and this is that sort of quiet, stoic dad thing, um, is something that I find my, a pitfall that I find myself in sometimes, but like Phoenix is my most defiant. And so if he breaks a rule, he gets in trouble. Maybe he gets yelled at. Um, but I always go back to them. I always go back to him. It was just like, listen, but you know, I, I, you know, I love you. I care about you. Like, you're one of my favorite people, you know, on whole planet. Yeah. But you, but you got to cut it out, you know, you can't do that. Like, that's why you're getting in trouble. You're not getting in trouble because I don't like you, you're not getting true. So that process of sort of, of, of helping him understand that, um, him getting in trouble is not part of love. I mean, it is part of love, but not part of love the way that he probably thinks is part of love, you know, in terms of, uh, Oh my dad doesn't like me because he's yelling at me and that's not, that's not how that works. It's complicated, but that's not how that works. Right. Speaker 4 00:45:04 Try to think through, because we have those conversations at our house too, and that's very different than, um, you know, my dad was, is a gentle man. He, he wasn't the angry beach up kind of, of dad. I would say he was quiet. And I think in general parenting again, recognizing it was probably pretty common at that time is, well, you're the, they're the kid. Here's what you need to do. And that's that we try to give an explain, well, here's why here's the reason for this thing. And we try to have those things that the conversation like what you were just saying. And I just find it hard to navigate when it feels like to me, sometimes things that I probably have internalized as this is the way you parent based on how either I was parented or what I saw as a kid from other parents, um, how, you know, some of those things kind of creep in. Sometimes they do, and it's hard to balance. Now this is the dad. I want to be, this is the way we are moving forward and not to let the conventional fallback come into play where maybe I do get a little temper over something and realize, know that that wasn't really needed. It was not a big deal. Speaker 2 00:46:15 Yeah. I mean, I think for my dad and for his dad as well, I was, he was 19 when I was born. And then my father was a child when I was born, you know? And, uh, I had my first, uh, I think I was 29 maybe with our first. Um, and then my last, uh, is four years old. I mean, so I was, I was in my forties. And so there's a lot of things that change, you know, within that timeframe. And it's a good point. And so, uh, and figure out, you know, when you're 19 years old and you're full of piss and vinegar, you know, it's really hard to, to navigate that stuff. Uh, when you're a little bit older, you've at least had some experiences. And I think that's why I tend, I get more calm with each kid that comes along. Speaker 2 00:47:04 We're done by the way we have five that's enough. But, um, but I think it's also important, like as adults that we recognize that we're not perfect and we're doing the best we can. And, uh, if you haven't reached that point already, you probably will reach a point when you realize that, you know, your parents weren't perfect and that they did the best they could. And it did. Yeah. He did better than his dad. So I mean, there's progress, you know, but it's links in that chain, I think. Yeah. Yeah. And I think each generation, like there's less trauma with each generation. I mean, I know my grandfather probably got the hell beat out of him. I know my dad did. And, uh, and I know I did, but I also know I didn't get it as bad as my dad had it. And so there's progress to things, but I think as long as we try to try to be as good as we can be and communicate, communicate a main thing, like he's got to reiterate to my kid that like, I care, you know, and that's, that's the big one. I don't want any of my kids walking away from my house ever believing that I didn't have anything less than, than love for them. Absolutely. That that's, that is something I think that is new with our generation. Uh, and hopefully with proceeding generations Speaker 4 00:48:17 And for me, apologies as well. I think it's really important to be willing instead of seeing that as a weakness, to see that instead as, as, um, a type of strength and a willingness to be soft in that way, instead of everything. Speaker 2 00:48:32 Yeah. That's a thing, right. The infallibility of our parents, there is no infallibility. So when you find out that they are humans, they make mistakes. It's shocking. Yeah. And it shouldn't be, it shouldn't be shocking. Yeah. Speaker 4 00:48:45 Moving along here to a question, this is something that we had talked about a little bit in our previous conversation, but I want to extend this line of thought. And you used to have on your Instagram profile, this line I'm tongue in cheek saying that you were the proprietor of broken dreams. We talked about it before, but to extend that and wondering, well, first, if you would briefly lay out what you meant by that, but then if we go from