Last week Danny and I managed to bag a particularly wonderful sunny afternoon in Edinburgh to grab a quick photoshoot and have a conversation about creativity. As well as admiring Danny’s particularly wonderful style, I hope you’ll enjoy this next instalment of my creative conversations project.
E: Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are and what you do…
D: I’m Danny, a musician from Edinburgh. I sing and play guitar in a local band - the 10:04s. We’ve recently self released our debut album ‘A Common Wealth’
E: What are your thoughts on creativity? What does it mean to you?
D: Creativity for me comes in the form of writing lyrics and music and is usually a bit of a release . I often find it quite a cathartic process. Although it’s predominantly songwriting I’m involved with, I really appreciate all forms of creativity - art, fashion, and even cooking I think is quite a creative process.
E: Would you describe yourself as creative? Is being creative part of your identity?
D: Yes, I do think of myself as being a creative person. Identity wise I think you can’t fake being creative or force yourself to do it for any length of time. It’s something you either are or you aren’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn or improve but you at least have to have the inclination to begin with.
E: With that in mind, who or what inspires you to be creative?
D: I like attainable art. The most inspiring things to me are things that I look at and think ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!’ If it’s music then it’s the artists that inspire our band like The Band Seeds, Joy Division or The National. If it’s art, I love guys like Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock (their work inspired our album cover). If I look at something like a Rembrandt or Da Vinci it looks fantastic but I struggle to relate to it as I have no idea how you would go about creating something like that. When you look at Twombly, Rothko and Pollock I always think ‘I’d love to have a go at that’. Invariably it’s much more difficult than it looks but it inspires you to give it a go which is what art is about for me. The same formula applies to music and the bands that inspire me and the band.
E: To conclude, what advice would you give to people pursuing a creative life
D: Don’t be afraid to gamble, don’t worry about making mistakes. If you have a little confidence in your own creative material then don’t worry what anyone else thinks and do whatever your gut instinct tells you - it’s usually right. Knock-backs and failures are part of any creative person’s life. Forget it and move on and back yourself to do something better.