Creativity can be a lonesome journey sometimes, so my agenda here is to be your companion in it, to start a conversation so….Let’s share!
It’s Saturday morning; I’m drinking coffee and snuggling with my pups, and I was reflecting on some things I was listening to this week regarding the creative process, and creativity. So I thought I’d share them with you in the hopes that they inspire your own work, or play :).
Both resources are things my producer, Jason Lehning, sent my way in October. Jason and I talk about almost everything as part of our work process. He’s kind of my older musical sibling…and since I don’t have my own brothers on this earth any more…he’s a wonderful creative brother to me. And for us, creating—whether we’re writing, or in the studio, or in a lunch meeting— is this messy, wonderful mixture of us talking about life, making music, drinking cocktails, telling jokes, obsessing over good food, and cheering each other on.
(I feel like this awkward photo accurately describes our friendship.)
The FIRST resource—which I found AMAZING as far as reflecting on the creative process— is a conversation produced for Vanity Fair between Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive and J.J. Abrams, the director of the new Star Wars film. It’s moderated by Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer. I would say this conversation is really about “invention.” Fascinating stuff for people inventing things, songs, art, or themselves. I particularly loved hearing them talk about “the quiet voice” and about curiosity. About halfway through the video J.J. says “any act of creation is a leap of faith.” Bam. Enjoy!
The second is an interview with Sara Bareilles by Tom Ashbrook for the NPR show “On Point.” Listen here.
The whole interview is great—vulnerable, insightful, kind of tender. It takes you through Sara’s journey as a young artist, her songwriting process, writing the musical Waitress, and lots of other tidbits for creative types.
Lyrically, I find the way she uses language kinda fascinating… I don’t structure songs the same way, but I really like untangling the way other writers write. We approach writing very very differently (she doesn’t really enjoy co-writing), but hearing about her writing process (which happens about 10 minutes into the interview) is VERY interesting.
This is another great moment from the interview…in Sara’s memoir, she recalls a friend sending her an email with this quote from Martha Graham:
No artist is pleased, there’s no satisfaction whatever at any time, there’s only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive…”
Well, “Blessed Unrest” eventually becomes the name of Sara’s album in 2013, and she responds to Martha’s quote saying “I just was looking around at my life and didn’t feel like I was on fire.” She says, “I gained so much comfort, from this idea that there was something divinely ordained that was guiding me towards a place that would be more resonant or a deeper connection to my purpose…”
It got me thinking about restlessness, and the desire to be “on fire.” And not the restlessness that comes from the “wantsies.” Or the restlessness that comes from comparison, or from the lie “if I only had” (fill in the blank,) I’d be content. But a restlessness that’s rooted in longing. It also feels like it’s rooted in a belief that you have something to do. That you were made for something, and that you must keep walking toward that thing. It’s not the dissatisfaction that comes out of insecurity, but the kind that comes out of purpose. So, I encourage you to listen to the interview.
Have a wonderful weekend…. and hit me back with your comments about creating. XO