I have been thinking about issues around collaboration and creativity and finally that same old challenge of the ‘work life balance’ I enjoy working with the YP’s material and find it inspiring
I have been discussing with colleagues issues around managing a heavy work load, creative interests, and remaining healthy enough to deliver good quality work for sustained periods of time. During my time as membership secretary for FASED in the Arts (a former Arts Council RFO which supported freelance disabled artists) this was a frequently discussed issue as the demands of a freelance career are often challenging for artists of any discipline. I am pleased that I have mostly found a better balance over the last year or so and manage most of the workload pretty well, feeling energetic and healthy enough to be able to do the job well. It isn’t always that way though, some days are tiring, and some weeks, months, terms end up being pretty exhausting. I know I am not alone in this, Many colleagues have also expressed that at times it seems near impossible to keep up with workload and maintain a healthy mind and body. Other concerns are around how to find time to maintain your own instrumental skills and creative enjoyment, which is important for individuals artistic ouput and as an educationalist.
Over the years I have found I most enjoy music when collaborating, whether that is in a band, as part of a project or production, working cross artform or producing a track with others. I am no longer in a band, out gigging and touring, arriving home in the early hours and then onto a days work. I thought I would miss it, but actually I have found it a relief and my health is benefiting, and consequently so is my work.
I have found that a lot of my creative inspiration these days actually comes from working the young people and the music they create, I really enjoy helping them to turn their ideas into an interesting piece of music or song. I am fortunate to have always had an interest in current music of a range of genres, and with two sons in their early 20’s I am kept up to date with the latest sounds, styles and production techniques. It will undoubtedly always be a challenge to maintain that balance between work, energy and creative time, but when working with young people, I have found that their enjoyment of discovering new ways to make music and experimenting with that has resulted in some very creative pieces that we can enjoy creating together, using the process to learn about key elements in music making.