KISS, Me and the Art of Identity

June 6, 2017News

That’s me on the far right doing my best impression of KISS bassist Gene Simmons. I was a huge fan of the band KISS, due in large part to the older kids in my neighborhood, two of which are pictured here with me. We invited our parents and other neighbors to gather in Chris’ backyard, … Read More

Real Estate vs Bible School

May 8, 2017Christianity, Creativity

Had a really enlightening conversation with a new friend the other night. He leaned across the table, shouting over the sound of the music and the conversations at adjacent tables, “My mom wanted me to go to Bible school.” I leaned in. “Why didn’t you?” “It didn’t feel right. I love numbers. I mean, I … Read More

Inspiration, Innovation and Imitation

July 28, 2016Creativity

Inspiration is a wonderful place to start when making art. But we often move too quickly from being inspired to innovation—making our own thing with (hopefully) our own, unique signature. I believe that imitation is a missing link in much of our artistic development. Don’t just be inspired by someone’s work. Make it part of … Read More

Fall Down. Get Up.

July 7, 2016Creativity

Young Playwright: “I just feel like everything I write is crap.” Old Playwright: “It probably is. You’re still too young to write great dialogue.” YP: “So, what am I supposed to do?” OP: “Keep writing.” YP: “But you just agreed that it’s probably crap.” OP: “Yes, but it is out of the manure that the … Read More

Title Pending: Dry Seasons

February 3, 2015Creativity, Title Pending

It is likely that, if you’ve been making art for a while, you have felt the seasons change but might not have had the language or permission to see that seasonal change for what it was. It may have felt like things had simply dried up—that rain wasn’t falling and the ground was hard. Everything … Read More

Title Pending: Keep It To Yourself

January 27, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

When I’m at the beginning of a project, I generally let just one or two people into my process and share my vision, or at least as much of it as I have clearly in mind. They are people who will hold me to the work I’ve committed to rather than just pat me on the … Read More

Title Pending: You Are Always Beginning

January 20, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

The hike to the top of Mt. Diablo is roughly seven and a half miles. And though I know that cognitively, I don’t climb the mountain with that number in mind – I climb it in sections. The first two miles are relatively easy, with a few short hills and plenty of flat ground between. … Read More

Title Pending: Details

January 13, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

At the very end of Pearl Jam’s hit song “Daughter,” the drum track delicately vanishes, the bass track disappears and Vedder’s signature vocals are long gone. All that remains are two guitar parts, playing single-note patterns… and a beat. But the beat isn’t played on a drum kit. Nor is it played on a djem- … Read More

Title Pending: Study A Master

January 6, 2015Songwriting, Title Pending

My wife studied studio art in college. And as part of her coursework, she spent a good chunk of time not only looking at but re-painting or re-sculpting pieces by master artists. On the wall near my desk is Amy’s study of Wayne Thiebaud’s “Black Shoes.” I find Thiebaud’s original piece particularly remarkable because the … Read More