Basic Training (Communication Basics)

Here at timotheories I believe it’s important to provide you dear readers with a depth and breadth to my content which is fairly uncommon in many blogs of the day.

I write about the arts (music, film, events), share global wisdom and learnings I’ve uncovered on how to maintain and flourish as a creative professional, and build lots of stimulating content about the value of art, often focusing on the medias of movies, table top gaming, and interviews with salt of the earth artists. I follow a monthly schedule to ensure I release a lot of quality content: written and video.

One of the reasons I do this because I believe that good communication is one of the key skills you need in life. Another of the reasons I have this workflow down pat is because good teachers and leaders practice what they preach.

#sobasic

So many of the lessons I share are cyclical,  the kind of stuff you’ll hear over and over in your life and which you really need to learn, those things you run away from until you finally own up to your obstacles and face them head on. It’s one of those theories that is so compelling when life is going great, but difficult to accept when you’ve just been handed a shit sandwich after life pummeled you and then ran over your dog.

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

Pema Chodron

I found this quote from Pema Chodron, an American Tibetan and practising Buddhist. One who happens to be both an ordained nun and acharya. In case you’re wondering what an acharya is, it’s someone who is a senior instructor in religious matters. They teach the next generation of monks and nuns, and are generally expected to stay put, rather than wander the earth as so many Buddhist monks do.

Communication is at the root of us facing our fears in life creative cuties. As soon as you recognize that other people aren’t actively trying to limit your actions, but rather further their own lives (just as you do), it becomes way easier to recognize that the EST models of life are a real thing – exist, survive OR thrive.

As I mentioned in my first post on communication, there are seven aspects of communication to consider and make crucial in your life – clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, and courteous. I’m not going to spend the rest of this post outlining how those aspects all work and what to do with them, though I can see that becoming a future series down the road, if I get enough interest from you fine folks…

Instead I want to go over the basics of communication.

All About That Base

I found this really cool chart from Psychology Today which demonstrates how communication works. I’m not sure if they made the chart themselves or got it from somewhere else, but kudos to whoever came up with this diagram. It’s on point.

You see friends, communication can happens with multiple people simultaneously, but more importantly it is always a process that happens between a sender and a receiver. I could be delivering a presentation to a group of fifty people, but no matter how many people I present to, I am conducting individual communications with each party in the room.

So while nineteen people could understand the message I am relaying about marketing, one person might shut down as soon as I mention how we need to use more third party services as an annual media mix. This is because as the sender I have a responsibility to consider how I encode my message for the receiver and to be sure I truly understand the subject matter I’m speaking to. If I have complicated thoughts and feelings about the topic, I may not explain myself well, and so the listener is more likely to miss the message.

Now from the perspective of the receiver, a few things could happen which led to the misunderstanding. They could have not really been listening to the message for one, and for two, they might not have the comprehension skills needed to decode the message, but refuse to acknowledge their limitations. Which is a whole other loaded challenge of its own. And third, by adding a separate meaning to the message from what was intended. i.e. the person might think I’m suggesting incompetence in them and by stating we should hire more third party groups, I am affirming to the receiver that I want another company to support the workload because they are more talented.

theories Summarized

All that said, communication is most definitely something we can all learn to do better, and while it is a two way street, as you become more competent you’ll succeed more,. That means choosing your words and expressions more carefully, as well as being aware of your shortcomings in communication AND asking others to explain back to you what you’ve shared. Then you can expect to have better results getting help with editing your videos, distributing your brand new EP, or booking that photography shoot with the paint night lady.

It might not be a basic instinct, but communication really is key to success in the arts, and business in general. Just a theory I have.

Tim!

The 5 Love Languages (Gary D. Chapman)

Wednesday is typically a day for wisdom here on timotheories, as you know, dear readers.

It’s the day I share ideas from famous artists, motivational pieces of art, give suggestions on things you can do to make your life more fulfilling, and sometimes I dole out my own theories of global wisdom. For example, on one post in particular, I decided to construct my own reading list and then I came up with a catchy theme to describe the different types of books I would draw from to grow and shape my own journey. Like Liu Kang.

liu_kang

I even called it The Reading List. Not like Liu Kang.

Which makes perfect sense to me, even if it is a bit obvious. Like Liu Kang. But then as mentioned I took the post a bit further and came up with a conceptual framework to flesh out the types of books I would be reading going forward.

I called that concept the The 5 L’s of Language, not to be confused with the name of a book called The Five Love Languages, and which is authored by one Gary D. Chapman. Who happens to be this week’s featured author.

