This week I received a request to perform for one of the political parties at their National Convention this fall in the United States.
The first question for me was not, is it the Republicans or the Democrats? The first question we always ask on every inquiry…. Is this a good opportunity to share our message and grow our brand?
Ultimately, we respectfully declined the offer.
The opportunity for media exposure was clear. The honor in being acknowledged as an artist was clear. The end goal for sharing our message and staying true to our brand alignment was less focused.
The reason we declined the offer was because the invitation was – to perform a live painting of the candidate only – it did not include sharing my Art of Vision message from the platform. It was an artistic performance that could be mis- construed as an endorsement of one candidate over the other. The risk of being labeled and disabled by the media outweighed the merit of performing in such a prestigious venue. My ego loved the idea and the exposure, but the opportunity did not align with our brand “Art is Freedom.”
Our brand is bi-partisan. To be associated by the media with one and not the other was not in line with our brands greater mission and values. I have…and will continue to accept edgy and provocative engagements that will push the boundaries, but not at the expense of boxing myself in.
Please don’t mistake this as a “sad discourse on our politics or media.” The media has been a tremendous boon to enable my career to flourish. But I also understand it can be used against me as easily as it has worked for me. In the future I would be delighted to entertain an offer to share my larger message at either parties convention in the right format.