Interview: Martin Case

Name: Martin Case

Where do you live: Wayland, Mass USA

Currently working with:
I am currently working with a variety of artists in media development and representation as a producer. We figure out what the artist needs concerning media (create an album/band/website/video/photo shoot) to represent their vision, and then we create a campaign, mapping out their career goals, and then implement. Presently I am working with the following clients actively: Earl Lawrence-Diversions, Visionary, World Beets Percussion Ensemble, Reverend Becke Drake, Al Parker and Jon Butcher Axis.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
As an artist, I reinvented my offering to the world, or, more exactly, expanded upon it. As a musician, I had to create all of this media and represent myself. Over the last few years I have expanded my offering to provide these services I learned for my own work to theirs.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Boston, as it is where my contacts and artistic garden presently resides. Love plane tickets though.

How would you describe your creativity?
In service to others. I appreciate having the skills sets and not having the product always be from exclusively me. Collaboration = Transcendence in some artistic ventures!

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Always. Went to Berklee 90-94 and been going since.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
You are a business. Work accordingly. You are also a creative being. Work accordingly.

Tell us how it all started.
After graduating, I was teaching lessons, accompanying dance classes, and composing for local productions. I went outside, gardening, throughout one summer, meditating on re-branding of the self, and how to be of service. Now we are here: creating art and bringing it to the world.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
That it is. Pragmatically I use 4 screens on 2 Macs, have my microphones and instruments ready. I used to have 2 rooms, with 2 computers, to separate business and art. Now I am in one room, as these matters are blending into each other more and more. To switch gears I will put away all business work, go get tea, and enter the studio with a new perspective.

What is your favorite film?
Presently watching ‘A Criminal Mind’, which shows one empathy towards these wayward perspectives illustrated in the series.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
All of the Romanovs! Just finished reading Russian autocratic history (for fun) and that would be a hoot! 1613-1917.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
Better, how do I like to keep balance? Reading, biking, having a garden.

What is luxury for you?
I am pretty spartan, so I don’t really think in terms of providing self-luxury. A quote from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones:
46. The Stingy Artist.

Gessen was an artist monk. Before he would start a drawing or painting he always insisted upon being paid in advance and his fees were high. He was known as the ‘Stingy Artist’.

A geisha once gave him a commission for a painting. ‘How much can you pay?’ inquired Gessen. ‘Whatever you charge,’ replied the girl, ‘but I want you to do the work in front of me.’

So on a certain day Gessen was called by the geisha. She was holding a feast for her patron.

Gessen with fine brushwork did the painting. When it was completed he asked the highest sum of his time. He received his pay. Then the geisha turned to her patron, saying: ‘All this artist wants is money. His paintings are fine but his mind is dirty: money has caused it to become muddy. Drawn by such a filthy mind his work is not fit to exhibit. It is just about good enough for one of my petticoats.’

Removing her skirt, she then asked Gessen to do another picture on the back of her petticoat. ‘How much will you pay?’ asked Gessen.
‘Oh, any amount,’ answered the girl.
Gessen named a fancy price, painted the picture in the manner requested and went away.

It was learned later that Gessen had these reasons for desiring money.

A ravaging famine often visited his province. The rich would not help the poor, so Gessen had a secret warehouse, unknown to anyone, which he kept filled with grain prepared for these emergencies.

From his village to the National Shrine the road was in very poor condition and many travelers suffered while traversing it. He desired to build a better road.

His teacher had passed away without realizing his wish to build a temple and Gessen wished to complete this temple for him.

After Gessen had accomplished his three wishes he threw away his brushes and artist’s materials and retiring to the mountains never painted again.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
This happens every day. A client gives thanks, compliments me on life-changing work: This week alone (and its Tuesday) Earl Lawrence of Diversions, Becke Drake of ‘Sex and Sorrow 365’ (upcoming book) and Eve Megargel of ‘Voice Colors’ have all infused my with loving, grateful energy. This is the positive feedback loop on collaborative work.

What do you fear most?
My arms breaking off. If I fear something, I try to look at it. Once I was rattled: what if I can’t find work? And I realized that as long as I am in service to others, from assisting their productions of them receiving my music, I’ll be fine.

What is a happy life to you?
This one.

What does a regular day look like for you?
Wake up/emails/phone calls/breakfast-check on the chickens/more emails/see clients-performance hours/create art. I try to get as much correspondence done as possible so I can go deeper into the work at hand.

Tell us about your dream project.
Collaborative, international. Sit with a team and reverse-engineer to satisfy vision. Gershwin says, when asked what inspires him: “a call from my publisher.” To a degree that is true: all of my projects are things we are dreaming and creating.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Religious and historical leaders, David Bowie/Dave Matthews, Henry Rollins on artistic management of self and others.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
Passionate with a calm eye. The business aspect I try to keep formal; the creative aspect I let loose on a little more (when working/how long/etc), while keeping healthy balance.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
computers and instruments! and even without those, it’d be a great life.

What inspires you?
The possibilities in creating work! and modern production.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Malmcom Gladwell, Derek Sivers, iChing, Art of War.

Find out more about Martin on his website
Check out his YouTube Channel right here

Martin Case ©AD.7663-Martin-Case Martin-Case

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