“I don’t do drugs. I AM drugs.” – Salvador Dali
Being an artistic person can be a blessing and a curse. I always here non-artistic folks say things like “I wish I could do that!” or “I couldn’t do that if I tried – you’re lucky.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy flattering comments from time to time but there is a trade-off to being a creative person that many people simply don’t see or understand. That trade-off is an extremely overactive brain.
When people ask me how to visualize my creative process I usually analogize it to something like this: Imagine thoughts are racing down a highway at break neck speed – they are constantly weaving and passing by you as if you were driving 35 miles an hour in the slow lane. Every now and then I see a creative thought clearly and I follow it off an exit ramp. That’s pretty much how my creative process works. Over time you learn how to harness the good creative thoughts and you get confident – that’s the key. It has served me well for the most part.
The problem is that you cannot turn off the super highway of thoughts – even when you are done creating the creative person’s mind continues to pass the idle time as if nothing has happened. This is why I basically have to create almost all the time – it is my drug, or to quote Salvador Dali: “I don’t do drugs. I AM drugs“.
I used to think this was some sort of curse that creative people have – you try and just shut out the crazy, 24/7/365 mind as much as you can. I tried to do this for a long time, but it never worked. I made the decision at the tail end of my college career to embrace creativity all the time. It hasn’t been perfect, but it was a wise choice (for me).
I rarely watch TV or movies – I don’t sit around much or relax. If I do sit around I read a book or I create something, anything, whether it’s art, music or even halloween props – that’s the only way to calm me down and make me feel at peace…
I wouldn’t want it any other way.