It is absolutely paramount for my personal happiness—as a skateboarder and creative—to set aside time for play, or what I like to call Mind Spray. Mind spray is not something I just made up right now—I was first introduced to it via Jeru The Damaja’s OG hip hop track “My Mind Spray”. Anyway, although Jeru’s song is focused specifically on self empowerment via his mind spraying verbal gymnastics, bravado, wit, and a perfected cadence; I’m repurposing it here as a metaphor for the therapeutic qualities of controlled chaos needed in the creative process. The idea being that, regardless of how studied, focused, and organized you are, it is absolutely crucial for a creative person to use the tools one has acquired, and then set aside time strictly for their use via playfulness.
See, I believe that the key to all rad-lightenment is found within each of us as individuals, and as we learn news skills via study, discipline, and experience, we should simultaneously and purposefully turn our tools upside down, jiggle and jostle ‘em for a bit, and see where shit lands. A visual illustration coming to mind at the moment is that of a chubby little bear cub who has just found a seemingly ingenious item (maybe a pinecone!) and he’s tossing it, rolling around all over it, and doing his darndest to figure out what to make of this wild and amazing contraption. See, the little dude is using play alongside his experience, as well as with his time-tested genetic makeup, so as to learn something about how to survive and thrive in this wild world. Over time, his play may foster a behavior that one day could serve him in his life—maybe he’ll learn to wrestle better or simply learn that pinecones don’t taste good. Anyway, I’m not Science Steve, but I think you get my general drift.
For me, skateboarding and creating things are similar in this regard, being that you must dedicate a great deal of time to learning techniques and building skills, while, at the same time, allowing for your mind to spray what it will, naturally and instinctually. I believe this is the exact magical elixir which gives birth to super cool shit. Many times, I feel like I learn the most about my creative self when I just grab my board or camera or keyboard and just have at it—letting what I already know, and what I’m feeling in the moment, lead me to unknown maneuvers. Oh shit! I had not idea that was even possible!?! Some of my favorite sessions of skating have come from hopping on board and letting my mind spray. In fact, this entire column is an example of mind spray since I decided this morning to simply open a Word doc and let, let, let, let it go.
In no way am I condoning a Pete Pan existence where ya just play around all day in a fairy tale land of witless pirates and cartoonish villains. Naw, it’s not that simple, and sadly, the pirates and villains of this world are very real and the stakes are extremely high!
I guess what I originally set talk about today (and tonight live my streaming at 5pm PST via the WheelbaseMag Periscope) is the idea that sometimes the pirates and villains in our lives are ourselves, and that the hurtles and impediments in our paths are self-imposed, but that through a combination of experience, practice, disciple, and a healthy mixture of play we can land any difficult trick, tell any tale, capture any angle, build any castle, and of course move (ride down too!) any mountain. My, my, my, my mind spray!
– Marcus Bandy
Btw, here’s that track I reference above:
Also, please make sure to spread the word about this and add any comments ya have below in the comment section so that we can discuss them on-air tonight once we go live. Shredlove and thanks for checking out Wheelbase Magazine and my column!
I just want to reiterate that the comments and ideas presented above are published with the sole purpose to create dialogue, not as instruction. If any of these ideas get your panties in a bunch please first: relax, and then pluck and place said undergarments in a more comfortable position and let’s have a heathy skater-to-skater chat. The live streaming Periscope discussion for this week’s Action Now column begins at 5PM PST tonight (2/4/2016).