creativity

This category lists the blog posts that tell more about creativity, how to keep in flow, what’s blocking artists in their creativity and how to unblock.


A Book Like a Song: Review of “Creative Quest” by Questlove

A female association asked me to write a review of ‘Creative Quest‘, written by Questlove. Yes, Questlove, founder and drummer of The Roots, the house band of various talk shows with Jimmy Fallon. I was very curious to read about his view on creativity. The Roots is a hiphop band from the 80’s with many albums. In 2009 they became famous as the house band of the TV talk show ‘Late night with Jimmy Fallon (since 2016 ‘The Tonight Show […]


The power of impatience and why you need to combine it with a cup of tea

None of us was prepared for something like Covid-19. The essence of the live music business is to bring people together to enjoy music. Now we can’t bring people together anymore, the heart of the business is hit. First out, last in. No wonder that I see people around me becoming very impatient. We all want to be able to enjoy live shows again, hug each other, sing along with the band. Impatience is a huge force, a huge power. […]


Live Music Business and Corona III – prepare for after-lock-down

This trilogy is about the live music business and corona. In part I you can read about 6 reasons why people in the live music business have been hit extra hard by all corona measurements. Part II was about how to get through the crisis. Part III will be about how to prepare for after-lock-down. Here again I make a difference between business in general, your own finances, and your mental condition. Business will be different than we are used […]


Live Music Business and Corona II – how to get through the crisis

In my previous post I mentioned 6 reasons why people in the live music business have been hit extra hard by all corona measurements. Now I tell how to get through this crisis. The next post will be about how to prepare for after the crisis. The 6 reasons can be categorized in three categories: business, finances and mental condition. BusinessWith first in last out and by no alternative (see previous post), all concerts have been cancelled and there is […]


The power of art is to surprise you

Last weekend I was invited to the birthday of a friend. Lots of people were there. He invited all of us to visit the dance performance “Pink Cast” by Introdans, by bringing the performance to the party location. What a great surprise! Since I quit to work in theater lighting 25 years ago, I usually don’t visit theater or dance performances anymore. Surprises always have something disruptive. They catapult you out of your routine, into something new. It makes you […]


Breaking borders and feeling alienated to yourself

The most exciting part of being an artist, is to create. It starts to get really good, when you get in a flow once you start creating. The act of creating always results in something new, something that wasn’t there before. You might have an idea upfront where you want to go, though in the end you are often surprise yourself with the result. For everything new you create, you break the borders of what is known so far. This […]


If working in the music business is unhealthy, how can we change it?

For several years already, I’m writing about the mental challenges that musicians have to face. When I started 6 years ago, no one else was talking about it. But musicians are not the only ones in the music business who suffer, it seems. Ticket outlet Skiddle did research with 520 promoters, venue operators and event organizers, 82 percent of people working in this business are suffering with continuous levels of stress. 65% said they frequently felt an ‘intense and unmanageable’ […]


Artist’s passion and burnout

Last month I did a ‘Career Clinic’ about passion and burnout for students of the pop department of Conservatory of Amsterdam, earlier this month I did a masterclass about this subject for students at the Herman Brood Academy in Utrecht. Passion gives you a positive vibe that can protect you against burnout. And the same passion can make you go too far, so you are more likely to burn out. In Amsterdam I talked to a small group of students. […]


Aim high, not low!

In the Netherlands we’ve had a controversy this week about a Dutch rapper who was stuck with his car. Some young women picked him up, on their way to a party. He filmed himself, using offensive language against the women, and put it online. Would we have this commotion, if the rapper would have been white, or if the women would have been colored? The rapper is confirming the stereotype of misogynist colored rappers. But the whole issue is as […]


Music and emotion

Music is a shortcut to your emotions. That’s why I feel privileged to work with music and with musicians. You get a smile on your face when you hear a certain rhythm, melody, timbre, text. Three years ago, many people had this experience with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Other songs make us sad and we cry. Billboard published in February a list of 50 songs that we can dance to while they make us cry. Songs can also […]


Care for yourself as a musician

Do you dare to take care of yourself? I mean, really take good care of yourself as a musician? It’s not as easy as it might think. If you want to take care of  yourself as a musician, you first need to know what your needs are and what is good for yourself. Your needs can start with the cup of coffee you need now and continue with the good rehearsal room. It gets more difficult with knowing what is […]


Apple trees, diamonds and straight edge

When describing what they do, some musicians compare themselves with an apple tree. They start with the blossoming enthusiasm for their music. They have to invest first, in order to harvest the ripe apples later on. That’s when they share their talent with the world. Other musicians compare themselves with a diamond. They want their music to shine. They want to show the world how precious they are. One important aspect combines both comparisons and it often forgotten: for the […]


One hour extra today

Do you feel it too? Rush hour, all day long, hurrying from one appointment to the next from one task to the next, and in between checking social media for the latest news. Oh, one friend is enjoying lunch in a tropical place, another one is planning to go to a concert next weekend, and there is another stupid action from a politician. Yesterday I was rushing to an appointment around the corner, skin therapy for a nasty scar. While […]


Mental coaching is dark and dangerous! 2

Mental coaching is quite common in sports. Many athletes use it to enhance their performances. They become more motivated and happier with mental coaching, they are more focused, run faster, react quicker. The effect of mental coaching has been proven by the registered improvement of the performances. With artists it’s different, especially with rock-musicians and DJ’s. While athletes perform at daytime, rock musicians and DJ’s are creatures of the night. They love the darkness. Many musicians are afraid that the […]


Art is trial-and-error

Last week I got a bit philosophical, with the flu clouding my head. Somehow I could accept from myself to be less than 100% perfect. And while looking around me, I noticed that everyone is actually messing around a bit, trying to adjust to expectations, trying to find a bit of happiness, trying to make ends meet. Even if someone has a great plan, in the end it’s about trial and error. I see the trial-and-error approach with our IT […]