From my friend Jerry Nagel, a quote from guitar maker Phil Patrillo:
We send our kids to school. I call it the “brain laundry.” They teach them everything you don’t want them to know. It’s done in the name of education and fairness and righteousness, and the things of common sense and how things are done, are never explored. You get a piece of paper with your name on it, if you follow the instructions. I got a Doctorate not because I wanted the piece of paper; I got the Doctorate because my professor said to me, “You know more about this than I do and I’m the professor.” I wanted to know why things occurred. I always say that creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
That indeed is art in so many ways…it is the act of playing with space…the space between the notes that Miles Davisr talked about or the willingness to master and then let go of technique that Thelonius Monk talk about or the. In the moment, art is about knowing which mistakes to keep and how to surround them with silence and emptiness so that they can grow and come alive. Everything we do, if we call ourselves artists comes from that source.