Friday/Hotel Art/Everything Is Beautiful
I don’t like country music, and coming from someone who lives in the hometown of Garth Brooks, I suppose that is saying something. I once referred to country music as “sort of like the paintings in cheap hotel rooms, it’s technically art, but no one particularly cares for it.” I guess that is one of the great things about being human, we are all entitled to our own opinions. In an unrelated note, I have learned that if you ever want to really offend someone, criticize their favorite music and they will probably hold it against you forever.
But, I digress.
The internet has recently come under attack by a viral wonder known as Rebecca Black and her song “Friday”. I would be hard-pressed to find someone who has not seen or heard this terrible song or one of its many parody spin-offs (such as a church version called Sunday). I was reminded of the song last night, and to be honest I have had it stuck in my head all day. Not because of it’s great lyrics or melody, but because of its sheer annoyance. For those who have not seen it:
See what I mean? It’s terrible, right?
And of all the places there is to be a but, this is not one that comes lightly…
But “Friday” is still art. And art is always good. Someone, somewhere, sat in their room and penned those lyrics in an action that is probably very similar to what I am doing right now. You have to fight off a lot of evil forces in order to create something, no matter how…simple…or terrible. You have to carve out time in your day, freak out, search for words, and most importantly make half sense.
It’s a difficult thing to do you know.
I am not a painter by any stretch of the imagination, but I dabble from time to time. I have painted three things that are currently hanging on the walls of my apartment. I’m exceptionally proud of one of them, but the other two I could do without I think. I like them, but when I look at them all I see are the flaws, the missed brushstrokes and off coloration, those sorts of things. I was reminded the other day that I am my own worst critic. I don’t fully agree with that, but for the most part I am.
And here in-lies the key to creativity. Every thing is beautiful. Every thing that has been created, every dumb YouTube song, every dumb painting that looks like a kid did it with his fingers, every poem that doesn’t rhyme, and every story that has a bad ending, they are all beautiful. We don’t see it a lot, but it’s true.
I have no great gift for words, my grammar is bad, I’m still not 100% sure what a preposition is, and I don’t know the meanings of a lot of words. I’m sure someone out there will read my stuff and think that it is amateur, hotel art if you will. But to me, creation is a struggle. It is sometimes a pain in the ass to write things that God has inspired me with. Very few times am I actually pleased with what I write, often times I want to bang on the keyboard because the words in my mind cannot come out fast enough for my fingers and I forget where I was going, I forget what I want to say, I lose focus and chase my tail for about an hour or so until I…
Slow down, Mitchell, slow down.
Creativity is not always about the creation, most of the time it is about the act of creating. It’s about shaking off the dust of your paintbrushes, and relearning where “Q” is on the keyboard. It’s not always about the outcome as much as it is the process. And then, if you do it long enough, one time you’ll tap in to something bigger than yourself, something you don’t feel comfortable taking full credit for. And even though it may never be seen by anymore than 6 people, it is not hotel art. It is not “Friday”. It’s our masterpiece. Creativity is about churning out about 999 pieces of bullshit to find the one gem in the pile.
So, Rebecca Black, do not give up creating. People who paint baskets of fruit for hotel room walls, do not give up creating. People who write silly blogs hoping someone will read them, I will not quit typing. Our masterpiece is coming when we least expect it.