The Inventory of Lucky Lo
The Inventory Series is an ever-growing stockhouse of information and inspiration. An appreciation of all things creative. A place where creative professionals share resources for discovery and inspiration: the tools of creation.
This is Lucky Lo's Inventory:
10 Rules For Students, Teachers and Life
In my second year at the music conservatory just before the end-of-term exam in spring, my teacher Kasper Tranberg came to our class and gave us a piece of printed paper. The title on the paper said "10 rules for Students, Teachers, and Life by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent”. It is a list consisting of 10 rules regarding creativity and mental/philosophical guidelines attributed to John Cage, (but the text itself was collected and written by Sister Colita Kent as a part of a project for a class in 1967-1968).
This list ended up kind of changing my life and totally revolutionalized the way I now approach creativity and creating. Before this list, I struggled a lot with my identity as a musician, and I had a hard time finishing songs because I was too prone to overthink each decision. I had a lot of doubt when it came to my abilities.
So whenever I happen to be in a bad mindset for making music, if I feel anxious about my work or if I am stuck in a process, I turn to these ten rules. I even named one of my songs after one. These rules help me get into the right mindset for creativity, and for a long time I had them on the wall in my kitchen. Now I know them by heart.
Here is the list. My personal favorites are in bold.
1.) Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.
2.) General duties of a student: pull everything out of your teacher. Pull everything out of your fellow students.
3.) General duties of a teacher: pull everything out of your student.
4.) Consider everything an experiment.
5.) Be self disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self disciplined is to follow in a better way.
6.) Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only Make.
7.) The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.
8.) Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They are different processes.
9.) Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy ourself. It’s lighter than you think.
10.) "We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” - John Cage
Helpful hints: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything—it might come in handy later. There should be new rules next week.
Cultivate your nerdy side, whether it might be building lego, playing Minecraft or diving into YouTube videos about making the perfect brownie. These are the "X quantities", the stuff we are not entirely sure how to use productively and we feel guilty spending too much time on them... BUT… I think we need to have this input in order to have an output.
I have been known to spend 10 hours in one day diving into a Japanese animated series, and if I find something that really ticks my box, I will DEVOUR it in one bite and them maybe even watch it again from the beginning the day after.
It is maybe not the most healthy behavior, but I kind of justified my anime & manga addiction by learning to speak Japanese, and today I have so much joy in being able to understand this language and take part in an amazing culture on a much deeper level.
Below I have linked to one of my favorite movies from 1984 called Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, an early work by Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli. There is also a manga version of the movie that was made after the film, which tells more of the story that I really recommened checking out.
If you are an environmentalist and humanitarian, this movie is for you. (Also the original midi-soundtrack version is GREAT).