Today’s Art (31st May 2020)

Well, today’s digitally-edited painting is based on this photo I took of a crow perching on a wall in Haslar last June.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Haslar – Nevermore!” By C. A. Brown

Top Ten Articles – May 2020

Well, it’s the end of the month and this means that it’s time for me to do my usual round-up of links to the ten best articles about making art, writing fiction etc… that I’ve posted here over the past month. Plus, of course, a couple of honourable mentions too.

Although this month’s articles still took longer than a month to prepare (again, if you’re running a blog, always have a buffer of pre-made articles. It’s really useful 🙂), I quite like how they turned out – and, after months of mostly posting writing-based articles, it was so much fun to start writing about art again too 🙂

In terms of reviews, this month was weird. Although there will be at least one more book review posted here soon (probably tomorrow), I actually found myself losing interest in books due to over-reading them during the past year or so. As such, I only reviewed four of them this month (Jodi Taylor’s “Hope For The Best“, Shaun Hutson’s “Warhol’s Prophecy“, Alice Hoffman’s “Practical Magic” and K.W.Jeter’s “Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night).

To my surprise, I ended up getting back into watching and reviewing films again (in addition to reviewing a computer game called “Ion Fury” and a social distancing-themed game called “Can You Save The World?).

Although this month’s film selection was a little bit more random and eclectic than I’d expected (since, amongst other things I wanted to watch a few more light-hearted films and was also mildly curious about the romcom genre too), my favourite films that I reviewed this month were probably: “The Pelican Brief“, “Legal Eagles“, “High Heels And Low Lifes” and “Sphere“.

Anyway, here are the lists 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles – May 2020:

– “Three Paradoxes Of Creativity
– “Three Reasons To Mix Physical And Digital Tools When Making Art
– “Three Reasons Why Older Creative Works Sometimes Aren’t Always As Good As You Remember
– “Three Differences Between 1980s And 1990s Horror Fiction
– “Why Are Novels “Edgier” Than Film Or TV?
– “Three Reasons To Mix Genres
– “Three Tips For Reading Longer Novels
– “Three Thoughts About Making Paintings Based On Dreams
– “How To Make An Inspired Series Of Paintings
– “Three Thoughts About Writing Villain Characters

Honourable Mentions:

– “Should You Focus On Internal Or External Conflict In Your Novel?
– “Reading Quickly Vs. Reading Slowly

Review: “Two Weeks Notice” (Film)

Well, although I’m nearing the later parts of the next novel I plan to review (but am enjoying it so much that I want to slow down and savour it), I thought that it was time to review yet another film. And, since I was also in the mood for another “feel good” romantic comedy, I thought that I’d check out one that I’ve been meaning to watch for quite a while. I am, of course, talking about the 2002 film “Two Weeks Notice”.

I’d vaguely thought about reviewing this film during my “1990s films” series a couple of years ago, but it fell just outside of the time range (eg: 1989-2001) I’d set for the series. So, when a relative asked if I wanted to borrow any of their DVDs for these reviews, I was delighted to find this one in a box set.

So, let’s take a look at “Two Weeks Notice”. Needless to say, this review may contain some SPOILERS.

The film begins in New York with a legal aid lawyer and community activist called Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) and two of her friends protesting the demolition of a community theatre by the nefarious Wade Corporation. After managing to delay the wrecking ball for a few minutes with the strategic use of yoga mats, we later see her parents bailing her out of jail. Since they are both experienced lawyers who have a history of standing up for ordinary people, civil rights and local causes, they are proud of her for taking a stand.

And, in classic Hollywood fashion, Lucy is very much a “hippie” character in this part of the film.

Sometime later, Lucy learns that cartoonishly rich businessman George Wade (Hugh Grant) also plans to bulldoze the local community centre. So, after compiling documents about it, she decides to find him and plead the case for keeping the centre going.

And, yes, there’s an obligatory magazine article scene too. I miss the early 2000s.

Meanwhile, George is in a spot of bother. His richer brother, the head of the family’s company, is more than a little annoyed at him for hiring a string of attorneys based on looks and romantic interest rather than on actual legal skill. He gives George an ultimatum to find a good lawyer within the next few days.

