THE MUSEUM OF LIGHT: Just as an alchemist transforms led into gold, is there an element of transformation in your creative expression? How does this process for you, connect to that of an alchemists?
MAURICE GARLAND: Most definitely. As a writer and music journalist, I look at my work as using words to paint pictures which I consider a valuable skill and talent seeing as how so much of our communication nowadays is visual-driven. When I write I am relying on history and the present moment to tell a story that someone in the future will hopefully read, enjoy and even reference. Also, often times, I interview artists and other creatives who may not be as open or well-spoken as the next person, so I have to find ways to not only get them out of their comfort zone and share, but later combine my words with theirs to create a compelling, truthful story.
THE MUSEUM OF LIGHT: Artists are often labeled as "stars.” Just as a star radiates light and the planets then reflect this light. Do you see your work behind the pen or behind the lens, as a reflection of this light?
MAURICE GARLAND: I do. When I interview and write about “stars” I like to create stories that inspire readers to become “stars” themselves or at least absorb some of that star energy that they give off. Rick Ross personally contacted me and told me the cover story that I wrote on him for The Source (Decemeber 2015) was one of the best if not the best stories he’s even read written about him. I’ve written bios for Big Boi and Kendrick Lamar, so in those cases I have to capture what they are about and use my words to present them to the world they way they want to be seen. Every star begins as a particle and winds up becoming a star. That said, much of the work I have done has revolved around getting people to recognize stars in the making. I was the first person to interview or write nationally published articles on people like Janelle Monae and B.o.B. Killer Mike is all over the place now, but for years it felt like I was the only person interested in interviewing him. So yes, I do see my work as a reflection of their light.
THE MUSEUM OF LIGHT: When an artist is not "creating" it is often labeled a "creative block." Where do you find the creative spark? What inspires your work and does it require a sense of courage to create from this unknown space?
MAURICE GARLAND: What some call a “block” I like to look at as a time to rest. When I am not inspired to create, I rest. I sit still and enjoy those moments where my mind and spirit are simply being rather than doing. Fortunately, I rarely have to go find inspiration or a creative spark. During those “block” times ideas usually come to me because I am being still and allowing the universe to bring them to me rather than running and moving and looking. I have found when you move around too much looking for something, you miss what was there waiting for you to claim all along.
You can also find this story at RESPECT Magazine.
The Museum of Light is curated by:
Billy Johnson Jr., Adell Henderson, Joslyn Rose Lyons, Rafael Casal, Matt Smith, Malik Buie.