Where is the art coming from?

Art as a consumable product. When we experience a piece of art, it is tempting to think that there could only ever be one version in the world. The song you’re listening to could surely only have sounded like this, could only ever have this tempo, could only be sung in this key. The picture you are looking at must have arrived fully formed – divine intervention flowed through the painter’s brush to the canvas in a single instant of inspiration. There was no practice involved and no research.

Art as a process. Of course the opposite is most often true – artists above all are experts at curiosity and playing with ideas. The curiosity and the playing results in countless versions of an idea until one day a version feels right (or is chosen by a company executive) to represent the artist’s vision.

Examples are everywhere – look at Bob Dylan’s countless versions of his most famous songs. Director’s cuts often differ wildly from the original film release. Look at Picasso’s obsessive research into the minotaur leading up to Guernica.

Curiosity and playfulness are where the real magic is. I think that this is important to remember, both as customers and as artists. These processes are not instantly gratifying, and can often be frustrating. But they are processes that we have to go through and we have to acknowledge to get the most from any piece of art.

Otherwise, there is a danger of art becoming a pre-packaged commodity. No back story. Nothing more to see.

 

Waiting on a mic

I got my old Fostex MR16 multi-track recorder out the other day. There were a bunch of recordings on there from my music playing days. Some were ok, most were rubbish. All of them brought back amazing memories of creative times. It’s strange to hear yourself ten years ago singing songs and talking into the microphone.

The encounter with my previous self inspired me to order a microphone online and do some more recording.

Waiting on a mic.

The first 1000

I would like to get to 1000 daily blog posts. Imagine all the words I will have written.

At the low points – the dips in mood and confidence – the idea of writing my own blog seems narcissistic, presumptuous, annoying and laughable.

But at the high points, a blog seems like a valuable resource. It is a daily mantra, a way to make sense of the world around me. It is a creative outlet and a personal asset to cherish.

I have gone in waves with this blog of posting and then dropping off. Part of that is laziness, but part of it is also just the fact that I run a company, have 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 fish and a whole life away from the computer.

However, consider this to be hopefully the first of a thousand successive blog posts. Imagine the words I will have written.

Security

It’s a strange existence sometimes in Africa.

We’re on our last night of a two week holiday. I just took out a plate of food for the guard who’s been patrolling our holiday house at night time. He’s a young Zulu chap. He smiled and thanked me for the bryani. Then I got a call from the security company at home telling me our home alarm system has triggered – Is everything ok? Shall we come and assist?

We’re hundreds of miles away I tell them, but sure please go and have a look. Be nice to my dogs.

They found nothing except my grumpy dogs. We never actually put the alarm on. I think it was a power cut causing all the commotion. Guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

It is so easy to cause havoc if you really want to, but we still try to control the risk. Some countries don’t have this issue.

But they also don’t have whales and zebras and sunshine and snakes and zip lines and beaches like I experienced this holiday.

Pros and cons. The grass is always greener.

Microsoft

I just downloaded edge browser for my phone.

I am also moving all my mail and calendar stuff to outlook.

Excel Word and PowerPoint are all work mainstays on my computer.

I am going to Microsoft because I pay for it. The idea is that I will be the customer rather than the product.

Hardware is probably next. Liking the look of windows surface and laptops.

Wind and whales

It’s a gusty day here by the sea. our kids are bothered by the sand and the choppy water. The whales don’t seem to care.

I just saw my first breach – like a rocket launching out the ocean.

Coming up from the deep with such force, the whale’s head and shoulders pushed into the air. It looked for a moment like the giant learned how to fly.

Then with half of its body out the water, the launch failed. The rocket fell down to the sea with a monstrous crash. I could see the explosion of water from kilometers away.

They’re still lolling about out there as I type this. Viva whales.