Saturday, September 16, 2023

Breathe Fire

Way back in the late 1970's, my actor boyfriend offered to pay for me to get head shots. He wanted me to go into the theater with him. However, I was a young writer and had different dreams. And so, I posed as a typically successful writer of my era. This meant wearing my black turtleneck sweater, along with a pipe, and most important--the insouciant grin.

The literary lions of this time--Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, Delmore Schwartz--they were very busy getting very drunk and starting fist fights at the White Horse Tavern.

Across town, at the Cedar Tavern--Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, and George Plimpton held court. And before that—Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, Robert Benchley and Harpo Marx convened uptown at the Alqonquin Hotel's round table.

All this was a form of branding—although that's not what they called it.

Even Frida Kahlo and Maxime Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Alice Neel, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell self-branded in their subtle or not-so-subtle ways. Oh my goodness--think of Yayoi Kusama and her bright red wig, the bright red lipstick. Her dots!

Creative Friends--why shouldn't your personal style be a reflection of your art? With this in mind, your prompt for this week is to do a little wardrobe editing. Ask yourself what clothes and accessories best represent my creativity? This should not involve buying anything new. Rather, treat your wardrobe like a secret treasure map to hidden meanings and clues. That teal-blue vintage kimono with the golden dragon—you know the one. It’s hidden in the back of your closet. Is it trying to tell you something about yourself? Perhaps it frightens you a little. Plus, it's got a tiny hole under the arm.

Good. Get it out. Repair it and wear it. This is branding on a higher level.

This dragon is you. Breathe fire, my friend.

And as always, have fun.

Love, Jamie

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