When George leaves the office, talking to one possible candidate, Lucy confronts him with a folder of information about the community centre and tries to appeal to his better nature. Their conversation is interrupted by a reporter looking for a statement about the proposed development work. After Lucy inadvertently helps George to give an inspiring and eloquent speech to the press, he asks her to join her in his limo. He has a proposition. He’ll save the centre if she agrees to work as his lawyer.

Naturally, it turns out to be a rewarding and intellectually-stimulating career choice.

Much to the disapproval of her parents and long-distance boyfriend, Lucy accepts. At first, the job goes well and she’s also able to direct a lot of the company’s charitable spending too. However, George starts treating her more like a P.A. than an actual lawyer. And, after calling her in the middle of a wedding to ask her opinion about what he should wear during a TV interview, she hands in her two weeks notice. But, after a series of underhanded attempts by George to get her to stay at the company, the two reluctantly reach a deal. Lucy will find a replacement lawyer if George doesn’t try to stop her working for anyone else afterwards…

One of the first things that I will say about this film is that, whilst it is very stylised, it was still a lot of fun to watch 🙂 It’s also a romantic comedy that pays as much, if not more, attention to it’s comedy elements as it does to the romantic elements of the story 🙂

“Make sure you massage his cloven hoof!”

So, I should probably start by talking about this film’s comedy elements, which are excellent. Although the numerous comedic moments are more “amusing” than “laugh out loud” a lot of the time, the frequency of them really adds a lot of personality and fun to the film.

Although there are some well-placed moments of slapstick comedy (and other comedic set pieces), the bulk of this film’s humour comes from the characters – in particular, the amusing “opposites” relationship and dialogue exchanges between Lucy and George. Both of them are stylised, but amusing, comedic characters and are absolutely perfect.

Although Grant and Bullock aren’t exactly playing against type here, this is what makes the film so excellent. Lucy is the kind of awkward, eccentric, kind-hearted and slightly cynical character that Sandra Bullock excels at. George is the kind of utterly charming, but loveably foolish and endearingly stupid, character that Hugh Grant does so well. As you can imagine, this allows for a lot of amusing comedic conflict and character moments throughout the film.

Such as this scene where Lucy tries to get George to fire her from the company.

Or when George casually calls for a lift home after a bizarre series of events involving tennis, traffic jams, chilli dogs and a mobile home.

Plus, talking of the casting, I was amazed to see David Haig in this film too 🙂 Although he plays his role as George’s miserable, ruthless brother fairly “seriously” and is a much more understated version of the kind of grumpy character he played in classic BBC sitcoms like “The Thin Blue Line“, it’s still really cool to see him in a mainstream Hollywood movie 🙂 And, though he mostly just serves as a foil to Hugh Grant’s character, he still adds an extra something to the film.

Seriously, it was a really awesome surprise to see David Haig in this film 🙂

However, I should point out that – during one brief scene later in the film – Donald Trump has a cameo. Yes, in the 1990s and early 2000s, these cameos were kind of a Hollywood tradition/running joke – but, depending on your opinions about US politics, this scene may briefly ruin the mood of the film when watched today.

In terms of the film’s romance elements, they are better than I’d expected. For most of the film, the relationship between Lucy and George is this weird mixture of friendship, business and antagonism – which fits in well with the film’s unusual premise. They seem like two people who should hate each other but somehow get along in an oddly charming and amusing way.

This antagonism also means that their relationship progresses at a reasonably slow and sensible pace, with the two characters having enough conflict between them to provide the film with a few “serious” dramatic moments whilst still keeping a fairly “feel good” emotional tone.

The film’s dramatic moments add a bit of depth and character to the film, but never really get in the way of the comedy.

Likewise, the fact that their relationship for most of the film is this weird mixture of friendship, antagonism and business also means that the film sets itself apart from many romantic comedies, allowing for a lot more “traditional” comedic moments and situations than you sometimes find in this genre.

Plus, although it’s clear from the outset that they’re going to end up together, the interesting part is how this ends up happening and all of the inner conflict and character development (eg: Lucy is initially eager to find someone to replace her at George’s company, but has mixed emotions after she finds someone etc…) on the way to the expected final kiss just before the credits.

