On today’s episode of Creative Space we’re going to discuss why exploring other mediums is a MUST for every creator. So many of us stick to one thing, and that’s a beautiful thing, but sometimes, taking classes in other disciplines can help us strengthen our core craft as well.
As an example, I’ve gotten back to focusing on music again but took a class on cinematography that gave me a unique and new perspective into how I make music. Calvintheii on the podcast talked about how studying stand-up comedy made him a better musician.
I hope you find this episode insightful as you flex your own creative muscle in new ways.
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Creative Space, a podcast where we explore, learn and grow in creativity together. I'm your host, jennifer Loge, and today we're going to talk about why exploring other mediums is a must for every creator. This is a question I've grappled with myself over the years and it's a question that's come up with a few of my coaching clients recently. And just in case you're new, a creative medium is a means of delivery. It's the material used to create the work. So, for example, music can be a medium. Acting can be a medium. Writing can be a medium. Basket weaving could be a medium. Tech, your startup business could be your medium. It's the vessel that holds your creative output. Now that we have that definition down, what does it mean to explore other mediums? I'll give you an example. If you've been listening to the podcast or know me personally, you know that I've started working on music again after a very long hiatus. I'm focused, I'm committed to it. It's been really fulfilling on a soul level, taking the steps to get my voice back in shape and getting in the habit of daily songwriting again. But then at the end of September, I decided to enroll in a film lab at Playhouse West to learn the basics of cinematography and being on set. You might say, why would you do that? It's not related to music. You should be focused on what you want to do. And while I agree that focus is important, sometimes as a creative you have to follow strong impulses to explore things that don't always make sense. Steve Jobs famously said things don't always make sense looking forward, but they do looking backward. He was referring to following inspiration in his college days to take a calligraphy class. He was just interested in it. It had nothing to do with computers or tech, but he followed that impulse Looking back. That experience turned into fonts on the first Mac computers. Who knows, we may not have had comic sans or Calibri if it weren't for that calligraphy class he took. And be sure to tell me your favorite fonts, by the way. Anyway, the point is, inspiration doesn't make sense looking forward. So when it came to this film class, I had a really strong impulse to take it. It didn't make sense because it wasn't perfectly aligned with music, but I dove in and learned a ton. Shout out, by the way, to Robert Boyd, amazing actor, filmmaker and teacher. So thank you for that class At a high level. I saw similarities between music making and filmmaking. With music we shape sound and with filmmaking we shape light, and we use these building blocks to tell a story and at the end of the day, it's all storytelling. Taking this filmmaking class also changed how I see the world. I'm back to thinking more visually, taking snapshots in my mind and seeing situations from different perspectives, like a filmmaker would. This is extremely valuable in music, rather than tell your own story from your perspective all the time, there's an opportunity to flip things. Tell a story through song from a different angle, through another person's eyes. This can also be applied to writing of any kind. Being able to add more dimension and texture to a story is something you can learn through filmmaking, and once you learn the basics of filmmaking, you will never watch a film the same way again. You'll notice things you didn't pre-sheet before, and this will only fill up your creative reservoir further. On a podcast episode with Calvin II, he talked about how studying stand-up comedy made him a better musician and performer, because he learned how to work the room without music. I could give countless other examples from my own life and the lives of artists I admire, but exploring other mediums can help you immensely. Here are a few reasons why exploring other mediums is a must for every creator, in case I didn't convince you enough. Number one it's wonderful to be a beginner at something. I've found that trying something new keeps the ego in check and helps you keep an open mind. You can't expect to be good at something you've never tried before, right, so you put yourself in a position where you're going to suck. You're going to suck and this is great for the main thing that you do. I've found that I'm better able to carry that beginner's mindset into things I have experience in when I surrender, so to speak, when trying other art forms or other mediums. Number two you meet new collaborators. When you only hang out with musicians, what happens when you want to shoot a cool music video? When you only hang out with actors, what happens when you need awesome music for your next film? I could go on, but you get the picture. You're able to collaborate and become friends with people from across the creativity spectrum. Number three it can't hurt to learn a new creative language. Let's say you're working for a creative team and you're working on a film you wrote and directed. Now you're with the music supervisor to find the perfect music to create the feeling you're going for in different scenes, it helps to speak the music language a bit. Knowing the difference between a song in 6.8 and a song in 4.4 can change the vibe, even if you're on the business side of things. Everyone is making video content right now, so it helps to get the feel you want in the next commercial for your business. As an example, if you're able to speak the commercial director's language a little bit, it helps to have that fluency. So those are a few of my takeaways on why exploring other mediums is a must for every creator. Now I want to hear from you have you ever taken a class in something outside of your medium? What was the experience like? What did you learn from it? Send me a DM and let me know your thoughts. That's all I have for this episode of Creative Space. My name is Jennifer Loge and thank you so much for tuning in. Until next time.