Can you feel it? Or is it just me? I don’t know, lately I’ve been feeling like something is changing, for the better. For me, anyways. Maybe it was getting those new glasses a few weeks ago. Or the fact I’ve got concerts lined up this year for the first time in quite some time. It feels like I’m on the cusp of a big change.
I’ve been feeling more creative, but in different ways. I continue to write here every day(or nearly every day). I’ve also started drawing. It’s one of those things that as a kid I did it all the time and loved it. But getting older and identifying as a musician I felt I needed to serve just one creative master, if you will. Plus, I never thought I was that good at drawing. It was just something I loved doing in my own time. I still don’t think I’m great at it, but sitting down for an hour or two and coming up with something feels like what I’d imagine meditation feels like when it works.
Whether I’m good at it or not, I’m going to keep doing it. One of my best and oldest friends who happens to be an amazing artist(he drew artwork for four of my albums as goodbyewave), has been a big inspiration for me, encouraging me to draw. So far I’ve done maybe five or six things, mostly just pencil, ink, and notebook paper. I recently bought a set of cheap color pencils and a sketch book. My idea is to get a decent amount finished, then pick a few to paint on canvas. I did some paintings back in 2020 while we were all down with Covid. Not great stuff, but abstract enough to make it seem like I might know what I was doing. It was therapeutic, anyways. I think painting something based on something I’ve already drawn will make the jump to paint and canvas a little easier. Maybe.
Another creative avenue is doing a podcast. It will be part stream-of-consciousness and part conversational. Weekly chats with that same friend who’s pushed me to draw. Just chats over the phone and see where it goes. Another aspect of it is me talking off the cuff during the week. This week I recorded little bits at a time and will be putting it all together this evening, complete with music created by, you guessed it, me. I bought a little Tascam handheld recorder with multi-directional mics built in with the idea of both doing a podcast with it and so my son and his friends had something to record their band practices with. It was also an excuse to buy a new gadget.
Maybe it’s the journalist in me(buried deep down from post-high school) that wanted to document something in my life. Maybe it’s just me wanting to document my life, period. I did that for years through my songwriting. A permanent statement on the state of my being put in music form. Then that evolved into what you’re reading now, a personal blog space where I can put my thoughts and experiences down for all to read. I feel the recent wave of sketching in a sketch book is just another aspect of that documentation. The podcast as well. It’s me on a very visceral, subconscious level saying “I was here. Don’t forget me.”
It’s also me just loving the process of creation. I loved putting a song together; the writing, the recording process, and all the layering and sonic bells and whistles. Once it was “in the can”, so to speak, I just moved on from it. I was ready to jump into the next process. Album art, sequencing, the whole kit n’ caboodle, those were the things I loved most about songs…the creation. Bringing something to life that was nothing more than a thought in my head. A ghost melody that took shape in sleep. A seed of an idea that rooted in my head and heart and I nurtured it through chords, melody, and the need to connect.
Sketching weird pictures is the same way, but on another level. I still draw like I’m a kid. Very rough around the edges, no great detail in form or features. But that’s just me. I have to tell myself that’s not a detriment, it’s just me. It’s my inner world put on paper. Like a musician that learns by ear, I’m an artist that draws from instinct. I guess that instinct is to use humor as a way of compensating for lack of technical skill. Everything I do is by the seat of my pants, and after 48 years I guess I’m just going to be okay with that from now on. The podcast thing is the same way. I didn’t take any classes. I’m flying by the seat of my pants here, kids. If you want to come along for the ride there’s some pretzels in the pantry and some sodas in the mini fridge. Some IPAs as well, but I’ll need to see your I.D.
So yeah, I feel a shift in me. Something is evolving in my head and heart, and I like it. I think I’m going to go with it. You’re welcome to join me. Here, there, or wherever I may be.
Coffee’s on. Let’s get to it.