If there's any single thing that gets my creativity back up and running, it's working with music and making playlists (the digital version of the mythical mixtape). Now, I'm convinced there's no single (harmless) practice that can't be good and that there's basically nothing too stupid to love if you use your mind while enjoying it.Making playlists is something I do just for me, and occasionally for others. It's not where I make my money. Even so, anything worth doing is worth doing well, and it's (overall) more enjoyable to be good at something. This is a playlist I made the other day when I wanted to channel some of my anxiety into something useful.
These are my Principles guiding the Art of Mixtape, and also of everything that has to do with interacting with art (like music).
- Ask "why do I like this?"
- Listen for connections and moments when one song flows into another.
- Work it over a few times - make sure that things are actually working.
- Only use songs you like; be unashamed about what those songs are.
- The old stuff is still good. Use all the material at your disposal. Someone may have never looked at it your way.
- Be present in every moment of what you're doing. Focus. Enjoy the feeling of concentration.
- Show someone (or the whole Internet) your end product.
- Acknowledge that you can do this again, and don't get hung up on making everything perfect.
- Try again another day.
- When appropriate, give playlists as gifts. They're fun.
What's your art you do for you?