This was an interesting story to me on so many levels. This was my third nice paying gig as a street artist. For years I did what I did because it was what I felt I had to do and I enjoyed doing it. The thought of getting paid for it was so alien to me it’s crazy.
So I get this phone call from a friend telling me Breitbart wanted to meet me to do some art for them. I’d heard of them but not much. The stories of Andrew were very fresh especially considering he’d just passed away somewhat recently. Being a political junky I’d already spent years mainlining political news right when it started. By the time Breitbart, Glenn Beck and that crowd were up and running I was down shifting so I didn’t really get a good enough dose of the new guard. Strangely enough the people who did follow Breitbart were already complaining about the quality of their reporting going down hill. … It was all new to me. ‘Screw it! I’d love to meet with them,’ I thought.
It was hilarious that their offices were right across the street from my thursday night AA meeting. My crazy little world just got a little more colorful I guess. The office area was smaller than I thought I’d be and far less busy. You know how you see in the movies, newsrooms bustling with people throwing papers all over the place, yelling about getting the story out on time. There was none of that. Just a secretary and a few of guys. I was introduced to the team, they all seemed cool, I was into what they needed from me, which was … They wanted me to create and distribute a street poster for the launch. I asked, “why not four? One for each side of the boxes I usually cover.” They liked the idea.
The first idea came out easy. It was of Andrew on a skateboard, catching air with a Hollywood sign under him. At this point I wished I’d of shut my mouth so that would have been it … but again I knew more posters meant more money so … I guess it worked out. Not to mention I managed to piss Nancy Pelosi off with the second poster which was of her twerking in that provocative Molly Cyrus pose. The DNC demanded an apology for that one. They didn’t get it, at least not from me.
The long and short of this story is the launch went fucken awesome!!! A ton of attention for the launch, we pissed off the Left, the posters turned out great. Personally I did way more work than I should have. Even worse I signed the rights to the images away which really pissed me off. I’d never done that before. As gay as this might sound, the images I create are like my children. I don’t like selling them much less signing the rights to them away. I remember been so drunk when I signed the contract that I literally did’t remember signing it. I could make this a really long story but I’ve already lost interest in writing it so I’ll be brief. I felt at home at Breitbart. Don’t ask me why but I felt like there was a kindred spirit there, like it was my home. I didn’t feel like I was at a job interview or that I was less-than the way I did when I’d find myself interviewing with design firms or ad agencies. I felt good there. I was there to fight and I let them know it.
Right off the bat I let these guys know that I was there to fight and if I for one second I thought they weren’t I’d take their heads. And I meant it. “Andrew didn’t fight for the sake of fighting,” they told me. I guess I could appreciate that but honestly I couldn’t help but wonder how true that was. People often ask me why I’m so angry. I can only respond, “how can you be in times like these?” I also let them know that I had no intentions of being Breitbart’s or anyone’s boy. I’m not sure they got that, “You don’t know how to negotiate do you,” was their response. Even if I was one to negotiate, SABO is not.
I’ll admit to this being a bit odd but I take what I do very seriously. It’s my belief that the more friends I have the less I as SABO can say. So I keep the friends and relationships down to an absolute minimum.
In the end I made sure Breitbart got first crack at every story I created but for whatever reason they refused to run with many of them and if they did they did it so late other news sources were getting the meat of the attention for them. This let me down. This had me believe that they weren’t in it the way I was. Then it pissed me off.
Doing what I do is something that for ten or so years I did completely alone. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve started working with other people much less selling art. I honestly wish every meeting I’ve had turned out well but it hasn’t turned out that way. As time goes by I learn a little here and a little there in terms of how to deal with people, especially the press. It’s just going to take time.