Commercial vs Creative

Let’s face it, it takes a lot of courage to dig deep and find out who you are, underneath all the programming and external forces that we integrate over our lifetimes. It’s easier to play the roles the world has prescribed for us, and be the meek girl who works overtime or the easy-going guy who helps everyone move cause he owns a truck or the cool chick who’s always the life of the party, or the fab guy who’ll make his first million soon.

Our society seems to worship the external and the instant. All around us there exists a profound lack of appreciation for the process of becoming. All around us emphasis on how we look, what we do, what we are seen to be, what we where, what we say in our glib way… but little is said about the internal life of dealing with our own consciousness, the spirit within each of us, our creative voice, our individual and unique inspiration.

It took me years and years of work and healing to be able to hear my own voice. I still struggle sometimes to find it in the cacophony of sound around me, in the harsh morphings of the negative thinkers who permeate the world with their bad vibes. But even though I’ve found my voice and released it and hopefully support it in its blossoming, I am still aware that I have much to learn about refining it.

Therefore I see no contradiction if I, on the one hand, aspire to be fully authentic and organic and real while, on the other hand, also wish to be more skilled, more refined, do things better than I have before. In fact I consider it a challenge to be myself to also rise above myself at the same time, lol. Otherwise I will think I have arrived. Otherwise I will stagnate. Otherwise, life would be boring.

If one says, ‘I cannot be creative if given specific guidelines to follow, and following those guidelines is a selling out of personal creativity,’ then one is really saying that we must ignore craft and embrace organic inspiration at all cost. In that case, let us cease teaching our children to read & write, all music lessons should stop, all universities should close, and all apprentices should leave their masters.

If one has that point of view, then one should believe that teaching Leonardo di Vinci how to mix colours was a crime against his individual creativity and the fact that he learned how to mix colours, to sketch perspective, to choose media & effective tools was a ‘selling out’ on his part, and therefore his work became as homogenized as all the other work done with the same skills and tools. Bland.

Michelangelo was asked to paint the Sistine Chapel. Well, really – what a limit to his ability to create a work that expresses his artistry, right?

Really? If someone asks me to write a song ‘a la’ someone… how does that limit me as an artist? It’s simply providing the canvas. I still choose the colours, the shapes, the shadows, the light, the brushes, the expression; the instruments, the melody, the words, the arrangement.

I prefer to get excited by the idea that I can paint my own masterpiece within the frame provided. I know my creativity is up to the task. In fact, I think the fact that I can express myself within the ‘confines’ of an ‘a la’ makes the ‘me’ in me stronger and more resilient ~


Grant said...

Vikki, that was inspirational.

Jannie Funster said...

Last year our (now moved-on,)Songcloud group was assigned homework to write a 2-chord song. Ii terrified me but I was amazed at somehow within those confines I came up with something my cohorts quite liked. (After I thought it totally sucked.) It'll actually be one of the tunes included in The Musical I'm writing, (yay, I'm putting my songs into a Broadway-esque show - hey, why not,nobody's gonna do it for me.) It'll be the grande romantic sweep towards the end of the play (I think,( when the guy and the gal realize they can't get along without each other, song called "You Could Love Me Good."

Funny how yes, we can do our best work when we must reach the deepest.

Glad to see you post again, Vikki, you always make such sense.

Hope you are well. Would love for you to come to Austin. Any plans for that?

(now with comments on me olde humble bloge. Whee-hoo.)