This is the first of a series of posts wherein I will dredge up some old tracks from my sordid past doing TV and radio commercials and explain the strange and/or amusing story of how the track came to be. How long this series continues depends on the degree to which I’m willing to embarrass […]

I always thought that inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work. — Chuck Close, in the […]

It was nice to see that I wasn’t alone. Salvation came from an unlikely source: a musicians’ web forum. The thread began with one person describing how he was having trouble completing a new piece of music because he was “obsessing over the tiny details”. A torrent of responses soon followed, and opinions varied widely. […]

Art is both love and friendship and understanding: the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of things. It is more than kindness, which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light of the inner folds of the awareness […]

If you were to think of the creative process as being akin to athletic training, what might a typical workout routine look like? Robert Genn offers an idea in the latest edition of his Twice Weekly Letter (well worth subscribing to, if you don’t already): Find a sanctuary where you can comfortably work. Dedicate at […]

The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join […]

All I can say is “word”: I dream about a kind of criticism that would try not to judge but to bring an oeuvre, a book, a sentence, an idea to life; it would light fires, watch the grass grow, listen to the wind, and catch the sea foam in the breeze and scatter it. […]