Sometimes the best studio is the back of a pickup truck...
I was walking my dog at Mount Tabor Park when I noticed an unusual scene: A man had parked his pickup truck at an overlook with a view of Portland, and right next to his truck he set up a bright orange cafe table with two orange chairs and an ottoman, like a little outdoor cafe had popped up on the side of the road. The man sat there with his feet propped on an ottoman, drinking tea poured from a huge thermos. The other orange chair sat empty across the table from him. His elderly Golden Retriever, ran around nearby, playing with a ball.
We waved at each other, and I yelled, “You’re living the dream up there!”
He said, “Yeah, this is my office—million-dollar view!”
I had just completed an hour-long walk, telling my friend Ali about how excited I am that I’m creating this year-long creativity practice program, which is all about figuring out how to work on our work, and where to work on our work—and here’s this guy, who’s totally figured out the best writing office for him. I was intrigued!
I climbed up the hill to say hi, and he invited me to sit and have tea with him. I accepted, and we chatted for close to an hour. I learned that he is a poet, and I was witnessing how he does his writing: whenever the weather permits, he drives himself and his dog, Jubilee, to the park, sets up his table, chairs, and ottoman, and works outdoors. He always brings an extra chair, too, for strangers to join him for exactly the type of chat we were having. He said, “The day that I am caught sitting inside during nice weather is the day that I know that I’ve died while I’m still alive.” I totally resonated with that.
Scott told me that he used to only bring one chair. However, he was inspired to bring two chairs when he started thinking about life before the internet, when people would go to cafes and converse over tea or coffee. He pointed out that nowadays, he gets dirty looks at cafes from people on their laptops if he starts talking to somebody. So, he decided to make his own cafe to sit and drink his tea and do his writing wherever he goes.
I wanted to share Scott’s story with you today because the thing that I’m after with my Let's Go Deep yearlong program is: how each individual person accesses their creativity; how each individual finds their own way to have inspiration on speed dial—and this dude has it figured out for his own practice!
Scott told me about his belief that all of the ideas are right there, you just have to figure out how to access them. He told me a story about how he was asked by friends to sing at their wedding. He hadn’t sung in 20 years and he was at a very low point in his life, but he said yes out of love for his friends. He bought a guitar and committed to writing a song. As he drove to Canada for the wedding, inspiration gave him the perfect song, and he recorded it into his phone’s voice recorder. He taught himself to play it on his guitar, and when he performed the song at the wedding the room was in tears. In the next three months, he produced four albums of songs. His creative channel had been opened, and he made up for those 20 years quickly!
(I looked and looked online when I got home to try and find his music to link to, but I can't find it. If anyone knows of him, please send me the info and I'll share it!)
He shared another thing. Scott felt so low during the period when he wasn’t writing songs or poetry, and shared that he just felt so much better when he got to songwriting again.
Oh, man, I have been there! My lowest points have also been when I wasn’t making art and expressing myself, and I know this is true for others: art makes us come alive, whether we are professional artists or not. Art revitalizes our life, it breaks up the monotony of life, and it brings divinity into our lives.
On several levels, Scott’s story gets to the heart of why I created the Let's Go Deep yearlong program. This is an intimate, intensive program with people who want to join me side by side and do this deep work to discover our own style, a creative practice that really fits us, and a way into our collaboration with inspiration itself. This is about creating an art practice that is truly yours—the art that you create comes from a deep foundation of knowing yourself and knowing what works for you. I want us all to take a lesson from Scott and find out exactly what we need to do to maximize our creative practice—whether it’s taking a cafe table to the park or something completely different. Let’s open our channels and let creativity flow!
Let's Go Deep began May 1st 2018, but it's not too late to join. If you feel like this is your year to really MAKE your art and generate a whole new cohesive body of work, I really do hope you will join me! You can learn more about it and get yourself signed up right here: