A friend steered me to this blurb by Dan Mangan (…click to hear just how cute Dan can be, a little promo love letter to you…. how can a fellow blur the lines of love letter and promo!? With all sincerity that is how!) on the CBC “How I write” series… I always wonder how artists collaborate and write and create. Dan was last talked about in my Foodie weekly post for a great video commenting on consumerism today with his song “Sold”. His newest album “Oh Fortune” I own it on vinyl so between my kitchen and my car he is usually singing away throughout my days. It is a great album- great in the in the way that conveys a magnitude of power and rightness. You should listen, everyone would listen to what Dan has to say and how he says it with sweet orchestration and timing. His ideas quoted below on artists are something to remember. I too try to surround myself with interesting experiences and appreciate all the forms Art takes around us. In the dark of the studio after many long hours of toiling away searching for the proportions that will ring true and strong in a pot (the calculation of what will be the twice shrunken proportions of the future after two firings) and after layering slip and images and convoluted ideas of culture and time subtly onto a form and all the chemical calculations and mixings and heating and fusing and turning to stone not just the clay but one’s efforts and ideals it is wise to forget the magnitude or triviality of what one is doing. You see, in reality it is just a little creation that only perhaps the maker can fathom- a pot nothing more, nothing less and in so just as it should be. After all this one could do worse that to go and see a concert or play, another expression of another idea that too is just as important or trivial as we make it. In my world, the importance of art is great. Art is an opera, a novel, a dress, an espresso, a papier-mache dragon, a bowl, a skyscraper- all part of the same idea. What is art in your world?
Here is what Dan has to say about his writing:
“I write slowly, painstakingly so. I edit endlessly, which doesn’t help make it any speedier.
I believe creative people act like sponges – they ingest everything around them all the time and debate, dissect, contemplate, analyze and then figure out exactly how and why it makes them tick. I know this for myself, at least. Every now and then, the sponge gets wrung out, and all their “takes” on all of this data they’ve absorbed get regurgitated back into the world.I try to always have something on the go, even if it’s not much. I also try not to freak out in dryer times. I try to trust that in time, more will come. I try to listen to the world. I try to be open to new ideas about the world. I try to not assume that I’m right. I try to continue to surround myself with interesting experiences, which will, in turn, spur on new creative ideas. I try to listen to good music, watch good films, read good books and go see some theatre or visual art as often as possible.
Whatever art one is making is everything they’ve accumulated to at that moment – it is important at that moment, and if it’s truly insightful, it will be important for a long time.
The death of a good artist is assuming that they’ve figured it out, or that they’re as good as it gets. I believe that the maintenance of a good artist is assuming they know very little – to continually reinvest in their hunger to grow, evolve and improve in their ability to understand the world.”
Here are three videos that exemplify just how adaptable and expressive Dan is.
Playlist: I love music and it consequently is in my potting life. It enhances the studio all the time and therefore my process. It is a bit of my life I would like to share. So I will post up an MP3 from the week, links concerning the band, and a personal review of the album. Likewise with the other review categories.
Remember that all links are ini grey text!