The whole Mudra crew was in a funk. Having just wrapped a 6-show run of Gyaan, a major production that dealt with heavy themes that we all put pretty much everything we had into producing and performing, we were down like Charlie Brown. Anyone who’s ever performed anything knows what kind of loss the day after the last show is. You might be glad the grind is over but there’s a big hole you now have to carry around where purpose, community, and satisfying creative expression used to be. Our hole was deep. It was like being dumped. So when Ignite Denver called with the news that one of their speakers had dropped out sick two days before their event, […]
Have you ever worked with someone who considers him or herself an artist first and a working professional second? You know, the ones that refer to the pursuit you consider a career as “my day job” or “my side thing?” They’re easy to spot if you haven’t looked. Bleary eyed from late-night gigs. Paint-stained finger nails. Less time to go out with the work crowd for a happy hour (I have an audition tomorrow). They leave work at work. They have a better music collection than yours. They’re everywhere actually. And believe it or not, their minds are hard-wired to understand things that the blogosphere and FastCompany literature are falling over themselves to get at. And I’m not just talking about how […]
We need to listen to artists. If you’re an artist this isn’t news. But it is, apparently, a fully baffling notion to the non-art world. It’s clear that the non-art world needs artists more than artists need it. Since the non-art world has gone out of its way over the years to make itself a downright despicable place for artists, artists have had to find (and have found, thank you very much) plenty of creative ways to survive in and around the non-art world. So at a time when the non-art world is in desperate need for the kind of proclivity that a creative mind or two can bring to bear in solving the challenges of our times, the last […]
Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past. – Gilbert Keith Chesterton Jim Collins or Seth Godin. Take your pick. The small stuff matters, and it’s what makes change. I’ve even blogged about it before. Ever thought that this law works across many other areas in life and work? Is this idea like gravity?
Mos Def gave an interview at the end of a performance with K’Naan on Austin City Limits not long ago. (You can view the episode here and the interviews here.) Apparently this was the first hip hop episode for the venerable country-cum-Americana-jam/hippy-band show. It was also the first time I heard such a genuinely honest response by a creative mind to the all-too-common question of inspiration. You could see Mos Def hesitate at first. A self-censored moment where he wondered if a transparent answer would somehow mitigate the fantasy we put around artists in the entertainment industry – the necessary fantasy for him and those like him to sell records and fill concert halls. But he came through, mos def:
The in-house creative environment is a unique one. Unlike an ad agency, client-side creative teams are typically surrounded by more left-brain directed thinkers than right-brainers. There’s not a lot of refuge for the creative mind in a non-agency business. They’ve always reminded me of Hank Morgan in Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Strangers indeed, operating with a sort of disorientation: The rest of the joint is kind of a sad lot… quaint, and wrapped up in all the wrong stuff. It isn’t unusual for the people managing the creative process on the client side to come from non-creative backgrounds. This magnifies the challenges for the creative mind in these environments. Managing the creative process on the client […]
This is a long post. But if you’re in the mood for talking a little music and getting some groove and swing up in in your approach to branding, then I appreciate you settling in. The Marcus Roberts trio has been together for some fifteen years. They occupy a place in American music that combines the maintenance of tradition and honoring the past with a highly innovative interplay of harmony, space, and rhythm. And they’re heavy pros. Serious technique. If you haven’t heard Marcus walk a bass line with his left hand while improvising with his right you’re missing out on some joy in your life. I’ve shared a playlist on iTunes with a sample. Check it out. But technique […]
I keep reading Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind. It helps me keep many things in mind, including the concept of “whole.” As in complete. Balanced. I spent some time yesterday with an artist. Gwen Laine has some amazing work and has recently gifted an installment to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. (If you’re in the Springs or passing through, take a minute to swing by and check it out. Or click here to see the work online.) Gwen’s art is often installed without any kind of trial run. The installation is the final expression of the vision. Gwen’s latest work wasn’t even installed by her. She provided the FAC detailed instructions and then let it go. I […]