there, I'll follow up with another piece I Speaker 2 00:49:14 Tongue and cheek. Uh, it, it, you know, when I first started, uh, like full time when I first was like, um, okay, we're just going to make art and try to live off of that. It was in the middle of the recession. There were no other choices. And I created this piece because we were getting a lot of criticism, my wife and I, for the decisions that we were making by friends and family. And, and, uh, it was just the compounding of like, not having income, not having any, uh, you know, anything coming up behind it, uh, trying to do the best you can and the perception that you are essentially a loser because you can't pull it together. Um, which I don't believe it was, was our fault. I believe that it was just the circumstances of, of the recession in 2008 and into 2009. Speaker 2 00:50:10 And, uh, and so the lack of compassion that exists within that space, I just, I made this piece, it was called dreamers and losers. And, um, it was a self portrait of me. I had a friend who was a makeup artist and she, she basically made me up to look like I just got the crap beat out me and I did a self portrait of it. And there's all these other elements in this piece, but it said, um, it said something about, uh, essentially that like admission is free for dreamers and losers is what it said. But what it was about was the idea that those who dream are losers and those who are losers dream, um, this idea that if we chase after our dreams, that there is a perception of our worth based on what that dream is. So if I want to be an artist while you're just going to be starving and you're just a loser and you need to get a job. Speaker 2 00:51:04 And, uh, whereas like, if I want to be a money manager, like there's a whole power structure in place for me to be able to do that. Right. And, um, and so at that time we were getting a lot of criticism and a lot of things that were happening. And so the dreamers and losers I created as sort of a statement for that time and place. Um, but the proprietor broken dreams. Yeah. I mean, it's just kind of this idea that like, people believed that I was chasing after a dream and that, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't right. It wasn't appropriate. It wasn't gonna work. Like, I mean, I literally had somebody be like, what kind of man are you like you can't provide for your family. And, um, Speaker 3 00:51:46 Not surprising I guess, but wow. Speaker 2 00:51:48 Yeah. I mean, it, it, I I'd be remiss if I didn't say I have heard those things in my life, uh, before I got married and had kids, you know, those sort of concepts, but, um, I think that there's power in dreams, but, uh, I don't know. It was, I think it was an extension of that sort of dreamers and losers statement to be a proprietor of broken dreams. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:52:12 And, and of course that is, and the reason I asked you to go ahead and talk about that again, is because it is such a common experience. And for, for people who are trying to live creative lives, that the deck is kind of stacked against you. Whereas you had mentioned before, even I reviewed what we had talked about before and how, um, I just feel like this is so on the head, we could go get an internship and be unpaid, you know, be an unpaid intern somewhere, and everybody's cheering you on that. You're, you're really launching your career. You're starting off, you're getting that experience. But if you're struggling to get paid and following your heart and doing what it is, you really have to contribute to the world. It's a much different challenge, but, but here's where I want to extend this. This line of thought is we're talking about external factors, the way people treat this idea of being artists, that myth of the starving artist and that, and that you're not necessarily even contributing to society and what you're doing, if it's just not something that they're into, you know, they don't understand it in that way that we view it. Speaker 3 00:53:08 But there is a book that I've mentioned before it's called the war of art. It's I think probably pretty popular is written by Steven Pressfield. And he uses a term in that with kind of, I'll put a capital R on it, even if he did and that's resistance and that, that comes in all forms. So it includes the external also is significant within us that it's that voice that year, that you might meet that force of resistance within you 10,000 times a day is you're just trying to get through your work. You're trying to get through a series of something, a collection of paintings, whatever it is. And I'm curious about that experience of resistance that you, um, surely are accustomed to, you know, have, have felt for many years now from within. Speaker 2 00:53:50 Yeah. Um, I, you know, I don't know, I have friends that work regular jobs, uh, and I see all of the frustration and all of the struggle that goes within that. Um, and, and I'm not saying that having a regular, you know, a straight job is, uh, is a bad thing. I mean, that's sort of the model that our country