Posts tagged creativity
The Life Cycle of Creative Work

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the cycle of creative work. In my own creative life I seem to go through distinct phases, and rather than each phase co-existing I cycle through them, usually to a point of burnout, triggering an abrupt departure from one phase to the next.

I have been attempting to unpack this cycle, to try and understand it better, and I think it can be best divided into three phases: Practice, Creation and Promotion.

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CutCommon career development #1: How to make the most of your friends

I have been working on a series of career development articles for CutCommon magazine, to be published in the lead up to my album launch at the Paris Cat on May 6.The first article, about establishing a mutual mentor relationship with a friend or creative colleague, has just gone live:

https://www.cutcommonmag.com/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-friends/

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SCP #51: Custard Bones

One of the challenges to staying creatively productive is fitting the creative work in with the rest of your life.  Before I went off to study music I worked a series of 9 - 5 jobs, however I only ever worked four days a week for most of that time.  I tried my best to use my day off for creative projects, and I did accomplish a whole lot of creative things during those years.  Ultimately, however, I found the constant shift between corporate and creatively mindsets exhausting.  I think I'd be better at it now that I have some robust processes in place, but I do find it much easier when my work and creative practice are more closely related.  My mind is never far away from music or art now, and my social circle is full of people who understand and support my lifestyle.

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SCP #38: The First Train Home

This piece is improvised, following on from yesterday's themes of transport and rain.  Yesterday it was a car, today a train.  I wrote the text first, then freely improvised with it and recorded only one take.  While I like spending time crafting and perfecting a piece of music, I also love improvising freely, and there is something particularly interesting about the very first performance of an idea.  My composition process involves recording improvisations like this and then listening back to them for ideas to expand upon, but those improvisations rarely make it past a voice memo on my phone.  This project gives them a reason to exist as compositions in their own right, and I am excited to develop this part of my practice as the year progresses.

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SCP #33: Firsts

I have been having some really nice conversations with my friend Emilee Seymour lately, as she is visiting Melbourne from Paris for a few weeks. Today we went to the Australian Tapestry Workshop, which was a big leap back into my past.  I posted about it on Instagram, and after a comment exchange with Lucy Roleff (a fellow Melbourne-based musician) I thought I would explore the issue of identity a little in today's blog.

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SCP #32: Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers

Today marks the first day of month two of this year-long project.  I should probably write a bit of a reflection on month one, but I might do that as a separate post tomorrow when I have a some free time.  Today I'll keep my writing about my composition, and I might get a little nerdy in today's post.  If you're one of my non-musician friends you might want to skip through to the bit about the lyrics.

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SCP #23: There Is A Song

As I start to write this it's just gone 1am.  I think every song so far has been written and recorded before midnight, but today I didn't set up my camera until well after 12am.  I started working on the song at about 8pm with lots of enthusiasm, but that quickly turned to frustration and I spent far too long languishing in pages of failed ideas.

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SCP #12: In This Room

Today is the first day I really didn't want to sit down and work.  Really, really didn't want to.  My schedule has been fairly light the past few weeks as most of my music teaching doesn't resume until the school term starts back again, but I am playing at a wedding tomorrow and spent most of today preparing for that.  I had considered building rest days into this project - one day a month perhaps - but momentum is an easy thing to lose.  One day off the wagon and you start to want another, and another and another.  I have no idea when I'll fit tomorrow's song in, but that's a challenge for the morning.

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SCP #10: The End Of A Feeling

I don't have a lot of brain space left tonight, but I'll do my best to bash out a few cohesive thoughts on this piece.  Today was an exercise in learning that something is enough.  This one is not very long, and there was far more I was playing around with, but it got to 11:30pm and I decided to just record the most cohesive part.  I tried to treat it like a finished piece in performance, and just making that mental decision seemed to help solidify it as a composition that is complete in itself regardless of what it wanted to be originally

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SCP #5: Swing-Song

I have a young guitar student who is incredibly cute, and likes to take off his shoes before he starts his lesson.  He says he's "just not comfortable" until he does.  He always informs me while removing his footwear that he has tan-bark in his socks, and he inspired some of the lyrics for this piece

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SCP #3: A Linen Square

Today was hard, and it's only day three.  I had about four hours sleep last night and spent most of the day as a zombie, but at about 11pm I pulled myself together enough to get this one out.  These videos are the kind of thing I'd usually keep to myself, and not share them to become a public record of my experimentation. A huge part of this project, however, is about learning to put my inner critic on hold.  Besides, tomorrow is another day and another chance to create something new.

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