Artist Resources

Daily Inspiration: Patti Smith on Improvisation

"When we got to the part where we had to improvise an argument in a poetic language, I got cold feet. 'I can't do this,' I said. 'I don't know what to say.' 'Say anything,' he said. 'You can't make a mistake when you improvise.' 'What if I mess it up? What if I screw up the rhythm?' 'You can't,' he said. 'It's like drumming. If you miss a beat, you create another.' In this simple exchange, Sam taught me the secret of improvisation, one that I have accessed my whole life."

Rocker, writer, and poet Patti Smith has some advice on improvisation, winging it, jamming, or making do. Whatever you call it or apply it to, we should all give improv a go when it comes to our art. Sometimes the best things come unexpectedly. This quote from Smith’s National Book Award winning memoir “Just Kids”¬†from a discussion she had with American playwright Sam Shepard is a good way to look at the creative release that improvisation can provide.

"Drop-215" by Cristian Margarita