Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Ups and Downs

Where does your creativity come from? Are you a thoughtful, focused, organized processor of your creative ideas? Or do you come to your ideas from intuitive spurts that are erratic and disorganized? I imagine quite a few artists with claim the second process over the first but that probably varies depending on the medium an artist chooses.

Right now I am having a little trouble, because I am taking a medication that diminishes that sort of euphoric feeling you get when you are at the beginning or in the middle of creating a piece – where time stands still and all the separate elements seem to fall into place. That euphoria is the same feeling you get in your gut and head when you have laughed long and hard. The effect of the medication has me very concerned. I am taking it for very good reasons, so I will continue to take it even if I don’t like this particular effect, but I fear the flattening of that “up” feeling.

In short, I fear losing my creativity.

I have been told that the medication will help me focus and finish tasks -- and that is a very good thing, but I worry about the beginning of tasks – especially artistic endeavors. From my own observations I think the artistic temperament tends to be more sensitive and skates a little closer to the edge than other folks. It also seems to be a two-edged sword: creative euphoria with dramatic highs, or numbing lows that prevent any creative thoughts a place to roost. I have experienced them both, and I must say I prefer the “ups” – and who wouldn’t! But if they are too high, the fall is farther and much more pronounced. (What I am talking about is NOT bi-polar disorder, but depression with manic episodes.) We all have our demons, this is mine.
At this point, my creative output is a moot point – I am not creating anything tangible – but I do have lots of concrete ideas I want to pursue.

So help me out here: whether or not you suffer from similar demons (no need to self-disclose), do you see your creative self in any of this? How do you deal with it in or outside of your studio? Do you have organized processes to get to your creative work? Do you keep an art journal (and does it help)? What practices could I adopt to “get me going” when the “up” isn’t there? Give me some boot-straps I can pull on.

Since I did not have any takers for the last giveaway – the Snowflake Obsidian and Fresh-water Pearl earrings will go to a special someone (selected at random) who posts a comment to this blog between now and Saturday Morning.

Thanks in advance.


EmandaJ said...


sharry said...

Wow. I am going to send my sister a link to read your blog too, I think she and Simon can relate to you more than ever. I hope we can meet this week, it would be lovely to see you again before the whole summer escapes. :0)

EmandaJ said...

thanks so much!

Cindy said...

Hi Emanda,

Oh yes, I used to think that I needed that euphoria to create. It's nice to have it sometimes but it isn't necessary to create - remember what Thomas Edison said - Creation is 2 percent inspiration and 98 percent perspiration. I have trouble with the 98% perspiration sometimes - just keeping at it and going going goin like the energizer bunny is the most important for me.

I don't think if you "even out" you'll lose the ability to create - it will take on a more mellow, even pace - just keep at it! :-)


EmandaJ said...

Thanks so much Cindy, I needed those words of encouragement.