I posed the question “What is your creative process like?” to four local artists. Here are the answers they gave.
Eryn Bent, Singer-Songwriter
I’m an autobiographical songwriter. I started setting poetry to melody at age 14, and my process is fairly similar today. There is the occasional song that writes itself, one that is so strongly felt that melody and lyrics come at once. Mostly, when inspiration strikes, I record the words onto paper or melodies onto my phone as soon as I can, and put them together from there. Once I get to the final stage of writing, I tend to write one word, or a short phrase at the top of my page that encapsulates what I want the song to say. It’s easy to be a wandering lyricist for me, and having a word or phrase to work around helps me focus my message to be as clear as possible.
Matt Gatton, Photosculptor
My work is a dialogue between me and the subject. The process is Socratic. It’s a dialogue. When I find someone I want to make a sculpture of, I talk to them about their favorite places, what they like to do, how they identify, and then I gather images of things that are important to them, and build an image of them out of those images. I gather things that are more evocative. Then they come look at the piece and the process, and I get their response. When you get real specific with someone, I believe the work ironically becomes more universal.
Sofia Embid, Actor
I read the script for all the clues the writer has given me about the character. I’m looking into what they’re trying to tell me about who this person should be, and then I will just journal, like from the point of view of the character. I’ll write how I feel about what’s happening in a scene, or if there’s a passing reference to having a shitty mom or something, I write about that. Then it comes to actually performing out loud, and trying it in lots of different ways, and thinking of the different kinds of ways a line could be delivered. I just try it all and see how it feels, and what it looks like then go with whatever feels right.
Daniel Moreno, Jazz Saxophonist
The challenge of being an improvisational musician is seizing the moment while performing music. To know what note to hit, when to hit it, and how to hit it. When I practice, I practice the technical aspects of performing on a musical instrument, such as playing in time, in tune and with a good sound. I try to expand my vocabulary as a musician. I train my fingers, lungs, mind, and body to be able to play notes worth listening to. However, when performing I try to let go of my thoughts, my ego, my hard work on my instrument, and I try to feel the feelings which are deep inside my being. Deep down, we all experience the same feelings. Feelings of joy, sorrow, anger, hope, and love. I focus on those feelings when I perform, and communicate raw emotions through my instrument, so that those who are listening can relate and experience those emotions with me.