is built upon. Um, but I see a lot of struggle. Like I see struggle with people because it doesn't have this sort of self reflective process. That's a part of that. And hopefully they're being, self-reflective beyond their jobs. Um, but it's hard not to be defined by those things. I mean, if you're working five days a week and you know, you're commuting or, you know, whatever you're doing, family. Yeah. You know, it's, it's a lot to balance. And the artwork to me is a it's kind of healing because, you know, you're just, you're creating something, but it's also, you know, in trying to figure out subject matter, trying to figure out process, trying to figure out like what's important, how you feel about different things. Speaker 2 00:55:02 Like all of those things really come into, um, being self reflective and pushing through things that, you know, other people might shy away from. Other people might be like, ah, this is uncomfortable. Like I quit. This is uncomfortable. Um, and so there's, there's a truth that exists, I think, within artists and trying to figure out like, like, yeah, uh, I don't have any money. You know, things are a struggle, um, as opposed to, uh, other folks that are like trying to live off of credit and credit cards and everything else that are like, no, everything's fine. You know, like success and happiness is this crushing weight that's upon my shoulders. You know, like, there's, there's this, there's this, uh, stark reality that kind of exists within the wa for me, it's been this way, you know, it's like, uh, do I have money to go buy some canvases? Speaker 2 00:56:00 Well, no. Uh, but I have enough money. I can go to Lowe's and I can buy a sheet of wood for 50 bucks. And then I can bring that, you know, eight foot by four foot sheet of wood home, and I can cut it down and I can turn those, those into small wood panel canvases, um, which is what I did like in the early years, because that's all I could afford to do. And, um, and being able to progress and grow and, you know, get more opportunities and, you know, you make a better income because it's a constant push, but there's a constant, realistic conversation. I'm also having with myself and my wife and I are having to, I mean, we're, we're talking like, yeah, we're, we're in a spot. You know, we got to figure out how to get, get through this. And so there's, um, so much truth that I don't think you can help, but be self reflective in that there was, you know, in the early years, particularly when the recession was happening and we were going to lose our house and, you know, we just, I had put in applications for jobs and I was just trying to get it to work out and it wasn't working out at all. Speaker 2 00:57:05 Like everything was just falling apart. But the one thing that I always had control over is whether or not I could go in the studio and work, you know, whether I could shut my mind off from the stress and just make some work, which was freeing for me. And I feel terrible because I don't think my wife had the same thing that for her, it was the reality all the time. Um, but we, you know, you push forward and you make it work, but like, you still have to be honest with yourself, you know, like there were moments where, uh, all we had was what we had in front of us, what, what my wife prepared and my kids were still hungry. And I gave them my food that happened several times. And, uh, how can you not be self reflective in a moment like that? Speaker 2 00:57:50 You know? And so those are the things that, that happen. Um, but then also just, even in, in being comfortable and having everything you need, your bills are paid, you've got a roof over your head, you've got food in your belly. Uh, what am I making? How am I making it? What's the voice that goes along with that, um, is that voice real is a voice true. You know, does this look contrived? Does this, I mean, so you're still, even in that moment in that process, you're, self-reflective because you're trying to create something that's good. Um, so you have to be self reflective on the process. You have to be self reflective on the finished product. You gotta be self reflective on the, on the voice, the message, like all of the bits and pieces that go along with that. Um, I, I think it's really hard to be that self-reflective when you're, uh, an insurance agent, you know, like when you're managing somebody's money, cause that's like a totally different thing. Speaker 3 00:58:47 Yeah. Every, every bit of those examples that you use, those are things where so many of us, you know, when, when you don't have the money for that full canvas, especially not at the size of eight by four, that's something where an awful lot that, you know, it makes the difference between pushing through, because you come up with another idea or saying, well, I guess I'm not meant to be an artist right now, you know, as if that's the only way to do it. And so that form of resistance, those questions, those doubts, those fears, should I spend any money? I mean, we're, we're kind Speaker 4 00:59:22 Of struggling right now with food, but if I can