John R. Kowalski Integrative Marketing Fusion

Creative Weekend

Creative Weekend

porcupine tree, trains, in absentia

After a busy week of work and lack of time for creativity, I felt it was time. All of the normal house and yard ‘must do’s’ were done as I go into this long and creative weekend.

Creativity can come in a variety of ways. Dreaming, planning, actions, experimenting, etc. Creativity is an outlet that we should all embrace and be conscious to let it out. There are several benefits:

  • Creative thinking allows us to come up with new ideas and innovate in different ways
  • It gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment
  • It helps build self confidence and creativity can be very therapeutic
  • Creativity allows us to make our mark on the world by creating something that is unique and special

So as you read about my creative outlets, how did you serve yourself by being creative?


After my walk with Clover, I dove into my typical Saturday soup making. Nothing too sophisticated here. Basically a foundational broth enhanced by caramelized onions, then some noodles, sautéed zucchini, more onion and some broccoli (why not). With the seasoning, I was in a Mediterranean vibe.

Next up, music!

Martin is up first, my acoustic guitar. After a little warm ups I practiced Sugar Mice by Marillion along with Easter (Marillion again). Then discovered a new song that’s within my reach. Trains by Porcupine Tree (some new chords for me in here). This one is definitely a keeper and I’ll keep plugging along at it.

porcupine tree, trains, in absentia

Then picked up Dolly, my banjo, and worked on some chords (these are different than guitar) as well as some rolls. It’s coming along and I love the sounds. I tend to want to play this like a guitar… I don’t think that’s typical Appalachia banjo, but it works for me.

Then finished up with a little keyboard. Now I wouldn’t consider myself even close to an expert but I know enough chords and can sometimes get my left hand to work independently of my right hand. I love it though… playing melodies I hear in my head along with improvising as I go along with some basic chord progressions. Another thing to work on, but there’s no hurry at all. No tour scheduled.

And finally, my wife and I were looking at mostly native plants for our landscaping. We’re doing some early spring cleaning and getting our garden beds ready for planting. She’s definitely taking lead on this and by far more of a gardener/designer than I am. It’s fun watching her creative mind going.

Not finally… more playing with Martin. Trains has stuck with me and it’s a great challenge so I went back at it for a while. Added a quick run through of Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police. Love that guitar!


Ended up doing a few errands and dreaming again of our gardens while visualizing what we’re planning. I then got in the mood to work on some keyword research and optimizing my site a bit. The more I dive into keyword planning and SEO, the more rabbit holes I go down. I’m no where near an expert but like to say I know enough to be dangerous. As long as you’re always learning and growing, it’s a good thing!

Played a little keyboard. I have some ideas for sounds when I plug in my guitar next. Tomorrow.


Ok. Continuing on with music. It was time for Blondie (my Telecaster). I have a modeling amp and a handful of effects pedals that are a ton of fun! Played with the pedals and sounds. Overdrive and distortion, reverb and a couple others. Great fun.

Blondie, Fender, Telecaster

End up with more work on Trains. Getting that rhythm down is a bit complicated, but I have the chords down. Also on the Johnny Cash version of NIN’s Hurt.

Took a little break to make a late lunch. Some stir-fried noodles with garlic, black garlic, carrots, onions, green onions, bok choy, and a bit of seaweed in a miso sauce (tamari, umami seasoning, water, a little maple syrup, and white miso). I think I through in a touch of sesame oil too.

Back to Martin for more Trains, Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Sugar Mice and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. My left hand fingers are about shot so that’s it for the day.

Maybe a some piano later. I really want to keep working at that to get better.

It’s amazing the difference in my play is when I’m working on something technically versus just playing and feeling the music. Definitely the feel takes it to a new level but you gotta get down the technique.

The day is still young so who knows what else will happen creative-wise.

What’s your creative outlet? What light’s your fire?

C’mon baby, light my fire.

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It’s all about balance. Sometimes, you need to relearn how to play.

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