I am a creator. There are no 2 ways about it. The right side of my brain has been active and for the best part of 40 years, give or take a year, I’ve been putting my creativity to good use via one means or another.
Writing. Music. Photography. Those are my creative outlets which I practice as often as time, and life, permits.
Right now, for example, I’m writing this blog, co-authoring my first book and thinking of ideas for future blogs and books (all done around my day-job and family commitments!). Writing has always been the medium (pardon the pun) through which I get my point across best. I find explaining things far easier via the written word than the spoken word. This has got me into some trouble in recent jobs, where I opted to send a ‘hand-grenade email’ rather than walk 50 meters and confront the source of the problem head on, face to face, with a smile and a cup of coffee. I have also been known, by work colleagues, as the person who sends the ‘war and peace’ emails. The one who finds it preferable to write on a full sheet of A4 what could be summarised in a sentence or 2!!
My point has always been, where’s the fun in keeping the writing short and concise? Why opt to minimise words when they are so expressive, so beautiful and eloquent, when used in the appropriate context. This of course explains why I have a love for the written word, for creating blogs and books and for writing long emails!
In addition to writing, I am also a keen amateur photographer. Visit my instagram feed and you will hopefully see a finely crafted set of photos. My ‘last-9’, are currently, at the time of writing this, all photos with a green theme. Pics I have taken on my phone, in the woods, or by a tree-lined river or lake near to where I live in South West France. I could and at some point will write a blog all about photography, for now though lets leave it that I love the speed and ease at which I can take photos on my mobile phone. The camera on my phone is suitably good enough to make my photos worthy of some decent feedback and appreciation from like-minded folks. This is my end game, simply to find 1 or 2 people out there who love the story my photographs are attempting to tell, to the same degree as me. If I achieve that I am a happy photographer!
Music is my 3rd creative outlet and my oldest creative love. It’s the one which got me started and which first opened up the right side of my brain to decent levels. I stuck with the weekly cornet lessons and school band as a child, the brass band as a teenager, the semi-professional brass band as an adult. And since then, since I quit that life in 1999 and took a 10 year sabbatical from music altogether, even though I had lost my mojo, I still kept a trumpet close to hand. Brass band music turned to messing around at home with my trumpet. Learning how to play the trumpet and not make it sound like a cornet (not as easy as it sounds). Messing around transitioned into teaching myself how to play Jazz (something I have always loved, thanks to the influence of my Dad). After I discovered how to play Jazz, I took a few lessons to improve, went to some Saturday morning village hall get-togethers, watched some videos, read some books, until eventually I discovered my own style.
Music is where I express what I am feeling the most. It is when I am my most creative. Artistic creativity in its most purest form.
I can read sheet music, I am classically trained and can play well past grade 8 standard. Now however I choose to put that aside and stay in the free-jazz mould. I have developed a form, I think, of auditory synesthesia. I have an ability to hear music in my head when I look at paintings, sculptures, or the natural world around me. So now, rather than play what a book tells me to play, I let the music go where my feelings take me. It might be my version of an existing tune, like this one i recorded recently, or it could be some free-form avant guard improv backed by some techno beats, loops and samples, like this one I recorded a while ago.
Either route is fine for me, they’re all pure creativity, all raw, all coming from inside me and all touching my soul. This last point I have no doubt about. Just ask Plato and see what he made of it!
My creativity takes many forms. Each is a way of me telling a story. Each a way to further express myself and share my creative passion with anyone who is so inclined to take some of their precious time to watch, read, view or listen to what I have to say. To all of you I say thank you, thank you for reading to this point, and I hope you enjoy my other creative outlets. They’re all summarised on my website www.iamfoggy.com
One point I have not talked about here which will be subject of a future blog, is my decision not to pursue any of my creative outlets as a form of employment. At least, not yet anyway!