Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Three Questions about Creativity with Musician/Artist/Designer/ Conor Grebel

Sometimes we find it hard to describe ourselves. What are we? Dancers, writers, film-makers, visual artists? 

All of the above?

I wanted to speak to Conor Grebel a 'creative' form San Francisco, mainly because I wasn't completely sure what it was he did. Turns out he's not quite sure either! Read on and find out why that might be a great thing.

I don't know if I'd call myself a designer! I used to just be a kid that drew a lot and loved making worlds, then wanted to be an animator, then found out motion graphics was a thing...then into it. I inspired myself to do these things. Along the way you see work/artists that inspire you...piece by piece. I don't even know what I am or want to be...musician? SFX artist? Animator? set builder? live stage designer? Music video director? Human? Ant? Still unsure on most of those. The most liberating thing that ever happened is when I stopped trying to discover what type of artist I was, or what direction or style was 'my calling'...and started accepting an open passion to any thought/style/project/medium that inspired me...project to project. Being open to whatever you wanna do and then doing it...even if its jumping from animating to woodworking. Do it. Freedom!

Conor is passionate about whatever he chooses to do. Being inspired is the first step, but then you have to take that passion for your craft and believe that you can add to the world in your own creative way, whatever form that may take. 

Of course it's not easy once your on that journey, and the road is destined to be littered with speed-bumps. What do you do when it feels like you've run out of ideas?

Stop struggling. Let yourself be unmotivated and stop giving yourself a hard time about it. The more you struggle with it the worse it will get. When you get a cold you don't work hard at getting rid of it, right? You cant exercise and stress out and get upset about it...otherwise you will tire out more and the cold will get worse. The best thing to do is to accept your situation, relax yourself, and take care of yourself. Same with periods of low motivation. Trust in yourself, your body, and your mind. 

Bedtimes - It's a Trick from Conor Grebel on Vimeo.

Don't forget to chill out. No-one is going to arrest you if you take a break. Get your sleep and have some down time. You'll find this is the time when the ideas start to flow. Don't force it.

That said, taking a breather might relax you about your situation, but it won't in itself give you ideas. If you're still struggling to break the shackles of your creative prison, get out and experience the world. You can do this in any number of ways.

Watch / experience other peoples work. 

Start making a habit of writing down ideas. Once you start doing this, ideas seem so much more real...and you start to expand on them.


Take a walk.

You never know where your inspiration will come from. Just get up from the computer, step away from the canvas and go interact with the world around you.

And don't forget, if you think we all have things sorted, we don't. None of us know what the heck we're doing! Just get out and do it and the rest will fall into place.

I'm still figuring out shit myself. We all are! Everybody has no clue what they are doing, they are all trying to figure it out as they go.

Like the great William Goldman once said about Hollywood, "Nobody knows anything"!

Check out all of Conor's work. He is a very talented dude, but more importantly he is very passionate and imbues his art with a quality borne of hard work and belief in his ideas.

Conor Grebel performs as Bedtimes and his great EP 'It's a Trick' can be found HERE
He contributed to Vice's Creators Project with his video for Tycho's 'See'.
Check out his Vimeo portfolio HERE
Twitter: @ConorGrebel

Check out the fantastic 'Box' below, which was a Vimeo Staff Pick in 2013

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