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It’s Not About the Tools!

Hello, dear readers.

I just saw this video on the Internets and had to share it. It only has a few views, but I can’t help but think this video is going to climb pretty fast.

This is a band called Atomic Tom, performing on the B Train in New York. With iPhones. Brilliant. And it’s really good. Obviously they used an amplifier and probably a small mixer to get the audio balanced and loud enough. Some other blogs are speculating that the audio was recorded at a separate time and added later, but I disagree.  This was not entirely spontaneous (they used multiple cameras), but I love that it has that feel. I’m not sure I buy the statement about their instruments being stolen so they had to improvise. But it’s a great demonstration of versatility and improvisation, none the less. The video’s below, with more of my thoughts afterward.

What do we learn from this? We learn that creativity does not come from tools. At least not entirely. Tools themselves can indeed inspire creativity. I do stuff in After Effects that I would have never conceived of doing were it not for After Effects. Tools can limit creativity too. You can’t make a painting with a violin, for instance. At least not easily. But it’s easy to get hung up on tools. I love my computer. And software that makes me look smarter than I am. And cameras, both still and video, are what allow me to do my creative work. (Note: I read that the above video was made with 4 iPhone cameras.) But what if I had none of that? Can one adopt new tools? I’ve always wanted to paint, but never have gotten around to it, and have no idea where to even start. I can’t draw. Or can I? Maybe I can. Without the tools I’m comfortable with, would I still be able to create? Would you?