Ginny Owens on ... Creativity
- Janet Chismar, Senior Editor for Faith w/ Kevin Sparkman, Contributing Writer
- 2003 8 Jul
Not that she is endorsing the act of eavesdropping, Ginny Owens would openly admit to you that creativity is often the result of simply observing your surroundings. Simply listening to her latest offering "BluePrint," one could observe that no matter where she gets it from, Owens produces many memorable moments with her remarkable creativity.
And the creative juices keep on flowing. Months after releasing her third album, Owens has already begun writing material for her fourth album on the Rocketown Records label. “I think it will be a little bit more organic and acoustic," she reveals, "well not as organic and acoustic as different … I guess that’s about what I would say.”
No one said a right-brainer ever had to make up their mind. Fortunately, we know that the end result will be nothing short of the most creative thing Ginny Owens could make. Recently, we sat down with the multi-talented singer/songwriter and asked her about the topic of creativity.
Crosswalk.com: “What or who inspires you to be creative?” What gets you going … into writing?
Ginny Owens: Well, I think a number of different people and things inspire me to be creative. But I think mostly, ultimately, just living life is inspiring. Just sort of interacting with people. Or even sometimes just observing their conversations or things that I’m not even a part of is sort of inspiring. I love to take in a scene and think about it and contemplate it and write about it. So a lot of times, my writing, as personal as it is, may be inspired by a third-person experience. So I would say, I don’t know that there’s anything specific, or one specific, but just kind of living life in general is kind of inspiring. And obviously, I feel like the Lord teaches me through different experiences in life and definitely inspires lots of creativity and lots of songs.
CW: Where or when do you feel most creative? At home by yourself? On the stage? In a hotel room? Out with people?
Ginny: I have a certain mood that’s creative. It usually comes on when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I’ll get an idea for a song I want to write right before I go onstage, and I can’t write it. Or in fact, I probably wrote my best material in class, in school, in college, stuff like that. But I think, when things are happening in my life that aren’t related to music, my mind is challenged to think about things other than my own little world. That’s really where and when I’m inspired.
CW: Do you think that everyone has the ability to be creative? Why or why not?
Ginny: I think everybody’s creative in some way. I think we all think. We all have to take in things, evaluate the world around us. We all have to deal with that evaluation in some way and express what we learn and what we see in some way. I guess I think that we all have the ability to be creative.
CW: Your last project, "Blueprint," was more stripped down than your previous efforts – "Without Condition" and "Something More." Do you feel it was just as creative? Why or why not?
Ginny: Oh, definitely. I think the thing that gets me in trouble with music is that I really do enjoy being creative. So, when my second project came out, "Something More," there were a lot of eyebrows raised and people going, “What are you doing? This is too much. This doesn’t sound like what came before as much as we wish it did.” Unfortunately, as a creative person, you can only gauge what the reaction is going to be sometimes. Because, as a musician, you can get lost in being creative and in enjoying that. So part of the challenge is to balance that with thinking of the business side. But "Blueprint" was perhaps more creative in some ways because it really involved a lot of impromptu creativity. All the songs were recorded live, or pretty much live, in the studio, with all of us playing together. There was a lot of having to figure out what colors would be nice added here and there because it was so sparse. We obviously wanted to be careful of that. So there was a little bit of playing off of each other in the studio. Therefore all of the musicians had to be creative. Maybe a good way to say it is that "Blueprint" is a totally different creative expression from the other two records.
CW: Is there any pressure on you to be just as creative on your next project?
Ginny: It depends on which day you ask. I definitely feel pressured because I know that there are expectations. But on the other hand, I know that good creativity, or true creativity, can’t really be born under pressure, or at least, not under intense pressure. So I sort of have to create out of the space that I create out of because it’s comfortable for me.
CW: Have you started looking ahead to your next project?
Ginny: I have, actually. I’m writing for it right now. Hopefully we’ll be recording this summer.
CW: Can you give us a preview of what to expect?
Ginny: I think the next project will be a combination of the three that have come before it. That doesn’t say much, I guess, but I don’t think it will be any more different or “out there” than anything that you’ve heard before. But, I think it will be a little bit more organic and acoustic, well not as organic and acoustic as different, but it will probably be. Yeah, I guess that’s about what I would say.
CW: You’ve said that you want to play good music – music that friends listen to –music that is interesting and artistic. What does it take from you to create music like that, personally?
Ginny: I think it takes a good balance of being disciplined and being experimental. I am very blessed to get to play all sorts of different types of shows, some where I can take a percussion player, some where I can take a trio, some where I can take a band, and some where I have to play solo. What I am beginning to learn is that practicing for those shows, accordingly, really helps me be able to become more comfortable with the music and therefore be more creative with it and experiment more with the different things that I play and the different chords or different things that I sing or changing those things around. I think it just comes with knowing the music well. And then I think other music is written based on that. The more that I can know the music that I’ve created already, the more that I’m kind of excited about creating other things. And then I think, obviously, if you’re singing and playing all of the time, your skill level is going to raise, slightly, or at least, I would like to think so. That’s also going to help in writing more music.
CW: Is there a product of your creativity that you’re most proud of, music or otherwise?
Ginny: Good question. I don’t know that there is one that I’m most proud of. I sort of see every product of my creativity as a reflection of where I was when I created it which was the best I could do at that point. So I really don’t have a favorite. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have created anything. The albums all kind of have their own stories. "Blueprint" was really fun. It was really hard work. I think we probably ended up spending a total of about three days in the studio. A couple of the songs were done in one or two takes. So things like that were really a great challenge but a lot of fun. "Without Condition" and "Something More" were also projects that were great fun to create.
CW: In terms of what we’ve been discussing, how would you define creativity?
Ginny: Creativity is the outlet of, or the expression of, how each of us sees, or perceives the universe. That’s a great question. I need about a week to ponder that.
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