What's Possible?- How to get un-stuck.


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What’s possible?- How to get un-stuck.


We do many of our daily tasks on auto-pilot. Creating art and music takes a bit of re-adjusting and re-framing our thinking. It is putting aside the ideas of “I’m wasting time”, “this isn’t good”, and “I already know how to do that” and finding the space to create and discover and play.

It is about you figuring out your own balance between:

“there are endless possibilities” and “there’s nothing new under the sun”.

It is about sometimes feeling the weight of “I don’t know what to do next” and starting to search for the answers. It is a hands-on, active search.


Try thinking the impossible:

The 2023 World Record for the longest abdominal plank held is:

9 hours, 38 minutes, and 47 seconds.

For the average person a 1-minute plank is great.

As an artist, do you live in a world where your artistic equivalent of a great plank is 1-3 minutes? How about the artists you surround yourself with? Is there anyone around striving for a 30-minute “plank”? Is anyone in your circle really aware of bigger possibilities, looking for greatness, exploring different aspect of art? Is your entire artistic world and reality “average”? Are you happy with that?


So what are the qualities and aspects of your particular art form that you can explore, expand, excel in, that maybe don’t have that “muscular” feel to them but make the art form what it is?

For example, if an exceptional song or painting requires “balance” or ‘texture”, how do you approach getting to a mastery level of that?

To get the right arrangement or to develop your own style, it’s not just about more more more...

But it may be about expanding your realm of possibilities by... a lot. Reaching a wall and believing it’s possible to knock it down.

If you believe a 5-minute plank is what is humanly possible, you’ll be ok with your 2-minute plank (if planks are your passion). But when you realize people are doing 9+ hour planks, you might suddenly expand your thinking and focus and training to reach for a much higher goal.


All art forms have their own intricacies and elements and styles and history that make them what they are. That’s why with something like Breaking, we don’t want gymnastics coaches or even the general audience judging the dancers. It can only be done by those with a ton of experience who understand both the athletic AND artistic/cultural aspects of the dance. The audience will be wowed by the tricks, but a true practitioner won’t let anyone who can’t dance on beat or who is doing primarily a different style of dance (house, popping etc.)through to the next round. Even if they all mad..

In your art form, do you know all there is to know about it? Is that even possible with artforms that have been around anywhere from decades to the beginning of human civilization? Whatever your art, do you practice and explore your craft? Are you on beat, have you researched sonics, do you know enough about 2 different styles before mashing them together?


Where to start ...

First: If you’re overwhelmed by all that information and now want to stick your head into the sand or quit, notice that.

These are things all artists feel, and it’s how you deal with these feelings that will allow you to thrive. Don’t skip this step, especially if it’s uncomfortable.

Write down ideas on how to deal with moments of “unworthiness/overwhelm”. Some things to try:

-Blood flow and body movement/shake it out/ stretch/walk.

-Have you eaten/had water ? Look at overall health.

-Are these your thoughts or your mother’s, old teacher’s, friend’s, society’s?

-Notice what you always do in this situation and ask yourself why and what you can do instead. Make a plan.

-Don’t trust how you feel about your life/art/career/ after 7pm. It’s when we usually feel melancholy.

-Are you having any fun with your art? Do you like it? If not, address this ASAP. Otherwise what’s the point?


And then...

Write down ideas on how to practice your craft.

What are the aspects of your particular art form and style that you want to expand on?

For example, as a singer you can write down things like:

Vocal exercises to develop balanced head and chest voice and breath support for vocal health, research great Jazz vocalists and pay attention to stylings and how they interact with other solo/melodic instruments within the songs, research differences between writing song lyrics and poetry (how to approach writing hooks? Do I agree with whoever wrote this article?) Vocal tone, how to keep it steady and not too nasal? Research local choirs, try to learn alto parts to help with harmonization, look up what information to give the sound engineer (for mixing or stage) as a vocalist, join local Jazz combo to become familiar with the arrangement of Jazz standards and interacting with rhythm section? Look up recording program tutorials...etc etc etc


And now you may realize...

I didn’t know where to start and now I have too many places to start and I’m overwhelmed again, proceeds to stick head in the sand for the second time.

Look up that plan you had for this situation.

This is why we talk about having a daily practice.

This can be about setting a timer every day at a certain time for 20-30 minutes, and doing 1 of the things on that list. Some days you can just research/organize.

30 days of 30 minutes will mean you have spent 900 minutes that month developing the craft you love, versus none. During those 900 minutes you’ll discover things, you’ll fall in love with certain aspects of your craft you’ll pay more attention to than others, and it will shape your personal style. You might realize you’re neglecting some aspects and ask yourself if you’re either scared of that part or maybe you genuinely don’t like it and don’t want to pursue it. You find this out by trying. You find it while lost in the flow of art. The hands on search.


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