Fake It Until You Make It Is Terrible Advice For Artists

What does it even mean? Try hard until you succeed? No, that would be fine. Is it some perverse sexual wordplay? Well, art is art, but no.

So, pretend that you can do something until you do?

That’s great if you’re in an 80’s movie*, but really, if you are trying to make something….

Wait for it.

Please wait, or please do something

MAKE SOMETHING.

It won’t be good. It might be okay. Odds are it will totally suck. Privately, even you might realize it’s crap, or you might think it’s the best thing ever (and that’s great, but honestly this often happens because we are so happy we actually made something! But really we tend to give ourselves extra credit for understanding our artistic process and the subtext.)

So it’s made, but it’s bad. So what? And, so what now?

Simple: Don’t pretend it’s good and stop. Repeat the process. Make something else. Again and again. Again.

Hey wait, that time it was okay. Maybe it even shows a glimmer of something shinier than the sum of its parts. Maybe someone else gets a glimpse of your subtext this time, as you refine your ability to communicate it.

Because we get better with practice, but in the creative field, practice is actually fun. Oh, and hard work at times, but fun.

Faking it doesn’t make anything.

Make it until you don’t feel like you’re faking it. Or until enough others feel that way, depending on how deep you like to breed your artistic angst.

—–David

P.S. “In the creative field, practice is actually fun” does not only apply to textbook definitions of creative endeavors. You can draw on creativity, inspiration, delightful random chance, discovery, and whimsy in any situation with excellent results.

Part of that trick is sometimes using creativity more for creation and less for expression (And not with numbers. Don’t get creative with the numbers!). Technique and presentation can come from opposite corners.

I mean, I don’t know what Newton was doing under that apple tree, but an apple fell on his head and he decided to define gravity mathematically. You can’t tell me that’s not creative as hell. And pie. Who came up with apple pie?

And even longer ago:

Do or do not. There is no try.

Or so I have heard.

* I’m thinking Michael J. Fox in “The Secret of My Success” here, not Michael J. Fox in “Bright Lights, Big City,” one of which is funnier (not saying which) but both involve faking it and making it in business, though not in the creative field.

Fake It Until You Make It Is Terrible Advice For Artists was originally published on Creative Uploads

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Christmas In Your Eyes

Another holiday, another song… (well a new recording, anyway) with a little video to entertain you while you listen.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmegawatson%2Fvideos%2F10156008086025909%2F&show_text=1&width=560

From our Facebook page!*

“Happy Christmas holidays everyone! It’s time for another song (not the one I planned, but it’s sweeter….)

Your present is a song I wrote when my daughter was two. You can interpret it any way you like, but I think it’s for parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends and family who get a fresh look at the joys of the season….

It’s on Bandcamp too, especially for the free audio streaming.

 

Peace,

—–David

P.S. An experiment in posting backwards — Facebook first and embedded here. What’s the point of life if not to test things, technical and otherwise? So I learned that you can’t read the text on the embed thanks to my current theme, and it steals you away to Facebookland instead of opening a new window. But the video will stream faster.

P.P.S.  A quick recording on in Logic X with my electric piano and the MIDI function. I do not love the string sounds as much as I hoped.

Christmas In Your Eyes was originally published on Creative Uploads

Not Dried Up

I know there’s been a drought of posts, but the site’s just been resting while other projects demand to be watered. Researched an idea to move hosts and now planning on taking everything with and not starting with a new blank page. Whether I have the time to post a lot or not, this will be sticking around for a while. I have a plan. And a hosting plan. The broadcast stays on air.

I also wasn’t sure for a little while if I was going to stick with a self-hosted version or just maintain the perfectly adequate and free WordPress.com mirror, and didn’t want to keep it all shiny to have it disappear shortly.* You do want to spend time creating, but not a disproportionate amount creating something that evaporates.

It’s hard to strike a balance. I have that conversation with my theater-loving performing child who rehearses for weeks and only gets to put on the show a few times, versus me wanting her to be on video or do a film project with me, which could last for ages and find a wider ranging audience..

But the camaraderie, process and applause are a siren call, aren’t they? For all of us, in our own way.

—–David

* Reference: borderline hoarding but also the economy of efficiency.

Not Dried Up was originally published on Creative Uploads

My Current Mission Statement?

This is a wordy first draft. I’ll have to talk to the committee.

Deciding that you know everything destroys your ability to listen, comprehend and grow. It’s terrible for teamwork. Once you can admit that you don’t always know everything but will learn and build on existing levels of understanding, you can embrace a “team ego” instead of individual silos.

That’s attitude I strive to bring to my business services, training, QA, and personal life. Except when talking to my child.

—–David

 

P.S. I love smart ass captions. I call this one “Library Photo” but I may shelve that name.

My Current Mission Statement? was originally published on Creative Uploads

I’ll Read This Again: How Blogging Teaches You To See – Taylor Pearson

Taylor Pearson Mini-Essay – Learning To See

It’s a interesting look at the fear and feeling that you have nothing to say, and pushing through to find your voice and what you want to talk about. And to build a habit.

Frankly, his essay could just as easily be: how to talk to strangers, or how to climb a hill, whatever.

Give yourself a reason or an excuse to try something, then try something. Provide some impetus to complete a critical step. Then psychological relevance makes you see it everywhere, and turn it over in your head and actually see the other angles. Even interact with others with similar interests.

—–David

P.S. So do you stay up late catching up on posts and pages that get you excited and feel inspirational so you get something pleasant off the internet before you go to sleep? I’ve often used television for that, sometimes reading. But how do we keep that little spike of happiness from keeping you up even longer? Personally I am still trying to figure out how to capture that feeling in the morning when an alarm goes off and what I love most in the morning is staying in bed longer….

