Podcast - Kate Tempest on Unfiltered

“I think the creative personality is a strange mix of absolute conviction & a crippling insecurity & somewhere amongst all that is pushing yourself to the limits of experience so you can really feel fully...” Kate Tempest

This conversation between James O'Brien and writer, singer and poet Kate Tempest on the Unfiltered podcast is absolutely wonderful. I often look for ways to describe how I feel about creativity and what it means to create. Kate is one of the most eloquent speakers on the subject that I've ever heard.

I loved hearing her insight into how people in Brazil use the word 'poet' as a term of praise. Kate says, "... it's a term of endearment. You say 'oh my poet' when somebody's being particularly sweet natured, sensitive, open..." And of creativity, she muses, "... it's more like a frequency that you're tuned into life at... and when you're of that frequency. the minute you connect with others at that frequency it's a big shock. It's a beautiful thing to have a community like that..."

Quieting The Creative Mind

I wonder if you feel the same as me? I go through phases where I mull over the same creative idea again and again, refining it, researching it, exploring its potential. And then there are the phases where the idea I'm working on seems to fade ever so slightly into the background while new ideas sing and dance around me, demanding attention. Giddy, excitable, running around like they've had too much sugar and totally distracting me.

An old friend once told me to do one thing at a time. He was right. He could see I would jump from idea to idea and he wanted me to achieve my dreams. This simple piece of advice led me to focus on Angel's Great Escape, which became my first picture book and then I concentrated on An Amazing Alphabet of Cake until it was published. So what do I do when new ideas pop up and tap me on the shoulder while I'm trying to complete a project? I don't want to ignore them as they may be worth exploring. So I capture them, a bit like a genie in a bottle that I know I can release later. I make notes, a lot of them! I'll sit quietly with a cup of coffee and give myself 20 or 30 minutes with the ideas, free writing anything that comes into my mind. It quietens my thoughts a bit, allows me to concentrate and reassures me that the idea isn't lost but rather quietly being worked on by my subconscious waiting until I'm ready to turn the volume up back up.


If In Doubt Create

I've been really inspired by YouTubers lately. When I was a teenager I loved making home movies. We used a massive clunky old video camera that you had to balance on your shoulder to film. Now you just need a phone and an idea. I filmed a few clips throughout January to play with and finally had time to cobble something together this weekend. It's my first real go at using iMovie and I have A LOT to learn but how brilliant is it that anyone with a phone and an internet connection can now make movies?

Imagination Illustrated by Jim Henson

I began to be more and more interested in Jim Henson's creative process a couple of years ago and received this fantastic book as a Christmas present. At the time I was struggling to make sense of the connection between creativity and money. Money was very much a thing you had to WORK for. It seemed out of reach to earn it by doing something purely creative. I read a brilliant article on Brainpickings.org about how Jim Henson had made the connection that if he made money from art, he could make more art... and something clicked. I wonder if this shift actually went some way to fuelling my creative ambitions and believing in myself more.

The book, Imagination Illustrated, contains an detailed insight into Henson's story, ideas and sketches. It's like looking into his mind. I loved finding out that the Muppet Show was turned down flat by American television and found its first home in the UK. I had never thought before about the fact that doing something that brings you so much joy will also bring joy to others. Now there's a thing.