The War of Art

So, I’m blogging this for three reasons…

#1 – For all the creative types who thought of pursuing a career in the arts (I do get those in my teaching studio). Usually those folks are isolated and do not have a dirth of support/information/how to manuals on how to do it, let alone understand the thought processes that creative types usually have to do battle with just to get through life.

And you aren’t going to get this info in school, usually. Case in point…look at the process UMW is going through. Academics usually do not understand what is required to make an arts career. My college did not. It taught bass. It taught audio recording. It pushed everyone to do music education because “You don’t want to starve do you?” Ugh.

So because the info is hard to find…here you go. But even if you aren’t in this category…..

#2 – For all the creative types who don’t want a career, but still want to get a good handle on their inner weather…. ie…tools to help them understand WTF is going on inside. Same demons, same issues…but maybe you don’t make money off your creativity. Here you go…have a little sanity, on me.

But even if you aren’t in this category….

#3 – For all the types do not consider themselves to be creative, but possibly want to understand creative types or creativity a little better. Creatives are wired differently. In some ways, they are the same. But often they can be very different in habits, thinking, and work ethic. Being supported and understood, instead of being ostracized for that difference (call it weird/different/selfish) can make all the world between success and failure, or simply help prevent them from isolating themselves from people in general…because it will feel like the majority of people can’t understand.

Case in point; someone came in today trying to understand why her niece claims to “see colors”. I replied “Oh that’s synesthesia. I have two friends like that…one is a talented painter and singer. One is a guitar player. It’s more normal than you think.” Normal, that is, if you are dealing with creatives. Literally, there are wiring differences that can get you labeled as crazy if you aren’t around people who understand it. That person isn’t crazy, the reality is that person is built to do something different, fundamentally.

If you are raising a creative, this will help you understand better what is going on. Your kid, spouse, or friend doesn’t need meds, they need tools to understand and act on their talents. Fortunately, I had one person become this support person for me nine years ago, and that moment was the kickoff into the best part of my life. That became a support system with other artists of a particular stripe that permitted discussions on the creative process.

Part of the reason I was able to come into my own was having the support and understanding of creatives of like stripe in my life (finally) who understood the issues, gave them a name, and helped me do battle with them. We had conversations where you can name these demons and discuss them with someone…and tried to help each other in the process. We were talking about writing, projects, process, imposter syndrome, etc.

Here’s a video interview with the author of “The War Of Art”. He’s got a whole series of books of this stripe.

Also check out Victor Wooten’s “The Music Lesson” (that is pretty much for musicians) and Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. All of these resources will help set a creative’s compass on a good path.

It is 48 minutes, but it will fly by because it is a great interview.

Also for the folks who are having trouble with practicing, especially with consistency, please head to 14:45 and really listen…deeply…and change your mindset.

Gear is gear. There’s plenty of videos for that. But self knowledge of the process is even better. Talent can make shitty gear come to life despite the fact it’s shitty.

Another video I enjoy along these same lines is Trey Gunn’s “Original Voice” lecture on YouTube. Again, he points out to how much time it takes, the issue of self doubt, and the value of just doing the work…

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