Let’s face it, creativity is not a simple process. It appears out of nowhere and disappears unannounced too.
Artists and musicians that make a living off their craft sometimes struggle to find inspiration when it is needed. Creating the right circumstances might help; however, there is still no secret to the creative process. In this piece I will express my point of view on what I believe can help creatives like me get the ball rolling.
If you want to craft quality art in any form, you will need to become a master at what you do. The result might not be up to your expectations but trying again and again will give you perspective on the processes. In music we have access to an infinite number of tools. These could be key to your output. However, they can also consume a lot of your time and yield very little result. I believe it is better to master a few tools and expand on what you already know. This simply means pick your favorite two synths and keep on creating with them; repeat the process until you are able to concretize your ideas rapidly. After this stage is achieved, you will have dialed your basic creative process and and only then will it be time to venture out to try new tools.
Sometimes collaborating directly or indirectly is a great way to start or complete the creative process. I created www.wemakedancemusic.com on this very principle. If you cannot collaborate directly, you can always get someone else’s ideas and add your own creative input to build something completely new. It is important to alway be open to sharing and learning. The best masters are the ones who always strive to share and learn new skills. In music production there are numerous techniques for audio engineering and sound design. These can be passed on via tutorials, project files or even better in person. Synergy between two or more people can help create powerful ideas that could not have been achieved by a single person. This is how most bands operate.
3 – Be Focused
In today’s tech world it is easy to be distracted by notifications from multiple devices. Turning these off is a good starting point to stay focused. Timing is a very important factor too when it comes to focus. Also, what is the best time for you to create? Is it at night, in the morning, or else? Capturing the best moment when you have a clear focused mind can greatly increase your creative output. With experience you will know what can trigger your focus. For me it is physical activities like running or weight lifting. You will need to explore what might work best for you. Just thinking about it for a minute will give you some ideas.
4 – Be Open To Learning
There is always more to learn for any creators, there is no written guide to creation! But there are a lot of creatives out there ready to share their experiences and techniques. You can also learn from cross disciplines. A good dancer can learn from a musician and vice versa. A sculptor can learn from a quantum physics teacher. Knowledge can be applied in multiple fields. The root of an idea can come from a completely unrelated event. The knowledge acquired can be stored to be retrieved later. The latency between absorption and usage is not important. What will count in the end is knowledge.
5 – Step out of your comfort zone
You might think it is contrary to all of the above. Well, being creative sometimes means completely reinventing yourself. Create a new starting point to your creative process, try to create music that is not your cup of tea at all, you will be surprised of what you will achieve. This happened to me when I started working on my album Explorers. Being a progressive & trance producer for a year I decided to work with Violins and Brass, incorporated acoustic elements and blend them with electronic music. With the amount of music construction kits, presets and sample packs out there, it is easy to pick something you are not accustomed to and start creating something completely new.
Some claim that you cannot create creativity, that is go to your studio, desk, office and just ‘create’. It is said that the creative moment comes and goes, just happens when you’re euphoric, inspired, lucky, high… The truth is that nowadays we just cannot afford to wait for this intangible being to reward us with its presence. We need to be able to take control of it, to shape it, make the best conditions for ourselves to be in the position to “create creativity”. So let’s have that cup of coffee, let’s do that 10k run, let’s blast some music and simply go for it, here and now. No excuses.