Four years ago–super bored in class—I made an acrostic poem (?)/list (?):

Courage; collaboration
Risk failure; resort to childhood instincts
Exist in the moment

Adapt (willing to evolve)

Time (with and without—perspective gained)
Inspiration (myth of originality)

Values; validity of all ideas


Trance (R-mode)

You, your flow


Like with most stuff we made (and did and said) at age 21, I cringe looking at this. But, you know, I cringe less than I normally do. I was on to something here. (“R-mode” is Betty Eddy’s classic term for Right-Brain drawing/thinking/being).

I revisited the poem/list the other day and made a new one:

Capacity for childlike curiosity (and the courage to follow our curiosities—regardless of genre and medium.  I like the term, Slash (re: guitarist/painter/writer/podcaster). Projects have a cool way of bleeding into each other.)
Resilience (and repetition. Honestly, just keep plugging. Every day. Even when you’re down in the dumps—especially when you’re down in the dumps. “Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow’s another day.”—E.B. White)

Energy (Our energy replenishes itself and is sustained through the sheer JOY of creating. Coffee helps, too. So does sleep. I like both of those things. As an introvert at heart, I need lots of down time/ME-time to recharge. “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” —Gustave Flaubert)
Attention (Being singularly focused on something. Having a keen, observational, non-judgmental eye/ear/heart/mind towards the world, towards ourselves, towards our neurotic behavior. Holding a near maniacal concentration on the present task. I once went 11 straight hours editing a video and forgot to eat or go to the bathroom. It was totally awful and totally awesome. It’s a legitimate trance. Often, the folks who could never focus in school are the ones who can’t not focus on their art. It’s a beautiful, double-edged sword.)

Talent for letting go (Creating is inherently an in-the-moment act; we can’t truly, purely do that if we’re clinging to something, something not here. My (wise, wonderful, Unitarian minister) aunt told me, en route to my sister’s wedding that she was officating, “Let go, or be dragged.” Yeah, what she said! Being creative requires (and breeds) mindfulness. Be here now, baby.)
Intent (We all get stuck. Asking why we’re doing what we’re doing always helps.)

Validity of all ideas/processes/resources/collaborations/experiences (Good ideas. Bad ideas. ALL ideas. We make art to speak our truths not to be neat and tidy. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”—Walt Whitman)
Incubation (Whatever we’re doing takes time. Lots o’ time. Be patient. Be easy on yourself. Let yourself wander. Embrace solitude. The world wants immediate feedback and instant gratification; steer clear of that, young lad!)

Trying not to try (Get out of your own damn way! Quit planning how it’s gonna look! Loosen your grip! Don’t think—just DO.)

plaY (Creating play out of structure and imposing structure within our play. “Telling yourself you have all the time in the world, all of the money in the world, all the colors in the palette, anything you want—that just kills creativity.”—Jack White 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s