Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s one-armed drummer is an inspiration and the greatest example of thankfulness, kindness, and resiliency. From global musician to global artist, his life’s journey serves as an inspiration to us all. When you talk to Rick, you can feel his joy for life. The best part…you can experience this for yourself! Rick will be in person, November 20th and 21st at the Short Hills Wentworth Gallery! Here is what Rick had to share with me.
What are you thankful for? “Waking up every day at this point in my life is something to be thankful for.”
You always have a grateful state of mind. How are you able to put yourself in that place? “I discovered that just like music, the process of creating art is healing. The idea that I can start working on something and just lose myself in it. The key is staying in the moment. It’s hard sometimes, because you are thinking about what’s on the horizon, and you are thinking about what you could have done better and rarely do we find ourselves in the moment. The art really helps me to stay in that place.”
Your music, your art, and your foundation. How do you pass on joy to other people? “I enjoy hiding behind the drum kit and creating something with the band that people really enjoy. Part of me thought I will let the artwork do the talking, ultimately, I realized it’s a way to meet people and create lasting relationships. A lot of people that buy my art, I’ve ended up really getting to know and I experience firsthand the joy it brings to people. Artwork is a wonderful way to bring people out of their shells and create talking points of what makes them happy and sad and things that we experience.”
Your collectors become a community through the open conversation they have about your art and how they feel. “Exactly, the art shows… is about getting to know people and me in a different way that not too many people get to experience. “
What does resilience mean to you? Where does this inner strength come from? Part of that is faith and having people that lift me up. No matter how difficult things get, it’s good to have those friends and family members that lift you up no matter what. If you feel that, on your back, I think you can deal with anything. It could be one person…my wife Lauren, she constantly lifts me. Resiliency doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like exercising a muscle…realizing strategies that help you get out of a dark place. One thing that really helps me is being in nature. It helps me…something that makes me feel a little smaller...then I can tap into that feeling of gratitude. And that helps me with resiliency.
Legends Series: “They were great examples of people I aspired to be like in some way. I feel I’m a better musician, a better person to have discovered them. “
Abstract series: “Abstract is more contemplative, it’s many things to many people. It could be an emotion, a mood, something that speaks to a meditative state. It inspires people to explore other parts of their lives.“
Being vulnerable: “That’s where the good stuff comes out. I was really afraid of rejection. The idea of being vulnerable is presenting something and being proud of it no matter what. Just put it out into the world. It shows courage, even though you feel vulnerable. “
What do you enjoy about your gallery shows? “Meeting new people and sharing ideas. Everybody has something good to bring to the table. I love that music and art brings out the best in us.”
How to be happy? “It’s illusive, going back to gratitude and just realizing the people around us that go through the same struggles and sometimes we deal with those things differently and sometimes just being able to take examples from them.”