Singer, Song Writer, Film Maker, Artist.
by: Luke Pilgrim
I was never a "normal" kid. But I never strived to color outside of the lines either. For me, being artistic did not come as a conscious decision, it came naturally like a bird learning to fly; fluid, like a river flows easily over a stone sanding it smoother each day. When I was only two years old I was asking for art supplies. I didn't ask Santa for toys. I wanted to draw. My parents saw that I was developing quickly and supported my youthful artistic endeavors. I remember winning at state level for some competition in school for some drawing I did when I was in kindergarden. I mean, I don't recall what it was for or what the piece looked like really, but I do remember thinking "I like the way this feels." I liked coming in first. I was born a competitor apparently and that feeling fueled me from then on.
When I got a little older, maybe around 7 or 8 I decided I wanted to be the next Steven Spielberg. I shot a ridiculous amount of short home movies. Instead of playing outside, I was inside all day making stop motion videos... literally all day long. I don't know why I was left home alone for such long periods of time. But I would obsess over a new movie each week and often dress up like my favorite characters or superheroes. It wasn't Halloween or anything, I would just dress like that because it was a Monday… and I wanted to be Batman.
When I was 11 I got my first guitar. This changed my world drastically. I didn't know at the time but that six-stringed instrument would take me all over the country. I started writing songs when I was very young and by the time I was in high school I had started and destroyed several bands. But it wasn't until we started "Last November" that I said "Ok this is what I want to do." I remember the first time I played in front of a big crowd and the first time we played somewhere that people knew the words to my songs. Silly tunes I had scribbled on a napkin were now on a record and strangers knew the lyrics. I thought to myself "I like the way this feels."
After high school we hit the road. Last November was really getting a lot of attention and we had started to build a healthy fan base. Over the better part of the next decade we toured heavily coast to coast, put out several records, numerous music videos and continued to cultivate our ever growing fan base. Music was my life and art (at least visual art) had fallen by the wayside. Granted I was extremely active in my art class in high school and produced a lot of great work plus I was an art major for a year at North Georgia in 2006 before we started touring constantly. But at the time, if someone asked me what I did, my answer was "Front Man" or "Lead Singer" rather than painter or artist. By the time we hung up our indie-rock hats, Last November had played countless dates across the U.S., received a lot of national airplay and our music videos had been featured in nearly 3,000 outlets nationwide as well as on several MTV Shows. Unfortunately, I just wasn't happy with it anymore.
So we left our live's on the road and came back home to Cleveland, GA. I started writing and working on my first solo album. It was country music and I loved the change and the freedom I felt from not trying to fit in to the elitist hipster indie crowd. I was writing songs that people listened to simply because they liked the way it sounded or the way it made them feel, not because they were told it's "cool." And I remember thinking to myself "I like the way this feels." So that almost brings us up to date and while I'm still playing music and writing, I decided that since I'm not not on the road at the moment, it's time for me to be back in school.
I wanted to create art again. I decided to be a film major because I had done so much music video work for both Last November and my solo music and I had shot some weddings and a few commercials over the past few years and I really had a knack for it. Not to mention I've always had a love for the movies. I don't know exactly where I want to go with everything, but I know I'm headed in the right direction. I love everything about filmmaking but I also love painting and drawing and working with my hands. I remember starting back to school and experiencing the hustle and bustle of college life again. And I remember the first times I put pencil to paper or brush to canvas again. It was the first time I had truly looked at art in longer than I'd like to admit. Every stroke was more vibrant, every detail more beautiful. And as I created my first pieces of art for the first time really since my high school art classes nearly a decade ago, I thought to myself "I'm finally back where I belong. And I like the way that feels."
Photo Credit: Cari McDonald