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Thoughts on life by Tim West.

Familiarity

Familiarity, wonder, inspiration, creativity, ingenuity...  a thought on creative inspiration.

I've been thinking about the importance of having interest and admiration for other creative disciplines that you don't really understand.  For me, there are several.  In particular I admire great acting, great music and the creative and fascinating workings of nature.  Let's take music as an example.  I can't do anything without putting some music on; washing the dishes, running, working, driving.  And most of the time that I'm not listening to music there's probably some playing in my head all by itself.

If I watch a show like planet earth, like everybody else it blows my mind in so many ways.  But sometimes instead of letting the full brilliance of the show take hold, I'll start thinking, I wonder how they got that shot.  That has to be a remote camera.  That must be at least an 800mm lens to reach that far.  And so on.  It's still amazing but a little bit of the magic is gone.  Now if I contrast that example to a great piece of music, things do sort of the opposite.

I have always loved good guitar music, regardless of the genre in which it sits.  But I take so much joy and inspiration from great guitar music, that I tell myself if I learned how to play myself and understood how it all works then some of the magic would be gone.  Am I bullshitting myself because I just won't give it the time or won't make it a big enough priority?  Yes, definitely.  But I believe there is some truth to it nonetheless.  For me the familiarity of one's craft, while essential can be somewhat limiting at times.  Indulging in the creative excellence of unfamiliar art forms returns me to a state of childlike wonder, allowing my imagination to run riot again.

(The picture above shows my musician friend's creative solution to a misplaced capo.)

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