Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Big Squeeze

If you're not a creative artist, it's difficult to imagine being one.

And if you are one, your perspective on what you do can easily be clouded by which particular aspect of your work you are battling with...because let's face it, sometimes being creative can feel like a downright curse.

It's no coincidence that artists throughout history have been portrayed as eccentric. Strange behaviour and unusual traits come with the territory. And it's not that creative people are necessary lazy, obnoxious or rude...it's often more to do with their own inward struggle in actually producing those masterpieces for regular people to say "oh, isn't that nice".

You see the creative mind is a fragile mind. It lives somewhere between normality and insanity, ever flirting with the possibility of going over the edge. Geniuses are often forgiven for this, but not so the humble unknown creative. Musicians are sometimes idolised for it, but alas this only leads to their downfall.

There's no doubt that the ability to create something from a complete nothing is an amazing thing, and i can say from experience that the rapturous moments of creativity seem to suffocate the memories of slaving and heartache, frustration and insanity. It's kind of like having a baby, where the pain of the birth is soon forgotten in the bliss of the child.

But creating is hard work. The mind, the heart, and often the soul must visit places unimaginable and then attempt to create some kind of echo in the real world, like pulling a reality through some kind of portal. Sometimes it seems to happen spontaneously...effortlessly, and at other times it feels impossible. The emotional roller coaster ride can make a work as painful as attempting to squeeze an elephant through the eye of a needle.And of course then one must also juggle the real world...raising a family, friends, sometimes other work...

And artistic people understand that they're often misunderstood. They've usually felt it all their lives. For some it becomes the thorn in their side, ever tormenting. For others it's just another aspect to their uniqueness, another thing that disconnects them from a normal life. It can fuel a passionate rage which can inspire a myriad of possibilities as easily as it can quash the very essence of the creative mind.

There are so many ingredients which need to come together in order to breathe life into a new work. Some of it can be serendipitous, and some need time, thought, passion, and integrity. Some arrive on your doorstep, and some take you on a long and tiring hunt...hunts which can take a lifetime to complete.

If you're not a creative artist, it's difficult to imagine being one.

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