get somebody to buy this, right, that's the point, then we have all of them Speaker 2 00:59:28 We need, um, I think there's an interaction that's happening, like in, in working in that way and in the self reflection that goes along with it, which I don't think is a choice. I think it's there, whether you like it or not in those situations, um, I think is also like coupled with sort of principles of faith, which may or may not be tied to religious belief. Um, but faith, nonetheless, you know, like faith that I know what I'm doing is right. I know what I'm doing has value. I know what I'm doing is going to provide is like, you're, you're weighing all these options, but the level of faith and faith, really being a hope for things that are not seen, but you believe that are true, are the ways that we sort of help navigate that space. And I don't think that like, most people don't work that way. Speaker 2 01:00:29 Um, even people who are very religious, I don't think understand the principles of faith until they have to put faith in action and, uh, and believe in themselves, or believe in their partners or believe in their kids. Like there's, there's moments in time where we get those things, I think. But like, if we're having a really honest conversation about, um, how I got here, there is a lot of elements of finding peace, uh, finding faith, trusting process, trusting my partner, her trusting me. Um, and, and just always looking forward with an eye towards hope. You know, it's like, okay, I'm not eating today because I want to make sure that my kids get all the food that they want. Um, but I believe that something will come through tomorrow, tomorrow will be a better day. And then you end up living day to day on that kind of stuff, you know, and, and, uh, which is a hard thing to do, but also I think a necessary tool and just being able to make it to where you need to make it, make it in terms of, you know, a place that's safer for you, safer for your family or whatever, but there's, there's elements. Speaker 2 01:01:47 I think there's principles of faith and peace and long suffering and, uh, and patience and trust. And so it's, it's all of those things, which I, I just don't think you can easily dismiss. Um, cause I think everybody, you know, there there's a few artists that are well off because of the families they come from. So I don't have to worry about that stuff. Uh, most of us are coming from a place of having a dream, having a hope and trying to move forward, those dreams and hopes, and also trying to navigate the systems and the power structures that we, that have been put upon us. You're supposed to go to college, you're supposed to finish college and get a job and work that job from nine to five until you die. And, uh, I don't think that that's true. And as we break out of that, that sort of model, we find freedom, even in our restrictive state, not having enough money. For example, we find freedom in being able to follow those things. Speaker 3 01:02:50 All of this that we've talked about speaks to obviously creativity, but an awful lot of human too. And humanity is about humans and creativity. So with this last question, even though we've spoken to this indirectly, I'm curious if you can sort of summarize if there's a distilled sense in you of how it is that you live or try to live humanness and I'll say, and or creativity, if there's one aspect of that or the other you'd like to emphasize. Speaker 2 01:03:16 Yeah, I think, um, I think my process, I mean, I've been doing this for awhile and so I'm pretty, I feel pretty dialed in. Um, I mean I surprise myself from time to time, but I feel pretty dialed in. Um, what I've realized though is that there are people that I come into contact with that, uh, her also looking for something, either as artists or as people that like my work, like they're, they're looking for something they're searching for something. And, um, and so I find it really important in my creative process to make sure that I am always available, that I'm always present. Um, cause I get to present my work a lot. I get to travel around the country and speak about art and activism and decolonization and all of the different elements that are within my work. Um, but there's always people that are like, Hey, can I talk to you? Speaker 2 01:04:11 Like, how did you do this? How did you do that? Like what can I do to do this? I don't understand this principle. Can you explain that to me more? And, and so I always answer emails. I always take the phone call. So I always will sit and talk with people and especially young people trying to encourage them. Like if a young person comes to me as just like, Oh, your work means so much to me, you know, these things and that things are important. And you know, I really just, um, can, can you give me some advice or something like, I'm always there for that. And, um, and so that sort of creating relationships, creating an air of, um, assessability has always been important since my first performance piece that's been important because after my first performance piece, you know, we we've gotten the