Yes, there are vague elements of a “Fifty Shades”-style dynamic between the main characters in some moments, but the film actually handles this in a suitably irreverent and vaguely intelligent way, with these parts of the film being presented as sources of comedic conflict rather than as anything particularly “romantic”. Likewise, although the giant wealth disparity between the two main characters is a well-worn romance trope, it’s not only played for laughs in many moments but the film also has a rather heartwarming message about money being less important than community, love, friendship etc… Although this is also a rather cliched trope, it’s still kind of refreshing to see it here.

As mentioned earlier, there is actually a fairly good amount of character development. Although this is slightly stylised and predictable- with Lucy going from being an activist and beleagured P.A. to a more confident character and George going from an arrogant, but charming, “more money than sense” businessman to a charming, but somewhat more decent, person – it still adds a bit of extra depth, nuance and humanity to this film’s characters. Who, again, are extremely stylised but somehow still manage to be very compelling.

All in all, this is a much better film than it probably sounds on paper (or, in this case, a computer screen). Yes, it’s incredibly stylised in a lot of ways, but Bullock and Grant turn it into something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a romantic comedy which works just as well as a comedy (if not slightly better) as it does as a romance. So, if you want a fun, funny and “feel good” film with a quirky and cute main couple, then this one is definitely worth a watch 🙂

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get at least a four.

Three Paradoxes Of Creativity

Well, after having a few random moments of inspiration in the days before writing this article, this made me think about creativity itself. In particular, the unusual, ironic, counter-intuitive and downright paradoxical parts of creating anything.

So, here are a few of the paradoxes you might encounter when you try to create something. And, yes, this will be a slightly weirder article than usual.

1) Self-expression and self-censorship: When you feel really inspired – the kind of brilliant inspiration where making stuff feels almost like a spiritual activity of some kind – it is usually because what you are creating feels relevant to you in some way or another. It is a part of yourself, your emotions or your imagination that can only be expressed through the medium of art, fiction, comics, music, poetry etc…

Of course, these types of creative works feel absolutely amazing to make. But, one of the pitfalls of this is that you’ll sometimes look at this wonderful piece of self-expression and suddenly think “Oh my god, this is far too weird, cynical and/or personal to show anyone else“. And you’ll probably end up self-censoring it in some way or not showing it to anyone else.

And, to further compound the irony of all of this, most of the creative works made by other people that will really inspire you to create stuff are the kind of unique, weird, subversive, satirical, rebellious, introspective, irreverent, funny, quirky etc… things that will probably lead to you self-censoring when you try to make your own “equivalent” of them.

2) Improvement and nostalgia: If you’ve been practicing creating stuff regularly, then you’ve probably run into this one at some point or another. Either you get nostalgic about an inspired time you had several months or years ago, or someone says something nice about something you created ages ago. So, you go back… and it looks nowhere near as good as you remember it being!

As bizarre and frustrating as this might be when it happens to you for the first time, it is very much a good thing. It means that you’ve improved as both a person and an artist/writer/musician etc… That old creative work was probably the best thing that you could create at the time. It was something which you poured all of your creative practice, imagination and life experience into. Because it was the best thing you can create, it will look really good to you at the time.

Of course, when you’ve had a few more years practice, life experience etc.. and been exposed to even more creative inspirations, you’ll see it for what it actually is. A snapshot of your imagination several years ago. Something made by a younger, more limited and less practiced/experienced version of who you are today. So, it’ll probably make you cringe.

But, and here’s the pardox, don’t get too smug about the stuff that you’re making today. Because you’ll also experience this exact thing with it at some point in the future. I can pretty much guarantee it.

3) Getting inspired by other stuff (means your stuff has to be different): When you see a truly great creative work, it makes you want to make something like it. This is a perfectly normal part of the creative process and, when handled well, can be a great source of motivation that also helps you to improve and refine your creative works.

However, there is a massive paradox that you have to be aware of here. If you try to create something like the creative works that have inspired you, then it won’t work. At best, you’ll produce an amusing novelty pastiche/parody but, at worst, you’ll produce something crappy or something that makes you feel less enthusiastic about creating things.

Ironically, to actually use these types of moments to your advantage, you need to produce something very different to what inspired you. Why? Because your imagination, personality, worldview, circumstances, experiences and sensibilities will be different to those of the artist, writer, musician etc… that has just inspired you. You will never be able to write exactly like your favourite author, draw exactly like your favourite artist or play exactly like your favourite musician.

