The spoken word is one of the most important tools we have and for Writer, Performance Poet and videographer Michael Logie using that tool is what he's passionate about. These are his many shades.
How do you define creativity and what does it mean to you?
Creativity to me is the ability to use one's imagination to produce an end product of some sort. We call this end product 'Art'. Being a spoken word poet and videographer, creativity is critically important as it helps me to build a sense of uniqueness as an artiste. I think without creativity and its people, the world will just be bland, dry and without flavor.
How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?
A lot of my creativity is something that has to be developed in me. I work tirelessly on my craft to develop the 'outside of the box' way of thinking, to address the same old thing in new and innovative ways of saying it. I think I have a fair bit of creative juices pumping inside me but sometimes I feel like it's not enough and it's at those moments I hit the drawing board.
When did you realize that you wanted to express your creativity? Was it encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?
My journey as a Spoken Word Poet began in my A' Level class. I had a friend who I was deeply interested in, she was also a spoken word poet. My first poem was an attempt to impress her but things didn't go according to plan. However, even though a romantic, fairy tale didn't materialize, she left me with something more valuable than any relationship; the power of my voice and self expression. I continued writing for fun until I won the Speak Out Secondary School Slam. It was only after championing that slam, I realized I had a gift and was ready to explore spoken word poetry.
I also fell in love with film after seeing the work done by Prince Ea and Suli Breaks and very quickly, I realized it can be used to effectively communicate messages. So, why not merge the two?
What is your standard for evaluating your own creative work and the works of other people? Do you think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general? Are monetary rewards relevant to your own work?
Personally, I believe that to be the best, you must produce the best quality work possible. That is what I strive for. I try to maintain an exceptional standard of work. I don't compare my work to that of someone else, however, I view the work of others with a critical eye to see how I can become better.
Art and creativity are subjective things. Everyone has a different view on life and that will affect what people see as creative. Money will always be relevant no matter what you do but it is not my main focus. My main focus is to produce the highest quality work.
Do you think your own perception and evaluation of your creative endeavors are influenced by the views of other people? What role do you think the culture that you live in plays in your creative efforts?
How I see my work is partially influenced by what people think because at the end of the day, I produce for an audience. I perform for an audience and I must keep a connection with them no matter which stage I'm on. The culture heavily influences what I produce mainly because I use my art to deal with social ills and attempt to inspire positive social change.
What do you do when you experience a creative block?
What is a creative block? I've never heard of that before. Where can I get one to buy?
I think a creative block/writers block is all in the mind. I think the reason people get a "creative block" is because they think they must produce a masterpiece on the first attempt, that everything must be perfect in the blink of an eye. When that doesn't happen, we say we have a writer's block.
My first draft is never my final draft. I write down what I have to say, no matter how 'foolish' it may sound. It's only after I revise my work, I develop a masterpiece. So it isn't a block, it's the first stage of the process.
How do you make the leap from a "Spark" in your head to the action you produce?
When I get an idea for anything, I immediately write it down. I have to write it somewhere. When I'm able to tend to that idea, I immediately and enthusiastically commit time to developing the concept. After that, I begin writing and that in itself doesn't always take place on the page. It happens a lot in the imagination; on my way to work, rehearsals, even in a maxi I'm writing mentally.
Do you have any special rituals that you do in order to achieve your creative goals?
My mantra is "Be better than you were yesterday, be the best you can be"
Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If it has changed, please explain how?
My writing has matured tremendously over the years. The change was very small; my mindset and the way I see things. I've grown into a show not tell mentality, paint a picture with words rather than say things plainly. My involvement with The 2 Cents Movement and The Roots Foundation has also facilitated this as I was exposed to both local and international powerhouses.
What has been the greatest sacrifice that you have made for your craft?
My biggest sacrifice are late nights. Late nights on Youtube or maybe somewhere on the internet, looking for inspiration and trying to become better.
Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?
I don't think I ever thought of putting my pen down. I love writing too much to allow my thoughts to be bombarded by such poison. My uncle Ted also has a part to play in fueling me as he would have been the one saying "What is your reason to not give 100%?. What is your reason for not producing the highest quality of work?
Hearing that everyday fueled me. Now I'm addicted to hard-work.
Do you believe that it is important to be accepted by others as being creative or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work? Explain.
I don't have to be accepted by anyone. I share my stories because I know there are those who are too afraid to share theirs, that there are people who can relate and will use my work as comfort. I love writing and videography and if it heals people then that is enough motivation.
Has rejection ever affected your creative process? Explain.
I can't please everyone in the world and I understand that. To me, rejection is inevitable so I've grown to accept rejection. It doesn't affect me.
Looking at what you have created in the past, would you change anything today? Why or why not?
Hahahaha. I won't change a single thing. My past and everything I've created and produced back then are the ingredients that make the person I am today. My past is also beneficial to me because I use it to track growth.
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
I have never once doubted my talent.
What piece of work are you most proud of? Why?
"Daddy, Why You Risking My Life". That is the title for the piece of work I'm most proud of. This piece speaks on drug abuse and how it affected both the parents and the children in a household. A video submission of this piece was submitted to the National Drug Council, where I won the people's choice award. This is also my proudest piece of work because it was the first piece that I conceptualized (where film production is concerned), directed and edited. It was this pieced that jump started and fueled my passion for film. It's that caterpillar piece of work that I will never forget.
What is the best advice you've received that helped you move forward on your creative journey?
My best advice was a question and it was asked by my Uncle Ted; What is your reason to not produce the best work possible? That really inspires me.
To a young Creative emerging in your field, what advice would you impart unto them?
Keep writing. Aspire to become the best writer you can be, a master writer. Nothing comes easy. The moment you stop trying is the moment you fail.
What would you most like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for my sense of humor and how I'm able to make people laugh.
If you were a crayon, what would be the name of your colour?