Often I am asked what I listen to in the studio. Although I listen to my fair share of punk, metal, and rock n roll, I actually listen to quite a few podcasts. Recently I was listening to an episode of W.T.F. by comedian Marc Maron. In this particular episode he is interviewing veteran actor, Danny Trejo. You may know Trejo as the tough guy, ex-con, and all around “bad guy” in most of his movies. His roster includes Con-Air, From Dusk til Dawn (personal favorite), and Machete.
For all intents and purposes, his past was rough and troublesome. As a young teenager, Trejo was brought in to work for his drug dealing uncle and eventually spent time in prison. He managed to recover after serving his time and became the lovable bad guy we all know.
During the interview while discussing “rage”, he recalls a time during his recovery while driving on the 405 in California during rush hour. Traffic was as you may have heard, a bear, and someone sped by, cutting him off. Trejo got so mad he wanted to follow the driver and beat them to a pulp. He caught himself before the rage took over. Thinking to himself, “I have no idea what’s going on with that person. They may be late for work or an appointment. A family member may be in an emergency. Or maybe they are simply just a jerk, so what?” And this one really struck a chord with me: “They are simply in a bigger hurry than I am.” I have felt such a relief after hearing these words. It has been my mantra when getting behind the wheel as well as navigating the social dynamics of life.
Acceptance is the first word that popped into my head and then Billy Joel’s “I Love You Just the Way You Are” echoed in my brain. This is what spawned these recent paintings. Understanding and acceptance. To love unconditionally.
Listen to your heart,