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Your Medium?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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    I am curious how many of us on here have artistic inclinations and/or talents. As for me, my medium is writing – primarily essays, though at the moment I’m working on a novel – and some poetry.

    I know we have a few dancers here as well. What about other disciplines? Whether professional or personal, what is your preferred form of creative expression?


    Hello Stephen,

    I have an artistic inclination but I am not good in it, and engage with my art because the time spent with my art is somehow very relaxing, sacred and perhaps creative. My preferred form of creative expression is  playing a Japanese Flute (Shinobue) – A Shinobue:



    Filmmaker here. Love telling stories through images. Trying to to improve my script-writing habits right now but I am stuck with understanding and getting into the “proper” (hah) psychological posture before I start writing.


    Looked up a few clips on YouTube – what an elegant instrument, with such a fluid sound. Do you play existing musical pieces with it, or improvise your own?


    Hi Stephen,

    Mostly I write Creative Non-Fiction these days now for at least the last couple decades, and here and there I work on my fiction and on poetry. So I would say that mostly my medium is writing. I want to work on my fiction and poetry more like I used to years and years ago before I put it aside so much of the time. Music/piano also. I do enjoy drawing with pencil and ink and colored pencils and used to enjoy watercolor painting years ago. I took dance lessons as a kid and still like to include that in my at-home exercise.

    I love reading about people’s art. Thanks for asking us this question!

    ~ Marianne



    I have enjoyed listening to you play the flute. I think it is beautiful.



    “Do you play existing musical pieces with it, or improvise your own?” 

    Stephen, I decided to play this particular type of a flute after a dream I had. In my dream, I heard the most beautiful flute music, the most captivating thing I have ever heard. So to engage my conscious mind with my unconscious dream world, I decided to take flute lessons by a lovely Japanese musician/teacher.  I was already in my senior years, so playing existing pieces was awfully difficult but I did work my way into two or three Native American pieces. My favorite pieces are by Mary Youngblood. Mostly, I just improvise, sometimes a Japanese eagle song, sometimes a Native American eagle song, and mostly a few raven songs by Mary Youngblood. Mary Youngblood is my favorite flute artist. It’s my artistic inclination and that is about it.



    Thank you for that story, Shaahayda! Seems whether in dream, or playing eagle and raven songs in waking life, you take flight with your flute.




    Filmmaking is such a powerful medium, given the way images have the power to bypass the brain and directly impact the emotions. Campbell (who served as president of the Creative Film Foundation, formed by Maya Deren in 1956 to broaden support for experimental film) toward the end of his life, noting a cultural shift from literature to film, observed that the creative spark appeared to have jumped off the page and landed behind the camera lens.

    If you don’t mind my asking, how did you end up in this field? Were there films that inspired you, providing an “aha!” moment where you knew this is what you needed to do with your life? Did you follow a direct career path (e.g., majoring in film in college), or were there other options you considered along the way before coming to this realization?

    My appreciation for film as pure art, rather than just a commercial enterprise controlled by the Hollywood dream factories, continues to grow. A student filmmaker in Argentina, interviewing me over Zoom a couple months ago, introduced me to the work of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, active from 1962 to his death in 1986; I am enraptured by his long takes and haunting, dreamlike imagery, though I’m not sure I’d call it commercially viable (plot seems secondary in his work).

    I would love to know your influences, and how you thread the needle between popular commercial appeal and artistic creation (or is that even a consideration for you?)




    Hey Steven,

    Thanks for all the information on Campbell. Also just so you know I have all your Practical Campbell Essays and two of my favorites are The Medium for Myth and HereBeDragons ofcourse.

    I know it gets cliche but Star Wars for me was the thing that made me want to understand better the art of storytelling. I went on a Film School, work some years for the Television and then I studied Animation, after that I worked in the advertisement industry which left me a bit disgusted (using art for business, not exactly my thing, good money though, lol) so I packed my stuff moved to the country and thought I focus completely on the art.

    Commercial movies do have their uses. Its always good to watch movies that are artistic and can deepen your understanding but I also need some chill out time, in that respect Hollywood, is doing wonders. I usually watch them when I wanna sleep, hey its better than the drugs. 😀

    Perhaps I am a bit too harsh here but most modern films although they do seem to deal with good themes and issues also seem to be very commercial and designed for the masses but those I cant stand and I make the distinction between art and nonsense are the so called social movies, dealing with social issues. I don’t see much value in the them. I like my movies to go heavy on drama and the tragic element of the individual. Campbell really influenced me when he said “It wont help you to change society but it will help to live in the system as a human being” that was a game changer for me.

    good movies actually do work like myths. They become a mirror but they really need to be good (dramatic) and deep (tragic) in order to do this.

    Some of my influences are Filmmakers like Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Gilliam, Lynch, Kaufman, Kurosawa, Miyazaki, (and so many more).

    So what movies do you like?




    Thank you for saying that. I would love to hear you play a few musical pieces on your piano, one day.




    Ah, your  poetic words went straight to my heart. THANK YOU!!!!

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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