I am very excited to be interviewing musician Louise Love on the blog today for her thoughts and advice on creativity, writing, inspiration, music, work and self care.
Louise has just release a new EP, Tantric Shuffle and is about to start an Australian tour in January 2016. I purchased the album last week, and oh my, I have been bobbing away to the songs on repeat whilst working at my standing desk every day since.
I’ve also had the honour of working with Louise over the past few months and have seen first hand her passion, dedication, and incredible talent. As I’ve delved more and more into the creative world both personally and professionally, I just knew that I had to feature her here so that you too could soak up the wisdom in her experience and words.
I hope you enjoy reading her responses as much as I did.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP Tantric Shuffle. As you know, I am a HUGE FAN of your music and absolutely love these new songs. I’ve been bobbing away to them on repeat at my standing desk while I work each day. Are you able to please share with us a little about the inspiration and meaning behind them?
Firstly, thanks so much for your support, I’m so glad you’re liking the EP!
These songs were written at a time when I’ve felt quite happy and grounded; I can hear this in the music. I try to use my personal experiences as a way to learn and to expand who I am; my songs reflect that. For me, each song follows a formula in which there are levels of meaning – it’s about my relationship with another, it’s about my relationship with myself and it’s about my relationship with the greater whole.
At the same time, the songs are pop, so I’ve tried to keep them as simple and fun as possible. I think meaning is fluid, so each song could mean something different for each listener; they also don’t necessarily have to mean anything.
I have seen how much logistical work and energy you have put in to the creation of Tantric Shuffle. Could you please tell us a little about the creative process that is involved in creating an EP?
I was actually writing songs for a second album. The process was taking longer than planned, so I decided to do a shorter release with some of the songs I had already finished.
My choice in audio engineer and mastering engineer was well researched – they are both brilliant practitioners in their own right. They offered input, but also understood I was self producing.
After that, there was the artwork, which was a collaboration. The hardest part has been the logistic and business side – but that’s not part of this question.
Many of my readers are writers or aspiring writers. I know that you not only write songs, but love to write more broadly too. Could you tell us about the process you undertake to write? For example, is it a more intuitive, flowing practice – or more structured and disciplined?
In the past I’ve struggled accepting that I am an artist. Despite this, I’ve always come back to creative work. Thanks to the life coaching work I’ve done with you, I am now accepting this as a main part of who I am.
When I was younger and more miserable, I used to just write. It was a free-form journalling process, and it was all quite mad. Now-a-days, I have to be disciplined to get something finished. For me, the best thing is a deadline. I need to be held accountable to get the work finished. So it helps to sign up for something or get someone else onboard. I also think it’s important to put myself in situations which push my creativity in different ways. Collaborative work has been good for this.
Have you ever felt blocked creatively or like you’ve run out of ideas or am resisting creating in some way? If so, what do you do to seek inspiration and flow in these times?
Inspiration doesn’t always come easy and I often feel like I’m searching, scratching and chipping away until my song (or whatever I’m making), starts to fit. Even then, I can still hit walls. I just have to plug away and force myself to keep going. Even if it’s just by doing a little bit of work at a time. Without a deadline, it can take me a long time to finish a piece.
Because of earlier struggles with anxiety and depression, I am always careful to keep balance in my life. It’s important look after myself and my relationships. I also love to go out and draw inspiration from other people’s work. Live music, seeing films, dancing and seeing art shows works well for me.
I know that having a self care and wellness practice is important to you. Can you tell us a little about your practice and how you feel it impacts on your creative projects?
I exercise, I meditate, I rest, I eat reasonably well and I check in with my emotions. Now-a-days these are things I look forward to doing. I know what I’m like if I don’t take care of myself. I am lucky that I have the time to do these things.
In regards to my creative projects, I am beginning to commit to living a creative life. If I want sustain this, I need to take care of myself and stay balanced. Sometimes I may need to push myself (like with this EP release), but because I have made self care part of my life, I have tools to stay centred and I try to remember to use them.
Creating an EP of this magnitude takes a lot of work – and I imagine involves juggling a lot of balls, especially if you have another job or life commitments as well. Are you able to share with our readers what you do to stay on track, on focus, and motivated toward prioritising your creative projects – and overcome any procrastination that might sometimes rear it’s head?
After I finished creating the EP, I made the film clip for the single Get Back.
Now I’m totally immersed self-management side of things; I’m organising a tour, booking events, updating my website and social media and working on the promotion. Ideally I want to be able to do self-management and creative work at the same time. But for this EP, I’ve focused on doing one thing at a time which has allowed me to keep my outside commitments.
Once I decided to do the EP and set the release date, it was easy to stay on track because I had a deadline. The life coaching work helped me to organise and prioritise my tasks and manage my time.
I think it is safe to assume that most artists encounter fears, blocks and resistance on their creative journeys. Are you able to talk about some that you’ve encountered and how you’ve continued to move forward?
My biggest problem has been the belief that if I don’t make it and make it soon, then I’ve failed and need to quit. This fear has held me back and left me unable to enjoy the small successes I’ve had. It had also meant that I have worried excessively about what people think.
I’m now shifting my perspective and I am committing to living a creative life. Keeping this commitment is my long-term goal, it may even lead me in new creative directions. I trust myself to judge my work and to sort through any feedback. I’ll do my best to share my work (if that’s what it calls for), but if something doesn’t take off, I know I’ll be okay.
Do you have any advice for readers who hope to explore or pursue their creative desires?
Creativity is for everyone, not just official artists.
Don’t let the narrative of success, mastery or genius scare you out of pursuing your desires. Just start exploring and making – even if it seems silly or unimportant.
By being creative (be it in a big or small way), you are creating a more enriching version of your time on earth.
What books or resources would you recommend my readers check out to ignite their creative potential?
You bought me a copy of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and reading it has literally changed my life. A lot of the ideas I’ve talked about, have been inspired by her book.
Getting a life coach has also really helped me to find clarity about what I want to do – I highly recommend it!
You have an Australian tour coming up in February – of which I’m very excited to attend the Brisbane show. Could you share with our readers a little about what they can expect at your shows?
Beats and twisted synths, weaved together with emotive vocals and a bit of dancing. I am a performer as much as I am a songwriter, so I really put myself into each song.
With supports by artists such Simona Castricum, S>c>r>a>p>s and Kt spit, each night is going to be an event by electronic music enthusiasts and anyone fired up by underground pop.