Friday 24 October 2014

Put pen to paper; Hand Letterings, RCA Studio A & Finding Your Purpose/Doing What You Love

Here's a question. When was the last time you picked up a pen and paper and actually wrote anything beyond a post it note worth of scribble? Do you keep a jotter or project note style pad and write reams of stuff on it?

Ok, that's two questions. And that's why I'm starting with this :-

Brilliant Hand-Letterings Designed To Reflect The Meanings Of The Words

I just loved the fact that in our tech saturated world, someone went to all the effort to do this. And yes, I'm still part of the contingent that uses a pen, a jotter pad and a project book ( or books), to formulate ideas, and concepts.

It's strange in a way, cause even when getting things down on paper, I end up asterisking things and/or bullet pointing stuff, which is a by-product of years of using word processing software. So there's a basic example of the analog implementation of a way of doing something, being influenced by the digital world.

It's great, cause it's made my notebooks a lot neater for me to follow and refer back to, when required. I write slower, too, which may or may not be a by product of seeing such a neat, crisp iteration of rhetoric for 20 plus years, in using computing technology on screen. So subconsciously, I want the same or as close as, replicated on paper. Man to machine..and back again.

And on the subject of preserving some traditions and even institutions, the following link came into my orbit via my twitter feed, and immediately struck a chord with me  :-

It's too costly to save Music Row's RCA Studio A, new owner says

I was quite thrown by this, as the musician part of my brain doesn't ever want to this sort of thing happening en masse.

In short, RCA studios (both A and B, which is also supposedly up for demoiltion as well), are the home of some of the greatest classic rock ( and other genre) recordings from the inception of rock ' n roll ( and beyond), which can happily be now put around to almost 60 years. In other words, was it when Elvis first recorded his first album?  or was it the sun sessions in 1954, or.. you get the picture.

In any event, it's definitely a very special place and like EMI'S Abbey Road studios in the UK, where The Beatles recorded their first album, and subsequent recordings, which set off a trailblaze for all the other artists to follow.

'The magic' as it can be called, is something all musicians chase at some point. Wether it's a favourite guitar, synthesizer ( I have one of those here ), drum kit, microphone or even the actual studio itself that can help to create or instil that feeling, it's all part of facilitating a level of expression of the feelings within, so they can be more effectively interpolated, with minimal effort and strain.

In writing the last bit of rhetoric,  you have no idea how I winced a little at having to try and conceptualise something that has been going on for a very long time, and is just something you 'do', because you just 'have to do it'. It really is that simple. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that any creative activity, wether for work or for play, that involves you getting into it beyond a casual dip into the pool, is because there's some innate desire to share it with someone, if not the world at large. That in itself is another topic in waiting to explore, but I sincerely hope that RCA studios isn't demolished so fast. I hope someone somewhere has the means and the magic to help them to keep it open as it is for just a little while longer. After all, it's a place of work, even if it's now just waiting in slight vain to be worked in and (renovations considered), upon.

Speaking of work, doing something you want to do and trying to find your true calling, is covered here  :-

How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love

There are a lot of this style of article and book around on the internet and in the physical world, with one of the oldest being Dale Carnegie's "how to win friends and influence people", even if it obviously wasn't touted as such at the time.  This stuck out as it contains a really well delivered TED talk by the author & philosopher Alain de Botton, halfway down. In short, there's no right or wrong way to do this and some of us are probably finding that we're really good at lots of things, and in our current, slightly socioeconomically edgier times, are perhaps spreading ourselves a bit thinly as a result. Ultimately,however, there usually are a handful of things you're so good at, you feel very 'pumped' to use an expression, when doing them, and these things can be performed, sometimes with some tweaking or just off the bat, in the name of work.

Ultimately what might be right for you, may not be right for your best friend of 20 years who has walked many of those life miles with you, for example, which in a way contradicts some of what is in the article, but that in itself assumes that everything else is in some sort of constant state as well, which it sometimes isn't and can't be; change affects all variables around it, even at a small level.

Finding your calling is a very complex issue and it's all about change and how you embrace change, and the challenges it can present. It's also about luck and making your luck and/or embracing your luck, which is a harder concept to grasp at times. Ive had a number of career switches in the last fifteen years alone, and some of them were forced upon me. Im lucky/blessed that most of them we're just honouring a 'hunch' or gut feeling style situation, but none of them were an overnight situation.

As the age old saying goes, you don't get too far in life without a lot of hard graft ( work), so having the nous to get your head down, and roll those sleeves up and pitch in is half the battle. The rest of it is about what drives you at your core.And that in itself, can change over time.

Speaking of drive, I've got to hit the road to meet up with an old friend. Actually, this person feels like an old friend but I haven't known them as long as some of the other people in my life.  There's that familiar affirming feeling with good friends, similar to when I pick up a pen and paper, and can just doodle or write a load of waffle on it, which will make sense to me at some point quite soon on in. And when I look back it at, it will raise a smile.

Sometimes the things that make the least sense, can make the most sense in hindsight. The journey from A to B is always more colourful, than it appears to be.

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