“Can we get in Pitchfork?” I’ve been asked this question by many artists who are just starting out, and of course, there is always that chance. However, there seems to be a looming expectation attached to the question that has some troubling residue. One artist advised me that he would accept interview requests from publications like Pitchfork or Rolling Stone, but I would have to get his permission for “smaller publications”. Do you see the issue here?
Entries in Ideas (4)
Creativity is as much a sickness as it is a gift.
On the one hand, creators are blessed with a lifetime of opportunities to bring their visions into the real world. On the other, most of them are tormented by insecurity, doubts, and the never-ending struggle of trying to create the ideal things their imaginations conjure up. The latter is one of the subjects in an editorial, “Found in Translation,” that the Pulitzer Prize (and PEN/Faulkner Award)-winning author Michael Cunningham published in this past Sunday’s New York Times.
“Found in Translation” begins by discussing the mechanics and challenges of translating a novel from one language to another, before moving on to the more personal challenge of turning one’s vision into a piece of art. The transfer of instincts, ideas, images, and emotions to words on a page or computer screen is, after all, basically just several layers of translation, and midway through Cunningham’s editorial, an unusually honest passage can be found:
Here’s a secret. Many novelists, if they are pressed and if they are being honest, will admit that the finished book is a rather rough translation of the book they’d intended to write.
This post comes from Fred Wilson’s blog. The quick video below is worth watching. Not only is the content within the video interesting, the video itself is a great example of leveraging the creative use of video to promote something else (a book in this case).
I love the final quote in this video: “Chance favors the connected mind.”
Many artists strive to get the best gear, the top equipment and the most stuff that they can possibly cram onto stage or into the studio. Whether it’s that drum or this toy or that additional instrument, many musicians today have too much stuff, and most of them don’t even know how to use half of what they have. So play with your toys. Mess around with buttons, sounds, tunings, setups, etc. You may know the basic sounds, but what else can you do to find out even more about your gear?
In some ways, when you purchase a certain effect or instrument, it’s like you have purchased a kitchen’s worth of supplies and food. When you only use a certain configuration or a certain set up, it’s the same as only using one kind of food from that kitchen. I have a favorite food, but I also like variety and I like to know what all my options are before I prepare or order what I want to eat. Why not apply the same ideas to your gear?
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(Updated April 6, 2015)