One of the great things about school in the arts is that, at an amazingly impressionable and optimistic age, we’re suddenly surrounded with people interested in the same things were are – but who often have wildly different backgrounds and preferences. Conversations can traverse light years, bouncing from pop culture to Nietzsche to a musical theater melody to dreams to memories to expectations in mere minutes. We’re consuming information and putting it together almost as nimbly as we did as small children…navigating the way our worlds worked, learning how to communicate. And the more disparate influences we have? The more interesting our projects become.
I find myself nowadays using that interest in a million things to multitask just to get the mundane things completed. Work, laundry, feeding myself and my family and making sure All Of The Things get done. Creative? Only in the ways I save a few pennies or streamline my errand running or trips up the stairs. (Yawn. I might’ve just bored myself to sleep.) So I’m drawn to this graphic note by Nick Cave.
I started googling the names I didn’t know (and I’ll be honest, I have many many more to go) and wondering whether the smudges were made by condensation from a glass? Tears seem too sentimental, but maybe?
I’ll be honest, I thought that I was going to contrast this idea with this OpEd piece in the Times written by David Byrne’s daughter Malu, a glass sculptor (!) and jewelry maker. She writes about needing to leave the city to really access her creativity. And I thought here! Here is an example of conflicting advice! The constant barrage of cross-pollination versus quiet inspiration. Genius!
But that wasn’t so much the focus of her writing.
She says that in the city there are too many distractions; the amount of non-creative work needed to sustain an artistic lifestyle; the cramped spaces; and the constant stimulus allow for very little time for reflection or incorporation. She is seeking out a new area from which to create, to find her individual voice.
So, she’s not running away from the connections, but is running to find a space in which to process them…in which she can actually create.
A crowded page. A bucolic landscape. Why not both?