Monday Motivation: David Bowie

If you’re anything like me, you probably started the day by recognizing that the start of a new work week had indeed arrived and then immediately began shaking your fists at the sky in anger. Monday is rarely anyone’s favorite day, and from what I have seen firsthand it feels safe to say it’s the one day of the week some people outright hate. I guess to them the arrival of the work week symbolizes the end of their quote/unquote freedom, and as a result they head into the office/factory/restaurant/store with a negative outlook already on their mind. This leads to bad attitudes, which only makes the experience of being at work worse, and for some reason it also seems to make time slow to a crawl. We’re not about that life, and we hope this post can do the same you that the song contained within it did for us.

This morning, January 9, most of the world woke to learn that rock and roll icon David Bowie had lost his 18-month battle with cancer. It’s news no one wanted to read, but at the same time it’s something many knew had been a long time coming, even if we wanted to believe that were not the truth. He was 69.

Writing on Facebook about his friend and creative collaborator, producer Tony Visconti posted a short note regarding Bowie’s death, and it began with a few lines that I feel perfectly summarizes what David Bowie meant to the world:

“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”

David Bowie found us, not the other way around. When we were each stumbling through the doorway between childhood and teendom he was the first to greet us, with big hair and piercing eyes that made you feel infinitely inferior wherever you happened to be when those baby blues caught you in their gaze. He was an alien, a father, a musician, an actor, a husband, and in many respects a genius, but more than anything else he was an adventurer. To journey through Bowie’s catalog is to explore the vast and diverse possibilities of musical expression, not to mention the art of crafting poetic verse that was simultaneously avant-garde and deeply personal. Bowie could weave you a web of song and verse far more complex than anything that had been released in the time before he burst onto the world’s stage, and he continued to set the bar for creative expression right up until his final days.

There will no doubt be hundreds, if not thousands of essays, editorials, and think pieces published in the coming weeks about David Bowie and his rock legacy, but if you are one of many who have never taken the time to learn of Bowie’s work then now is the time to get familiar. As Caitlin Moran wrote in ’10 Things Every Girl Should Know,’ there is no bad time to discover David Bowie. As Moran wrote, “When in doubt, listen to David Bowie.” He was everything mainstream culture shunned when he first appeared, but within four years time everyone on Earth wanted to be like him. The kicker is, Bowie never changed. Bowie was himself from beginning to end, evolving in whichever way he desired, and for that he never apologized. In fact, I’m not sure he ever apologized to anyone in the entirety of his career. Then again, he didn’t need to. Bowie always knew what he was doing, and he knew in time the world would come to see his art for what he already knew it was, and somehow he was okay with the fact it may take months, or even years, for everyone else to come around.

Whether you’re new to Bowie or you’ve dedicated your life to following his every move, this week should unquestionably belong to his music and art. Take the next several days and allow yourself to become fully submerged in the awe-inspiring creativity of one of the most innovative humans to walk this planet in the last 150 years. There are not artists whose names and creations outlast the culture they were created within, but Bowie is a rare exception. To know his music is to understand that anything is possible as long as you give it your all. If you allow yourself to fully commit to a vision or idea then it doesn’t matter in the slightest if the outside world grasps your creation the first time its unveiled. Heck, it doesn’t matter if they get it the tenth time, either. As long as you believe in what you’re doing then you can rest assured that in time others will as well. Just be yourself to the best of your abilities and everything else will fall in line. Don’t trust us. Trust Bowie.

James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.