Capturing Creative Moments: I Know Kung Fu

Capturing Creative Moments: I Know Kung Fu

It doesn’t happen often.  When it does, don’t let it get away.

Creativity sometimes comes in one lightning-bolt moment of clarity, instead of a slow process of refinement.   Capturing creative moments is not unlike Neo’s download in “The Matrix:”

Neo realizes he's a boss now.

This happened to me the first time I heard Johnny Cash’s rendition of Hurt, a song originally written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.  It was one of the last songs he recorded before his death, and his rich, aged voice added a whole new layer of poetry to the lyric and driving music.  It captured my mind, and suddenly it happened:

I knew how it would sound if I could do it, and I knew how to get that sound.

At that moment, you’ve really only got one choice: you’ve got to jump headfirst down the rabbit hole.

I spent hours recording the song with only a hand-held voice recorder and direct outs from practice amps.  That produced a scratch track that attracted an audio production major to the project, and he got us into a professional studio on a couple of week nights.  I brought in a friend to add his amazing voice to the project, so we spent a couple hours on a Saturday morning recording with him.

When all the dust settled, the mastered mix sounded exactly as I pictured.  You can listen to it here:

It’s difficult to say that I could repeat this experience now; at the time I had a couple of advantages that the average spare room wouldn’t have.  I was a single guy working part time, so I had a lot of time.  And I was able to gain access to a few thousand dollars worth of equipment for free.  But I took a couple of lessons from the experience that carry on in the Spare Room Project today.

A clear goal breeds enthusiasm – I knew what I wanted, and I wanted it bad.  That enthusiasm attracted others to the project, and together we were able to create something much better than what I made on my own.  And when we needed direction I was able to share a very specific vision with my team, capturing creative moments with them.

The next time you’re struck with a creative inspiration, take the time to bring it to fruition.  If you have even one project you can point to and say, “That worked; I’m proud of that,” you’ll experience what it means to be creative in limited space.

To put it another way, you’ll learn kung fu.

Co-Founder and Marketing Director at The Spare Room Project

Lucas is a writer by training, and a musician by nature, always looking for new ways to use the opportunities around him to their fullest. The Spare Room Project grew out of his love of music and DIY spirit. Growing up in northern Illinois, Lucas learned to be resourceful. This skill has carried through to TSRP projects, where learning to do more with less is crucial. With a background in journalism and multimedia production, Lucas is excited to be the Marketing Director and creative guru for TSRP.

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