As writers, artist, musicians, what we input into our minds has a great effect on what we put out in our work. I know that sounds simple enough, but how often do we do it?
Every great artist, always gives the same advise, submerge yourself in your chosen art. If you are a writer, read as many great works as you can, if you are a musician, listen to as many hours of great works as you can. This will in time show you how the greats have accomplished what they have done, or at the very least, will give you some ideas on what you need to work on. To inspire you to push your own limits, till you reach your full potential.
But this in itself can have a negative knock on effect.
It can intimidate the reader, or listener, or watcher, that what they will do will never be good enough. That what they will create will never stand up to the test of time, stand up to their idols own works and because of that you should quit. Quit while you are ahead, quit before you ever got started, because if you can’t reach those lofty heights then why bother?
What is the point!
And I understand that point of view, really I do.
Every creator, has that fear. Every creator after they are done taking in that master piece of art, just stares blankly at their own tools, be it screen, instrument, brush or tool and just stops.
Stops, because they are scared.
Stops, because they see the mountain that dwarfs Everest ahead of them that they need to climb, and don’t know where to start.
Stops because …. well, because it is easier to stop and never try, then try and truly see how short you fall compared to your heroes.
Thankfully, I have never let that stop me. I don’t know why, maybe because I am to stupid to know how skill-less I am. Maybe because I have an ego that could dwarf the moon.
Or maybe because I see the challenge and say, bring it on. I have always been a competitive bastard since I was born. Being a writer when I hear of stories that changed peoples lives, or make them cry for the beauty of the words that they read, I want to do that. And it doesn’t matter to me how long it will, or could take, all I care about is that I think I can accomplish that task, so why not try till I do.
The theme of this post, has pretty much gotten away from me, I wanted to talk about using other means of influences apart from your additional ones to help you create better art.
So I’ll say a few words about the matter, before I disappear.
I think that as creators, we short change ourselves in only looking at one source of work to help us create something great or unique.
I love to read autobiographies because as you all know, fact is stranger than fiction. The stories of Nelson Mandala, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even Russell Brand, have helped me understand human nature in a way that fiction stories never could. If you want to understand human behaviour, or what drives us as human beings, then there are millions of words on the matter. From scientists, philosophers, and everyone in-between.
If you only write horror, do not limit yourself to only reading works in the horror genre. Because you rap, do not be afraid to listen to classical.
In the great words of Bruce lee, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not.”
Listen to Jazz, you may like it.
Take a walk in mother nature and let her beauty astound you, and her words guide you.
Go to an art gallery and submerge yourself in works of beauty, that will leave you confused and mystified.
All in all, as long as you’re not just sitting home, surfing the net for no other reason but to waste time, then you can grow as an artist in more ways than one.
What harm can it do.
Until next time.
Love and Peace