And this is a good thing! The reason why these great creative works have inspired you so much is because they are an expression of that person’s unique imagination. They are something that only that one person could make. And, if you want to make things that have this quality, then you need to make stuff that only you can make. Stuff that feels relevant to you, that is a part of your imagination that screams to be expressed.

Yes, you should still carefully study anything that inspires you to see if it can teach you any new technical skills (eg: art techniques, writing techniques etc..) and if there are any general elements that interest you enough to make you want to create your own interpretation of them.

You should also try to have a wide range of inspirations, because this also helps to add originality to your work. But, if you want to make something as great as the thing that inspired you, then you need to look inside yourself at your own unique thoughts, emotions, daydreams, fascinations etc… and use them as the basis for what you are making. Because this is exactly what your favourite artist, musician etc… did when they made the thing that inspired you.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Review: “Sphere” (Film)

Well, although I’m still gradually reading the next novel I plan to review (I’m over halfway through it at the time of writing), I was in the mood for another film review. So, I thought that I’d take a look at a rather intriguing sci-fi horror film from 1998 called “Sphere”.

This is a film that I often saw sitting on shop shelves when I was younger and was vaguely curious about, but never actually got round to getting a copy of it. And, when shopping online for second-hand DVDs, I happened to spot a copy of it and wanted to satisfy my curiosity.

So, let’s take a look at “Sphere”. However, I should warn you that this review will contain some MAJOR SPOILERS. This film is best watched without spoilers. So, if you just want a spoiler-free summary, then it’s a surprisingly good sci-fi horror thriller film 🙂

And, yes, this is one of those old-school late 1990s DVDs that comes in a semi-cardboard case. Anyone remember those?

The film begins with a psychologist called Norman (Dustin Hoffman) being flown across the sea in a US Navy helicopter. He’s been told that he’s required to help out with a plane crash and, sure enough, there are several Navy ships and a cordoned-off area in the middle of the ocean.

But, when he gets on board one of the ships, he is greeted by a military officer who tells him to wait in his quarters despite his protests that he needs to see the crash survivors within a vital 24-hour window in order to reduce the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder. A few hours later, a mysterious US government agent meets him and leads him to a conference room.

Hmmm… This secret agent looks totally trustworthy…

In the conference room, a marine biologist called Beth (Sharon Stone), a mathematician called Harry (Samuel L. Jackson) and an astrophysicist called Ted (Liev Schreiber) are waiting for him. The agent explains that they are a team who have been assembled based on a half-joking report that Norman wrote for the president about what to do and who to bring in the event of alien contact.

Needless to say, the rest of the team aren’t exactly happy about this.

After an accident with a ship laying fibre-optic cable, the US Navy conducted various scans and undersea expeditions and discovered a mysterious spacecraft buried in a coral reef. From the rate of coral growth, they have deduced that the spacecraft landed on Earth three hundred years earlier. The team will be the first people to look inside it…

One of the first things that I will say about this film is… Wow! It’s a really compelling sci-fi horror thriller 🙂 If you’re a fan of movies like “Alien”, “Event Horizon” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”, then you’ll be on vaguely familiar ground here. It’s a really great mixture of mysterious science fiction, thrilling drama and creepy horror 🙂 In other words, it is sci-fi horror done right 🙂

If this reminds you a little of the Space Jockey scene from “Alien”, then you’ll probably enjoy this film 🙂

And the “2001” style computer messages are surprisingly creepy too 🙂

So, I should probably start by talking about this film’s horror elements, which are really excellent 🙂 Since this film only has a “12” certificate, I wasn’t really expecting that much in the way of horror – but this is a surprisingly creepy film 🙂 Although the BBFC were generally stricter during the 1990s, one cool thing is that they didn’t really take quite as much of an over-protective attitude towards horror films in lower categories as they do these days. So, don’t let the low rating put you off. Yes, it isn’t really that gruesome – but this film will actually scare and unsettle you 🙂

There’s a really good mixture of suspenseful situations, eerie mystery, psychological horror, creature horror, cosmic horror, claustrophobic horror, unreliable reality, sci-fi horror and a few grotesque skeletons/bodies too. Although there are also a small number of “jump” moments, most of the film’s horror is a slightly more subtle and unsettling thing which is left just mysterious enough to both make you curious and to make you feel afraid.

