By Tom Flynn
What would you do with a drunken sailor? Post his scab.
Put my pants back on, I put my heart through the wash.’
I went to a gig alone tonight.
Never been to a gig alone before,
But a particular set of serendipitous circumstances meant I went to this particular gig all by my lonesome.
I was first surprised at my actual going alone, a previous me would not have been so brave.
I was secondly surprised at my immense enjoyment of the proceedings.
Didn’t think I was much good at having fun by myself, especially without the aid of an internet connection.
But fuck me did I have fun.
That was among, if not the best gig, I’ve ever been to.
It was an Irish artist called Kojaque.
A north Dublin, white, working class rapper.
Several of the prior adjectives I’m sure you have never seen strewn together in a single sentence before, but they are all in fact constituents of what our dear Kojaque is.
I realised very quickly I was in the presence of genius.
Proper artistic genius.
Now throwing around that term may get me in trouble with anyone with a degree in something relatively useless, but I stand by my assertion.
I will perhaps relent to improper use however, in so much that I have my own definition;
An artistic genius is someone who makes me feel as if this work was made for me and me alone, in a room full of people who feel just as I do.
And he nailed that buzz.
Kinda hurts a little if I’m honest, someone a touch younger than me being able to hold a crowd in rapture with things we’ve all thought but never spoken aloud.
Makes me feel like a bit of a coward really.
See I’ve always wanted to be an artist.
Like a real artist.
Not an ‘I draw pretty things’ artist as many people presume the definition of the former to be, anyone who knows me would giggle at that, but a narrative artist.
Someone who does what Kojaque does only with stories instead of songs.
But I don’t.
I don’t even try.
I do ads.
I struggle against other people trying to make things literally no one outside the people in the industry give a donkey’s bollox about.
How fucking miserable is that?
A success in our books is be only so entertaining as to not be noticed being intrusive.
I suppose I’m scared.
I want the security of a creative job with a salary.
I want the prestige of working in advertising.
I’m too cowardly to be an artist, so
I’m a creative (this is not to say all creative are cowards, the opposite in fact, i am a coward among the courageous, who do as I but do what I wish to do as well. Tarun and Rachel, looking at you pair of fucking geniuses.)
Now I’m not saying I’m better than ads.
I’m not even good enough to be doing ads.
I just feel so ashamed to call myself creative when I’m exposed to genius like that.
It makes me want to make proper art, the same way ‘The Wire’ or ‘The Last of Us’ or ‘Over the Garden Wall’ or ‘The Crossing’ does.
I just wonder you know, at a time when making great ads is fucking hard thanks to targeting and media agencies, and making great narrative is so much easier thanks to the internet and streaming services, why haven’t I written that cartoon I’ve wanted to write since I was thirteen or so?
Suppose I’m not quite there yet.
Or maybe I like the idea of being a writer more than I like writing.
I just ain’t doing what five year old me would like proud of me doing.
But I have faith I will.
Maybe Patch and I will pack in this current brief and write a cartoon about horses.
That’d be sweet.
Since I’m a little gargled, I shall leave you with a line from Kojaque which sums up my angry adolescence in a single line, the way I’m always trying to do in ads;
‘… cause I don’t know what I want and I’m willing to die for it.