Is Your Art Your Best Friend Or A Scary, Big Monster?

June 18, 2017
 After almost 2 years of living in Singapore, I’m going back to the Netherlands, to pursue some new opportunities that have been knocking on my soul-door for a while now.
As I’m preparing for this big move, that is both exciting and challenging, I find myself with a lot of fun (that’s sarcasm) administrative tasks that come with changing houses, jobs and continents.
In the past weeks I’ve often found myself thinking:
“Yeah, I don’t have any time to make music right now”
“I’ll make music again when things have settled down”
“I just need to get A, B and C sorted first and THEN I will have mental space for music again”
And last week I realized yet again…yeah but, wasn’t music supposed to be my best friend? My partner in crime?
Wasn’t music supposed to be there for me in sickness and in health?
I still often find myself mentally positioning my art away from me, as though it’s some external goal that I need to achieve, and that I can only work on when I’m in an optimal state.
Only when I have at least 2 hours, can I work on my art.
Only when I have a lot of energy, can I work on my art.
Only when I have my sample library (and life) organized perfectly, can I work on my art.
In the past weeks, I’ve realized that that’s not what I want it to be like.

I want my music to be my best friend again.
I want it to be something that is not “scary” to start working on.
I want it to be something that isn’t a reminder of all the things I don’t yet master.
I want my art to be a safe place for me to land.
I want my art to be something that can ground me, even when the world around me is falling apart.
I’ve been experimenting a bit more with that in the past week.
Instead of thinking “I need a 2-hour time frame to record the vocals for this collab” I thought, “maybe I can just use the 10 minutes I have and see what I come up with”.
Instead of thinking that I must go through my entire lyric library to find the perfect inspiration, I figured I would just go with whatever lyric pops into my head first.
And instead of thinking, “I really have to watch this bass programming masterclass alright already and improve my skills”, I just embraced my “low” energy and created a super slow ambient loop reflecting the mood I had at that moment.
Just being in the moment and integrating music with whatever is going on in my life.
Just allowing music to be there for me when I need it the most.
And allowing it to have no other purpose, then the purpose it has in THAT moment.
It feels freeing.
And, I think the irony is that it will probably also result in the kind of music that will resonate the most with other people at the end of the day.
The real, soulful, honest kind 🙂
So, I’ll be treating my music as my best buddy again the coming period! Making time and space for it, no matter what.

Do you recognize this at all? Does your art feel like your friend? Or like a scary, big monster that you spend way too long avoiding?

Let me know here on my Facebook page!

Anja Kicken

About the Author

Anja Kicken