Music — December 17, 2013 11:37 — 0 Comments

Open-Source Living vol. 5 – Jessie Sawyers


If you’ve been following my diary entries here, you know that I have a lot of seeds planted across many creative pursuits. If I didn’t express my intention clearly from the beginning, here’s the deal: these Monarch entries are capturing my progress as I work towards producing a VIMM (aka, Visual Music) Concert in Seattle in 2014. Do I know when it will be? Nope, not yet. There’s a lot I plan to create between now and show time, including original music as well as videographic artistry to be integrated into the live concert. I want to have a VJ on the creative team rocking out with us and helping us intertwine those video feeds with the live show, in the moment. I also want to have the first book in my illustrated book series available for sale as part of our offerings. Lots of work ahead. And that’s wonderful.

So how do I get there? I really like using an approach I learned about in business school called the Critical Path Method. It involves creating a visual map with connecting nodules of individual tasks that are necessary for project completion. It flows from one side to another, start-to-finish, and clearly illustrates which tasks must be completed before others in order to make it to the end. My CPM charts are probably much more fluid and “artsy” than most in the business world because, unlike a project funded within a large corporation, I’m creating most of my projects while being uncompensated for my time and skills. Most CPM charts show very strict time requirements attached to each nodule. If one aspect is not completed on time, the entire project may be abandoned, either for modification or dismissal. When a specific amount of project funding is involved from day one, that makes a lot of sense because CPM is a beautiful way to achieve efficiency. But, contrast that with the nature of creating something with no funding and it’s probably obvious as to why enforcing strict (and arbitrary) time constraints on my own creative endeavors doesn’t make a lot of sense…. I don’t want to focus on efficiency at this particular moment. I want to focus on making art that makes a difference. Efficiency will have its place, and I will call upon it heavily when I am ready!

All of that said, one of my nodules involves getting my book published. This, obviously, has to happen before the concert if I am to include it at our merchandise table. Here’s where I’ve decided to change my planned trajectory. Initially, I thought that this VIMM Concert would also serve as the launch of my book. I’m feeling now that this might not be the case because my book may be ready to go to print in just a few months, whereas creating the content for the concert will take considerably more time, especially because I’ll be working on the book simultaneously. So, I may do a book launch evening with live music that features some excerpts of works-in-progress from the eventual full concert. This format feels right at the moment, but I will continue to re-evaluate as I progress across these pursuits.

Ultimately, I don’t want to rush into the creation of any art that I’m trying to share. I want to tell stories in music, dance, and art that move people – move them to tears, to boundless joy, to wild abandon. Just like my illustrations, this type of live performance offering involves meticulous attention to detail. It’s slow, involves a lot of listening, and as always the utmost care.

Oh, hey! And great news! I’ve been running an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for it since November 15th and as of today my supporters have helped meet my minimum requirement goal of $1,500! The campaign runs just a few more days until December 23rd. Contributions are still being accepted until then, and will be put to great use in the promotion and distribution! Check the campaign here.

And now I must sleep, for tomorrow I jump on an airplane here in Austin and head HOME to Seattle!  I don’t think there’s a better time than now for our town to be named “The Emerald City,” because the phrase that has been repeating in my head…? There’s no place like home.

Check out my video working with a looper!


Jessie Sawyers is a Seattle dancer, artist, business woman and lovely human.

Leave a Reply

The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney