progress: "I think if your goal is to be better than you were, if you're competing only with yourself, it's a more realistic place to be."
success: "The idea of watering things down for a mainstream audience, I don't think it applies. People want things that are passionate, that are the best version they can be. And often the best version they can be is not for everybody."
submerging yourself in great art: "Going to museums and looking at great art can help you make better art. Reading great novels… Seeing a great movie… reading poetry… The more you can do to get out of the mode of competition, where you get out of what other people are doing and wanting to be better than them or be inspired by them. The only way to use the inspiration of other artists is if you submerge yourself in the greatest works of all time, which is a great thing to do. If you listen to the greatest songs ever made, that would be a better way to work through to find your own voice to matter today then listening to what's on the radio now and thinking, 'I want to compete with this.'"
heart vs. head: "It really is small steps and trying not to think too much. It's more emotion and heart work than head work. The head comes in after to look at what the heart has presented and to organize it. But the initial inspiration comes from a different place, and it's not the head, and it's not an intellectual activity."
Advice for his 20 year old self: "Don't beat yourself up."