Amatuers and Pros – the School of Hard Knocks

piece, feeling the fabric in its entirety in my hands.  That was part of my creation process.  Then I would take the fabric home, lay it out, cut it and sew it.  I no longer make clothes, but I enjoy making bags now.  I don’t understand why I had the experience of sewing for many years; I don’t understand why that was part of my life process, but I can use it in terms of relating to the creation of music.  I would not outsource the cutting of the pattern.  Such a thing was unspeakable.  Of course, I wanted the joy and the love of laying out the fabric, cutting the pattern out and then sewing it, that was part of the process.

With music, for an artist, it is the same way.  If you can’t create all of the music yourself, certainly you would get someone to do it for you, but under your direction.  That someone would have to be a person that you can vibe with, a person that you can feel because they have to be able to feel what you are trying to do in terms of this creation.  That song is your baby and you can’t wait to get it back into your hands after the pieces have been added to continue to mold it and to shape it.  An artist is what he does.  That creation is a piece of his soul.

An amatuer is happy to let someone else do all of the music and to come along and add their part on top of it.  My latest mentor was appalled when he learned that I thought that was acceptable.  I am grateful that because of him, I understand more about being an artist.  An artist, a pro, couldn’t possibly see it or do it that way.  It can’t be outsourced; it must be manifest through them.  It’s like someone painting a picture and then someone else comes along and adds their little painting mess on top of it.  Put in other words, it’s like shitting on a brick.  The brick is there and you come along and add your little part.

I’d like to say that I’ve graduated from the school of hard knocks, but I know a part of that student is still in me.  For amatuers, if you meet a pro, be grateful if that person chooses to spend any amount of time with you and is interested in sharing anything with you.  They will help you to expand your singerpalette and guide you onto the path of artistry.   You can be all that you were created to be.  Get rid of all of the “I can’ts” and the endless stream of excuses that you give yourself.

Recognize your fortune in that you are able-bodied, able-minded and able to do whatever it is you can do.  Some people aren’t so fortunate and we never know when God’s going to blow the whistle and tell you to get out of the pool!  Cowboy up and learn.  Immerse yourself into your craft, grow and have extreme appreciation that you can.

With love,

– Tomaca