The last few weeks have been pretty busy for me. Between being ill, my cats having a bunch of treatments and the studio being jam packed with wonderful artists - and although this all sounds great, it’s really easy to get burnt out very quickly without a proper routine you can instill in any small simblence to make sure there’s a level of normality to life day to day. And if you haven’t got that in place, losing focus, losing motivation, inspiration and sometimes ambition can become a very real problem.
So, for our last installment for this month's focus on creativity and inspiration, I want to treat this last post as a bit less formal, and slightly more like an open-book diary to share what truly gets me through those dark points.
The People I Work With
Honestly, it sounds obvious that this would be a main benefactor to happiness. But it’s a hard lesson learnt on my end. I’ll split this up into two perspectives that are vastly different, and yet overlap all at the same time (as confusing as that might sound I’m sure you’ll understand if you, yourself are both a musician and producer).
My most successful band prior to the one I have now was a wonderful experience, and we’re all still friends to this day, but still there were points at which I was more working for the band collectively rather than focusing on my friendships and how that in turn impacted the internal working of the group, which inevitably bred resentment, and a lack of motivation and inspiration across the board of all those involved. Fast forward to today, and within the last year my current projects have both had member changes and massive shake-ups to keep the same intensity towards every and all endeavors we have.
Now, this lesson wasn’t learnt through being in bands - in fact, it was learnt from the second side of this coin. Clients. And at the start of any career where you’re building yourself, your name, reputation, skills, etc. taking on any work is out of necessity rather than choice. But when these two things started to overlap and the clients I didn’t enjoy working with also then reminded me of my current band members, that was when the penny dropped.
The key thing to take from this is that the people your surround yourself with creatively will be the ones that also feed off of you, and without that symbiosis between all of you working together as a collective, you’ll always struggle for creativity and inspiration due to resentment, constantly putting out fires, exhaustion from dealing with those around you and picking up the main work load… the list is never ending.
Teach Someone You Trust
My job, at its core, is to teach all of you who read this blog what I know, and how I go about it. It’s to share with you a culmination of knowledge I’ve built since I was around 14 years old and just getting into playing in bands, and finding my own musical interests. I love this job, I love talking about my experiences and hopefully resonating with a few of you enough to make an impact in your own path towards whatever you might be searching for whether in production, composition, or anything else.
The two best parts of my job however, are teaching via the incredible community we have, and teaching those I trust to help me engineer sessions in person. To start with the latter; Luc has been my best mate for a good number of years now, and aside from him being one of the most talented people I know, he also has a talent for engineering. There’s been a long road of him learning the DAW we work in predominantly, as well as training his ears to hear the changes between microphones, compression styles, EQ choices, guitar cabinet and speaker decisions, and so much more.
But over the course of the pandemic, he’s kept up with the blog, joined the JZ Community and a few others that have not just helped him develop his skills, but also find new ways to write, compose and create. The JZ Mics Members Community, and our friends at Produce Like A Pro, Ultimate Recording Machine, and SoundGym have all been amazing tools for him to learn from, and then bring into each and every session we have here in the studio.
If you’re looking for both like minded professionals to bounce ideas off of each other, individuals that you can outsource work to in order to make your life easier, musicians that can inspire and help you create, and so much more; then head over to the communities linked above - there’s really no better way to become inspired and creative in each one of these places!