Getting up…and singing is one of the bravest acts you can do and the impact can change the world.—Davin Youngs
Davin Youngs is the founder and owner of Chicago’s premier private singing studio, Davin Youngs Voice. He also founded and runs, VOXUS: teaching team building through improvised singing. He’s a professional singer who believes singing is a superpower that changes the world. He lives in Chicago.
What time do you get up?
When the dog paws me in the face… usually between 6:30 and 7 a.m.
What time do you go to sleep?
Often at inopportune times in public places (don’t invite me over for wine and a movie!) When at home I aim for 11 p.m., but can be found asleep on the sofa much earlier.
Is your creative work your full-time job?
Yes, it is in fact all of my jobs.
Do you wait for inspiration before you begin or do you begin regardless of inspiration?
I never wait but I’m working to always be available.
How many hours a day, on average, do you do your creative work?
It depends on the day. Trying to keep this in some sort of balance is a great challenge. I am at my most creative when my least creative duties are complete, so my creativity can feel contingent upon my efficiency in completing all the other necessary stuff.
At what point are you done for the day?
My private voice sessions often go into the late evening but my personal work is best completed by the early afternoon.
Do you work primarily in the morning, afternoon, or evening?
I’m much more useful in the morning. I’ve read that this has to do with our executive function still being asleep but I also blame caffeine.
Do you have a daily routine for your creative work?
I think my routine is quite schizophrenic. Sometimes my brain is like a browser with too many tabs open but as long as I keep them open I tend to get back to them.
How does it start?
Singing warm ups often happen in the shower or while taking care of things in the studio. Some time alone with my looper and improvisation is also a favorite jumping off point.
How does it end?
It usually has something to do with my pit bull, Neko.
How has your creative process changed over the years?
The best that I can identify is confidence in process. I spent a lot of years lacking patience with myself and confidence in the process.
Do you have a dedicated work space?
I have two studios. One space is larger and more private. It is where I make the loudest mistakes. The other studio is smaller and more exposed. This is where my best thinking and quiet writing happens. Both spaces are amazing and have very distinct energies. Both also have plaster walls and therefore, lovely acoustics.
If yes, do you have anything in your work space to encourage creativity?
Space is incredibly important to me. Tidiness in the space allows for messiness in my brain. The objects included are simple and meaningful. My voice studios don’t feel intentionally “singy.” They are just great spaces for being. Everything else that happens there is extra.
How do you maintain your creative energy?
Dog walks, coffee, and cookies. Also, putting on my noise canceling headphones and listening to new music. Have you all heard Sampha?
What other activities do you engage in to encourage your creativity outside of your creative work time?
Walks. Reading. Other arts. People are really the best though.
The deeper stuff...To listen to the conversation with Davin on The Creativity Habit podcast:
Every Monday a new interview.Conversations about art, creativity, and courage.