I’ve felt creative since I was a boy. I remember drawing, putting outfits together, building forts and enjoying my painting classes. However, I was also a good athlete and my sports career ended up taking priority over my artistic pursuits. In the last few years, a new sense of freedom around my artistic interests has emerged.
Songwriting provides an opportunity for me to tell a story in a couple of hundred words and a few chords. Words deliver the message I want to share and the music delivers the mood. Most of my songs are autobiographical in nature but I have also begun to place myself inside another persona, enabling me to share feelings, thoughts, and actions that I can imagine but have not yet experienced myself.
My songs typically start with a thought, idea or phrase. I particularly enjoy finding clever ways to incorporate words that I’ve not heard in a song before or a phrase of words that are unexpected even to me the first time they appear on the page.
Painting is a perfect yin to the yang of my songwriting. When I start painting, it is rare that I have a preconceived idea of what I want to express. I let the process of creating be the story. Sometimes along the creative process, an idea or image emerges and informs the remainder of the piece but I don’t look for it or expect it. I am most delighted when someone sees one of my paintings and expresses how it makes them feel or what they see, which is rarely, what I see.
Currently, I am creating paintings using found and donated materials. This is consistent with my minimalist values and belief that my creativity expands when I incorporate the challenge of eliminating the ability to purchase what I want and instead be open to what I find.
For me, art is the ideal medium to express what we feel, in whatever format we choose. If another person is moved, touched or inspired, great, if not, that’s okay. The point is to grant ourselves the freedom to express what we feel. That is art. That is creativity.