10 Carrie Brownstein Quotes To Spark Your Truest Creativity

Carrie first came on to the scene in the riot grrl 90s alternative grunge era as part of the seminal punk trio Sleater-Kinney. She recently documented those days in her memoir Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl. Talking about the band’s influence to Guardian, Carrie explained, ““We told stories from a female perspective in a way that was unapologetic and unafraid of its own voice. There is a forcefulness to that, that I think posits it within the context of feminism.”
After the band went on hiatus in 2006, the indie singer and guitarist switched directions and reinvented herself. She first embarked on a writing career, writing a music blog for NPR, before making the switch to acting. With Fred Armisen she co-created the sketch show Portlandia now in its seventh season.  She stars and writes in the Peabody and Emmy award winning hipster skewering comedy that sends up and satirizes the pretentions of modern life in our social media and tech obsessed society.
In 2010, Carrie felt the call to have music back in her life.  She first helped form the band Wild Flag, and in 2015 Sleater-Kinney reunited. Consequence of Sound commented, “You don’t often see reunions that work at more than lip service to a band’s glory days, but Sleater-Kinney might be one of those rare bands that comes back stronger after spending time apart.”
Carrie has been open and candid about her struggles with depression and anxiety. In an interview with Pitchfork Carrie explained, “Sometimes I feel like it’s a lifelong struggle. I have started to meditate. I exercise, but not at a gym. I get out. I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve been trying to immerse myself in the narratives of other people. I try to not isolate myself as much. It is really hard. People that are sensitive, you just feel too porous sometimes. There’s this inertia that sets in and it’s hard to get out of bed. I think knowing that other people go through it is really reassuring. Some of my most motivated, brilliant friends, when they tell me that they’re sad, it’s like, I’m sad for them, and then I’m relieved for the world. I’m like: “See: we all feel like this.”
Here are more enlightening words from actor, writer, musician Carrie Brownstein to help spark you to connect with your own forms of expression and creativity.


“I’ll admit that I’m not quite certain how to sum up an entire year in music anymore; not when music has become so temporal, so specific and personal, as if we each have our own weather system and what we listen to is our individual forecast.” – Carrie Brownstein

“With music, I get to a much darker place. Where I’m able to go with Portlandia has a wider range, but also a brighter range.” – Carrie Brownstein

“With Portlandia, I don’t think our intention is always to find something funny. Sometimes the humor comes from taking something really seriously. We’re okay with making somebody feel uncomfortable or uneasy.” – Carrie Brownstein

“I would not call myself an optimist, even though I would aspire to be. I am innately a skeptic. There’s kind of an incessant dissatisfaction that I have, that I’m always trying to either expose or fight against or wrestle with.” – Carrie Brownstein

“The animal world, all the places that are feral and ungovernable, that’s where I find a lot of inspiration.” – Carrie Brownstein


“To me, the grotesque is like a sonic manifestation of reality. I don’t know how you could look out onto our world and see only beauty. And I like beautiful things. I like the aesthetically harmonious. But I am much more attracted to something that is off-kilter. It is a truer reflection of not only nature, but the human spirit—the state of the world. I just think everything feels a little off. So I’m much more attracted to that artistically.” – Carrie Brownstein


“Practice. Learn and then unlearn – that’s the trick in finding your own style of playing. You can’t merely emulate, you have to innovate, or at the very least create your own path into the process.” – Carrie Brownstein


“It’s really hard to be of this world right now and not feel a slow, creeping despair. I wonder if people have always felt like this. Even if, personally, I’m in a place of contentment or solidity, I feel like it’s hard not to look out into American culture and see vast inequity, widespread institutionalized violence and racism and transphobia and environmental destruction. It’s hard to be in this world and feel a sense of innate satisfaction at all. There’s plenty of things to feel unsettled about. At the same time, I try to… meditate and do other things so that I’m not freaking out about everything.” – Carrie Brownstein


“To me, curiosity is married to optimism. And that’s where a lot of my motivation comes from. A lot of my way out of depression and anxiety is that intersection between optimism and curiosity. Because it means taking a step forward with the hope that there will be discovery.” – Carrie Brownstein


“My favorite kind of musical experience is to feel afterward that your heart is filled up and transformed, like it is pumping a whole new kind of blood into your veins. This is what it is to be a fan: curious, open, desiring for connection, to feel like art has chosen you, claimed you as its witness.” – Carrie Brownstein

Bonus Carrie Brownstein Quote:

“You can never underestimate that moment of somebody explaining your life to you, something you thought was inexplicable, through music. That was the way out of loneliness.” – Carrie Brownstein


Author: Tara Collum

Tara Collum lives in Toronto and grew up in Muskoka. She is the co-creator of a forthcoming web serial about twins in a small town. She believes it is never too late to be the person you are meant to be. Follow Tara on twitter @99percentsun

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