You cultivate your own World through your own taste.
Simply, if you love art, you might be in the process of creating art. If you’re a musician, you might be in the process of picking up a guitar to learn folk music –because you love folk music that much. It speaks to you. You’ve listened to John Denver and Annie Lenox a thousand times and you’ve said to yourself, “I can do that. I want to do that. I want to get up on stage and play that.”
Theory & Practice
Eventually, your creative endeavor, whatever that may be, engulfs you and manifests itself. You evolve, nurture, and explore it within that self-assigned practice. You seek teachers, like-minded students, attend concerts, watch, absorb and allow it to fill you up. You know good taste. You’ve seen it. You’ve discerned it through critiques, public and private. You can talk about it with passion and aplomb.
Now, you even call yourself an artist.
As Ira Glass explains in Storytelling #3, there is a gap that happens, it’s natural. It’s a gap that occurs just after you begin to explore the relationship of that creative endeavor against the taste world you’ve cultivated. This is the part where you’re trying to create the product that doesn’t quite reach the potential you’ve come to expect. You practice and practice and practice and still, you’re making crap.
We all go through this. Yes, even me.
It might last a couple of years and, I know, I know! You don’t think you have a couple of years, you want it (insert need here) now!
Resist Quitting Yourself
Don’t stop. If you want to become the next Annie Lenox, don’t stop. I will concur with Ira by saying that in the beginning, we all go thru this gap together: The Crap Stage. Unfortunately, this is where most people quit themselves. When taste doesn’t match up, resist quitting yourself. If you don’t really care about making a success –a public success– out of what it is you currently endeavor, then stop. Quit. Move on.
If you are passionate about pushing thru this crap stage, keep going. No one is going to do this for you -only you can. You play your own tune in the noisy bars where you think no one hears you, to the quiet bars where all ears are listening. Keep playing, you’ll find your voice.
Practice Makes Voice
I’ve got work that remains in my studio and cannot bear to throw it out, cannot bear to show it, much less sell it, but there it is. It sits around the studio as a reminder of where I started -where we’ve started. Andrew and I epitomize what Ira coveys: The more we make, the more we play. The more we play, the more we understand what works and what doesn’t.
We’re on the eve of mastering this ‘thing’ (as Ira aptly states) and I’m here to remind you that we all started from the same place. We have to recognize that we’re all human and in order to achieve that level of success within that taste world we’ve cultivated for ourselves, we have to push through that ugly, awkward phase of our development. Remember our teens?
Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes better. Moreover, practice helps you make your voice.
In what stage is your voice? We’d love to know.