Just in case you forgot, this is what The 5 L’s of Language look like –

 

I will read one book a month from the 5 groupings below, slowly expanding the number of books read so that I reach the point of 5 books a month. A book for each group

  1. LIFE – Biographies/Art/Music
  2. LOVE – Classic Fiction/Non-Fiction/Graphic Novels
  3. LEARN – Business/Leadership/Self-Help
  4. LABEL – Philosophy/Sociology/Psychology
  5. LEET– The Internet

If you haven’t figured it out just yet, the topic o’ the day is LEARN. As In you need to learn your own unique primary love language as well as how the other four work. You do this so that you can properly love yourself, a romantic partner, and even manage other relationships better, whether you are single, married, a child, teenager, or even just a man.

Gary D. Chapman, Five Kinds of Love

Gary D. Chapman has authored at least five books related to the concept of five love languages and co-authored two books on the languages of apology and appreciation. He originally came up with the idea of The Five Love Languages after looking into twelve years worth of his own notes on common patterns he witnessed when counselling couples. He asked a very simple question – when someone feels unloved by their spouse, what do they want from them? And thus five categories of answers emerged.

If you can learn to appreciate the difference between words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gift giving, then you’re working towards a rather positive and generous view of love and how to share it.

I bet you’re hoping for more of a definition of each term, so that you can go out and apply these ideas ASAP. Well, okay, but I recommend that you read the book first, and then run a legit profile through Chapman’s website.

With that mentioned here is a quick overview of each language –

  • Words of Affirmation: spoken affection, praise, or appreciation.
  • Acts of Service: actions, rather than words, used to show and receive love.
  • Receiving Gifts: giving gifts that are meaningful.
  • Quality Time: expressing affection with undivided attention.
  • Physical Touch: sex, holding hands, hugs – affection via touch.

As you get comfortable with the languages friends, you’ll learn which of the five is most important to you, and then you begin to implement the philosophy into your own life.

For example, if your primary love language is “quality time” like me, that means you should spend time for yourself on meaningful activities, whether those activities include another party or two is up to you, but if you make art, you’ll like enjoy doing it on your lonesome. Or if physical touch is important to you, maybe you spend time in dance classes, making theatre with friends or regularly hugging your friends and family. But that’s just a theory.

Tim!

First Order of Business (Brad Fehr interview, Intuition)

Intuition is both mysterious and incredibly powerful. It’s also really difficult to write about.

Seriously, dear readers.

I probably spent a good three hours online trying to find a way to articulate what I wanted to write as a thematic jumping off point for this interview topic, but then I decided to instead go with my gut, which just felt right. And so here we are, left with a raw and wriggling post about my own love/hate relationship with intuition.

You see, dear readers, I’ve always been a proponent for using intuition, because it can gave you great insight about people, ideas, and places however problematic they are. It straddles the line between philosophy and psychology, and depending on how you view the internal world versus the external world, it can sync quite nicely. Frankly, we all use it whether we admit it or not. And did I mention that it can also lead us to great creative breakthroughs and forging fast friendships with those we “just click with?”

Step-Brothers-Did-we-just-become-best-friends

The same can be said of romantic relationships, sometimes everything just falls right into place, and that person you flashed a smile at that one time quickly becomes the person you join giblets with.

littlemermaid6d22a5abc1c3169f5e7f3fa39df4af53

Come on, that visual reference was funny. You should just laugh, it’s Sunday.

After all, our intuition is always there, and some of us of even rely on a visual element to our intuition, which means that those of us with this ability are likely to become artists and manifest life via symbols, images, dreams or patterns.

Which is exactly what today’s interviewee is all about. Taking existing patterns, models and visions, and applying his own unique perspective to it. Or as he so eloquently put it for me when we first spoke, his straight white CIS male perspective. Which is pretty apt considering the subject matter he works with.

Brad Fehr is an up-and-coming artist who is in the process of finishing his undergrad, but don’t let that fool you into assuming a role for him. He dabbles in painting, philosophy and videography and is comfortable switching back and forth between formats rather easily. He makes art which finds similarities between dead ideas and current ones, and then applies cultural norms to investigate what is at stake.

His comfortability with the interview theme is rather refreshing, and the time just flew by for me in discussing his views on art, life, and what it all means. I suspect you’ll want to head straight to the video from here, so I won’t drone on. Enjoy episode 10 of timotheories interviews, featuring Brad Fehr.

As always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please share this post and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Please also check out Brad’s Instagram account to see his portfolio and to contact him for creative services.

Lastly my sincerest thanks to Brad for being bold, brilliant, and bemused. See you tomorrow with an album review that’s features America and love.

Tim!

We Don’t Need No Education (Paige Knickle interview, Education)

Friends, fans, family, and followers that last bit of heavy weight on my shoulders has finally been lifted! I’m older, wiser, and mored learned as a result. That’s right, the very last of my delayed interviews has been completed and is now the topic of the day!

Going forward we are going to see an interview a month, and they will all be super current and fresh.

It’s still kind of hard for me to believe I finished this video because this interview looks and sounds amazing. What a great opportunity to learn how to use some new audio equipment, and I haven’t even addressed the content of the interview just yet.

