mickeytopogigio saidI think this was the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern take on creativity as well...a Muse or a demon was responsible for our best and worst thoughts.
It's Daemon! Daemon! LOL (ObsceneWish corrected me on that very same thing before
I am one of those vile creatures called artists. Though I have yet to really aspire to do 'real' visual art (my main area of 'expression'), I still get those "moments" of extreme creativity.
The fact that I get those often when I am experiencing an extreme emotion makes it all the more 'dangerous' as she says. Some of my most creative moments are when I was dangerously depressed or deliriously happy.
And it's exactly like the way she describes it, LOL. It just comes, and whatever you're doing you feel the irresistible urge to drop it. You need to capture it somehow and share it.
When I feel extremely sad, I want people to know how sad I am When I am content I want people to know it. When I am happy I want people to know it. When I see something beautiful, I want everyone to know how beautiful it is. Anyone who are artists here will probably understand that desire. Because it is not about merely telling people about what I feel... it's about letting them experience it themselves through a poem, or a picture, or a song, or a dance, or a paragraph of a story.
I don't know. There are times when I wish I could just take a 'snapshot' of whatever it is, and other people would see exactly what I saw. That's how I feel about the "genius" of artists. The main drive I feel is to show other people what I see.
That is actually the reason why I do not like the extreme forms of abstract art (*cough*Pollock*cough*). They leave the imagination to the viewer alone. But that's another debate.
Perhaps artists are selfish. Egotistical. We need the praise. The recognition of our work. And why not? Every time we work, on even the merest snip of a verse, the faintest brush stroke, the tiniest gestures of a dance, we are investing part of ourselves in it. They have value, as to how much of our 'soul' went into it.
Case to point: ever noticed how artists often keep some of their works, no matter how much money is offered? The works sold in art galleries while the artist is still alive are actually the ones he feels least about, hence why the works of dead artists are often worth more.
Heck, I drew something on a notebook leaf once. Only a few hours were spent on it, but it was made during one of those 'crazy' artist times, and as such held value more than its apparent worth. The notebook got soaked and it was ruined. The feeling of loss was indescribable. I tried to copy it exactly the way it was drawn, but couldn't. I felt like crying for days.
It's part of you. A part of you went into making it, and there is a huge pressure to get other people to see it and like it too. So huge that one nasty critique can make you want to kill someone. True art (the artificial kind) is very very personal. The instances of artists falling into despair after gaining fame on one work and then not being able to match that success again is also another reflection of this. That maybe somehow the fact that they liked it was actually not because of the reasons the artist thought it would be. Or they'll grow bitter at the apparent inability for the 'masses' to see what he sees. etc.
That is how I view creativity. And why it could so easily lead to self-destruction.
For example, some instances that lead to artists offing themselves (either deliberately or through just losing that drive to live):
- When an artist can't seem to get your perception across, he begins to blame himself. For example, if an artist truly has the talent of seeing beauty but not the knowledge of the techniques in capturing it, he would feel himself a failure.
- When an artist finally achieves the goal of making people see, hear, or feel the way he does and he achieves that moment of "transcendence" (as Gilbert termed it), the trip back down to Earth can be quite depressing.
- When an artist begins to rely on a certain emotion that he captures best, he becomes trapped in it. Poets who write sad poems for example. We all know what happened to most of them.
- When an artist's audience just don't seem to 'get it'
I am not sure how Gilbert would be successful with her advice though. Heh. Stubbornness in the face of crickets chirping at our work, is not something that artists are noted for. She may be right, we may be unconsciously emulating the stereotype of artists as brash, perpetually depressed, crazy individuals. Maybe we need to um 'discipline the force' LOL. Instead of having those irregular torrents of creativity whenever we get overloaded, why not let it flow evenly, with less strain on our emotions... Would certainly leave most of us happier.
But... I dunno. Art that is done when feeling quite uninspired (or not inspired enough) is dull. It's lifeless and it feels like work. THAT is probably the problem.