Creativity is the act of creation, whether that creation be a film, painting or problem solving. Creativity is a loaded word we give to the “gods” of fine art and film but anyone can be truly creative. Adam Wayne is a local artist based in Chicago (and a long time family member of Camera Ambassador) that primarily works with composing music for film, collaborating with other musicians and cinematographers, and touring as a freelance bassist. He also finds the joy in creating a space for others to find their source and support of creativity.
Drawing was Adam’s first love, as it is for many children. He always loved a good story and telling good stories. He said, “When I was a boy, I would hear music as component parts and try to figure out what the sounds were, that I was hearing. Eventually I picked up a bass guitar and started deciphering the code of music and how it worked. It's the one thing in my life that has been a constant without waning as far back as childhood.”
When discussing what inspires Adam to create, he mentions, “Makers inspire me, work ethic inspires me, and pleasure inspires me. I feel inspired by people doing what they love and believing in it. Some of my influences have been people like David Lynch (Filmmaker), Brian Eno (Musician), and R. Buckminster Fuller (Inventor). There are many more, but for the most part the things and people who inspire me all have a few things in common. They have incredible work ethics, they make things because it brings them pleasure, and they tend to be very practical and conscious of how they work.”
“Makers inspire me, work ethic inspires me, and pleasure inspires me. I feel inspired by people doing what they love and believing in it.”
Creating in times of political adversity, we become the focus of obligation for artists, having to create, or having to feel like you have to create to become a vessel for your political beliefs become draining at times. Adam states, “I think that above all, artists have an obligation to themselves. They have an obligation to make sure that they are happy, having fun, or at least working toward those two. It's similar to, "If you can't help yourself, how can you help others?"
“From there on, I believe there are ethical ways of existing and creating, but what and how you broadcast that to the world is unique to who the artist is and what is being created. For example, if you're not a politically aware person and you make a political film, it likely comes off as trite or a prosaic attempt to appear as something it isn't.”
"If you can't help yourself, how can you help others?"
As creators we are inevitably drawn to hate or love the art we create. Unfortunately, a lot of times it’s the former. When speaking with Adam and asking about what he is most proud of and why, he states, “The thing I'm most proud of in my career wasn't something I created personally, but something I created to help other people create projects. In 2013, I found myself in a bit of a creative slump and I knew a handful of fellow makers who were in a similar boat. Instead of succumbing to my creative woes, I started what was essentially a creator's support group. We would check in with each other every week and share the progress we had made on our projects. We always focused on the process, because process is where the joy of creation is, rather than the product. If one spends their time focusing on the process and enjoying it, there will inevitably be a product that is far more a representation of the artist than if it was the product that was focused on all along. Throughout the process of this collective, I was able to assist in the creation of several albums worth of music, screenplays, photography books, and more.”
There are many stages in the creation process, no matter what medium you are in. He goes on to say, “In life, we spend a lot of time doing. Sometimes it's things we want to do and sometimes it's things we don't. As Kurt Vonnegut so sagely offered, "I am a human BEing, not a human DOing." He elaborates, “For me, when I'm in the midst for the process, I'm in a state of being that is the most preferable state for my existence.” One of Adams favorite quotes and creative advice in regards to getting into the flow and set up for productive making is, “Be normal and orderly in your work so that you can be violent and original in your work.” "People often think that artists live a wild or dramatic lives and that’s where they gain their inspiration, and for most of us that is not the case at all" he explains.
“The most important tool is what you consume. It may not seem like a tool, but I'm a firm believer in that there is a direct correlation between your intake and output. If you're starving your creative self, then your output will be emaciated. As the adage goes, "Garbage in, garbage out." Adam mentioned when talking about his favorite artist tool he uses to create.
On overcoming creative blocks he states, “First and foremost, I try to remain patient with myself. When I feel blocked, it's usually because I haven't nourished my creative self enough. I'm likely creatively hungry, and often creatively hangry. That being said, whatever I'm working on, I'll take a break and do some research, read, or participate in the type of art consumption that's related to the project I'm stuck on. This often leads to a bit of inspiration to budge me free from the rut I'm in.”
Knowing when to step away from a project is one of the more difficult questions in the maker's path. “To me, I look at the work I've created and I usually have a sense of it being done-ish. The difference between done-ish and Finished (with a capital F!) is when you arrive at a fork in the road, knowing you could go this way or that, but you ultimately decide, this is where I'll let this live. It's a very intuitive feeling, but I think a project knows when it's done, and it will let you know if you're listening.”
“As ridiculous as it might sound, I don't really get behind the idea of legacy. Mostly I want people to think of me as a person who worked really hard, and was a good person. I believe that everything I've made and every person I've touched will send a ripple effect of my being into the world. The idea that my name or work won't be attached, but the effect makes me feel incredibly content. I believe in the magic of small changes adding up to a greater good.”
Check out Adam’s music here:
Family of Geniuses: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0KE5KEVw3qqIbAgAJy88zc -
Soundcloud link: soundcloud.com/adamwaynemusic