Back in August of last year, I wrote a post on Bob Dylan. I talked about his lyrical genius and his ability to pack so much thought into a single song. Today, I want to talk about Dylan more broadly. I want to look at his creative ability, both in music and beyond.
First, for the music. As you might know, he started out as a folk singer. After gaining some popularity in the early 60s, Dylan went electric and began to inspire the rock artists of his day. From there, he turned a bit to pop, then to a borderline country sound, then to blues, never fully letting his fans or critics define him. As for his musical output–according to his website, he has released 56 albums. And since 1960, Dylan has toured most every year, putting on show after show for his fans. It’s not the output that makes Dylan great though, it’s his lyrical quality and his continued creativity. In fact, for his creativity, he was awarded the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, the “Kennedy Center Honors” in 1997, becoming the first rock artist to ever earn the award. And over the course of his career, he has won multiple Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award.
But his artistic genius doesn’t end there. Dylan has also dabbled in the “finer arts,” recently releasing some of his drawings and paintings to museums in Europe. “The Drawn Blank Series” has also made it over to Tokyo, and I’m sure it will reach other continents in the near future. In 2011, the University of Mainz, the University of Vienna, and the University of Bristol, all held symposiums for literary critics and cultural historians to discuss the life and work of Dylan.
Aside from music, drawing, and painting, Dylan has also written a New York Times Bestseller, Chronicles: Volume One. This is titled “…Volume 1” because he plans to release his autobiography in three parts. I am still anxiously awaiting parts 2 and 3, but in the meantime, I will highly recommend part 1.
I think it’s safe to say if you’ve played a song for the Pope, you must be a pretty good musician. And if museums in Europe are displaying your work, you must be a decent artist. And if universities are holding symposiums to study your work while you’re still alive, you must be something special. So with that, I conclude my first blog exploring creativity within the work of Robert Allen Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan.
You can find more information on Dylan at:
bobdylanart.com and bobdylan.com