Huffington post in, um, I think August, 2013. Speaker 2 01:05:05 And then I ended up in the Washington post. They did a huge piece on the last American Indian on earth, the following spring in the Washington post magazines, like part of their Sunday edition. Um, I started getting emails, particularly from like young native youth that were like, you know, this means a lot to me. And, and this means something to me and you know, this is my story. So they're sharing their stories with me. And I remember going to my wife and being like, Hey, you know, there's this thing happening that I didn't expect. Like, there's all these young people that are sending me emails and they're reaching out to me and they're telling me their story and they're trying to connect. And like, I don't, I didn't expect this to happen. And then we had this deliberate conversation where she's like, look like you have to stay humble. You have to stay approachable. You have to answer every single email. You need to take every single phone call. You need to like, that needs to be part of the work. And that's an incredible blessing to me because, um, when somebody tells me their story, I carry that with me everywhere I go, like from an indigenous point of view, that's important. Our stories are important and I carry those stories everywhere I go. And I take that stuff very seriously because I didn't have that when I was, Speaker 5 01:06:27 I didn't have anybody. Yeah. Speaker 2 01:06:29 Giving me those opportunities. I mean, the reason why I'm pulling Sage into these performance pieces and she was actually down at crush with me last summer, helping me with the murals that I was doing in crushing, the rhino district of Denver is because I didn't have anybody showing me anything. I wasn't having any experiences. I got to where I am because I fumbled through it. And I figured it out and I worked my butt off. I don't feel like it needs to be that difficult for younger generations, whether you're my kid or you're not my kid, I don't think it needs to be that difficult. The assessability of our experiences needs to be shared with other people so that other people can be like, Oh, it doesn't have to be that hard. Like I can just go and do this. I don't have to seek permission. Speaker 2 01:07:11 Permission, you know, permissions and committees are the death of art. You know, those are the things that do not perpetuate, uh, artistic and free thought. Those are the things that are confined within, uh, the systems that have been created the jobs, the 95. It's really hard to be creative when you're in a nine to five, because you have a job to do for most of the day, most of your waking hours. And so that accessibility has been incredibly important and it, I feel like it humanizes me in my work and keeps me pushing on those ideas. Like, uh, how does this work? How does this connect to other people? How could it connect to other people? How would I react, uh, connection? You know, what if there's a negative reaction, how does that connect? And where does that tie in? So all of these things ultimately ended up being about, you know, how I navigate things, uh, as a person emotionally, physically, spiritually, like, how am I, how am I processing Speaker 0 01:08:16 All of those things? Um, and I think it's an incredible gift to be able to have just any part of that in my life. Any part of it, thank you for sharing for all of this. It was great to have you back to talk with me for Humana too, but also now that it's in podcast, so people get to hear right from you. This has been wonderful. So thank you very much. Yeah. Thank you for having me. You got a good thing going there. Thank you. All right. That's the thing with Greg deal. This go around. Remember, like I said, up front in this episode, Greg initially was featured on the site in a two part readable Q and a definitely go give that a [email protected], where there are 75 more readable interviews with other amazing artists, spiritual practitioners, civic leaders, and others. It's a list that is inclusive and diverse, enlightening, and thought provoking. Speaker 0 01:09:07 And what Greg shared then, and there was equally as edifying stuff, uh, as he did today. And I think ought to be considered essential reading. It's important, powerful stuff, things that I'm sure many of us listening to this had no idea until we heard him tell us if you've got feedback on the podcast, you can reach me by [email protected] or by Instagram, DM at Humana to be kind, but there's no reason to be shy. Let me hear from you and let your friends hear from you too. If you think this podcast about humanness and creativity is in their lane, sharing and caring is how we're going to grow this thing. So I appreciate you're spreading the word. You can follow, listen and download the humanity podcast on our site, Humana to.co and through major podcast players. Until next time I'll leave you with this thought, how are you living humanist and creativity in your life? I'm your podcast, creator and host Adam Williams. Thanks for listening.

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