Dave Zaboski on Connecting to Your True Voice [INTERVIEW]


Illustration by Dave Zaboski

It’s with a mountain of gratitude and whole lot of pride Lucidity Gathering welcomes a venerable wizard of creative doing, Dave Zaboski. In addition to being the virtuoso behind our celebrated ‘Luci’ video and an accomplished artist and animator, Zaboski is a prolific speaker and a pioneer in visionary art. He’s also the instructor who will be guiding  “Open Source-A Creativity Workshop” during the Lucid University Courseweek from April 8- 12. We caught up with Zaboski and he kindly took some time to give us a window into what he has in store for those who opt to join him on the 3-day immersive learning experience.

Zaboski explained, “We at Art Temple wanted to create a space where people could build real world skills. Where they could find others who resonated with them and get more deeply connected to their true voice. It’s only then that they can go boldly in the direction of their dreams.

While Zaboski emphasizes that anybody can take his course from writer to sculptors to engineers, because he consults with businesses and engineers regularly to assist them in their creative process. Even they need help sometimes taking “something in their mind out into the world”. The course, he says, is for artists and creators that are “up for something bigger than themselves.”

Balancing Creative Forces


Illustrations by Dave Zaboski

On the yin and yang of lightness and darkness in the creative process Zaboski had some fascinating thoughts:

“The path of the master goes in between the Dark and Light. I think that artists are always solving for the light in one way or another… [the artist might] solve for the light that falls on the surface of something, like an apple or [a person’s] beautiful skin. Or they solve for the light that emerges from within something like abstract art or allegorical art that is solving for an eternal light. A lot of the current visionionary art is solving for both, for an interior light and exterior light.”

Zaboski continues, “Light creates shadows.” He emphasizes that light and dark need each other and that it is our personal judgment that we own that labels it as good and bad. He then reflects upon one of his favorite artist and co-host at the Art Temple, Tony Koehl. Koehl is a world renowned death metal artist, number one according to Zaboski. “His album covers have violence and blood but Koehl is the lightest person I know. His access to that darkness allows him a range of light to choose from, because he can access that depth of darkness he can also access an illuminated light that’s really amazing.” He then quips “Koehl is boss.”

What Gets Your Creative Process Going?

Lucidity Festival 2013 through the eyes of Curious Josh <3curiousjosh.com

Photo Credit: Curious Josh

We asked Zaboski if he enjoyed painting with music in the background when in the studio or at home. He replied “I have a playlist on my itunes that is the playlist that I work to.” Zaboski described the music he creates to as “downtempo, groovy, and sorta housey”, music “that doesn’t have any lyrics and doesn’t get in the way of my mind. Music that allows him to “hold a deep groove but not necessarily calls too much attention to itself”. He referenced the website focusatwill.com as his source for music to create to. Zaboski insists however that even if music called attention to itself (for example a romantic song playing when one might be painting an apple), it wouldn’t matter to Zaboski, because as he put it, “everything is everything. If I’m painting an apple or designing a logo I’m gonna give it the same divine love that I give everything.”

Flow States

Lucidity Festival 2012 through the eyes of William Walsh photography courtesy: William Walsh www.wbwalsh.com

Photo Credit: William Walsh

As we dug deeper into Zaboski’s creative process he gave us some insight on the “practice of surrendering.” He said “flow-state is interesting , it’s not a myth, but it’s not everything… you will achieve flow state the moment you surrender your desire to achieve flow state.” Zaboski then shared that the “ability to get into a flow state has a lot to do with practice. When you practice what happens is familiarity of the materials that are required becomes smooth enough to surrender to the pure act of creation.”

Staying Young at Heart

festival faces

Image Credit: FestivalFaces.net

Citing his many years leading a team of animators at Disney and the sort of whimsical, formative culture we find at festivals we asked Zaboski about the “adult child” and he challenged us to consider what that voice could unlock if we could simply learn to understand it. “You [can’t] ‘out weird’ somebody your first time at one of these festivals” He said pointing to other folks who had been much weirder for way longer. “At these festivals, you have permission to be more fully self expressed. It’s all about permissions. But who ultimately gives you permission? When you realize that you give yourself permission to be you, everything changes. In that space you connect more deeply not just to your own adult child, but maybe your true voice. And when you speak from your true voice, empowered and constant creation is what you do because it’s who you are. All the time. With everything and everyone. You become the world expressing itself.”

The MOST Important Part

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION for story regarding >Helping kids discover poetry ..Alicia Morris is coordinator of the Poets in the Schools program, which makes sure Ventura County school kids learn how to appreciate poetry. .(***Ed note: Photographed in the studio for Ventura Edition's editorial page).Photo/Art by:Spencer Weiner

Image by: Spencer Weiner

We gave Zaboski three words to describe the most important part of the creative process for an artist. He did it in two: Know Thyself. “Know Thyself is the model of the creator… Everything becomes a practice of how to know thyself more deeply.” By “Thyself” he explained, “know the divinity that exists at the core of your being. How do you reach that divinity? How do you access the God in you? You do it through profound acts of creation… You do it through the practice of connecting to your true self and world [and then by conveying that through] whatever your art is.”

We are so excited to host the brilliant Zaboski, and even more thrilled to equip the creators of our community (YOU, if you’re still reading!) to take on the challenges of our world. Click here for more information on Dave Zaboski and his Lucid University Courseweek experience.


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