Surprisingly, this film relies a lot less on creatures and “jump” moments than I’d expected 🙂 It’s a bit more of a sophisticated sci-fi horror film 🙂

In addition to this, there is a brilliantly tense and suspenseful atmosphere running through almost all of the film. Not only are the characters frequently in danger but, as the story progresses, they become less sure of who they can trust and of reality itself.

The concept behind the film is absolutely brilliant and utterly chilling too. In essence, thanks to whatever is inside the sphere, the later events of the film follow literal nightmare logic (if you’ve ever had a normal dream and then suddenly worried about something in the middle of it, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about here) – where the character’s fears quite literally become reality. Seriously, I cannot praise this film’s psychological horror elements highly enough.

It’s impossible to talk about this film’s horror elements without talking about the sci-fi elements too. This film is a perfect example of sci-fi horror done right. Not only are all of the main characters intelligent scientists and mathematicians, but the film also has a strong element of mystery to it – a mystery which can only be partially solved by exploration, logical deduction and scientific study.

Throughout the film, there are strange events (eg: English text within the spaceship, strange numbers appearing on computer screens etc…) which all have some kind of logic to them that the characters have to understand and use to their advantage. Likewise, whilst the characters learn a bit about how the alien sphere works and why it is on Earth, enough is still left mysterious to keep the film feeling both intriguing and creepy

And, yes, despite some rather high-end computers, the scientists still use pen and paper occasionally 🙂

Although the film includes a few well-known features of the sci-fi genre (eg: spaceships, aliens, time travel etc…), it also takes a wonderfully Lovecraftian approach to science fiction too. In other words, this is a film about people confronted by strange and unknown alien forces that humanity should not know about. It fits into the classic Lovecraftian idea of dangerous knowledge too, with the characters eventually choosing to forget about everything they have learnt (and quite literally saying something like “We are the wrong hands”) because it would be catastrophic for humanity to know the sphere’s powers.

Although, weirdly, this is a horror movie with a (sort of) happy ending. Probably explains the “12 certificate”, I guess.

Plus, although the film is set underwater, it may as well be set in the inhospitable void of outer space too. This is a film that takes heavy inspiration from both “Alien” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”, whilst also very much being it’s own thing at the same time 🙂 Imagine a toned-down version of “Event Horizon” or an extremely terrifying horror novel like Nick Cutter’s “The Deep” and this may give you some vague impression of the kind of awesome sci-fi horror film this is 🙂 Although I haven’t read the Michael Crichton novel that “Sphere” is based on, you can really get the impression that this is a novel-based film rather than a Hollywood original 🙂

In addition to this, it is also a really great thriller too. As well as the mystery and suspense that I’ve mentioned, the film not only has a novel-like structure (and is split into chapter-like segments), but there is a really good mixture of quieter moments and slightly more fast-paced survival drama moments that keeps the audience on their toes. And, as you’d expect from any decent thriller, the drama gradually keeps escalating as the film progresses.

Seriously, the chapter title-like segments work really well.

The film’s characters are absolutely excellent too. They have enough personality and backstory to make you care about them, whilst also coming across as slightly more understated and “realistic” than the average Hollywood thriller or horror movie protagonists.

Although the main characters are played by fairly famous actors, their acting is good enough for this not to be too immersion-breaking (although the film would have probably been mildly creepier with an unknown cast) and they actually come across as vaguely realistic scientists. Seriously, I cannot praise Hoffman, Stone, Jackson and Schreiber highly enough for their performances here. The same goes for the supporting cast too, who all seem like fairly “realistic” military characters – even if they don’t really get that much characterisation.

In terms of lighting, set design and special effects, this film is brilliant 🙂 This film makes absolutely excellent use of 1990s-style gloomy high-contrast lighting, which both adds to the creepy atmosphere and just looks really cool too.

Seriously, the lighting design here is really cool 🙂 It’s gloomy enough to add mystery to the film, whilst bold enough to allow you to see what is going on 🙂

Seriously, people certainly knew how to use lighting in dramatic ways in the 1990s 🙂

The set design is absolutely awesome too – taking heavy visual inspiration from the spaceships in both “Alien” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”, whilst also being gloomier, more metallic and just generally more “realistic” 🙂

The team hang out in the mess hall- For example, the mess hall onboard the base looks a bit like a gloomier and more metallic version of the dining room from “Alien” 🙂

Likewise, although the close-ups of the sphere look a little like “old CGI” at times, the film’s lavish special effects still stand up surprisingly well when viewed today – probably thanks to the compelling story, the film knowing when to leave things to the imagination and the gloomy lighting covering up any small flaws that might be noticeable upon closer inspection.

