I was asked the question, what artist do I most admire? I found it a difficult question to answer as I always over think things. I had a list that was as long as my arm before I had taken a few breaths. I stopped. I could have only one, I told myself in a parody of Highlander. Who do I admire?
I chose two. Well, it was better than I expected.
Both are successful and I admire and relate to them both. Moby has a fantastic barber and Bowie, well is Bowie. Although they can both play musical instruments, I do not see them as highly talented musicians. They are talented aural painters. They take sounds, ideas, riffs and make something wonderful.
This is what I try to do. I am not a talented musician, but I take ideas and melodies, and sculpt them. Bowie and Moby do, or did that very well. Bowie was very visual and a painter. He was not afraid to experiment and change. Moby has been great at taking old ideas and styles and samples, and making them new.
These were the aspects of them both that I admired. It is by no means an exhaustive list of their abilities or skills.
Admiration leads to inspiration
We like artists but don’t often think about what we like about them. Thinking about the art of others can inspire us as we get to know their work. As we define what we like about them we can take and shape it for ourselves. Inspiring us and our art by distilling their skills and ideas.
Over to me
So what can I take from Bowie and Moby? This isn’t about copying, but interpreting what I admire about them. Then bringing that to my own work. I chose some words which I can keep close to hand, perhaps on a mood board or in my song journal:
experiment, change, renew, revive, reinvention
It was from doing this experiment a while back that I came up with the phrase sound-sculpting to describe the music I write.
We can all be inspired from artists we admire.
Over to you
Which one artist do you admire?
What do you admire about them?
What can you take from those you admire?