Let’s get to it.

With episode 7 of timotheories interviews, I had an opportunity to interview a friend I made last year when I was taking improv classes, and she is an incredible ball of energy, excitement, joy, or whatever the word you want to use for pure happiness.

In all the time I’ve known her, I’ve been fortunate to learn something every time we’ve interacted. And I just had to interview her and her pursuits so I could show you a perfect example of a lifelong leaner, someone who has her fingers in all the pies, but is also accomplishing goals in autonomy; and in whatever fields she focuses in on. Simultaneously.

Paige Knickle is an artist of many talents – web design, sound production, vocalist, improv actor. And she also happens to be someone who blends both the sciences and arts together rather well.

 

This one promises to be sweet treat for your ears, that just can’t be beat. I’m using a Zoom H2Next portable recorder which Paige lent me for the interview, and which I loved so much that I bought one for myself!

What a learning curve it was though, but it just makes sense in relation to the experience I had talking with Paige. She is self-taught web designer, with a BA in Psychology, and a vocalist, who co-owns Copper Cabbage recording studio with her partner, does some improv on the side, and is already pursuing a second degree in Music. Paige’s ideas about education, school, and learning are incredibly on point, and it’s hard not share her passion.

But you should take a look for yourself, because I’m not doing you anymore justice writing about this interview, when you can experience it below.

And as always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please leave some comments and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Please also check out Paige’s website and use her creative services.

And of course my sincerest thanks to Paige for being playful, passionate, and philosophical. See you tomorrow with a music review.

Tim!

Security Blanket (Wintersleep, The Great Detachment review)

Winter is a weird season, it manages to be both comforting and stifling. You bundle up, enjoy creature comforts and hang out with only the necessary people for short periods of time; daylight is precious after all. But with that lack of freedom and sunlight, people have a legitimate reason to be afraid of seasonal affective disorder.

Which is why having a security blanket can be a good thing. It’s a transitional object that gives your brain rest and ease, especially in those months when it feels like the sun has left forever. But what if your security blanket was also an electric one? Would the risk of starting a fire qualify it’s status or eliminate it?

 

 

 

Wintersleep – The Great Detachment
released March 4, 2016
******* 7/10

wintersleeptgd

Wintersleep are a Canadian indie rock band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have won one Juno for New Group of the Year, and a MMVA for their song Weighty Ghost.

Before we get started, please go watch the video I just linked to, and if you don’t know who they are from their name alone, I’m sure you’ll recognize that track, which it will help give the rest of the review context.

What a cool song, eh?

Well unfortunately, it seems like Weighty Ghost has haunted Wintersleep ever since they released it back in 2007 (pun intended). Because almost a decade later and here we are with The Great Detachment, Wintersleep’s 6th studio album, anticipating something similar to that beautiful little number.

I’d be hard pressed not to describe this as a fitting album title, given what we already know about the band and their awesome single Weighty Ghost, from my hundred or so words of exposition above. They are attempting to separate themselves from the two albums between Welcome to the Night Sky and this one, realizing that they need to be invigorated to remain relevant. But it turns out the group has also made some other decisions that factor into the title. They parted ways with their manager recently and also went on a one year hiatus, so there are literal elements at play as well as symbolic ones.

Equal parts anthem and apathetic (listen to Spirit in particular), this record has some punch to it.

The Great Detachment opens on an extreme high, reminiscent of that curse-like song, and follows just as well with Santa Fe. By all accounts these two songs are worth the price of admission alone. Paul Murphy has amazing vocals and these two songs showcase them well. Santa Fe teases us with some synthpop elements too, which is ALWAYS fun to hear, especially from indie-rockers.

This is the kind of music that both casual listeners and genuine fans of the band can enjoy and not feel guilty about singing along to on a roadtrip or while jamming out at home on a weeknight.

More Than is sweet and sentimental, Shadowless is somber and serious, and Metropolis conjures up images of The Tragically Hip and Pearl Jam simultaneously. I’m also a big fan of Freak Out, which I bet will be fun to dance to at a live show.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any music videos for this album to share with you, but you can listen to the official audio of Amerika and Santa Fe if you’re up for it. As I mentioned already, it’s a one-two punch that can’t really be beat.

So I guess we are left with a final question. Does The Great Detachment win album of the year or any other accolades? No, but it’s damn good indie-rock and nothing to be ashamed of, plus it’s a positive change of direction for Wintersleep which should be encouraged.

 

 

 

Like a security blanket, Wintersleep make us feel at ease and comforted. But sometimes they turn up the heat and also provide us with some heat too, but I don’t think you have to worry about them ever short-circuiting and starting on fire. They aren’t that kind of blanket, I mean band.

That’s all folks, come back tomorrow for something theatrical and also seasonal.

Tim!