Ahem! Did you say Psychosis ?
Yep! I did. Let me explain.
From the view point of a lay person, making art is a mystical skill acquired at birth and is limited to being able to smudge paint around in a very organized and realistic appearing way. Some call it “talent.”
Sorry, Folks! There is way more to it than that. And, by the way, it doesn’t just include painters. Writers, musicians, actors, painters, sculptors, . . . . anyone who must call up their imagination to make some idea or image appear exciting or interesting . . .are all included. We all suffer from the same mental afflictions!
The creative spirit is not something that God issued to every person. That spirit is a very impatient and demanding master of our existence. To those to whom it has been given, it can be the source of deep frustration and feelings of dissatisfaction as well as elation and drama. (That is quite a range, Mike!)
I am going to come clean here for all to see: I have been afflicted with the creative spirit from the time I was a mere child. It has bugged me endlessly to make things or to perform or to simply innovate some process or method. (Here is the part that I have hidden from others for all these years . . .) When I am not doing any of these things . . .that is to say deeply mentally engaged . . . .I become itchy, touchy, grouchy, nasty, cranky and generally hard to live with. Yet, put me at the end of a paint brush and within minutes I am restored to my outwardly charming and satisfied self. 🙂
The part that I am trying to reveal here is not what you just read, but the part that I see in the mirror at times about the deep, hidden “stuff” rarely ever revealed to anyone. For example, outright fear and inability to act because of being stuck in the throes of indecision. Yes, you might know what I am talking about . . . .‘should I or shouldn’t I’ . . . . .or ‘I am not sure I can . . .’ . . .or ‘will I be able to measure up?’
A few years ago . . .actually, one year ago, I had the very distinct pleasure and honor to be awarded signature membership to AWS. I can tell you that since then, these feelings of being stuck, doubt, fear etc. have all multiplied and increased!! (Yes, this seems to be some sort of psychological flaw.)
So, now that the truth is out there, here is a news flash: Just about every creative person I have ever met suffered from these very same psychological impulses. Yes, the same grouchiness, the same impatience, the same feelings of being unfulfilled are part of every person who carries the creative spirit. It is a drive or compulsion that none of us fully understand until we experience how creating something (anything) can relieve these feelings and put us into a state of being fully present in the world.
Oh! And did I mention that there is the extremely rare satisfaction with our work that haunts us in the dark of night. That feeling that nothing ever turns out well that we make. There seems to be always something lacking . . .something not quite right . . .along with the ever present desire to make it better.
Do you recognize any of this stuff? Am I flirting with exposing your inner secrets? If so, you can relax because, evidently, these conditions I describe are “part of the creative package” we have been (blessed with) given. Yes, this is the part of “”talent”” that our lay people friends haven’t a clue about. It is the part of us to which all others are blind . . . . except, of course, our wonderful spouses, who seem to get that there is a salve that we receive when we are making something. That is to say being creative in some way.
One thing I have discovered . . . .there is indeed a way to put all of this stuff aside and attain a sense of satisfaction about our existence . . . .WORK ! No, not the ‘job’ kind of work! The creative kind of work! Set aside time daily to submerge oneself into the act of creating. And if not daily, then a few times per week. (But daily really is the best cure.) Put aside your feelings of wondering *what* to paint (or write or sing or play or etc) and just DO. The inspiration will come as you move along through the process of DOING.
Someone once said to me that being a creative person is a god-like quality. We are the only occupants on the planet who have the same creative quality that God has. So, rather than experience feelings of not belonging to our wonderful race, rejoice in your creativity! It really IS SPECIAL. It really is the quality that sets you apart from those ‘ordinary’ folks. It isn’t a psychosis. It is a gift !