If PigPog were to have a mission statement, it would include a point about giving people permission to play – to let yourself go and enjoy the experience of being creative. As adults we tend to get bogged down in the idea of only doing things if we can do them really well, and the fear of trying anything new in case we might not be very good at it. We’ll only write if we’re confident we can give Dan Brown a run for his money, we’ll only paint if we can paint like the Masters, and we’ll only make music if we can match Jimmy Page note for note. We beg to differ, and insist that the quality of the experience far outweighs the quality of the end product. So much so, in fact, that there doesn’t even need to be an end product.
Michael and I aren’t by any means experts in any of the fields we talk about. We aren’t virtuoso guitar players, master painters or prolific, award-winning writers. We’re just two people who like to play with art toys, craft toys, music toys, or anything else that makes our creative side sit up and say “hey, let’s try that!”. We try, we play, we have fun and then we write about it in the hope that you’ll be tempted to give it a go yourselves. That you will allow yourself to go and try something new just for the sake of it.
There are five electric guitars in our house. I can just about make my way through one song, Michael enjoys playing riffs. I can’t do barre chords, and I can’t for the life of me figure out scales. But I gotta tell you, I love playing guitar. I may have lessons one day, or I’ll continue sitting with my Led Zeppelin tab book and squealing with glee when I’ve figured out a riff from “Whole Lotta Love”. I’m surrounded by art supplies, but I wouldn’t call myself an artist. I enjoy playing with my watercolours, but if I happen upon a tried and tested painting technique, I can assure you it will be purely by chance.
I’ll admit I would jump at the chance of enrolling at an art school, where I could properly learn how to use all of the things I tinker with from time to time. It would be nice to be able to master the pentatonic scale, produce a painting in the style of Monet or write something worthy of publishing in The Times, but for now I’m just enjoying playing.
It’s OK to play. It’s OK to have these wonderful resources in your life just for the sake of having fun. If you like to play guitar but have gone 15 years and only play one song, if that one song makes you smile when you play it, then more power to you!
And if you want to play, you’re in the right place. We’re here to guide you round the toyshop. Play with us if you want, or grab a few tips and links and go and play on your own. If you want to start on a creative journey that takes you to a published book, a sell-out show or the Turner Prize, we can start you off, and don’t forget us when you reach your destination, will you? For now, though, just enjoy the experience of the pencil in your hand, the strings beneath your fingers and the charcoal all over your arms. Come on, let’s go play.