Making it happen.

As toolmakers for creative people, we spend a lot of time contemplating these questions:

  • What is creativity?
  • Where do we find inspiration?
  • How do we deal with frustration? 
  • What kind of work do we want to create?
  • How do we make our ideas happen?

These questions can feel big and daunting—but we’re learning that we can answer many of them by building a creative practice through an intentional focus on tools, techniques, and inspiration.

These concepts came to us through the world of fine art*, but when Sean started applying them to his music-making process, he noticed huge breakthroughs. Over the past few months we’ve been using this lens to build our own creative practice and are finding it so productive, interesting, and fun that we want to invite you—our creative community—to join us in this experiment, too.

We created this space as a place to focus on how these concepts can apply to music-making, but this foundational framework supports a creative practice with any artistic medium you throw at it.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll post the same weekly prompts we’re thinking about ourselves, with a different focus each month:

Tools

The devices we use to make things. For our purposes, they can be anything musical–instruments, computers, plugins, DAWs, and anything else you use to produce sound. We’ll examine these tools as a part of the creative process and explore our relationship with them by asking questions that help us dive deeper into how our tools serve us (or how they don’t).

Techniques

The way we execute work. We’ll explore different techniques for working with our audio tools and how to approach the process of actually making something—producing different sounds, developing strategies for starting or finishing work, and adjusting and fine-tuning.

Inspiration

The things, ideas, sights, and sounds that prompt us to create. Perhaps the most elusive piece to the creative process, inspiration can often be the first wall we hit when embarking on a creative project. As we examine inspiration, we’ll explore how focusing on tools and techniques can lead the way. We’ll experiment with methods and exercises designed to stoke inspiration and wake up the mind to new perspectives through creative inquiry.

In addition to the prompts and exercises we’ll share for each of these building blocks, we’ll also be talking to some of our own creative heroes about their practices. From musicians to painters to producers, we’ll bring you interesting perspectives from across the creative spectrum. And each month, we’ll be exploring and building our own creative practice right alongside you. We hope you’ll join us.

To stay updated, be sure to sign up for the Creative Practice newsletter (we’ll email our weekly prompts to your inbox. As always, we will never share your information).

Send me weekly prompts!

*We want to give a big shout-out to Kimberly Trowbridge, Kristin’s painting instructor, who introduced us to this method of thinking about and building creative practice. Kimberly is a professional painter and director of the Trowbridge Atelier. She is also a creative consultant on this project, and you’ll hear from her throughout the next 12 months. To learn more about Kimberly, visit her website or contact her.