All in all, this is an absolutely excellent sci-fi horror movie 🙂 If you enjoyed the movie “Alien” and you want something a bit more subtle, with more of a focus on mystery and psychological horror, then this film is well worth a watch 🙂

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get a five.

Three Lessons Creative People Can Learn From The Beatles

Well, since I seem to be going through another phase of listening to The Beatles quite a lot (after only really becoming a fan of them several months before I prepared this article), I thought that I’d look at some of the lessons this band can teach anyone who does anything creative.

1) Practice!: Although The Beatles are quite rightly praised for the more psychedelic music they produced later in their career, they would probably have never been able to produce music of this quality without all of the frequent practice earlier in their career. Not only were they already playing music when they were teenagers but, fairly early in the band’s history, they famously travelled to Hamburg to be the “resident band” in a nightclub, where they performed live sets ridiculously often.

In other words, although The Beatles had some level of innate talent, this was something that was sharpened and improved by a rigorous schedule of frequent practice. Yes, it’s probably the least glamourous part of the band’s career, but the grinding regularity of performing concerts repeatedly over an extended period of time probably played a huge role in the quality of their music. So, whether or not you have “talent”, practice is what really matters.

In addition to this, one of the really interesting things about The Beatles is the sheer number of alternate takes and earlier “work in progress” versions of their songs that can be found on the band’s official Youtube channel. The main reason that I bring this up is because it also shows that great creative works don’t usually just appear fully-formed in a sudden moment of inspiration. They often take editing, refinement, trial-and-error and, yes, practice too.

2) Variety and curiosity: One of the reasons why The Beatles are such a hugely influential and famous band is because they weren’t afraid to experiment with a variety of different styles. Yes, the gradually increasing musical differences between band members were apparently one of the reasons why they split up. But, the lesson here is not to be afraid to try different things if they interest you. To take inspiration from a variety of different genres and to experiment with them.

For example, although they’re more famous for their rock and roll music and their more psychedelic music, they wrote songs in a surprisingly large variety of genres.

There’s the jaunty music hall sound of their hilarious dark comedy song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”. The energetic reggae/ska style of a song like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. The gritty, sleazy and vaguely proto-punk sound of a song like “Polythene Pam”. And, most famously, their proto-heavy metal song “Helter Skelter”. Yes, The Beatles played an early version of heavy metal 🙂

The lesson here is not to be afraid to try different stuff. Not to mistake having a distinctive “style” for just doing the same thing over and over again. Originality comes from having a wide range of different influences and not being afraid to try new stuff, even if it doesn’t always work out that well.

Because, if you want to make stuff that will influence other musicians, artists, writers etc… then you need to be original. You need to make something that is not only different from everything they’ve seen before, but which also makes them think “I want more of this” – only to find that they can’t find it anywhere else and have to work out how to make it themselves (and, in the process, create something intriguingly different).

3) Mistakes and personality: One of the things that makes The Beatles so timeless is how relatable they are. I’m not talking about the carefully-cultivated “wholesome” image that they tried to project during the early parts of their mainstream career, but when their actual personalities come across in things like historical accounts, studio mistakes etc…

Whether it’s the random snippets of studio dialogue that turn up in some of their songs, the occasional small studio accidents and imperfections that they left in their songs (eg: Paul almost laughing during “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, John’s startled exclamation in the background of “Hey Jude” etc…), the numerous legends/anecdotes surrounding the band or the weird references and moments of personal humour in some of their songs.

They actually come across as being actual real people, rather than carefully-manufactured “celebrities”. Their music is perfect because it contains some imperfections, which give their music the kind of uniqueness and personality that you don’t get when creative works are too “perfect”.

Ok, you probably shouldn’t take this to the extreme of some early punk bands or some conceptual artists. You still actually need to produce stuff that is sophisticated, good, well-written etc.. on a technical level. But, small mistakes aren’t the end of the world and they also show the audience that you are human too.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