I'm not done ranting yet. I've always wanted to tell those who leave nasty, mean-spirited or just plain dumb anonymous comments on this blog to eat shit and die.It's easy to spit bile at me from the shadows. You don't have to show yourself the way I do every day when I write, draw or paint. You don't have to show your work either – especially the work, because then you'd be faced not just with my judgement but others' as well. But remember this: anonymity is relative on the web. Here, an IP address is logged with every comment. And although I choose to ignore the worst of what's written to or about me, you can be damn sure I can know exactly who – and where – you are, if I want to. Go too far and yeah, I will come looking for you. The worst nearly always comes from people from my past, people who think I owe them something. Which means most of them are from men: men who resent that I didn't do what they told me to, men who are pissed that I didn't fuck them or pander to their egos, men who failed to turn me into their cash cow, men whom I just didn't like (or, in a couple of cases, love) anymore. Most are too pathetic for me to spare them a second thought.I respect those of you who use your real names on your comments. It shows you're willing to stand behind what you say, whatever it is, and take whatever comes back at you (usually from the malevolent anonymous dweebs).
I live what I write and paint. I'm candid to a fault. I don't care how anyone takes it. Which gives me the moral high ground when it comes to gossip: I have nothing to hide and nothing I'm ashamed of. I suffer from a serious mental illness. I fuck both boys and girls and sometimes find it hard to tell the difference. I spend more money than I earn. I'm hard to deal with when things aren't going my way. I work long hours – long fucking weeks – without a break and when I do, I don't answer the door, the phone or my mail. I lose months to angry, self-destructive depressive epsiodes during which I can barely drag my ass out of bed.I handle my business just as openly. I don't bid for my own work at auction. I don't do deals under the table. I respect the contracts that I make. Also, I don't back down when someone does wrong by me.All of which leaves little that's true as fodder for gossip or trash talk. Most of what circulates about me that hasn't actually come from me is bullshit. How can you know for sure? Ask yourself how much of it turns up in public, where it risks being embarrassed by proof of its untruth or worse, aggressive legal action.I don't owe anyone anything (except, of course, money, lots of money). I sure as hell don't owe other artists. I try to support or encourage some I care about. I try not to hurt the feelings of others. But I feel no obligation to like everybody's work – nor to like them – let alone nurse them in their careers. If you can't glean the 'secrets' of my success, such as they are, from reading this blog then maybe you're just stupid. If you're too lazy to read it all, don't write and ask me for a summary. My limited free time is precious to me: I'd prefer to waste it on reading, watching TV or sticky sex.I don't give a toss if you feel abject because I didn't respond to something you've written to me. If you've got the urgent need to express your resentment, be a grown-up and keep it to yourself.In the last few years, I've made more money than many gallerists and certainly, most artists in Australia. I've spent almost all of it on my work. If, one day, the income evaporates completely, it won't bother me. I'll live in my van or in some squat in the middle of nowhere. It's not like I've never done it before. And I'll keep painting. Fame, money, social status, popularity and the easy life are fine but in the end, they're only really fun if you haven't got anything better to care about.All I care about is my work, about doing it well. If I have one piece of advice to offer about being an artist, that's it: care about your work and nothing else. It's harder than you think.