INSPIRATION INFORMATION: Ira Glass on Storytelling

“Do a lot of work. A huge volume of work” - Ira Glass

One of my favorite musical artists is Donny Hathaway. I read the liner notes in one of his albums and was enamored by a story when he was a young boy. He became frustrated while playing the piano under the supervision of his grandmother and started banging on the piano keys. He exclaimed, “If you could only hear the music in my head!” That’s how it feels a lot of times as a creative.

We have these grand ideas but we don’t always have the resources, skill set, or means to make them a reality. That photoshoot idea doesn’t look quite like you imagined it. That painting just didn’t turn out like you thought it would. That script you wrote sounded a lot better in your head. Sometimes we fall short of the mark we aim at. However, at least we’re trying and taking aim. With time, great habits, and dedication, we will eventually hit the mark. I have shown this Ira Glass video to many of my creative peers. They all find it encouraging. The most important part of a creative’s body of work, is the fact that we are executing ideas and getting better with each idea’s execution.

Artists are oftentimes their hardest critics. I remember going to a screening of “Gone Girl” with a talkback after the movie by director David Fincher. Fincher said he squirms with discomfort while watching some of his work, and with his movie “Gone Girl”, he found himself saying, “This movie is really long” and “Did we really need that shot of him driving up to his house?” Here is a director at the top of his game, and he’s still finding flaws in his work. For all my fellow creatives, I say, don’t be discouraged. “Do a lot of work. A huge volume of work”. Eventually we’ll fill the gap between idea and execution. 

INSPIRATION INFORMATION: James Davis "Better Than You Are" Music VIdeo

There is something about the night time that brings about an overwhelming feeling of solace and reflection. In big metropolis cities like New York and Los Angeles, the stark dichotomy between daytime and nighttime are more obvious. Cities overflowing with movement and action taper off into a quiet descent of slowness. I have been living in Los Angeles a little over a year now and I have come appreciative of night drives and the mountainous landscapes that intertwine with cityscapes and scattered, colorful lights. That is why the debut music video for James Davis “Better Than You Are” had a powerful resonance within my heart.

These visuals Inspired me to create something understated, minimalist, with a driving beautiful melody. Allowing for such a simple concept of driving allows the viewers and listeners to drift away to be alone with our thoughts. This video made me think of epic nights of great sweat covered vibes of dancing and loud trap music followed by quiet taxi or Uber drives home. Movies like “Taxi Driver”, “25th Hour”, and “Blue Caprice” come to mind where a car is a character as well as a city.

When I first moved to Los Angeles I began making a list of all of the places and landmarks that I wanted to visit. Randy’s Donuts, The Roxy, Pink’s, et cetera. There is a sort of pride that overcomes me when I see images of the city that I’m currently living or know about on the computer, tv, or movie screen. I found myself writing for a few hours with this song on repeat into early morning. Watch below, maybe this video leave you just as inspired, especially if you’re an LA resident.

James Davis "Better Than You Are" Follow James Davis: Debut EP coming soon...