creativity


Mental health of musicians in the news

The suicides of Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) last week and of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) last May made me feel very sad. Some people used it to start a discussion about the mental health of musicians and of people working in the music business. Lisa Gritter published a Dutch article in Vice this week with a very personal story about her own burn-out and about the reactions of colleagues and others in the music business. It seems that many of us […]


From reproduction through creativity and loneliness to leadership

When you look at animals, the success of a species is measured by its ability of reproduction. There are different strategies. Frogs produce thousands of offspring, but most of them got killed by predators (fishes) or by a harsh environment (drought). Elephants only have one calf and it takes almost 2 years before it’s born. Here the reproduction strategy is not quantity but care and longevity. The creative process of producing art is the reproduction that artists use. Different musicians […]


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 […]


Limitations – block or inspiration?

How do you deal with limitations? They can become a real block! This week a friend saw a post on FB. One of his friends asked to share bad jokes with him, but the jokes had to be political correct, not racist, not sexist. My friend is a good joke teller and usually has a good pile of jokes in his mind. I think that all his jokes are political correct, not racist, not sexist. But he blanked and couldn’t […]


Creative and sensitive

Are you creative? Do you see yourself as an artist? I believe that we are all creative, all of us. We are all born to be creative. It’s what makes us humans. Creativity can be expressed in all facets of life, in the dress you pick to wear today, in the dinner you prepare, in the way to do your work. And of course it shows in paintings, songs, dancing, films. If we are all creative, what makes artists more […]


Golden fall

After some weeks of gray and rainy weather, the sun is back. I now know again why fall is my favorite season. The yellow-orange-brown leaves in the sunshine give everything a golden line.  It’s really beautiful to see, the trees are shining like stars! The beauty outside comes with a melancholic touch. I know hat the golden beauty outside is only temporary. End of November you can count the last leaves on a tree on the fingers of one hand. […]


Music – of beauty and solace, or a hammer?

What’s the function of music and art? “Of beauty and solace” was the title of a Dutch TV series some years ago. At that time I thought that there would be no better definition of the function of art. In every episode the presenter had a musicians, writers, scientists, philosophers or similar as guest and asked questions like what makes life worthwhile. “Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it” is […]


The scary part of creativity is vulnerability

When I saw an old high-school friend last month, he told me about his new job in city planning and about his creative new boss. The boss loves to come with new plans and to draw them. “I hope that you don’t expect it from me, I have no inch of creativity in me,” my friend warned him, “my mom is creative, I can judge your drawings and give you my opinion, but don’t expect me to be creative too.” […]


The secret of getting lucky

Some weeks ago I heard a very interesting lecture by John Cleese. Most people know him from his period in Monty Python and the reunion of Monty Python last summer, or from the comedy Fawlty Towers. I still start laughing out loud when I think of the scenes at the Ministry of Silly Walks! Many people don’t know, that he’s given many lectures to business people. He’s earned a fortune with that, to give as alimentary to his divorced wives, […]


Justin, dare to be challenged!

Last night I spoke with a friend who’s a production guy, often traveling with big productions crews. Sometimes he and his colleagues might mingle with the backing band, but never with the stars of the show. He was part of the huge production crew of the European tour of Justin Bieber. When he described Justin Bieber as a spoiled prick I wasn’t surprised, it confirmed what I already thought. The friend  continued with telling me, that all the people with […]


How you can get creative again when being blocked by feeling-special 1

When I was 11 years old, I survived a heavy car crash. A car, driving 120 km/h, drove on the back of my bicycle. There were rumors that I would have been dead, that one leg was amputated or that I’d been paralyzed in my legs. Fortunately I survived, with a heavy concussion and a flesh-wound on my right leg. After 6 weeks hospital I returned home, after half a year I was sporting again. In hospital at 11 years […]


Creative or commercial success – a paradox? 4

Traditionally, many artists think that you can’t have both, creative success and commercial success. You can only be really creative, if you don’t give a damn about commerce. And if you do want to become rich, you make so many compromises that you can’t call yourself creative anymore. A thought that is doing quite well recently in business theories, is that if you show your true self  and if you discover your unique talents, that commercial success will come to […]


Unblocking 12: Faith 1

I will not start a new church, certainly not! Faith means, that we don’t have control about our creativity and art. And yet, we have to trust our creativity and art, believe that it’s good and necessary to be creative. There are many obstacles on our way towards more creativity. And if you have read all the previous 11 leads to un-block your creativity you are probably aware by now, that we are very good in creating the major blocks […]


Unblocking 10: Self-protection

Self protection is about discovering the toxic patterns that block your creativity, and how to protect yourself against it. In other words: how can you protect yourself against yourself? In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to be hard against the toxic patterns. Imagine that creativity is all around us, like leaves in the fall, available to every one. We just have to bend and pick it up. And often we just don’t want to bend, we want […]


Unblocking 1: Safety 2

One year ago I was working with this great book of Julia Cameron: The Artist’s Way. She wrote it about 20 years ago already, and it’s still used by many authors. In all my 18 years in the live music business I’ve never heard of it. Are there musicians working with this method? Do you know? Anyway, I’ll start to write about all the 12 aspects of unblocking your creativity. It starts with gaining a sense of safety. Safety has […]