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11 Things I learned from The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin has been involved with hundreds of recordings from the Beastie Boys to Slayer, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Kendrick Lamar and many others.

I got a lot out of reading this. I Imagined him reading it in his deep mellow voice. He is heavily influenced by Buddhism.

From a CBS interview:

“I have no technical ability. And I know nothing about music.”

Music producer Rick Rubin says he can barely play any instruments, but says artists come to him because of “the confidence I have in my taste and my ability to express what I feel.”

From the book blurb:

"Rick Rubin is a nine-time GRAMMY-winning producer, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time and the most successful producer in any genre by Rolling Stone. He has collaborated with artists from Tom Petty to Adele, Johnny Cash to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys to Slayer, Kanye West to the Strokes, and System of a Down to Jay-Z."

11 Things I learned from The Creative Act: A Way of Being
by Rick Rubin

    1. "The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable." Robert Henri

    2. "Creativity is a fundamental aspect of being human. It’s our birthright. And it’s for all of us."

    3. "Widening one’s scope allows for more moments of interest to be noticed and collected, building a treasury of material to draw from later."

    4. "We tend to think of the artist’s work as the output. The real work of the artist is a way of being in the world."

    5. "Setting the bar low, especially to get started, frees you to play, explore, and test without attachment to results."

    6. "Even the masterpieces that have been produced on tight timelines are the sum of decades spent patiently laboring on other works."

    7. "If you know what you want to do and you do it, that’s the work of a craftsman. If you begin with a question and use it to guide an adventure of discovery, that’s the work of the artist."

    8. "the artist’s job is of two kinds: The work of doing. The work of being. Creativity is something you are, not only something you do."

    9. "However if the choice is between making great art and supporting yourself, the art comes first. Consider another way to make a living. Success is harder to come by when your life depends on it."

    10. "Creativity is contagious... Being part of an artistic community can be one of the great joys of life."

    "When we spend time with other artistic people, we absorb and exchange a way of thinking, a way of looking at the world. This group can be called a Sangha. Each person in this relationship begins seeing with a different imaginative eye."

    11. He spoke about the 3 stages of art creation: seeds, filtering, and finishing.

    He used different words for finishing but you basically plant many seeds without expecting them to grow. Then you filter through your seeds to see what you have. After you have made the selections, you go on to the craft and work of creating a finished product.

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