Today I want to bring to your attention the ongoing life’s work of two very different, but amazingly simpatico artists’ work. Wayne White and Dan Crowley.
Wayne White came to my attention in the later 1980’s because I was a big huge fan of PeeWee’s Playhouse. He was a big part of it’s look and insanity. I would sit on the couch and watch that crazy show every Saturday morning; and I was ostensibly a ‘grown up’ already. I was in my 20’s anyway; same age as the show creators as it turns out. I wasn’t much of an artist in those days – I certainly wasn’t pursuing it in any big way, but I sure knew what I liked. I liked the colors, the light touch, and the full-on-crazy world those people invented!
It was all so inspirational. But I wasn’t ready yet to make art big time so I just let that influence percolate.
About ten years later I had become a full time artist and that’s when I got to meet Dan Crowley. He and I were both showing our work at a national fine craft show and I was blown away by the clear voice of his clay sculptures. Later I came to be amazed at his sheer will power and persistence in pursuing his dreams.
Below is the movie trailer for a documentary made about Wayne and his career. It’s a fascinating look at the whirlwind that surrounds a creative dynamo. After watching this movie I realized just how much Wayne and the others who co-created PeeWee’s Playhouse had influenced me. They set a course that opened the world up to my kind of art! Since seeing this I have befriended Mimi Pond, Wayne’s awesome cartoonist wife, on Facebook where I get to stay in touch with their energy. (She’s getting ready to release a book soon – count on me talking about it when she does.)
“Beauty is Embarrassing” – Wayne’s documentary
That’s Wayne with a giant paper mache’ head dancing with Mimi in the trailer still.
Success is a Life Well Lived – Dan Crowley’s Story
Next is a super tribute a film student made of Dan about his life’s passions. This is so totally worth your while to have a look at because in it we learn how pursuing art as his career has had its challenges and hasn’t been the lucrative, easy path you might think someone of his amazing depth and talent would have (yet – it’s always yet with people like me and Dan). But financial gains is so not what his career has been all about. His life is rich and full and his work has made gentle strides in changing bad days to good days for thousands of people.
So there you are. Two creative Life Forces who have both inspired and influenced me – each with a film that helps us all understand why it is they do what they do. I love how Wayne’s financial success hasn’t ruined his output – and Dan’s struggles haven’t ruined his either. Seen together now we have a chance to understand how money is so beside the point for most of what real art is about.
People always wonder “How can I tell if this art is real or good?” THIS is how, by looking at the creator. If money isn’t the driving factor then I will tell you, you are looking at genuine art. Now you know.