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Showing posts from February, 2018

Art And Practice As Boredom

Art is hard work

The public usually only sees the glamorous part: the performance, the exhibition, the parties celebrating our work. Being an artist of any type is one big fantasy that seems real to so many. And we may have even bought into the fantasy ourselves, having decided to pursue our art because we only saw the fantasy part.

But art is often boring, tedious, messy, and everything but glamorous. And it's this boredom that can cause us problems. Many artists turn to drugs or alcohol in order to relieve the boredom. Or they may distract themselves in other ways, hiding from doing the work, from getting dirty. 

Think of all the long hours of practice you've gone through over your lifetime. Sitting in a practice room or studio, grinding things out, working on technique and the basics. Not very exciting. And then even once you've reached a certain level of success, there's all the time spent waiting. Waiting in airports, hotels, backstage, at meetings, restaurants, publ…

Art And Practice As Change

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Change is inevitable. It's all around us. The nature of the whole Universe is that of change. As artists, we sometimes shy away from change, preferring to remain in the comfort of where we are. I know that I have a great tendency to resist change. I find things I like and I want them to always be there. Like food. 

I go to specific restaurants to order my favorite dish that the restaurants offer. A place may have 100 items on their menu, but I always order the same thing every time, because it's my favorite. Then one day the menu changes and my favorite dish is gone. This throws me completely off. I've even stopped going to some places because they don't have my favorite dish anymore, which was the reason to go there in the first place.

And this same type of thing can happen in our art. We find a rhythm, a groove, a comfortable place and want to remain there, creating the same thing over and over. But how many times can we paint the same picture, write the same story, or…

Art And Practice As Control

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Control. It can be both a positive and a negative. For me, control can be an issue. I'm a perfectionist, which means I tend to want to control every aspect of my life, of my art. Especially with my art, I find it difficult to let it go.

A good example is writing, like this blog. After I've written something, I can easily edit it to death. I will tweak something here, add something there, and cut something elsewhere. Even as I'm getting ready to push post, I can hesitate and stop to edit things some more.

The same happens when I record and mix music. I have numerous albums that I've been working on forever (or so it seems). I keep opening the files, listening, tweaking, editing—I find it difficult to let go, to leave well enough alone and finally put them out for the world at large.


The Art of Control
This is control at its negative side. This type of control can kill creativity, can keep your art from ever being seen/heard/exposed. This type of control can also stamp out t…

Art And Practice As Failure

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Failure. Is there a word more dreaded by artists?

Failure. Just the word can paralyze many working artists. Think about yourself, are there any projects in your history that have been left behind because you feared they would fail? I'm sure most of us can come up with at least 1 or 2. For some, we may have a whole warehouse full of self perceived failures.

Merriam Webster defines one aspect of failure as: lack of success, or a falling short. A big problem as artistic types, is focusing on this one aspect. We tend to see things as either, or. Either a great success, or, as a great failure. We rarely look at failure as something else, especially as an opportunity.

One big problem is this idea of either, or. In my experience, failure is rarely ever so black and white. It's always a matter of perspective and perception. For example, as a musician, I have had nights when I came off stage thinking I gave a horrible performance, only to be greated by people saying things like, “That was…