There is a controversial piece of artwork in my PR office my husband brought into our marriage called, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” a Gottfried Helnwein parody of Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks.” The history behind each delights me and I find parallels to each artist’s life in my own. I find great joy in any kind of artwork, especially mass-produced replicas of famous pieces. It has me ponder why people find the art so compelling. In college, I frequently visited the Art Institute of Chicago. On my first visit, I was so moved to be in front of an original piece of art so historically significant, I cried as I stood in front of Georges Seurat’s, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – 1884.” In high school, I had attended a performing arts high school and studying humanities thrilled me. Art, in any form – popular or not – still thrills me. But does art mimic life or does life mimic art? The same question is being asked today about the media. When does the news cycle report and when does it indoctrinate its viewers, listeners, and readers? This piece of artwork may shed light. ?
In my twenties, I worked for the second richest man in Cincinnati, and in our office, a penthouse overlooking the city, I sat next to Mark Rothko’s precious original artwork. I felt so honored. Art reminds me of my humanity and how precious life is. Yet, mass production is what makes rare pieces of art popular. Like art posters, PR is simply the mass production of a message. It’s not just the message; it’s how the message makes people feel about their own lives.
People email to tell me to take down “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” for this reason or that. I also hear from people about how much they love the image seen in my office through video chats – for this reason or that. Either way, it does its duty as art: it makes you reflect on life itself. So, I leave it up not only to make my husband happy but also because it’s a good reminder to me and everyone else about their “why” behind actions. The “why” of success is as infinite and unique as each human walking the planet today.
The macro question this piece of art reminds us of is, “Are YOU on your own boulevard of broken dreams?” The pandemic has made everyone present to health and how life can be lost instantly. In 2019, people resisted video chat meetings with me. I had been doing video chats consistently since 2008. My dream in 2002, when I co-founded Wasabi Publicity was to “wake up and work” so I could live near whitewater rivers on which to kayak and near national forests in which I could hike. My dreams came true. However, I almost went down the boulevard of broken dreams as well. I had waited until 2020 to write the memoir I’ve been wanting to write for 30 years. When I started working on Clayton Moore’s campaign, “Good Cop, Black Cop: Guilty Until Proven Innocent,” I was so moved and inspired, I gave my word to completing my book too. I wrote it in December 2020. Together, we inspire each other to stay on our path to realize our dreams.
Does your artwork, community, or other life structures move you toward or away from your dreams? Are you on your boulevard of dreams … or broken dreams? It’s a good question to ask yourself every day as it’s so easy to veer off track.
More than a hundred people are on the journey with Clayton Moore and myself. Recently we’ve completed his online press kit (check it out here ?). We’ve issued a press release which you can download here: click here and distributed a pitch which you can download here: click here ?️
If you’re just now joining the journey with Clayton Moore and myself, feel free to catch-up on past video sessions at Wasabi Publicity’s YouTube Channel. We have two more sessions left in the six-part series, “Real PR in Real-Time” and I’ll be answering participant questions as they work through my PR workbook, “21 Day PR Action Guide: The Who, What, When, and Where To Launch A Successful PR Campaign.” It’s been part of our pandemic give-away to help people pivot. Practice pitching yourself like Dr. Lou Anne Wellford at PitchRate.com, a free media networking site connecting the press with sources, authors, information officers, and experts.
? If you’re free Fridays at 1 pm eastern, I’d love to coach you live when I meet with Clayton Moore to prepare and media train him for the media leads we’ve been able to secure for him. You will also be able to find a buddy with whom you can share ideas, practice pitching, and share duties of proofing and preparing your own media materials. If you’re needing a support community to realize your dreams of securing your own press coverage, join us by registering here: https://wasabipublicity.com/real-time-pr/ ?
Remember, public relations is simply mass-producing your message. Once you create your masterpiece, we’ll help you stay on your path to realizing your own dreams.
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