Creativity Spotlight: Interview with Musician, Geoff Goodwin

Today, musician, Geoff Goodwin, stops by to talk creative process. Geoff and I go way back, having played in bands together from about 2008 to 2013. Geoff and I were in a two-person indie band called Pocket the Moon about six years ago, and our album is still one of my proudest artistic accomplishments. Geoff is basically a musical genius, and he plays pretty much every instrument ever (bass, guitar, drums, trumpet, piano, vocals, and I’m sure there’s another one I’m forgetting). Nowadays, he plays with his wife (who is also an amazing musician), Eliza Kelley, in two bands: Eliza Kelley and Hot Sauce and Honey. Geoff has been a huge inspiration to me as a friend and an artist.

So, here you go, everyone! An interview with Geoff Goodwin.

What is your main form of creative expression?

Historically, I’ve always gravitated towards either music or visual arts (drawing and painting, specifically). In the past decade, however, music has really taken center stage in my creative pursuits… that is at least until the most recent six months where music has largely gone on hold in service of learning web development

Do you work as an artist/creative full-time or do you have a different day job?

Right now I’m working on shifting from one day job to another. Previously I was in Product Management and I’m hoping to make the transition into Tech Development.

How long have you been creating music/books/plays/films/etc.?

I got started writing and recording music first in my dorm room back in 2001 on the UGA campus as a way of finding a creative outlet for my musical interests initially as a solo endeavor. within a year, I’d shared some of my early recordings with some classmates in the visual arts program and joined a band. Shortly thereafter, I joined a few of my former classmates from days gone by while home for summer vacation for some impromptu jam sessions. One session led to the next, and started me down an irreversible path of collaboration in projects of various sizes playing in clubs, bars, restaurants, and venues in the area as well as a small amount of touring.

How do you find time to be creative when you have a separate day job?

I’ve always wrestled with this one. I wish I could say that music was how I was able to support myself. the urge was sufficiently strong that I even enrolled in an apprenticeship-style program for audio engineering through the Recording Radio and Film Connection. While a great opportunity to partner with some incredibly talented individuals and learn from my mentor, Brian Stephens, my desire to find stability in a predictable paycheck brought me back to a non-musical vocation. As a result, I’d do whatever I could to fill my evenings and weekends with making music with various like-minded collaborators. When making music or really art of any kind in a cooperative venture, having peers who are similarly committed to the pursuit of that passion is often critical to the project’s longevity. While I’d still love to find a way to make more music, I’m glad to have had such a wide variety of experiences with so many incredibly talented individuals throughout.

Do you engage in any additional creative hobbies? Are there any you’d like to try? 

I’m always curious to take on new creative endeavors. Creativity is, for me, a sense of restlessness and seeking for an outlet for creative energy. Lately, learning code has been both a creative passion pursuit and a way to harness that energy to lead to employment that allows me to really exercise both hemispheres of my brain.

Who are some other artists and creatives that inspire you to create?

There are far too many to list by name. I’ve been exceptionally lucky in the wide array of talented individuals and amazing groups with which I’ve either directly collaborated or who I’ve encountered throughout the course of my musical journey. One of my favorite things about those interactions is the incredibly diverse artistic viewpoints and styles you get to encounter along the way. Seldom do any two people approach their craft in the same way. If variety is the spice of life, mine has been delightfully flavorful.

Why do you create?

Though it may sound a bit trite, I simply cannot imagine a situation in which I’m not creating. The longer I go without finding an outlet, the more I feel ready to burst with creative energy.

What advice do you have for other creatives?

It has always been sad for me to see creative people not using their gifts. I recognize that for any number of valid reasons, people may occasionally need to take time away from making their art. If I were to give other creatives one piece of advice, it would probably be to surround yourself with people that inspire you to create, grow, learn, and share their gifts with the world.

What are you working on right now?

Having just wrapped up a six-month program learning to code, I’m very excited to resume work on an EP for one of my bands, Hot Sauce and Honey, and get that out into the world. Additionally, my wife has started work on a new album under her name Eliza Kelley for which I’m very excited to help in orchestrating, performing, and engineering.

Where can people find you and your work?

Though we’re revising both for content and web design, here are a couple websites to watch for more details soon to be published:
Hot Sauce and Honey – http://hotsauceandhoney.com/
Eliza Kelley – http://elizakelley.com/

Thanks for allowing me to pick your brain, Geoff! I couldn’t agree more with your advice to other creatives to surround themselves with people that inspire them to create, grow, learn, and share their gifts with the world.

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