Richard here. I find Geoff Thompson's work powerful, challenging, inspiring and deeply soulful, so it was a great pleasure recently to interview Geoff and make his portrait.
RM: Something I always enjoy about your work is that it's very unique. What has helped you most in cultivating your own voice as an artist?
GT: The search for truth. When I was struggling and in pain and depressed I looked high and low for a truth that might guide me and offer a little balm, but I never found it. I always came away from books and films feeling disappointed and let down. I remember thinking ‘when I find the truth I am going to tell everyone.’ I have been doing that ever since. Truth or essence is beautiful. Everything that has ever worked for me has come from this place. You have to be brave, because the truth is uncompromising and very uncomfortable, for you and for others.
RM: What is it about writing as a medium that speaks to you, rather than drawing for example?
GT: Writing is my dharma. When I was at school and other kids were writing three lines in their English exercise books, I was writing fifteen pages. Everyone has a unique way of syphoning the divine, mine is through the written word. I feel bliss when I write, like I am a conduit for elixir. I have tried other mediums, martial arts, teaching etc. and they are all enjoyable, but writing gets me right into the vein of God.
RM: For you is there any difference between being a creative artist, and a creative business person?
GT: No difference in principle. I only work from love, that is, I only do things that I love doing, and when I do that I am linked to consciousness, it is a little like plugging into the mains electric. Whether I am writing, or teaching, or doing a business transaction I work from the same place. If I can’t find that true connection I step away.
RM: What traps do you see creative people fall into most? What's a good way out of those traps?
GT: Instead of connecting they contrive. They try to find the magic formula and join the dots, they try to predict the market, follow trends, stand on coat-tails – none of it works. Success is a happy accident, and all we can do (as Ken Wilber might say) is learn to be accident prone. The creative soul is a spontaneous, wild creature, we do not discover it, we reveal it, and to do that we have to create the perfect conditions, so that it can be enticed up ‘like a jewel from the bottom of the ocean.’ It sounds fancy, but all it means is, we do not follow trends, we follow intuition, it always leads us to the perfect place to produce art.
RM: What kind of projects are you most excited about at the moment?
GT: I have just finished a beautiful feature called The Pyramid Texts http://thepyramidtexts.com/Welcome.html that I really love, we are screening that as we speak. I am also promoting a beautiful short film (30 minutes) called The 20 Minute Film Pitch http://www.the20minutefilmpitch.com/, it is a monologue starring a brilliant young actor called Rory Nolan. My stage play Fragile is currently running at the King’s Head Islington. I also had the stage play version of The Pyramid Texts on at the Birmingham Rep in May, and the Soho Theatre London in June. I am also very excited about shooting my latest feature Romans, directed by the Shammasian brothers, in May. Then another 30 minute short called 3 Sacks Full of Hats, late July. Busy and exciting year.
RM: Geoff, thank-you very much for your time.
If you'd like to see more of Geoff's work visit http://www.geoffthompson.com/