Updated: Dec 22, 2021
It all starts somewhere; The song, the art, the inspiration.
Where does this deep desire to create and express come from?
Are we born with it? Or is it the accumulative experiences and learning we have been surrounded by during our own personal journeys that have developed creative forms of expression?
This question fascinates me, and I am so drawn to the stories behind the art, the songs, the words and the people who make them.
The bottom line is that stories of how and why artists create inspire me!
I am the daughter of artists. My mother is a painter, a weaver, a felter, a seamstress, a writer, an heirloom gardener; she dyes her wool with plants she harvests, she spins wool from her own sheep, she cans and preserves the food she grows, and I can go on and on. She really can make anything.
My father is a creative pioneer of sorts, with his chainsaw, tractor and hammer as his paintbrush. You see, my parents moved from Victoria to Coombs in their early 20's and bought 10 acres of raw land covered in trees of which they harvested and built the log house and farm they live on to this day. Dad could build anything, from welding trailer frames, leatherworking horse harness, building a log house with basically a chain saw and a tractor; he is a builder, a farrier, a horse trainer, he carves, he farms, and he always made from scratch what was needed on the farm.
My parents also love and appreciate music, and to this day, in the evenings, they sit by the living room fire in the winter or on the porch in the summer listening to their favourite artists with even special themed nights such as "Opera Night."
My parents worked hard, and it was not all art and flowers, but their resourcefulness and creativity allowed them to build the life they wanted.
This was my roots, so it is no wonder why I have been drawn to my own form of creation and expression. For me, singing and songwriting have been my go-to art form, my comfort and my way of processing life. And I am sure what I write and what I am drawn to sing has been fostered by the early records in my parent's collection you.
One of my earliest memories is of me and my cousin taking turns standing on an old wooden fence wire spool as our stage and singing into sticks that we put bandaids on the end of the sticks to look like microphones. We were probably inspired by some of the early variety TV shows on which our one or two channels got reception! (No cable in the boonies!) So you see, it all starts somewhere.
Now, this brings me to my project, "Art and a Song" With this series, I hope to feature artists, musicians and various stories to dig into their process of inspiration, where they create and who or what inspires them. I hope these stories inspire you and help you on your creative path as well!
These days more than, ever we need to let the arts heal us and cultivate community, compassion, inspiration and MORE ART. So come along with me and let's get inspired and meet some new creatives along the way!
Part of "Art and a Song" is to share a book, a song, or visual art that is inspiring to you. I am choosing to share CCR's "Lookin' Out My Backdoor" as this was a big part of the musical background in our youth.
About the author:
Ellen Crossley is singer-songwriter, vocal coach and content creator based out of Victoria BC.