My Folk Alliance showcase this Fri, stop judging your art representationally, and the well-adjusted artist

Heya folks,

Welcome back to another edition of Sharing Notes!

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Come see me perform at Folk Alliance Region West

This Friday, October 13 at 7pm, I have the pleasure of playing an official showcase for the Folk Alliance Region West Music Conference. Even if you're not attending the conference, anyone can get tickets for Friday's showcase. They're $30 and can be acquired here. Be aware that there are two showcase nights, Friday and Saturday, but I'm playing Friday. Last time I had a show on Friday the 13th, I didn't, because it was March 13, 2020 and the pandemic shutdown had just begun, so here's to second chances.

Stop judging your art representationally

This video on Gilles Deleuze and the shortcomings of representational thinking was a revelation to me. I occasionally find myself thinking, regarding a song I wrote, "It doesn't compare to such-and-such," or, "It's not what I intended it to be." These judgments are about what a piece represents—not about the piece itself. Claude Monet says, "When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you ... Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape."

You can be well-adjusted and a great artist

One of the nuggets of truth I got from Jeff Tweedy's book How to Write One Song is that if it was only great suffering that made great art, there'd be a lot more of it. This sentiment pairs well with Anna Tivel's song "Heroes". Arash Javanbakht, psychiatrist and author of Afraid, says, "I see [artists'] brilliant output as having happened in spite of—rather than because of—their mental anguish." His research reveals that creativity flourishes when basic needs are met. I've previously written a bit about mental health and creative block.

Meme moment


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