[This is a guest post from my main man, Fabeku Fatunmise]
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to get home and whoosh down to the basement.
All of my paints and pastels. The canvases and sketchbooks. All the piles of found junk that I’d nail and glue and cement into sculptures.
By fifth period, I was already thinking about it.
Anything my teachers said sounded a lot like that teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons.
Wah wah wah. Wah wah. Wah wah wah wah.
I had art on the brain, baby.
That’s why me — a kid who never ran — would run for the bus. Every single day.
I had to get home. There was art to make.
And that was all that mattered.
I’d hit the door, drop my bag and run down those steps without stopping.
I’d throw in my favorite tuneage — The Smiths, the Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees — and I’d stay locked in that basement until Mom would drag me up for dinner and homework.
Eat. Eat. Fast. Fast. Scribble. Scribble. Hurry. Hurry.
Anything to eke out an extra hour of painting before bed.
The basement was my secret underground lair.
It’s where magic happened. And anything was possible. And everything made sense.
But by the time I was 20, I didn’t feel that urge to run anymore.
I had a job. And a car. And a life.
And that was all that mattered.
I mean, I’d sketch when I had time. Which was pretty much never.
But that fire that used to cause my legs to shake and my feet to run?
Somewhere along the line the blaze turned into beige.
Maybe it was because Dad died. Or my girlfriend split. Or I was homeless for a minute.
Or maybe it’s just because I was an adult. And there’s less time for pushing paints around when you’ve got bills to pay.
The truth is, I didn’t really care. Most days, I just felt numb.
But the thing about creativity is that it won’t give up on you. Even when you’ve given up on it.
We are fundamentally creative creatures. Just being alive is an exquisite act of creativity.
And that nudge you feel to create something somehow?
That’s what reminds you what aliveness tastes like.
The further away I got from my practice, the louder it sang. And then one day, I woke up, picked up a brush and came back to life.
That’s what creativity means to me.
Being alive. Knowing your aliveness. Life as one great big delicious creative act.
Some things don’t change much. Even after you’ve been away forever.
My basement studio is still the place where magic happens. And anything is possible. And everything makes sense.
Now my paints and pastels and sketchbooks share the space with my drums and gongs and singing bowls.
And regardless of whether I’m parked in front of a palette full of a million paints or a mixer full of a million lights, I feel alive.
My legs shake. I want to run.
Every single day.
And I love that like crazy.
* * * * *
I’m Fabeku Fatunmise. (Hi!) And aside from having a name that’s a total mouthful, I’m a sound guy and a chocolate guy and an orange guy. I love punk rock, chai and red suede Doc Martens. I’ve been hanging around with sound stuff for twenty years and spend my days helping people to get unstuck through sound and music. Find me on Twitter (@fabeku) and say hey. I’d dig that.
[photo by Fabeku]