Persistence: The Seventh Quality of Creativity

Through rain and local flooding I headed off to Brisbane tonight to go to an interview and book signing with well loved singer songwriter Paul Kelly. His new book How to make Gravy is an unusual mix of biography, creative insights and Australian stories. I recommend it for a good solid read.  In the book Paul includes some of his songs such as If I Could Only Start Again, and Careless, amongst others. During the interview he told of how the songs came about, and then promptly jumped up and sang a few of them to us. We were all spellbound especially when he sang From Little Things Big Things Grow with a guest singer, Kev Carmody.

Before the show I was talking to a stranger seated beside me, as you do sometimes, and we discussed how Paul Kelly worked his way to the acclaim he has now. He didn’t shy away from the harder gigs, and the persistent grind of entertaining in bars and clubs. I recalled an interview Paul had on prime television  with Andrew Denton some years ago.  Ever the professional musician, with a long history of achievements, he came across as very humble and full of humanity. For that very reason I love to watch musicians play as they inspire my own creativity. They manage to achieve mostly through the strength of practice, and persistence, yet  it is very obvious they love what they do.

Here is a photo of Paul Kelly signing my copy of his new book. I do look  like I was having a great time, the cat that got the canary even ?

Motivation: The Sixth Quality of Creativity

Remaining motivated can be a hard call at times. Creative people can be like boats, tossed about in the storms of life, as they sail for peaceful and fruitful shores. Their craft may have an excess of anchors, which dig into the sand and hold them back, so it is easy to get disillusioned. There are several versions of a saying, attributed to Babatunde Olatunji, and I particularly like this version “The clock is running. Make the most of today as time waits for no one. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”

Today is always going to be the best time to be educating the mind, which is powerful and responsive to the best efforts to motivate and enrich us. Every day we can read something new, experiment, explore and best of all, research what gives us passion. I found this alone the most inspiring of all the tools for creativity.

Below is my painting  shortlisted for the 2010 Norvill Art Prize for landscape.

Lyne marshall painting - My beating Heart

My Beating Heart, 122 x 101 cm, acrylic on canvas