Think Long Term

May 19, 2016Creativity

When Frank Tate signed me to a record deal with Five Minute Walk, way back in 1998, he was abundantly clear it wasn’t because I was the best, most marketable artist he’d ever met. In fact, what he said was “The songs are pretty bad, actually. But I believe in you and I think that … Read More

@ Sea Podcast #2: busbee

May 17, 2016At Sea, Podcast

The @ Sea Podcast #2, featuring songwriter/producer busbee, is at iTunes now.  Mike Busbee (busbee) is a songwriter and producer working in Los Angeles and Nashville. If you’ve listened to pop music at all in the past few years, it’s very likely you’ve heard and enjoyed busbee’s work, as performed by Pink, Rascal Flats, Kelly Clarkson, Garth … Read More

How Hard Is Making Art?

May 12, 2016Creativity

It’s tough. I won’t lie. It’s not easy to be a full-time artist. But it’s not like being a Marine. And it’s not like tarring highways or roofing houses. And it’s not like being a Mom. (not even close) My best friend is the father of 4 kids and is a fireman. His station gets … Read More

Where Do You Find Material?

May 10, 2016Creativity, Reviews

I used to look high and low for material. I would search hard to ideas upon which to build songs or stores. I don’t fight as hard anymore. Now I stand still more often, watching and listening. Franz Kafka (pictured above) wrote it like this: “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at … Read More

@ Sea Podcast #1: Gene Luen Yang

April 30, 2016At Sea, Batman, Comic Books, Podcast

The first installment of my first podcast, entitled “@Sea With Justin McRoberts,” is at iTunes. I am expecting this to become a significant part of my future and I’m glad you’ll be with me on these first few steps. Check it out. Gene Luen Yang is a writer and graphic novelist responsible for American Born Chinese and Boxers … Read More

Is Christian Music Dishonest?

April 30, 2016Christianity, Church, Creativity, Discipleship, Worship

Is music in the “Christian marketplace” markedly dishonest? Specifically in the way its writers address the darker aspects of life? More so than music made in the broader, “General market” is? In his a Fuller-curated conversation between Bono  and Eugene Peterson, Bono suggests as much. I’m not so sure. Let’s see what Drake has to say about the deeper … Read More

BOOK REVIEW: “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert

April 28, 2016Creativity, Reviews

In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert is winsome and charming. She is also transparent and earnest. This feels like a book written by someone who has done hard work, grown and isn’t embarrassed in the least about her process. I didn’t love it. But I did like it and think it’s worth reading. SOME SPECIFICS: … Read More

Healthy People Make Healthy Art

April 26, 2016Creativity

You know those dramatic stories of artists who smoke and drink and binge an stay up all night and ruin their lives on the way to creating? Yeah… don’t emulate those. On the whole, I think healthy people make healthy art. I think the art you make is an outpouring of who you are. And while … Read More