I’ll Read This Again: How Blogging Teaches You To See – Taylor Pearson was originally published on Creative Uploads

Ennui Or Entropy

Sometimes you’re just not excited to do a post, or you pretend to yourself that you don’t have the energy, when really you have energy but you want to do something else with it; for example, sit on the couch and watch television and read your iPad.

Creative uploads camera filter frowny faceAnd sometimes your phone battery is just dead at the end of the day.

So don’t beat yourself up about it Just recharge. If it’s important you’ll get back to it and if you don’t, I guess it wasn’t that important to you.

So is it important? Do you feel lucky, punk?

—–David

P.S. Wow, that “Dirty Harry” was a great movie did you know Frank Sinatra was originally tapped to be the star? Maybe he just didn’t feel like doing it?

P.P.S. You can kick back sometimes. But not always, if you ever want to get things done. Still, timing is everything. So prepare for what you want to do (as discussed elsewhere in his blog) and then be ready to jump. 

Ennui Or Entropy was originally published on Creative Uploads

Hoard Meeting

So I like to keep stuff that I get but have gotten better about not getting too much new stuff.

Don’t want to get crushed under the weight of everything that night otherwise be stacked in my house.

Creative uploads trash dumpsters
Or like these neighbors, require a crew to clean up after I am downsized in my old age. One man’s treasure is often a lot of trash.

But I use a lot of my stuff as inspiration or for projects, so that’s not bad. I am unfortunately at the crossroads of wanting to inventory and parse out my archives and that takes time and brain focus away from other things.

So I should have learned about letting go of some things earlier than I did so I would be in better practice now.

—–David

P.S. But where can I donate my many old video tapes recorded off tv ? I know what’s on them and like the stuff, even though I don’t needs these copies of most of the shows and movies. It doesn’t seem fair to just toss them….

Hoard Meeting was originally published on Creative Uploads

Not Popcorn, Prickly Villains

So someone told us that the strange white spots appearing on our prickly pear cactus was an infection but not the kind we thought.
In fact it’s an infestation of cochineal bugs (Dactylopius sp.). These are tiny insects feeding on our cactus, hiding under fluffy white weblike wax, which helps protect them from predators and the elements.

Creative uploads cactus infestation

These insects are crushed for a natural dye in some localities.

Or they kill your cactus. There’s a chemical spray that doesn’t always work. So I followed this person’s alternate instructions: Power wash off the webbing and spray the cactus pads with watery dish soap (unscented Dawn is recommended; not the lemon variety which is bad for the cactus.) The idea is that the bugs didn’t like to eat soapy cactus, or less likely, it poisons them when they try.

It was kind of interesting; I used a jet setting on my garden hose instead of a power washer. (I imagine a truly high setting might cut into the cactus pads). When I hit the white clumps just right they would not only wash off but also occasionally flash with a reddish purple burst of color as it presumably crushed the bugs inside.

Given that I didn’t know how to kill the bugs that would otherwise wash to the ground under the very cactus they liked to eat and might just climb back up, I was all for reducing the population.

A few days later it’s looking pretty good, time will tell. I expect there will be some stragglers. Hoping for some good luck.

—– David

P.S. Some message boards suggested using a toothbrush and soap on the individual pads, so if you have a smaller cactus collection and can actually get to all the pads, you can try that. I didn’t have that luxury of scale.

P.P.S. So I always talk about editing things, and my Google searches are no exception. I found this information throwing all the keywords I thought might be relevant, then edited them down and added others based on the results I was seeing.

Not Popcorn, Prickly Villains was originally published on Creative Uploads

Comfortable Like An Old Shoe

Creative uploads shoes photography prisma

Prisma styles again. “Wild” and “Crazy Hair” for the monochrome one if I recall correctly.

I knew taking the shot that I wanted to keep the whites, so these fit my vision.

—– David

P.S. To be honest my really old shoes are Nikes and I think I have a pair that I haven’t worn for years but have still managed to keep for two decades. Someday I might need them.

Creative uploads shoes photography prisma

Bonus photo if you can spot the carpenter bee:

Creative uploads flowers photography prisma

Comfortable Like An Old Shoe was originally published on Creative Uploads

Storm In A Teacup

I always liked the phrase “Storm In A Teacup.” It’s British, but the Americanized version is a “tempest in a teapot”, which aside from being alliterative would allow for a slightly larger storm, or perhaps a copy of that Shakespeare play. I don’t know why it’s changed, we have teacups, too.

In any case it’s about making a bigger deal of something than you should, but instead I imagine a tiny tornado twisting its way around the rim of the china, as if stirred by a spoon suddenly removed, the leaves at the bottom of the cup stirred up and swirling as the brewing process makes it darker and darker.

I suppose that changes the meaning. And who minds a quick storm now and then, as long as it’s small and passes quickly? It brings a little excitement, maybe makes you dizzy? creative uploads writing teacup ride carnival

If not recommended for life, use that feeling in your writing. Great for conflict and potential resolution. What’s important to one character isn’t always perceived the same as another: was the response too big, too small, pointless, funny, sympathy-inducing? Or were they just interested in some tea with sugar?

—–David

P.S. I enjoy wordplay. And I enjoy the screeching halt when you suddenly stop. Contrast is good in writing.

P.P.S.  Songwriter Stephen Bishop wrote a song using this phrase, though it’s called “Madge.”  Here’s a nice cover of it on YouTube.  Bishop is more famous for things like “On and On”, “It Might Be You” (from “Tootsie”) and “Save It for a Rainy Day.” He also wrote and sang “Animal House.” So there’s that.

Here’s his own performance of Madge even though this musical P.S. diversion has little to do with the start of this post, it’s another tangent in how to use words to tell a story, right?

Storm In A Teacup was originally published on Creative Uploads