Message to my fellow musicians, artists and creators

Message to my fellow musicians, artists and creators

Recently, I started reading Rick Rubin's new book on creativity and the creative process. It really takes a look at how to approach the process from many different viewpoints. One thing he touched on that really struck a chord--pun intended-- was that how the environment you are in or around and how you are feeling mentally and physically affects the creative process. I have felt this way for a long time and often wondered how my favorite musicians and artists were feeling both mentally and physically when they made their art.

Maybe some of you have felt the same way. Like what was David Bowie feeling when he was in the process of making Scary Monsters, Aladdin Sane or Heroes? Was he well rested and was he eating something close to a keto based diet? Was he eating just white bread that was toasted with jam and little to no protein or fats? Was he over caffeinated? Nobody knows for sure but I can state with certainty that at the cellular level it could have made a difference. As most of my fellow musicians know when you sign on to use a musical instrument as your main method of creating, there are certain stereotypical lifestyle choices that most must make. Eating sub par catering, having tour riders that have plenty of alcohol, sugar and processed foods but little to no vibrant choices of healthy fats, protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates. BTW--not sure how Lay's potato chips are considered catering but Ive seen them on almost every catering spread along with packaged crackers, cookies, granola bars that have just as much sugar as a handful of Twizzlers and of course, diet soda--because we want to have healthy options. Right? Riiiiggghhhttt.

Its puzzling to me that nobody has really addressed this yet in the creative circle. I mean I can only speak for my experiences but after I decided to avoid alcohol not to fit into some new fad or because there was a sponsor involved but mainly just due to the fact that most every time I consumed it before, it felt like this cloud was always above keeping this gloom and almost depression type mentality instead of feeling balanced. I mean I understand. I really do understand why people who create use substances to make their minds feel something different. John Bonham had terrible stage fright. You would never know from his bombastic and powerful work with Zeppelin but its easy to draw conclusions that his Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde swings had a lot to do with his drinking and the physical changes that brings. I have read many excerpts where you can see from the artists point of view that they are put under demands and schedules that do not favor a healthy lifestyle.

But at the same time I do not understand why people who were supposed to be looking out for them did not step up and state that maybe its best if they avoid intoxicants and see how what the creative process looks like. There are some musicians and artists that feel that using substances that change perspective enhance creativity. I can understand that. But what I cannot understand is when it comes with a price that robs them and their audience of better work indefinitely. Its tough when you hear that we as a collective lose a great artist especially what we consider soon. We all know the weird association with 27 and rock stars. But think of how things may have been different in the creative world if Raphael, Van Gogh, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Amy Whinehouse, Whitney Houston, Keith Moon and so many more could have been creating for many decades after we lost them. Would the industry be different? Would these greats be helping groom others toward beautiful works of art and music?

The bottom line is that unlike the athletic world, artists do not really have a need to physically be at peak levels. I would argue that currently as touring and if you are playing a demanding instrument would directly translate to being in peak physical shape. And that would lead to better showcases of their respective art. It would also lead to better streams of consciousness when creating. Like it or not, to keep our minds sharp, we need the building blocks that support memory and focus just like we need building blocks for skeletal muscle for athletic performance. When someone blocks or voids these processes and chemical reactions in the mind, its kinda hard to create good bodies of work. I do not want to bore anyone reading with how these chemicals and neurotransmitters work but if your consuming junk on the daily from food to being around negative people, it without a doubt reflects in your creative space. I have recently heard many interviews where artists reach a roadblock and fans, record companies and media scoff at them for not having enough material. And in those same interviews, the artists will state that during that time period, they were being sued by 3 companies at the same time. I have hung out with many a musician and most of them do not hang out with lawyers for good reasons. So you can see how this can drain the creative process. The fact of having pressures from outside sources does actually effect someone physically and mentally. Don't think so--google cortisol and you will see exactly how this one hormone affects many processes.

My goal is to help musicians, artists and anyone who wants to make positive changes in their lives by simply changing belief systems and utilizing what we have that can really make lasting changes that can be shared with the people you care about. Creating anything is probably the best thing anyone can do. From creating a fantastic home that is welcoming and warm for your family to creating a bronze sculpture that takes years of labor but can change someone's day by observing it.

It all comes down to supporting your physical wellbeing so that your mental wellbeing can create amazing things when you feel the creative impulse. Sometimes it can even be something so minute that when you notice something that someone has poured hours and hours of labor and creativity into, you look at things different. Hopefully we can collectively help each other create better we will all be better for it!



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