fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together. ~john ruskin
this is one of tripp’s and my favorite songs.
awful, beautiful life. i so totally get that.
this song was written by darryl worley and harley allen in 2004. darryl is an accomplished singer/songwriter who has enjoyed success as a country music artist in the last 15 years or so.
anyway, the reason that i am telling you about this song is because tripp was playing it on his ipod a couple of weeks ago. and it sparked a really awesome conversation between us.
how does one become a country songwriter? what makes a good song? what comes first the lyrics or the music?
these are questions every artist has asked him or herself at some point in his or her journey. and whether it’s a country music song or a water color painting, mastering the craft is something that every artist is working towards.
i’ve often compared music to photography. because really, both start out as a song in your heart…something inside that you want to express.
in the case of a singer/songwriter, he or she has to be knowledgeable about the basic format of a song and be able to organize his or her thoughts into lyrics that flow. he or she has to be able to control his or her vocal chords to sing on pitch. and if he or she is an instrumentalist as well, that requires being skillful at whatever instrument he or she plays.
it’s a lot to keep up with. a lot to learn and become proficient with. but when a singer/songwriter puts all three elements together in just the right way…it’s magic. a good song has the power to communicate a wide variety of emotions. it can touch a person’s heart and bring healing into their life.
and isn’t that is the true beauty of all Art?
whereas a songwriter uses music to paint the picture, i use my photos. to sing my song, i have to know to use the buttons on my camera. understand exposure, composition, light. just like anything, there is a learning curve. and the simple truth of it is that it just practice, time, and patience.
wash. rinse. repeat.
if you feel a calling in your heart to make art….whether it’s painting, or making cupcakes, or building houses, or playing an instrument, or directing a play…i have good news and bad news. and they are the same.
you have to work at it.
the reason i say ‘work at it’ is good news, is that for me, for so long i felt like art was reserved for special people with ‘talent’. like there was secret club and i didn’t know the secret password. but now i know.
inspiration, creativity…it’s not magic. it’s in the work. through the process of trial and error. in the mistakes, in the success. in the frustration and the joy. this is where art lives. this is how you make Art.
but now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~isaiah 64:8
i heard somewhere that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at something. i have no idea if that’s true. but the more i think about it, it doesn’t really matter anyway. Art is never really mastered. Art isn’t the thing…Art is the journey.
so if you want to make art, go for it! get to work! don’t get stressed out if in the beginning you make lots of shitty stuff. because you will. it’s the nature of Art. be keep at it!! you’ll find your way. please! keep working on it! because we need it. the world needs your Art.