I know a woman who keeps her dish towels across the entire kitchen from the sink, so that after you’ve washed your hands, you must cross the entire kitchen, dripping water as you go, to reach the towel to dry your hands.
Her daughter keeps her paper towels ten feet away from the sink so that one must do the same dripping thing to get to a towel to dry your hands. And she has the terra cotta tiles that are as slippery as greased owl caca when they are wet. A disaster waiting to happen.
As I was dripping across her kitchen the other day, I started thinking about my studio and my office and where and how I kept everything, and I wondered if I am doing the same thing with my equipment.
So today I want to talk about how you organize your workstation, your studio, your palette, your place where the art shows up.
What I think you want to do is to have everything that you need within arms reach and always in the same place so that you don’t have to stop the creative process to find the pad, tuner, pen, guitar, keyboard, amp, brush, pick, strings, capo, paints, thesaurus, mics, programs, files, tapes, effects boxes, effects inside the computer, music paper, sketchpad, earphones, small recorder, …I think you’re getting the idea.
When ever you have to stop the process to find something, you almost never can find your way back to that place you were. It takes a while to line up the cosmos so that you can receive the gift and if, as the gift is coming, you have to get on your hands and knees and look under the console for your collectors item vintage phase 90, that gift is going to go flying right by and land in someone else’s theater of creation.
Last night I was watching the incomparably over rated Elvis Costello interview Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen then got up with the band and screamed a song with the same riff underneath it the whole way. He’s not too subtle with the vocal technique, is he?
Anyway, the thing that blew me away was he was playing exactly the same riff that I wrote in Mexico ten years ago and then got distracted and never turned it into a song. I’ve got it on a cassette somewhere, but I don’t have the song.
Somebody called to me to do something, go somewhere, eat something…that was it, and I have not only the idea on tape, but the voice urging me to come and have a fish taco.
So I traded a fish taco for a possibly great song.
And if I did write the song right now with that riff, everyone would say that I ripped off the Boss.
So stay organized and stay focused, the fish taco will keep.