We had reservations for dinner with our friends Deanne and Kurt. Deanne hailed us from the bar waving the latest copy of Sports Illustrated. “LOOK!” She gestured to the photo of Jabari Parker dribbling his basketball.
I immediately exclaimed, “you made the cover!”
“Yes,” she gloated. “I made the cover.”
The waiter glanced at the magazine and then at my blue-eyed, blond friend and gave us a puzzled look.
Which made me think about art.
What we do, as artists, is important . And the more we create art, the less it is about us, and the more is is about the work itself, the product, maybe the process, but not necessarily the personality. Deanne is also featured on the cover of a photography magazine – which, for her, was all well and good, but this Sports Illustrated cover represents her WORK, it is her ART and that is why she was so excited. And we were excited on her behalf.
This is all reflected in the very short sentence: you made the cover. The way we spoke of it amused me. Look, this is me. I hold up a book written and published by a client and say: this is me, this is my work and my success. The client will receive the kudos, the client will receive the money, but I birthed it, I helped make it happen because this is my work, my contribution.
I use to think that making the cover of Sports Illustrated meant a picture wearing a tiny bikini no larger than the sand grains on a Jamaican beach. I used to think that modeling was the ultimate in recognition, the ultimate career.
I was wrong. To create a cover, rather to appear on the cover, that is art, that is real excitement. It’s not about having your picture taken, it’s about taking the picture.