Of course, music is my primary mode of expression. But I’m simply not moved to write without inspiration…and inspiration comes to me through deep dives. “Artifice” is my homespun inspiration wellspring. It’s its own form of expression, certainly, but more than anything, it’s a cozy nest where my musical mind reliably (weekly) gets an inspo boost.

And I get even an EXTRA boost when I, in retrospect, consider the episodes from the past month, and look for beautiful common threads between them.

In this latest batch, I’m seeing so many little gems on one of my most favorite subjects of all time:

Creative Ownership…

October 2020 Featured:

Creative Ownership is a bit of a moving target, perhaps. It can mean so many different things. And my October Artifice guests all shared different facets of this compelling idea…

Walter put creative ownership in such gorgeously simple terms. He talked about how, as a small child, he would get shivers listening to the music performed weekly at his family church; and then many years later, he had the realization that HE could make those sounds of sounds himself, with his cello. At the very essence, I think this really is ownership—believing in your own creative voice in such a way that you are sort of overcome with the reality of your own ability to move others. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you readily possess the skills whereby you could move a viewer/reader/listener/consumer, but you feel deeply aware of the potential and possibility. What could be more motivating?

Brian also had SO many things to say on the subject of creative ownership. Brian shared his memories of regularly entering competitive, large-scale art competitions, starting at a young age, without particular involvement from his parents. I see this as evidence that little-boy Brian really valued his work in a measurable way. Every contest entered is a vote of confidence in his own work, an ACTIVE valuation. These little choices add up to large-scale creative resilience. As an adult, Brian continues to see his work this way. He makes a conscious effort to see himself at the beginning of new projects—knowing that he’ll need to invest hundreds of hours over several years before those skills or projects are ready for public viewing. Again, this is SUCH an active and faithful investment in his own creative potential.

And finally, I loved Brian’s simple statement that we, as creatives, should be compelled to create what we want to SEE. This idea goes beyond ownership in a “motivation” or “inspiration” sort of way, and feels more like ownership over the entire medium or genre, or even culture, at large—seeing a gap or a lack and thinking, “I am a person who can lessen this deficit.”

Andrew and I talked about what it means to be a “serious” artist…I think it could mean having mastered one’s medium, or earning a living making art, but more so I think it means investing in creativity. And that can happen at any age or skill level. I think investment is a primary way ownership manifests. Andrew also talked about sticking with your craft long enough to really start to see your unique voice coming through. I think it’s possible that the “investment” could start out as carefully paying attention to other creatives, and creative works. It could progress to skillful mimicry of others’ work. Personally, I think those can both be types of ownership…And then eventually, we can progress to a higher level of ownership in which our unique perspective can come through in our work. And as Andrew does with his work focusing on “space,” we can even take greater ownership over our full lives (their impact, significance, answerability, meaning, etc.) in tandem with our creative endeavors.

It is such an amazing feeling to hear your own, seldom-spoken beliefs pouring out of another person’s mouth, and I felt this way during my ENTIRE conversation with Stephanie. I especially loved her sort of personal, artist’s mission statement—“I want to make things that help people want to make things.” I feel SO the same way. And this feels like ownership to me. I experience this desire as evidence of an admittedly optimistic believe that my actions can inspire related actions in others. Sort of like what Brian said, I can create what I want to SEE. But what I want to see is more creativity, species-wide. Of course, I also want to create the sort of music I most want to hear. But in even a larger scale, I really just want to create things that beget more creativity. Stephanie wants to write about things “that are true, and that are universal.” So that listeners will see themselves in her work, and feel inspired to participate in this heightened type of embodied conversation. I also deeply loved Stephanie’s comment that being self-actualized (having real ownership over oneself and one’s creative output) essentially includes “having a deep sense of wonder.” I certainly agree.

And it feels like a wonder to me to be creative. And it feels especially wondrous to really FEEL the sort of ownership that compels greater creative exploration, intention, and resilience.

What do you think? What does “creative ownership” mean to you? What impact has creative ownership (yours or someone else’s) had on your life? Can you think of globally relevant examples of creative ownership?

I would love to hear any and all thoughts in the comments here, or in the EM Deep Dive Room FB Group >>>

During all of the quiet time of the past several months of quarantine, I have been thinking a LOT. And creating a LOT. I am excited to start sharing some lovely new things with you, soon.

In the meantime…

Happy Beauty Building!