“I Am The Quick Stop Walrus”
What I Took From My Evening With Kevin Smith
by Shelby Quino
On Saturday, my husband and I were lucky enough to snag tickets to ‘An Evening With Kevin Smith’ at Madison Theater down in Covington, Kentucky. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Silent Bob?” then, yes, @ThatKevinSmith. I never imagined that the man who is most recognized as Silent Bob could be quite so insightful, but much of what he spoke about is the same general message that Soul Healing Love Magic attempts to deliver here. Be vulnerable. Push boundaries. Find what scares you and do it, because what scares you is bait to the imagination. I admire the ways in which artists like Kevin Smith allow themselves to be so exposed, raw, and candid with their audience.
Sure, I could just sum up the night as a celebration of nerd culture and arbitrary high points of the evening – which began with an impromptu wedding performed by Kevin Smith in front of the crowd. Hilariously, he had the couple quote the Green Lantern Oath rather than the traditional marriage vows. But I’m not going to do that. If you’d like to read an accurate review of the night that talks about those things, check out this CincyMusic article by Andrew Risch. Kevin also mentions notable experiences he’s had while in Kentucky, such as his visit to Video Archive and The Overlook Lodge (both local bars that are fantastically original). Apparently, in his own words, “the VHS is making a comeback!”
Most of what I gathered that night were hastily scribbled notes written during the show in my visual journal, as you can see in the photo pictured here (please excuse my misspelled words and other errors). Basically, I am quoting certain things that he said that really resonated with me or the message that I got from him. There isn’t really any rhyme or reason to the order in which I’m quoting him (anything I’ve added as my own commentary is in italics), but this is what I wrote:
- “Just the word ‘art’ scares people. I don’t like to call it art because everyone can do what I do. Just wake up in the middle of a dark night and figure out what is is you love to do and go for it. Do it because you want to.” – That is what makes you a true artist. Just go for it.
- “Innovate not imitate. It starts with imitation, but everyone is capable of generating the most interesting shit in their own way. Anything I’ve done, anyone else could do. All it takes is self-expression.”
- “If I don’t do this shit and express it before I die, then the world is going to fucking perish, so I’m going to self-express until I die.” – The kind of thoughts that surely haunt Kevin and surely many other artists, including myself. I could definitely relate to this admission that he made.
- “Inspiration is a mutually beneficial relationship. Even if I don’t know your name yet, if I’ve created anything that inspired you, I was thinking of you.” – I think this is probably my favorite quote from Kevin Smith out of the entire night.
The evening was resoundingly inspirational for me, but probably will have been even more of a meaningful experience for my husband, Kristian Quino. He is a cinematographer and went in hopes of asking a question, standing in line at the aisle during the majority of the show. I’m astonished that he managed to have his question answered, and it was the very final question of the night. Kristian explained that, as a cinematographer, he’s at a point in his career where he feels it’s stagnating, and asked if Kevin Smith could offer any advice to him. When the rest of the audience started to stir, Kevin told everyone to listen because this was “actually a very important question.” His advice was something to this effect: Don’t try to get it back because you won’t. Reboot. Try something completely new and different. You’re an artist, so go in a new direction and figure it out what it is you enjoy and go with it. Don’t try to recreate what you’ve done in the past and look forward as an artist. Reboot.
Ironically, the journal (pictured) that I was writing in during the show had one of Kristian’s business cards glued to the back page and I had to pull it off when we realized that all of his other cards had been left in the car. So, Kevin Smith, if you’re reading this, we apologize for the gluey mess over the logo on the back of the card and completely understand if it ended up in the trash. We’d be more than happy to send you another one, though. I also want to thank you for telling my husband what I’ve been trying to convince him of for a long time; but he finally heard it and understood when it was coming from you. I haven’t seen him truly inspired like this in a long time, so your advice really means everything in the world. You reminded him of the fact that he is an artist, which is something I’ve never really heard him call himself before. Thank you and I hope that you enjoy the fanart that I’ve drawn for you.
As a visual artist, I try to live by the same way of constant creative experimentation and I think the advice that Kevin Smith offered to Kristian is relevant to any artist because we all reach points in our lives where we feel stagnated. This is one of the main reasons for the creation of Soul Healing Love Magic, to prompt an artistic process and to incite new perspectives. Sometimes we have to get out of our own heads in order to truly get into our heads. An Evening With Kevin Smith definitely reiterated that idea for me.