The Creative Process


Today’s art: The Gift, Oil on Canvas. WIP, NFS
Today’s Soundtrack: Echobox, Pamela Devine

“Creativity is a kick.” ~Andrew Raimist, Architect

Yesterday, I spent the better part of the day working on the instrumentation, or arrangement, of a new song. I arrange my songs electronically on my iPad with the app, GarageBand. I use my iPad and GarageBand because I do not play an instrument. Without these two tools I would not be able to arrange my music at all. Needless to say, having these two tools has changed my life. My songs were merely a concept prior to being able to arrange them. The song EchoBox, my first completed arrangement and recording, it literally haunted me for the better part of 20 years.

It would not let me forget it.

Early on, I was able to identify the chords to that song. Learning how to identify the chords to my original material probably was the single most important skill I taught myself. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough information to hand to musicians for them to understand what it was I was trying to achieve with the song. And not knowing music theory rendered communication with other musicians almost impossible. So for 25 years, I was a very frustrated songwriter.

After having arranged my songs, I started to get asked what my creative process was for writing music. The first time I heard the question I responded with, “I don’t know. It just happens.” That was a very unsatisfactory answer for the inquisitor. I got a scowl and a, “Huh.” So, I decided to really consider it.

I’m not certain that the new answer I came up with this anymore satisfying, but this is it: My songs, the arrangement of them, the decided musical choices, are gifts to me. I’ve been a singer for 25 years, but I don’t play an instrument. I don’t know music theory and up until July of 2012, I had never arranged a song.

It should be impossible.

But I’m doing it.
Yeah, I know.
I can’t explain it any other way.

I like to say, I am simply a conduit. I get auditory gifts. What that means is as I’m exploring a new tune, I will begin get ideas. The ideas are usually not detailed, so there’s a lot of trial and error. For example, I might get an idea to add more instrumentation to the chorus. That’s pretty vague. Sometimes it will be more explicit like, “A pad goes here.” Sometimes, I literally hear the instrumentation. When I get those I say, “Thank you!” out loud.

Sometimes when I’m describing this to people I can see their face fall a little. Maybe they think I’m part of some exclusive club they cannot join. I was sad to see it the first time. But since then I’ve come to recognize this is not an exclusive club.

This is about creativity.
Like Andrew Raimist says, creativity is a kick.

It’s also a skill that can be cultivated. Creativity is simply a connection to your spiritual side. If you want to become more creative, it’s not too difficult to do.

I recommend you start a blog and write every morning. : )

Writing is your direct connection, your direct pipeline, to your higher source. It’s practice will hone your creativity. And as your creativity is cultivated, you will incorporate the skills you already have in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

You will be a conduit.

Yeah. Creativity is a kick…

: )

It’s your day. Go get it.


With love,



About PamelaDevine

Pamela Devine is a singer songwriter, fine artist, and filmmaker. View all posts by PamelaDevine

3 responses to “The Creative Process

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