This week we feature Tom Cottar, singer-song writer, musician and one of the #25Timspirational People for 2014. Tom has been a very active member of the #CreativeMondays community – sharing vibrant and catchy tunes such as my favourite ‘Beautifully crazy’ as well as tweeting witty thoughts and ideas. Listen up to Tom as he shares what he is all about; his passion, latest projects and catch the inspiration to get your Creativity Groove on..
Hi, I’m Tom Cottar, coffee addict and singer-songwriter just outside of Austin TX.
I write, record and perform, I’m involved in my church, leading a worship band called 2nd Mile
What do i do? Hope. Dream. Love. All art = putting a frame around a
moment. As a songwriter, I’m trying to put a frame, snapshot around a
moment in time. a feeling. a truth. Rather than a 2 hour Hollywood
movie, or a 500 page novel on the best seller list, I have 3.5 minutes
to connect the audience with moment. A feeling. A complete story. A
painter hangs his paintings on a wall, but a songwriter carries the
songs in his bones.
That’s one of the reasons I love our #CreativeMondays community…
we all carry the same yearnings in our bones. It’s in our DNA. I’m so
thankful to be a part of it…it’s the spark to the beginning of my week.
Everyone is so talented and encouraging…
When I was a child, I remember hearing that the Bible begins with ‘In the beginning, God created…’. I believe that as people created by Him, it’s our job to also create…I’m created in His image, so as an artist, my job is to create and bring light and hope into the world.
Whether it’s through music, watercolours, painting, comedy, drama,
architecture, literature….whatever….As creatives, we are the great,
flashing arrows in our culture pointing to things that are out of order.
And pointing to what is good and right and true.
Pablo Picasso said,
‘Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.’ I can sing a song to a
thousand people, and they will sing it back to me for 1000 different
reasons. That’s a beautiful thing.
For the longest time, I was afraid…paralyzed by fear, to consider
myself a real ‘songwriter’. I was working in Dallas, TX, in an office job.
The organization I worked for needed a theme song for an upcoming
fundraising campaign. Someone across the conference room yelled
out, “Hey! Cottar plays the guitar…have him write a song!” Everyone
just stared at me. Reluctantly, I went home and wrote a song over the
weekend called ‘Reaching Texas’. I snuck a rough demo of it into the
Executive Directors office on Monday, scared and a little nauseous…
LOL. He sent it out to entire office, calling it a ‘homerun’…and the
company paid me to go into the studio have it produced and
distributed.. It was like, “OK…I give in…I’ll really give this thing a try..”
Why do i do it? I guess I can’t help it. I’m too afraid to find out what
would happen if I didn’t do. I do it To shine the light. To bring hope.
Music should strike fire in our hearts and create tears in our eyes.
Writing has brought me out of anger, depression, and hatred. It’s put
me in touch with parts of myself I didn’t know existed. It’s made me
want to be a better man and given me hope for our world.
I just try to create songs that are real. You try to write songs about
other people or humanity in general, and you always end up revealing
yourself in them. So you might as well be real about it. I’ve gotten to
the place where I just try to sit down with my guitar or at the piano,
and just bleed..heheh.
I’ve been blessed to get some recognition and awards here in the
Austin area..to perform with some amazingly talented musicians…play
on some famous stages…and even be featured on some local
television shows. It’s all very humbling to think that these little songs
connect with people….which is really what it’s all about…making
music that brings us together…connects us as human beings…music
that unites us with a common love and purpose.
I’ll go back into the studio in the next couple of months to begin
recording an album called ‘Music From Another Room’. If you’d like to
follow along, you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, my blog,
or on the #CreativeMondays open space.
In the meantime, trust the creative voice you’ve been given.
Live on the edge of mystery. Don’t be afraid.
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